Leek, Artichoke, Fennel, and Sausage Tart / Torta di Porri, Carciofi, Finocchio, e Salsicce
One of the great culinary triumphs of the Renaissance was the great torta, or pie, stuffed with every imaginable ingredient, including live birds. I developed this recipe, taking my inspiration from a Renaissance pie called de la torta parmesana, filled with cheese, meats, herbs, vegetables, and almonds. Prepare the dough and vegetables the day before it is to be served.
- 4 cooked medium artichoke hearts
- 4 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pound leeks, white parts only, sliced into thin rings
- 1 medium fennel, bulb quartered and cut into thin strips; tops minced
- 3/4 pound mild or hot Italian sausage
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 recipe Pasta Frolla, chilled
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon water
- Cut the artichoke hearts into small pieces and place them in a large bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the leeks for about 3 minutes or until wilted. Add leeks to the artichokes. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and sauté the fennel for about 4 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the fennel to the bowl with the artichokes.
- In the same skillet, brown the sausage, adding no additional fat; add a little water if the sausage is lean . When the sausage is browned, drain off the fat, transfer sausage to a cutting board, and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the sausage into 1/4 - inch slices, then add them to the bowl.
- Toss 2 tablespoons fennel leaves, fennel seeds, sea salt, pepper, pine nuts, and cheese into the artichoke mixture and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 14-inch circle, then use 1 piece to line a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Let the excess dough hang over the edges. Place the filling in the tart shell, smoothing it out but not compacting it.
- In a small bowl, whisk 3 eggs with the wine and pour the mixture into the tart shell. Place the second piece of dough over the top, letting the edges hang over. With a rolling pin, roll over the edges of the pan to cut off the excess dough.
- Re-roll the pastry scraps and make a decorative pattern of vines and leaves over the top of the tart. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with the water and brush the mixture evenly over the top of the tart. Bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove the tart to a rack and let cool slightly. Remove the sides of the tart pan, and place the tart on a serving dish. Slice into wedges to serve.
- Note: To prevent the edges of the tart from browning too much, cover them loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
This recipe was featured on Season 4 - Episode 407.