I am happiest when i am cooking in my kitchen, closed off with all the wonderful fresh ingredients that are easily available every day here.
Crostata di ricotta is usually sweet and is of italian origin but my crostata is savory and the green and red bits of candied peel used in traditional crostata are replaced here with chopped sundried tomatoes and shredded kale. My favorite part of this dish is the crust, literally encrusted with whole roasted chickpeas. When you add nuts or grains to pastry, it is best to bind it with an egg as it strengthens the pastry and it will not break when you roll it out.
8 inch loose bottom flan dish
add the lemon zest and salt. Mix in. Add the egg and press together to form a dough. If necessary add a few drops of water, a little at a time.Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for half an hour. Grease the flan dish and roll oit the dough ojna floured surface. Roll it loosely round the rolling pin and ease onto the flan dish. Gently press it into the dish and cut the surplus. Pirece the pastry all over with a sharp fork. Bake blind in a preheated oven 160C for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool before filling it.
For the sundried tomato, kale and ricotta filling You will need :
2 heaped spoons sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 heaped spoons kale, chopped
Pinch of Seasalt
1 spoon grated parmesan
Tip of a teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Mash the ricotta and add the other ingredients. Treat it gently when you mix the ingredients in as you want to retain the white color of the ricotta. The filling of the finished product should be similar to the sweet version in appearance.Spoon the filling neatly into the crust, flatten it and bake at 160C for 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving. The filling does not have a high egg content as i believe it has a better texture and taste. If you cut it as soon as it is out of the oven it may crumble. Serve warm or this can be refrigerated and served cold. I used a few strands of chopped fresh kale to garnish.