Wednesday, October 15, 2008
What's Cooking Wednesday - Torta di Verze
Top: shaved savoy cabbage; Jeff grating the cheese; mixing the oil and cheese into the cabbage.
Bottom: The unbaked torta, with the dough folded over; a yummy piece ready to be eaten.
We've been doing some cooking here. We have wonderful guests, Sue and Jeff from Rhode Island who have come back to us this year, and that was reason to celebrate.
We made a first course of Torta di Verze, Savoy Cabbage Torta. This is a recipe handed down to my mother from her mother - in - law, who was from Bardi, a small ancient city in the Parma province of Emilia Romagna.
The torta is simple and delicious.
Preheat your oven to 180° C, or 375° F
The dough is simply 2 cups of flour -- in the mixer, and then add enough water to make it stick together. Then just add a tablespoon of olive oil, mix a bit longer, and place on a clean surface, adding flour and kneading until the dough gets a smooth consistency. Roll it out as thinly as possible. The shape really doesn't matter, as long as it overlaps the sides of a large baking sheet.
Shread a head of savoy cabbage by chopping it finely with a large knife, cutting out and eliminating the core. Blanch in boiling water for one minute. Drain and dry the cabbage thoroughly using kitchen towels. Put the cabbage back in the pot. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, a cup of grated finest quality parmasean and peccorino -- we used 36 month aged Reggiano and Peccorino di Sardenia. Mix well, and taste to see if any salt is needed.
Place the crust, open and flat on a cookie sheet which has been greased with olive oil. Dump the cabbage mixture in the center of the dough and smooth out until it is about an inch thick. Stretch and fold the crust over the cabbage, sealing the edges with a bit of water.
Brush olive oil on the top and sprinkle with course sea salt.
Bake until golden brown for 30-45 minutes.
Note: I have been eating this torta for as long as I can remember. It was one of three which my grandmother made and it's the one that my mother makes most frequently. All three are exceptionally delicious, and I will publishing all three as the What's Cooking Wednesdays come and go. This one is my favorite, and the favorite of my niece Jessica, who has been known to steal the corner piece from my plate on occasion (kids!) (well, she's 26).
Wine: A younger Nebbiolo or a Grignolino works very well with this dish.