Saturday, September 7, 2013

Italian Tart with Young Onions

After coming back home from vacation in Poland, where we indulged in wonderfully tasty specialties of Polish cuisine, my kids craved for pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes, which we did not eat at all over there. So, for the past two weeks, I have been cooking and serving many pasta and gnocchi dishes. Yesterday, still in the Italian culinary mood, I tried a new recipe for tart with ricotta and young onion.

This tart could be a wonderful farewell to summer. It still has strong summer flavors, thanks to the tomatoes and asparagus, but young onions already remind of the upcoming fall. Asparagus can be replaced by baby zucchinis but sweet onions make a huge difference in the dish--very sweet and delicate they almost melt in the mouth and contrast nicely with the delicate sourness of the tomatoes.

The fresh ricotta filling is also lighter than a typical cream and cheese filling that is used in onion tarts. The crust can be made in a food processor, using a combination of all purpose and wheat flour, and spiced up with grated Pecorino, which gives it a rustic finish.

So, today, I propose for a lunch or dinner a slice of this ricotta tart with a glass of red wine.

Ricotta Tart with Young Onions


2/3 cup all purpose flour,
2/3 cup wheat flour,
8 tbsp unsalted butter,
4 tbsp iced water
2 tbsp grated Pecorino
1 tsp salt.

1 cup fresh Ricotta cheese,
3 eggs,
1/3 cup table cream,
one bunch (about 6-8 young onions),
one cup cherry tomatoes,
a small bunch of asparagus (or baby zucchini),
2 tbsp olive oil,
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Put both flours, butter, and salt in the food processor. Pulse the engine until crumbles forms.
2. Add 4 tbsp of cold water and run the engine until the mix turns into a dough. Add Pecorino and once again let the dough mix.
3. Roll out the dough on a rolling surface dusted with flour. Transfer the dough on a rolling pen to a 9-inch form with high walls and a removable bottom and let it chill in a refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes.
5. To make the filling cut onions head from the green parts. Cut in half. Cut off 1/3 of asparagus stalks and cut the rest into smaller pieces.
5. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add asparagus and onion and fry until slightly transparent. Add tomatoes and fry all the vegetables for another minute.
6. In a large bowl mix ricotta, cream, and eggs until well combined.
7. Place vegetables on the pre-baked crust. Cover with ricotta filling and bake for about an hour until the top is set and slightly gold.
8. Cool the baked tart, remove from the form, cut into triangles, and serve with green salads.