Torta di Carciofi

torta2 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts OR 10 to 13 fresh baby artichokes (cleaned and cut into slivers)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup parsley leaves, minced
2 large eggs
1 pound ricotta (about 500 grams)
20 strokes freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 package prepared puff pastry

1. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet until hot but not smoking.
Add the artichokes and cook over medium-high heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and constantly monitoring the heat. You want the artichokes to brown but not burn, to sauté but not steam.
You can periodically deglaze the pan with a spoonful or two of water, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.

When the artichokes have taken on color and are fully cooked, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the minced parsley and mix well. Remove from heat and let cool until you’re able to transfer the artichokes to a cutting board, scraping the pan well.

Using a large knife, roughly cut the cooked artichokes into small pieces.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 10- or 12-inch cake tin (or springform pan or pizza pan) with parchment paper and then with puff pastry, making sure that the pastry lines the sides of the pan with plenty of hang-over.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 egg, the ricotta, the nutmeg, Parmigiano, the remaining salt, and pepper to taste.

Add the chopped artichokes and mix well. (If you’re secure about your egg quality, taste the filling at this point and adjust if it needs more salt.)

Pour the filling into the prepared pastry.

Fold the pastry that hangs over the sides of the pan over the filling and press down gently where the dough overlaps.

Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush the beaten egg over the pastry (not the filling).

4. Put the torta into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

The pastry will brown and the filling will set.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before using the parchment paper to remove the torta from the tin.

Set it on a serving plate, cut into slices, and serve. Tastes best cooled but not cold.

Chef: Pietro Gangemis
Serves 10 to 12

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