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Spring Spinach Prosciutto and Fontina Tart

MAKES ONE 9-INCH TART; SERVES 6 TO 8

In the spring, when crunchy, crisp spinach appears in my garden, I gather the leaves for this delicious tart. A bonus is that you will have enough leftover Straight Dough (about 10 ounces) to make a small pizza, miniature rolls, or a handful of breadsticks.

You can make and refrigerate the filling for the tart the day before assembling it. Serve the tart as a luncheon dish with a marinated carrot or tomato salad, accompanied by glasses of Pinot Grigio.

Ingredients

2 pounds spinach, stemmed and washed

1 tablespoon Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 large clove garlic, mashed

1/4 pound prosciutto, diced

8 dried tomatoes in olive oil, homemade or store-bought, drained and diced

1 recipe Straight Dough

3/4 pound Italian Fontina cheese, diced

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions

Place the spinach in a large saucepan, without any additional water, and cook it over medium-low heat until it wilts. Drain in a colander and squeeze out as much water as possible. Coarsely chop the spinach and put it in a small bowl.

Wipe the saucepan dry and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and prosciutto and cook until the prosciutto starts to brown. Add the prosciutto and garlic to the spinach. Stir in the dried tomatoes.

Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil spray and set aside.

Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky. Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with a cloth or bowl.

Roll one piece of dough out on the floured surface into a 14-inch round. Line the springform pan with the dough, letting the excess dough hang over the sides of the pan. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the bottom of the dough. Spread half of the cheese over the spinach, then repeat the spinach and cheese layers.

Roll the remaining piece of dough out into an 11-inch round. With a pastry wheel, trim a 1 1/2-inch-wide strip from two opposite sides of the round, reserving the trimmings. Then cut the remaining dough into 8 long 1-inch-wide strips. Place 4 of the strips 2 inches apart over the filling. Place the remaining strips across the fist strips, at right angles, to create a lattice pattern.

With scissors, cut off the excess dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Turn the dough over toward the center of the tart and press it down below the rim of the pan. (Gather the dough scraps and trimmings together and reserve for another use, as suggested above.)

Brush the top of the tart with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and let it rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Bake the tart for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool the tart on a rack for 30 minutes. Carefully release the spring on the pan and remove the sides of the pan. Place the tart, still on its base, on a serving dish and cut into wedges to serve.

Note: This tart can also be made in a 2-inch by 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan.

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