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Torta Pasquale per Pasqua

This  recipe is the original ham pie made by my father Pasquale each year at  Easter and Christmas. It first appeared in his cookbook “Pat’s Pride”, published in 1983 by Gulfstream Printing Inc. His recipe is rich and flavorful.  It is also very, very good. Prior to my father making it, it was made by his mother, and probably by her mother also. When we make it now, we  decrease the number of whole eggs, use egg whites, and substitute less fatty cuts of meat in the filling.  It is still good, but not nearly as good as the original. If you have a penchant for living dangerously, make it the original way, and risk having something amazingly good!  For fun, try it both ways. We would enjoy hearing how yours turns out compared to the original. On other pages of The Artisan we have included traditional Torta Pasqualina as made in Umbria and Liguria.

Ingredients for the Filling

2 Lbs.  Smoked ham – cooked & cubed (Prosciutto Cotto may be  used)
1 Lb.  Cappicola (spicy rolled ham) – cubed
1/2 Lb. Pepperoni –  sliced thinly
1/2 Lb. Salami – cut into pieces
1/2 Lb. Mozzarella cheese – cubed
1/4 Lb. Cheese – sharp & cubed (Cheddar if no other available)
1 Lb.  Ricotta cheese
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese – grated
3 Dozen Eggs
Salt & Pepper To taste

Preparation of the Filling

Boil one dozen eggs until they are hard cooked. Set aside to cool.

Cut and mix all of the ingredients. Crack 2 dozen fresh eggs into the mixture, then add the ricotta cheese. Add half the milk and mix well.  If the filling is too stiff, add more milk until the consistency is that of whipped heavy cream. Mix well. Peel, and slice 1/2 the hard cooked eggs, and mix into the filling.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the mixture aside and proceed to the next step.

Ingredients for the Dough

4 Cups Flour – all purpose unbleached
1 Dozen  Eggs
4 Tbl. Pepper – black
2 Tbl. Olive oil – Extra virgin
Q.B.       Butter or Margarine

Preparation of the Dough

Make a well in the flour. Break the eggs in a bowl and whip.  Add whipped eggs, pepper and oil to the flour. Mix well, adding just enough cold water to hold it together. Roll out after the dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky. Separate the dough, and put half into an oiled 9 X 14 inch oven proof spring form pan, or casserole of similar size. Fill the pan with mixture until the filling is about half way from the top of the pan sides. Place a hard boiled egg – there are half left – on top of the filling, then gently press the egg into the filling.  Cover the eggs with the remaining filling then place the second sheet of rolled out dough on top. Prick holes in the top crust. Glaze with the margarine or butter, and bake at 375°- 400° F until light brown, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (If the crust begins to brown too early, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to bake)

While the pie can be served hot or warm as an appetizer or side dish, it is best when cool. I remember cutting pieces all through the first day it was made, and then for the next few days after that.  It never lasted very long in our house.

We think this Torta is great with a 2009 De Angelis Wines Syrah!

 2009 Syrah

This  De Angelis Wine was bottled in mid-February of 2011. A limited release occurred in August 2011. We decided to release the wine to the general public when we launch our new web site – This one! This is a 13.9% alcohol wine, and again brings flavor, balance, and finish to a this varietal.Some of the complexity is due to the addition of a small amount (10.5%) of Grenache. This blend has been offered since being originally introduced into our Syrahs in 2007.

We are very proud of this wine, and even more proud that we bring it to you at such a reasonable price point.

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