As those of you know who are following our blog, we are working our way through Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking in order. This means that some of the dishes we will have made months ahead of our posting, so that we can use ingredients when they are in season. This torta is one of those things that I made over 6 months ago, in the springtime when artichokes were in season.
Marcella says that the pastry shell for this torta is unusual because it uses ricotta cheese in it instead of eggs. That ingredient makes it a little lighter, and very flaky.
For this torte, you saute onions and carrots until soft. You then add the trimmed artichokes and cook until tender. The filling also has ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. The pastry crust is rolled into 2 circles. One piece is placed in a springform pan, the filling is added, and it's all topped with the second pie crust. The torte is baked until browned. It can be served warm or at room temperature.
The flavor of this torte was really good, but I learned a good lesson in making this. When you trim your artichokes, following the detailed instructions Marcella provides you with, make sure you remove ALL of the leaves that might be tough. I was afraid I was paring my artichoke down to nothing, and I left too many of the tough leaves. This meant that eating this torte was a unique experience-we were having to spit out many of the tough leaves that I mistakenly had included. Luckily, I did not serve this dish to anyone except my husband.
I loved the flavor of this, and if you love artichokes you should give it a try. Just make sure you get all of the tough leaves off.
(I wanted to show you the inside of the torte, but please forgive this terrible photo.)