This is one of my go-to recipes that I bring to pot luck meals or parties. It's a simple vegetarian meal or side that tastes good warm or room temperature. Years ago I saw Lidia Bastianich make this on one of her cooking shows. I made some changes, adding semolina to the olive oil crust, and using a variety of greens. It is delicious served with a fresh tomato sauce or roasted cherry tomatoes. It is a wonderful way to get your greens and this rustic tart is just as good the next day as it is on the day you make it. The greens take some time to clean (making sure you remove the grit) but the effort you put into the preparation is totally worth it in the end. —sdebrango
1 hour 15 minutes
6-8 depending on serving size
The Crostata Dough
1 3/4 cups
all purpose flour (if not using semolina, use 2 cups flour), plus more as needed for kneading
extra-virgin olive oil
The Greens Filling
swiss chard, chopped ( I used red chard)
spinach chopped or one package frozen chopped spinach thawed
leeks, chopped and well washed (use the white and light green parts only)
scallions, chopped (white and light green tender parts only)
fresh marjoram, chopped (if you don't have fresh use 1 1/2 tsp of dry)
fresh basil, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
ricotta (I used whole milk ricotta)
grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano (I used 1/4 cup of each)
large eggs, lightly beaten
an egg beaten with a splash of water for egg wash
Salt and pepper to taste
lemon zest (optional)
In This Recipe
The Crostata Dough
In food processor, add the flours, salt, and olive oil. Pulse until it starts to come together. Then, with motor running, pour in enough water to make a smooth, very soft dough. You can also use your stand mixer with the dough hook. Take the dough out and place on floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed until it forms a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes. The dough can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. (If you make dough ahead, bring to room temperature before rolling out.)
Note: Dough can be a bit finicky when rolling out—it can break. That's okay, just piece together in the pan if it does. Also if making a 9x13-inch rectangle crostata, double the recipe for the dough so you will have enough overhang. Part of the beauty of this dish is its rustic quality.
The Greens Filling
Clean your greens well making sure to remove any grit, remove the tough parts of the stems, chop the greens. Chop the leeks, scallions, marjoram and basil. In a large heavy dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leeks, scallions, and shallot, and cook until they soften. Add the red pepper flakes and the chopped greens, marjoram, and basil. Sauté until they are tender and most of the liquid has cooked down. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan, drain any liquid. Set aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta, parmigiano, heavy cream, and 3 eggs, plus a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, Add the cooled vegetables and mix together. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Heat oven to 375F. Butter a baking pan or rectangular casserole. On a floured surface, roll your dough into a rectangle approximately 22x16-inches. Flour your dough lightly and roll loosely onto your rolling pin. Place in baking pan or casserole. There will be approximately a 2-inch overhang. Don't trim. If your casserole is not that exact size, don't worry—the recipe is very forgiving.
Spoon the filling into the baking pan and bring your dough overhang onto the filling. It will not cover the entire surface. only about a 2-inch border all around. Brush the dough with the egg wash and bake approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then cut into squares. I like to serve with a fresh tomato sauce.
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking,
I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando.
I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.