Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint

By • April 13, 2010 28 Comments

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Author Notes: This torte is all about peas. Peas are puréed with the ricotta and also left whole for texture in this baked egg dish. The unmistakable sweetness of the peas is discretely highlighted yet balanced with the addition of lemon and mint, salty cheese and earthy nutmeg. TasteFood

Serves 8

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups shelled peas
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup finely grated young Pecorino cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and wrap bottom with foil to prevent any leakage.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, one minute. Add peas and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté briefly to coat. Add water or stock. Cook until peas are tender and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Transfer half of the peas to a bowl of a food processor; purée. Add ricotta and nutmeg; pulse to blend. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in creme fraiche, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses. Stir in remaining peas, mint, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper.
  4. Pour eggs into prepared springform pan. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake in oven until edges are golden brown and center is puffed and cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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