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Torta Milanese

November 11 2006 at 1:57 PM


Apparently Milanese means from Milan. It also says it is good cold or hot and good for picnics. If time is of the essence substitute a jar of roasted red pepper strips for the bell pepper and begin with step 2.

1 large red bell pepper
3 TBS butter
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 TBS flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, shredded, or 1 tsp dried
2 (9 inch) frozen pie crusts, thawed
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBS imitation bacon bits (I used the fakin' bacon and crumbled it)
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

1. Preheat broiler. Set pepper on a small baking sheet and broil as close to heat as possible, turning occasionally, until skin blisters all over, 6-8 minutes. Seal pepper in a paper bag and let steam 10 minutes. Peel and seed pepper under running water. Cut into 1-inch strips. Place in a colander to drain. Reduce oven temp to 425.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until hot, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle on flour and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes longer. Add milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to color, 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid evaporates, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

4. To assemble torta, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and basil over bottom of one pie crust. Spread spinach over cheese-covered crust. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella. Sprinkle bacon bits over cheese. Cover evenly with onions and mushrooms. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover with hard-boiled eggs and top with roasted pepper strips. On a lightly floured surface, carefully invert other crust and roll out wide enough to cover bottom pie shell. Carefully cover torta with rolled-out pastry crust. Crimp bottom and top edges of torta to seal. With a sharp knife, cut 4 slits in top crust.

5. Bake 25-30 minutes, until torta is nice and brown. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

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