Torta Rustica (Country Italian Breakfast Pie)

This comes from La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles, making a multi-layered pie with different colors of vegetables and meat. This recipe makes a pie for 6 people.

Ingredients

  • 9 large eggs (8 to scramble, 1 for basting the top of the pie shell)
  • 6 teaspoons unsalted butter or olive oil (I use olive oil)
  • 10 ounces of leaf spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups of sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces of shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
  • 4 ounces of diced ham
  • 4 ounces of Genoa salami, diced
  • 1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 Pastry pie sheets

Cooking

Scramble 8 eggs, adding salt and pepper, in a pan thinly lined with olive oil. Don’t scramble until dry, keep them moist. Put them to the side on a plate.

Sautee the sliced white mushrooms in a pan thinly lined with olive oil. Add a little crushed garlic (to your taste). Put them to the side on a plate.

Sautee the chopped spinach leafs in a pan thinly lined with olive oil. Add crushed garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg, to your taste. (If you don’t the spinach has a bitter taste.) Once the mixture is cooked and somewhat dry, add the heavy cream. Cook until most of the cream has evaporated. Put them to the side on a plate.

Pie Preparation

Roll out the pastry pie sheets, flour lightly. Place one of the sheets in the pie dish, having the edges come out and over the pan.

Put in layers in the pie pan:

  • ½ of the scrambled eggs
  • ½ of the mushrooms
  • ½ of the spinach
  • A layer of the diced ham
  • A layer of the cut-open red peppers
  • A layer of the shredded cheese
  • Layer the rest of the diced spinach
  • Layer the rest of the sliced mushrooms
  • A layer of the diced Genoa salami
  • Layer the rest of the scrambled eggs

Put the other pastry pie sheet over the mixture, trimming off the excess (if any). Pinch the two pastry pie sheets along the edges. Whip the last egg with a little water. Then brush it on the top of the pie. Stab gently with a fork 4 times into the top of the shell (to allow the pie to breath when cooking).

Cook for 65 minutes at 380 degrees. Insert a knife into the pie to see if it is cooked through. You may have to cook it another 10 minutes if it is gooey against the knife blade. (It can be gooey because of your use of different ingredients and altitude.) Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

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