I adapted this recipe for a torta rustica from a wonderful recipe in the December 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. I was able to substitute reduced fat milk for cream and whole milk without compromising the rich flavor of the dish. Whole-grain bread adds more fiber. The chicken sausage is less fatty than traditional sweet Italian sausage.
I added thyme just because I love it and grow a few varieties in my garden.
- 16 1/4 inch whole-grain baguette, sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 12 ounces baby organic spinach, washed and dried
- 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 of a 12-ounce jar of yellow, red or orange roasted peppers, drained and medium-diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 and 1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese, divided use
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups 2% milk
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground white pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter baking dish and place 8 baguette slices into bottom of dish; 2 slices along each side.
3. Melt butter in large skillet and cook spinach just until barely wilted. Strain spinach; when cooled, squeeze excess liquid. Transfer to medium bowl.
4. Using the same skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain on paper towels; next, add to spinach. Add one cup of grated cheese, the diced peppers and thyme. Spread on top of baguette slices.
5. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Add 3 remaining ingredients. Pour over spinach mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
6. Bake torta 45-50 minutes, until puffed and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest 30 minutes before serving.