Torta di verdura

Ligurian Greens Pie

The famed greens pie of Liguria is one of the region’s signature dishes. A similar filling is used for torta pasqualina, the multilayered pie served at Easter, hut without the pine nuts and raisins and with the addition of cooked artichokes. In Emilia-Romagna, the greens pie, called erbazzone, may have some pancetta added.

Ingredients

Filling

  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about cup)
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped beet greens, chard, or spinach (2½ to 3 pounds before trimming stems)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
  • ¼ cup golden raisins, plumped in hot water and drained
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (about 8 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil or lightly beaten egg for brushing

Method

Make the pastry, divide into 2 disks, cover, and let rest as directed.

To make the filling, pour enough olive oil into a large sauté pan to film the bottom. Add the onion and parsley and sauté over medium heat until the onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the greens, stir until wilted, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly until the mixture is almost dry, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, drain well, and season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the raisins and pine nuts. Let cool, then fold in the eggs and cheeses.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger pastry disk into a 14-inch round about ¼ inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough round to a 10-inch springform pan and ease it into the bottom and sides. Trim the overhang to about ½ inch and flatten it to make a rim. Spoon the greens mixture into the prepared crust. Roll out the remaining pastry disk into a 10-inch round about a ¼ inch thick. Moisten the edges of the bottom crust with water. Carefully transfer the dough round to the pan, placing it over the filling. Securely pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together. Cut a few steam vents in the surface, and brush the top with olive oil or beaten egg.

Bake the pie until the crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Remove the pan sides and slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.