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 to prepare a very good Risotto with them. But if you have some time this is also a great way to eat them.

And it will be good also on the following day.

You can do the same recipe also with a puff pastry available in the shops (be sure it is made with butter and not with low quality fats), 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 cheese to finish I also use others to grate, so use what you prefer (but nothing too strong in flavor) 🙂 what’s important is to use good cheese and not those kind of tasteless industrial products, that’s how you reach a very good final 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
  • 4 g salt

For the filling:

  • 500 g asparagus (cleaned it will remain 250-300 g)
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 80-100 g grated provolone piccante, or Parmigiano (or other good cheese)
  • 80-100 g pancetta (optional, I think 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 of a kneader (or you can do with hands, obviously), then add the cold butter cut in small cubes and also the lard (if you decided to use it), the salt and half of the water, and start the machine. Add the remaining water, and some more if needed. You shouldn’t work the dough for 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).
  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 them from the melted fat and keep aside for later.
  3. Boil also the asparagus: clean them, peel them, cut the harder bottom part, 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. 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 drop, half deciliter or no more than one should be enough in any case). Add also the small pieces of asparagus.torta_asparagi_2
  5. Now put some little flour on the working table and flatten the dough (do it as fast as possible, it shouldn’t get too much warmer), 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 pour on the pastry the pancetta that you have previously cooked. Then cover everything with the ricotta cream, and finally place the top of the asparagus you cut before, in a nice way.
  7. Bake at 180 °C, fan-assisted mode, for about 30 minutes.

 

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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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