Ahhhhh, the torta salata. One of northern Italy’s favorite go-to dishes in the fall and winter months. Perfect as an antipasto or a make-ahead dish for a get together with family and friends.
I say “northern Italy” because I’m not quite sure if these quiche-like pies are as popular in the south.
You southern Italian foodies can let me know in the comment area below!
Since it’s been a bit cold and dreary here in Friuli the past week, I decided that it was time to make this Italian Torta Salata with Broccoli and Sausage to warm up our bellies.
Any broccoli haters out there?
This simple recipe has proven to win over even the most adamant of broccoli loathers: my husband, for example.
Since he doesn’t care for anything broccoli-related, I was quite surprised to see him gobble up every last crumb of this tart that his mamma made one day.
And he’s not the only one!
Several other broccoli haters I know have fallen in love with this delicious recipe, so for the sake of broccoli and other plants from the cabbage family, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
Italian Torta Salata with Broccoli, Sausage and Scamorza
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes plus 20 minutes cooling time
Serves: 4 – 6
1 – 2 heads fresh broccoli
1/2 cup scamorza cheese, cubed
1 clove of garlic
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
pie or quiche dish
Remove sausage from its casing directy into skillet.
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F (180° C)
Wash the broccoli and cut into small chunks about the size of a quarter. Set aside.
Place some wax paper between the tart dish and the puff pastry, then prick the base with a fork.
Move skillet with sausage to medium heat. Stir frequently as it browns and after about five minutes, add the wine.
Turn the heat up (to help evaporate the alcohol) and continue stirring on high heat for about three minutes.
Turn heat back down to medium then add in the broccoli, pinch of salt, olive oil, pinch of chili powder and garlic clove.
Stir well to combine and cook on low/medium heat for about 15 minutes. You want the broccoli to be soft, but not mushy.
Lance the garlic with a toothpick. This will help you to locate it more easily when it’s time to remove it from the pan.
The garlic adds a hint of flavor and shouldn’t overpower the tart.
Once the broccoli mixture has softened, remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Don’t forget to remove the garlic!
Next, add in the egg and whisk together.
Pour ingredients into prepared puff pastry.
My mother-in-law uses Scamorza cheese, a smoky white cheese that is common in Italy.
If you can’t locate this particular cheese in your area, then find another type of smoked cheese. Perhaps a smoked white cheddar.
Remove the outer skin of the cheese and then cut into cubes.
Dot the top of the broccoli filling with the cubes and then decoratively arrange the protruding crust.
Pop the pie into the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes on the middle rack.
LAST STEP… EAT AND ENJOY!
Feel free to write your comments or questions below. Please let me know if this manages to win over the broccoli haters in your life 🙂
*Original article published in February 2015 on the Valitalia Blog*