About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Gratin of Artichokes, Potatoes and Onions | Main | Sauteed Sunchokes »

Artichoke Torta in a Flaky Crust


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.)

Comments (2)


It looks a little Greek doesn't it. I know Marcella makes comparisons to Chinese food in her books, but do see similarities with Greek food with the olive oil, pan roasting, basic stews and vegetable soups and pies like this. It seems to be that the Italian versions are just a little more refined.

Marcella Hazan:

No surprise about correspondences with Greek cooking, Deborah. We are creatures out of the same small sea.

You illustrate a point, Cindy, that I have had to make in every single class when I have taught artichokes. "Oh -the students always exclaim - you are discarding so much of that beautiful, expensive artichoke!" And each time I have to explain that we are discarding only what we cannot eat, which makes sense, doesn't it?

My very best wishes to you Cindy, and my thanks for your skilfull rendition of my recipes.

Marcella-Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2011. It's been a pleasure cooking your recipes.
Cindy Ruth

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 30, 2010 1:57 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Gratin of Artichokes, Potatoes and Onions.

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