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Torta di Formaggio (Cheese Tort)

This is one of the recipes that has been provided by Shirley Cline from San Fransisco. Shirley had this to say:

"I found this recipe on the web and it looks so much like what my grandmother used to make for us at Xmas time. Brings back a lot of great memories for me. This Piemontese antipasto can be extraordinary, though you have to remember to eat just a little or you find yourself feeling full before the meal even begins ".


1/2 lb. puff pastry (commercially prepared will be fine)
1/2 lb. mixed cheeses, including fontina, ricotta, and Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
3 eggs
10 oz. spinach
A clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Wash the spinach well, heat it in a pot with just the water it has on its leaves until it is well wilted, and squeeze out most of the water (you don't want it bone-dry). Mince it.

Skin the sausage, crumble it into a pan, and briefly saute it to render out most of the fat and discard.

Separate one of the eggs and set the yolk aside. Lightly beat the remaining eggs and white, and combine them with the sausage meat, minced spinach, and garlic. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 360ºF.

Look at your filling, and estimate what size pan it will fill. Next, take the puff pastry and roll it out thinner, then divide it into two pieces, one that will be large enough to line the pan, and the other large enough to cover it all. Lightly butter the pan and line it with the larger piece of dough, then spread the filling evenly and cover it all with the second sheet, using the tines of a fork to weld the two pieces together and produce a pretty notched rim. Puncture the top in several places to allow steam to escape, brush it with the reserved egg yolk, and bake it for about an hour. Serve it sliced, either warm or cold.

Serves 6

Shirley Cline