Tuscan Brunch Torta

Tuscan Brunch Torta


Makes 12 servings


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, separated
4 eggs
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta or light ricotta cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 ounces sliced prosciutto or smoked ham
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and patted dry
4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
1 tablespoon milk


  1. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture forms pea-sized pieces.
  2. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a soft ball. Shape 2/3 of dough into disk; shape 1/3 of dough into another disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll out.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Turn out large disk of dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 13-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch deep dish pie plate; trim to 1/4 inch beyond rim. Reserve scraps.
  4. Pierce dough with fork about 40 times. Brush lightly with beaten egg white. Bake 10 minutes; cool on wire rack.
  5. Beat 4 eggs lightly in large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and nutmeg; mix well. Layer half of prosciutto over cooled crust; spread spinach mixture over prosciutto. Layer remaining prosciutto, pesto, roasted red peppers and provolone cheese over top.
  6. Roll out remaining dough to 12-inch round. Place over filling; trim to 1/2 inch beyond rim and flute edge. Reroll pastry scraps; cut into decorative shapes and place over pastry. Cut several slits on top of pastry to allow steam to escape.
  7. Beat egg yolk and milk in small bowl with wire whisk; brush evenly over pastry. Place pie plate on baking sheet; bake 1 hour or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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