This Ricotta Pie with Spinach, Kale, and Mustard Greens is called Torta Rustica in the Cookbook by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, Tasting Rome. Since it’s made in a pie pan I call it a pie.
You may use any combination of greens so long as they total 2 pounds in weight. I chose spinach (for flavor), kale (for texture), and mustard (for pizzazz), but this is a great recipe to use up the odds and ends of whatever you have laying around.
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (plus more for salting the water)
- 1 pound fresh spinach (stems included)
- ½ pound lacinato kale (cavola nero in Italian) (any very thick stems slightly trimmed)
- ½ pound mustard greens (any very thick stems slightly trimmed)
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (cut into ¼‑inch dice)
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ pound whole milk ricotta (drained if necessary)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 4 large eggs (divided)
- freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 1 pound prepared puff pastry dough
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 mustard 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.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the greens and cook until they are tender and have darkened, about 5 minutes more.
Transfer the greens to a large bowl and add the parsley, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, three of the eggs (lightly beaten), and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg. Set aside.
Slice off a third of the puff pastry and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the remaining pastry into a 11-inch round, 1⁄8 inch thick. Place the pastry in 9‑inch pie pan, pressing it into the corners and leaving enough overhang to drape over the edge of the pie pan. Chill the pastry lined pie pan for at least 20 minutes before continuing.
Once chilled, spoon the filling into the pastry, pressing down lightly if necessary. The greens should be dense and compact, but it’s okay if they are gently rounded on top.
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, pressing them to adhere to the edge of the bottom layer of pastry. Trim the overhanging pastry to align with the edge of the pan. Brush the lattice with the beaten egg.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is deeply, golden brown.
Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. The pie is best served at room temperature.