Food writer and cookbook author Eleanora Galasso has a new collection of recipes inspired by the long and storied culinary history of Rome. Take a tour of the old and new, classic and modern, with photos, stories and dishes for every occasion and time of day.
With its exhilarating aroma and vivid flavor, this is not your usual lasagne — instead of layers of egg pasta, here we use crunchy leaves of chard, giving this dish the appearance of a beautifully wrapped present. To me, herbs make up the personality traits of a dish. I like to use sage and basil here, but you can personalize this bewitching pie with any herb you fancy. Go on, make it yours.
- 1/2 stick salted butter
- 1 pound, 2 ounces leeks, trimmed, cleaned and finely sliced
- Handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- Handful sage leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound, 2 ounces chard, trimmed and stalks separated
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- About 1 cup radishes
- Salt and pepper
For the pie
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over very low heat, add the leeks,
and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, until the leeks are soft, translucent and falling apart. Stir in the basil and sage, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat. Set aside.
Meanwhile, put the chard pieces into a large pan of salted boiling
water and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and let dry between two clean dishcloths.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Dampen a sheet of parchment paper with a little water and use it to line a 7-inch springform cake pan.
In a bowl, beat the eggs together until light and fluffy. Add the whipping cream and beat together until the mixture is slightly firm, then season with salt and pepper and stir in the sautéed leeks along with the carrot and celery cubes.
Arrange the dried chard pieces, reserving a handful, in an overlapping pattern to cover the bottom and sides of the prepared cake pan. Fill the pan with the cream and vegetable mixture, then cover with the remaining leaves, folding the overhanging leaves toward the middle like a parcel to enclose the filling. Loosely cover the tortino with parchment paper, and cook in the oven for 40 minutes until the filling has set firm.
Remove the tortino from the oven and gently flip it over, removing the parchment paper. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the radishes into thin slices and use to decorate the top of the tortino. Serve hot or cold.