The Emilia-Romagna region, famed within Italy for the prowess of its cooks and the appetite of its diners, includes the towns of Bologna (famous for its rag), Modena (the wellspring of balsamic vinegar), and Parma, home to Italyís best-known ham and of course Parmigiano-Reggiano. This pie is a great example of how to get the most from this amazing cheese. The pastry is adapted from a recipe by New York chef Mario Batali - it's one of the best we've tasted. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 250 gm silverbeet leaves (from about 2 bunches silverbeet)
- 150 gm finely grated parmesan
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- For brushing: eggwash
- To serve: lemon wedges
Olive oil pastry
- 400 gm plain flour (2⅔ cups)
- 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (¼ cup)
- 1For olive oil pastry, process flour and a large pinch of salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and process to combine. Add oil and 110ml cold water (or enough to just bring dough together), process until dough just comes together, turn onto a work surface and knead until smooth. Halve dough, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to rest.
- 2Preheat oven to 200C. Blanch silverbeet until tender (3-5 minutes). Drain, refresh, then squeeze out as much water as possible in a sieve. Wrap silverbeet in a tea towel and squeeze out all remaining water, then finely chop, transfer to a bowl, add parmesan and oregano and refrigerate until required.
- 3Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small frying pan over high heat, add shallot and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (5-10 minutes). Add to silverbeet mixture, stir to combine, season to taste and set aside.
- 4Working quickly with one half of pastry (and keeping remainder refrigerated), roll to a 33cm round. Place on an oiled 30cm pizza tray, letting sides overhang. Spread silverbeet mixture over pastry and set aside. Roll remaining pastry to a 33cm round, brush edges of base pastry with eggwash, then place rolled pastry on top and curl up sides, pinching edges to seal. Score the top to allow steam to escape. Brush top with eggwash, then bake until golden and cooked through (20-30 minutes). Serve with lemon wedges.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of .