Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

IMG_1023.jpg

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July pasta month is over and I find I still have pasta dishes I want to share with you! Like this Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta with toasted walnuts.

Several years ago I went through a phase where I wanted everything roasted red pepper. I’m not sure if that was an actual thing in the culinary world, or it just happened to be the first time that roasted red pepper really came to my attention, and thus started noticing and wanting all things roasted red pepper. Pastas and dips, sandwiches and wraps, and anything you could incorporate roasted red peppers into. That smoky, sweet flavor you get from grilling the red peppers was this elusive, elegant flavor profile because I didn’t know how it was made.

Then I found a recipe for roasted red pepper sauce, made it, and was floored by how NOT elusive it is. It’s so attainable. I even grilled my own peppers instead of going for the much easier option of buying a jar of roasted red peppers at the store. And you know what? Even grilling the peppers and peeling off the blackened skin wasn’t nearly as hard as I imagined it all to be. Sometimes those mountains we build in our heads are much more scalable than we make them out to be, even if that’s just learning how to make a dish you really like, as in this example, harhar. Or you come to realize it’s WAY more difficult than you ever imagined, and you were right to wait. Aha!

This was not meant to turn into a inspirational post, back to food.

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten roasted red pepper anything, definitely not much of a thing here in Italy. But I decided, while being inspired and eating so much pasta in the month of July, to make my own little twist of a roasted red pepper sauce. And it turned out really great! Amazing! Delizioso! As I stated above, however, it’s really not rocket science to make, so I should probably calm down. Adding goat cheese and toasted walnuts are no new pairing to goat cheese, but remain such a good combination. Never had nuts on your pasta? At least not that you’re aware of? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Unless you have a nut allergy, then please don’t. (You’ve probably eaten basil pesto on pasta, yes? Pesto is made from pine nuts traditionally, and often walnuts when pine nuts are not available or too expensive. See? You love nuts on pasta and didn’t even know!)

The great thing is, the roasted red pepper sauce actually makes enough for two meals, and freezes well. The next time you want roasted red pepper pasta, just thaw the sauce and boil the pasta. So easy peasy.

For extra easy-ness, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers or grill them yourself, completely up to you.

Are you vegan or dairy-free? Simply omit the goat cheese or substitute a vegan-friendly cheese!


Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

IMG_1026.jpg

Serves about 6

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz / 500g spaghetti

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 16 oz / 454g jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced

  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme

  • 1/2 tsp / 1g chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp / 1g turmeric

  • 1 tsp / 5g balsamic vinegar

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 3 oz / 85g fresh goat cheese, cut into pieces, optional

  • 1/3 cup / 30g walnuts, chopped and toasted, optional

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, adding salt just before water boils. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain pasta and return to pan, reserving a generous 1 cup / 237g of pasta water.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

  3. Add sliced peppers, thyme, chili powder, turmeric, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are heated through.

  4. Transfer all of the pepper mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.

  5. Pour half of the roasted red pepper sauce over the pasta and add a bit of the pasta water. Add goat cheese and toss until pasta is well coated and cheese has melted, adding more pasta water to thin out sauce as desired.

  6. Plate pasta and top with toasted walnuts.

  7. Refrigerate remaining half of sauce for up to 2-3 days or freeze.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • To roast red peppers yourself, place whole on a heated grill or near an open flame, turning occasionally, until all sides are blistered and start to blacken. You can also roast them on a lined baking sheet in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or very carefully over a gas burner. Once done, place in covered pot, bowl, or re-sealable plastic, anything you can close, to let the peppers steam for about 20-30 minutes. This helps the skin to slip off easily. Then remove stems and seeds, and slice. Proceed as in recipe.

  • If you don’t have fresh thyme available, substitute about a scant teaspoon of dried.

  • Add more chili powder, cayenne, or hot spice of choice for a spicier kick!

  • If you’re in a pinch you don’t have to toast the walnuts, although you miss out on that tasty flavor that comes out of the nut only by toasting. But it will still be delicious!

