Salty Cake with Ricotta and Asparagus

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It’s asparagus season, and we don’t want to miss it, right? 🙂

I usually like to eat asparagus simply as a side dish, just boiled, or sautéed in a cast iron pan, or to prepare a very good Risotto with them. But if you have some time this is also a great way to enjoy them.

And it will be good also on the following day.

You can do the same recipe also with a puff pastry, but I usually prefer to do this kind of recipes with homemade Pâte brisée.

And for the cheese to use next to the ricotta, I usually use Parmigiano, or provolone piccante, but if I have some other good cheese to finish I also use others sometimes, so use what you prefer (but nothing too strong in flavor) 🙂

Let’s see.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Pâte brisée (for a 28 cm shape if you want thin pastry, or for a 24-26 cm if you want thicker pastry):

  • 250 g flour (I used 2/3 einkorn flour and 1/3 wheat flour)
  • 125 g butter (I used 85 g butter and 40 g Mangalica pork lard)
  • 80 ml water (about, you’ll see depending on the flour you use)
  • 4 g salt

For the filling:

  • 500 g asparagus 
  • 300 g ricotta (or also crème fraîche if you prefer)
  • 80-100 g grated provolone piccante, or Parmigiano (or other good cheese)
  • 80-100 g pancetta (optional, but it fits well)
  • 2 eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  1. First of all we have to prepare the pâte brisée, which has to rest a couple of hours in the fridge. Sift the flour and put it in the bowl, then add the cold butter cut in small cubes and also the lard (if you decide to use it), the salt and work it fast with hands, until you obtain a sandy texture. Then add the water. You shouldn’t work the dough for too long time, it should be a quite fast process, when it’s ready wrap it in a plastic foil and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour (better 2 or more).
  2. Then prepare the filling, start first with the pancetta: cut it into small cubes/slices and then cook them in a pan until a bit crunchy. Then remove it from the fat and keep it aside for later.
  3. Boil also the asparagus: clean them, peel them (only if they are the thick type), remove the harder part at the bottom, and boil them in salted water, but just for few minutes, 3-4, they must be still quite firm. Then keep the top for decoration (measure the length you need for your oven pan), and the remaining part cut it into small pieces and sautée them in the same pan where you have the fat of the pancetta, just a couple of minutes to add the flavor (or if you don’t want to use pancetta, just boil them 2-3 minutes longer). Then keep aside.
  4. Then take a bowl, add the ricotta, the freshly grated cheese, the eggs, the salt, the pepper and whisk all together until you have a homogeneous cream. If the ricotta is a bit dry you can add a little bit of milk (just a little drop). Add also the small pieces of asparagus you have previously cut.torta_asparagi_2
  5. Now put some little flour on the working table and flatten the dough, then place it in an oven pan that you have previously greased with butter. Make also some holes on the surface, with a fork for example.
  6. First add the pancetta that you have previously cooked. Then pour the ricotta cream, and finally place the top of the asparagus you cut before, in a nice looking way.
  7. Bake at 180 °C, fan-assisted mode, for about 30 minutes.

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Senza titolo-1

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This one was made with crème fraîche instead of ricotta, that’s also great 🙂

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Products used:

Flour: 2/3 organic stone ground Einkorn flour from Mulino Marino and 1/3 organic kenyerliszt (wheat) from Pàsztòi Malom.

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