I love Italian food. I cook a lot of it. I don't have an Italian nonna, so most of my knowledge of Italian food come from friends, and cook books.
I must admit since Italian food is so popular, it has changed a bit since migrating to the new world, just like all the other cuisines from the old world.
One of my recent collection was The Italian Cookbook, by Australian Gourmet Traveller. It's a rustic torta, and I have been wanting to try out for a while.
I bought a kilo of fresh ricotta during the weekend, after making some potato ricotta smoked salmon patties, I decided I still have enough ricotta to do my torta. Recipe adapted to suit my pantry, I don't have dried figs, and I did add mascapone which was not in the original recipe, used walnuts instead of hazelnuts. And it's a bigger torta, so I didn't have enough left over pastry to do the cross over stripes on top, but instead, cut out some hearts. I also used lemon myer, instead of oranges as I have a tree load.
Torta Di Ricotta
juice of one lemon Myer
zest of one lemon Myer
750g fresh ricotta
250g fresh mascapone
2 tbsp honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g roasted walnuts, roughly chopped.
185g plain flour
125g cold butter, coarsly chopped, plus extra for greasing
55g caster sugar
1 egg, separated
1. Pulse flour, butter, sugar and egg yolk together with a pinch of salt in a food processor till it's just coming together, knead mixture till smooth and roll between 2 sheets of plastic wraps into a large disc, put in fridge for an hour.
2. While the pastry is resting, mix the juice and the masala, soak the raisins for 30 minutes.
3. Mix ricotta, mascapone, honey, egg in a bowl, mix till smooth, I used my bench top mixer. Fold through the lemon zest, the walnut and the soaked raisins with the liquid.
4. Preheat oven to 190C. Roll pastry whilst still in plastic wrap to 34cms round. Remove top layer of wrap and invert pastry into the tart tin, I used a deep 10" loose bottom tart tin.
5. Spoon ricotta mixture into the tin and trim the edges of the pastry and roll out the left over pastry. I didn't have enough to do the criss cross, so I cut out some hearts....
6. Brush pastry with a bit of egg white and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden. brown.
7. And as most of the Italian tortas, dust with icing sugar and serve warm or in room temperature...