Ligurian easter pie (torta pasqualina)

Yield: 12 Servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N -----dough-----
6 cups All-purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons Salt
½ cup Olive oil
2 cups Warm water (110 degrees) ---filling-----
12 mediums Artichokes
¾ cup Olive oil
½ cup Onions; thinly sliced
½ teaspoon Salt, plus extra to taste
1 \N Lemon; halved
2 cups Fresh bread crumbs
¾ cup Milk
2 pounds Ricotta cheese
13 \N Eggs
½ cup Parmesan cheese; grated
\N \N Black pepper; to taste
2 tablespoons Butter

Recipe by: How To Bake - Nick Malgieri - ISBN 0-06-016819-6 * One 12-inch cake pan, 2 inches deep, oiled.

1. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Combine the oil and water and stir in to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth, about 10 mins. Divide the dough into 12 to 33 pieces and oil each and wrap it separately in plastic wrap. Allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. 2. To make the filling, trim the artichokes: with a stainless-steel knife trim the bottoms flat, cutting away any stem. Bend back and pull off all the green outer leaves. When you reach the thin yellow leaves at the center of the artichokes, slice off the tops, leaving about 1 inch of the base and leaves. Cook in boiling salted water until almost tender. Scrape away the chokes and slice the hearts thinly. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large pan and cook the onion briefly. Add the artichokes and season with the salt and lemon juice. Allow to cook gently for about 20 mins. Cook, Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk, then combine with the ricotta, 5 of the eggs, and ½ cup grate Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the artichokes. 3. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 F. 4. Unwrap one of the dough pieces and roll it out as thinly as you can. Pull and stretch the dough into a large circle and line the prepared pan with it. Allow the excess dough to extend up over the edge of the pan. Paint with some of the remaining ½ cup of oil and repaeat with half the remaining dough pieces. Pour the filling over the dough in the pan.

Make 8 openings in the filling and place a piece of butter and break a whole egg into each. Sprinkle each egg with some of the remaining grated cheese. Cover the filling with the remaining layers of dough.

Evenly trim any excess overhanging dough an inch away from the edge of the pan. The excess dough will shrink back while the torta is baking. 5. Bake for about 1¼ hours until the pastry is golden and the filling is set (a knife will emerge clean from the center).

Serving: Serve the torta warm or at room temperature, as the main course of a light meal. In Genoa, it is common to find this and other vegetable trote served as part of an assortment of antipasti. With a salad and a simple dessert it is a perfectly satisfying lunch or supper. Storage: Refrigerate leftovers tightly covered with plastic wrap. Before serving, remove the plastic and reheat briefly, loosely covered with foil, at 350 F for about 20 mins, until just warmed through.

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