Spring in Italy is a glorious time for food lovers as markets are filled with fresh artichokes, tender fava beans, pencil thin stalks of asparagus, strawberries, and apricots. I am counting the days until I get back to Umbria in just a couple of weeks when I can pick artichokes and fava beans right from our vegetable garden. In anticipation of being able to gorge on artichokes for a month or two while they are in season, I decided to create a rustic tart combining canned artichokes, spinach, diced ham, and ricotta cheese. This rustic dish is typical of the type of pies or tarts enjoyed across Italy during the Easter season, although I like to make them year round.
I used a basic one crust pastry dough recipe for this tart, but you could even use a store bought one if you want to save time. Don’t worry if you cannot roll out your dough into a perfect circle as I think the rough edges show it is homemade and add to the rustic charm. This tart is great served warm or cold and is perfect picnic food. My husband in fact, preferred the tart cold the next day! When combined with a mixed green salad and some crusty Italian bread, you’d have a complete meal.
Deborah Mele 2017
Spinach & Artichoke Rustic Tart
- 1 Single Pie Crust (See Notes Above)
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
- Zest From 1 Small Lemon
- 1 Cup Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Ham
- 1 (14 Ounce) Can Artichokes, Drained & Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Kalamata Olives
- 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Baby Spinach
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil, Drained
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1 Large Egg Yolk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F.
- Roll out the pastry into a 12 inch circle and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a bowl, mix together the filling ingredients with a spoon.
- Leaving a 2-inch border all around, spoon the filling into the center and spread into an even layer.
- Gently fold the border over the filling, overlapping edges as needed, and gently pressing the folds together with your fingertips.
- Beat the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and brush over the exposed edges of the crust.
- Bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling feels set with your fingertips. (If you find the crust growing too quickly, cover with foil)
- Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.