Torta Rustica

Torta Rustica

Torta Rustica


Makes 6 servings


1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, cubed
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, cut into halves
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese


  1. To proof yeast, sprinkle yeast and sugar over warm water in small bowl; stir until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.*
  2. Combine 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt in food processor. With food processor running, add yeast mixture, 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon basil.
  3. Process until mixture forms dough that leaves side of bowl. If dough is too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. If dough is too wet, add remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons flour until dough leaves side of bowl. Dough will be sticky.
  4. Place dough in large greased bowl. Turn dough over so that top is greased. Cover with towel; let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. To test if dough has risen enough, lightly press two fingertips about 1/2 inch into dough. Dough is ready if indentations remain when fingertips are removed.
  5. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onions, carrots and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, remaining 1 teaspoon basil, oregano, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, to punch down dough, push down on center of dough with your fist. Push edges of dough into center. Knead dough on lightly floured surface 1 minute. Cover with towel; let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 2-quart casserole or souffle dish. Roll 2/3 of dough on lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Ease dough into casserole, allowing dough to extend 1 inch over edge of casserole.
  8. Spoon half the vegetable mixture into casserole. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers.
  9. Roll remaining dough on lightly floured surface into circle 2 inches larger than top of casserole; cut decorative designs in top of dough with paring knife. Place dough over filling. Fold edges of top dough over bottom dough; pinch with fingertips to seal edges.
  10. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown, covering edge of dough with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning.

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