Torta Rustica

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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.

Serves 6

  • 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.


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3 Responses to Torta Rustica

  1. Mare November 4, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    I am hungry!!!! This looks delicious!

  2. lizthechef November 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    I will make it for you and Freddy when you visit us in San Diego 😉

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