When artichoke season comes around I can’t help but crave “torta salata ai carciofi” artichoke pie.
In Italy just about all savory pies/tarts/quiches are called “torta salata”. It’s one of those everything and nothing phrases. With that said some of the most famous “torte salate” (that’s the plural version) come from Liguria.
This is the version my Ligurian mother in law makes. It’s beautiful in this simplicity and its rusticness (of I can’t believe that’s actually a word). A dish women could whip up after spending all day in the fields and/or they could take to the field with them.
My mother-in-law usually makes it the night or morning before we are supposed to arrive. It will sit out all day at room temperature. Being a good American with a keen sense of food handling rules this used to freak me out. My mental alarm DANGER DANGER DANGER goes off. But I always eat it anyways and I’m still here without an upset stomach to report. Praise the Lord. (Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you do the same)
But like I was saying, it’s a great make ahead meal. It’s also versatile. You can serve it as an appetizer or as a main course with a simple salad.
My husband (the culinary traditionalist) likes to emphasize that it was used to be made with goat or sheep’s milk ricotta because Ligurian’s traditionally didn’t raise many cows (the region is too mountainous for that).
I however realize that your supermarket may not have ricotta much less sheep’s milk ricotta, so I’m not trying to complicate things further. If you want to complicate your life even less, you can make it with store bought puff pastry. That’s actually how most modern day Italians make “torta salata”.
I hope you enjoy however you decide to make it. Write me a message below with how it comes out, and of course remember to
FEED YOUR LOVE! xoxo Thea (Mrs. Flirty Foodie)
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Ligurian Style Artichoke Pie - Torta salata ai carciofi Ligure
Mix together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Then add mix in liquid to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a smooth dough. Shame into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
While dough is resting make filling. Then preheat oven to 350˚F/ 180˚C and grease a 10 inch baking pan with olive oil.
Divine dough into two equal balls. Turn first ball onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a disk about 11-12 inches (about 27 cm) wide and about 0.15 inches (4 mm) thick.
Roll a layer of dough onto the baking dish. Place filling into on top of dough in pie dish.
Next unroll other half of dough to 11-12 inches (about 27 cm) wide and about 0.15 inches (4 mm) thick. Lay this half of dough on top filling.
Use your fingers to crimp the overlapping layers of dough together (brushing a little of water between the layers if necessary to help them stick). Roll the stuck together layers inside of pan, cutting off an extra dough (depends on how thick or thin you want your crust). Brush top layer with olive oil.
Bake on lower rack of oven for approx. 30 minutes, until lightly golden.
Fill a large bowl half way with cold water and lemon juice. Clean and thinly slice the artichoke hearts and place in lemon water as you work.
Add olive oil to a medium sized pan on heated on medium. Add drained artichokes, garlic, and a bit of salt. Add lid to pan and cook for about 10 - 15 minutes until artichokes have softened. Stir every so often and add a touch of water if pan dries out.
In a medium bowl add cooked artichokes, cheeses, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix until fully combined.