Torta Rustica | DonalSkehan.com, Kristina Gill, co-author of Tasting Rome, shares her recipe for Torta Rustica, a delicious savoury tart!
  • light-meals

Torta Rustica

March 27

Torte rustiche feature prominently on Rome’s wine bar menus and in local bakeries. Fillings may change with the seasons; the vegetable ingredients in this recipe, carrots included, grow in the Roman countryside. In Rome, you’re most likely to find this savory delight served as a snack alongside Prosecco or a cold beer when you’re dining al fresco, but you can also serve it as a starter, or even as a light main dish. The flaky crust can either be a quick dough called rough puff pastry, or you can use store-bought.

Reprinted from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City. Copyright © 2016 by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Kristina Gill. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

  • serves Serves 6
  • time 90 mins


  1. 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water. When the salt has dissolved, add the spinach, chard, and dandelion greens and blanch for 1 minute, until the stalks are tender. Drain and allow to cool, about 20 minutes. Squeeze out excess water very well and chop into small, confetti-size pieces.
  2. 2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the greens and cook until they are tender and have darkened, 15 minutes more.
  3. 3. Transfer the greens to a large bowl and add the parsley, carrot, salt, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, three of the eggs, and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.
  4. 4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line an 8-inch pie pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg. Set aside.
  5. 5. Slice off a third of the puff pastry and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the remaining pastry into a 10-inch round, 1⁄8 inch thick. Place the pastry in the prepared pan, pressing it into the corners and leaving enough overhang to rest on the top edge of the pie pan. Trim the excess pastry with a knife. Spoon the filling into the pastry and level it to the top of the pie pan.
  6. 6. Roll out the reserved pastry into a 10 × 6-inch rectangle. With a knife or fluted pastry wheel, cut it into twelve ½-inch-wide strips. Use these to make a lattice over the top of the pie, trimming the excess strips and pressing them to adhere to the edge of the bottom layer of pastry. Brush the lattice with the beaten egg.
  7. 7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

  8. 8. Remove the torta rustica from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. The pie is best served at room temperature. It will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for 2 days; remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.


Makes 1 torta rustica

1 tsp sea salt, plus more for salting the water

1 pound fresh spinach leaves

1 pound fresh chard

¼ pound dandelion greens

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ carrot, finely grated

½ pound ricotta

1¼ cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

4 large eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound rough puff pastry, homemade (page 186) or store-bought

You'll Need

Large pot

Large skillet

Large bowl

8-inch pie pan

Small bowl

Rolling pin