Recipe from Pie by Angela Boggiano (Mitchell Beazley, 2009)
Photo by Craig Roberston
This was a pie my mother used to make regularly for snacks, school lunchboxes or for picnics. Rice cakes, or torta as they are known in Italy, are found with a multitude of flavorings, including ham, cheese, herbs, and vegetables.The uncooked rice cooks perfectly inside the pastry crust, giving a tasty, creamy filling that is sturdy enough to travel and to eat on the go.
For the pastry
- 10oz/300g all purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 2/ 3 cup/150ml water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp milk, to glaze
- beaten egg, to glaze
For the filling
- 1lb/500g spinach
- 3 cups/300g thinly sliced zucchini
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup/100g risotto rice
- 1/2 cup/50g grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp sea salt
- salt and ground black pepper
To make the pastry, put the flour and salt in a bowl, then stir in the water and oil to make a smooth, firm dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wash the spinach well and place in a large saucepan with just the water that clings to its leaves. Cook for 5 minutes until wilted completely. Leave to cool, then squeeze out any excess water and chop roughly.
In a large bowl, mix the spinach, zucchini, onion, rice, Parmesan, eggs, and a little salt and pepper.
Halve the pastry and roll out each piece until it is 1/4in/5mm thick. Use one half to line an oiled 8 x 12in/20 x 30cm jelly roll pan. Spoon in the filling, then cover with the remaining pastry. Trim the edges and press well together to seal. To glaze, mix the milk and beaten egg and brush this on the pie lid, then sprinkle with salt. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or cold, cut into squares.