Torta di Pasta Frollo
I love making this as a 'standing-up starter' when people come over - it is so easy and you can make it in advance and reheat it. The pasta frollo is an incredibly light pastry that tastes great with the topping of spinach, Parmesan, ricotta and slow-cooked onions. You could also have this as a lunch dish with a crisp green salad.
|For the pastry:|
|250g||unsalted butter, chilled|
|5 tbsp||ice-cold water|
|For the topping:|
|50ml||extra virgin olive oil|
|2||red onions, finely sliced|
|1||garlic clove, chopped|
|A small bunch||thyme, leaves picked and chopped|
|A small bunch||flat-leaf parsley, chopped|
|2||organic egg yolks|
|50g||Parmesan cheese, freshly grated|
|100g||Parmesan cheese shavings|
|4 slices||prosciutto di Parma, torn into pieces (optional)|
1. To make the pastry, put the butter and flour in a food processor and pulse to a breadcrumb consistency. Add the iced water and pulse until a dough is formed. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a baking sheet to a rectangular shape about 5mm thick. Prick all over with a fork, then bake for 10 minutes until crisp. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
3. Start making the topping while the pastry base is baking. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan, add the onions with the garlic and thyme, and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes until softened.
4. Meanwhile, blanch the spinach in a pan of boiling water until wilted. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze or press the spinach to remove excess water. Chop the spinach.
5. Spread the cooked onions evenly over the pastry. Top with the spinach, the broken-up ricotta and chopped parsley. In a bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the egg yolks and grated Parmesan and drizzle this mixture over the spinach and ricotta. Bake for about 15 minutes until the topping is a light golden colour.
6. Scatter the Parmesan shavings over the pasta frollo and arrange the torn slices of prosciutto on top, if you like. Serve warm.