  • Omit goat cheese or replace with suitable substitute to make vegan and dairy-free.

roasted red pepper, red pepper, thyme, turmeric, garlic, onion, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, pasta, recipe, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free
Yield: 6 servings
Author:

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

Pasta in a smoky, sweet, roasted red pepper sauce with goat cheese and toasted walnuts.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: total time: 30 M

ingredients:

  • 16 oz / 500g spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz / 454g jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tsp / 1g chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp / 1g turmeric
  • 1 tsp / 5g balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz / 85g fresh goat cheese, cut into pieces, optional
  • 1/3 cup / 30g walnuts, chopped and toasted, optional

instructions:

How to cook Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, adding salt just before water boils. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain pasta and return to pan, reserving a generous 1 cup / 237g of pasta water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add sliced peppers, thyme, chili powder, turmeric, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are heated through.
  4. Transfer all of the pepper mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Pour half of the roasted red pepper sauce over the pasta and add a bit of the pasta water. Add goat cheese and toss until pasta is well coated and cheese has melted, adding more pasta water to thin out sauce as desired.
  6. Plate pasta and top with toasted walnuts.
  7. Refrigerate remaining half of sauce for up to 2-3 days or freeze.

NOTES:

To roast red peppers yourself, place whole on a heated grill or near an open flame, turning occasionally, until all sides are blistered and start to blacken. You can also roast them on a lined baking sheet in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or very carefully over a gas burner. Once done, place in covered pot, bowl, or re-sealable plastic, anything you can close, to let the peppers steam for about 20-30 minutes. This helps the skin to slip off easily. Then remove stems and seeds, and slice. Proceed as in recipe. If you don’t have fresh thyme available, substitute about a scant teaspoon of dried. Add more chili powder, cayenne, or hot spice of choice for a spicier kick! If you’re in a pinch you don’t have to toast the walnuts, although you miss out on that tasty flavor that comes out of the nut only by toasting. But it will still be delicious! Omit goat cheese or replace with suitable substitute to make vegan and dairy-free.

Calories

240.54

Fat (grams)

10.29

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.79

Carbs (grams)

29.36

Fiber (grams)

2.01

Net carbs

27.40

Sugar (grams)

2.96

Protein (grams)

8.35

Sodium (milligrams)

121.89

Cholesterol (grams)

6.52
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 6 servings using half of the prepared sauce and includes goat cheese and walnuts.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Now we’re being more honest about a real portion size! :)

Now we’re being more honest about a real portion size! :)


Butternut Squash Risotto

IMG_2738.JPG

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I’m bacckkkkk! Did you forget I had a blog? I almost did, too. I didn’t mean to, but I took a three month hiatus from the blog. We’ll call it the extended Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s vacation. Happy all of those things, to you and yours.

So what year is it? Where are we? Ah yes, the brand new sparkling 2019. I think we all struggle this time of year with writing the old year for the first few weeks; “2018” instead of “2019,” but this time around I have been nailing the year and messing up the month. The other day I wrote November 2019. Nope. November was so two months ago. It’s January, Jenny. January.

You know what else comes around every January? Clean-eating resolutions, diets, and cleanses. While those are all fine and good, oh wait, cleanses are not. Why are they still around? Why are we still doing them? I mean, I’m not doing any cleanses, but I see enough people on social media doing them, touting them, and then encouraging their followers to do them, that it makes me worry. It’s not as much the actual cleanse itself that worries me, but the claims of what they can do. Body-reset, toxin flushing, hormone-balancing goodness. I know, people are gullible. I’m gullible. There is a reason the Bible calls us sheep. (It’s not a compliment, you should either be highly offended or humbled.) We go astray easily, following the crowd or “flock.” Even on silly things like cleanses. And you know what, on the surface they seem to work, which is why people probably want to try them. You feel better, you lose weight, and you think you’re doing great stuff for you bod, right? No. Wrong. Not factual.

Reasons Why a Cleanse is Not Necessary:

  1. Your body has a built in toxin flusher and cleanser. It’s called your liver. (Yay science!)

  2. Any weight you lose will probably be gained back once you start eating normally again. If you do a cleanse for more than a couple of days, especially strict ones like the “Master Cleanse,” your body is not going to be getting the calories and nutrients it needs and you will be losing fat, along with water, muscle and bone. Yum.

  3. There are a lot better ways out there to “feel good” about what you are doing for your body that are real, and not mostly just in your head or temporary. And well, a whole lot easier than starving yourself. Why don’t you try a new kind of exercise, drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, buying more organic, start budgeting, switching over to natural cleaning products, trying out essential oils, starting to take a prebiotic/probiotic, or a hot bath? Any of these things that maybe you could improve upon, would do you a lot more good in the long run.

Don’t take it from me, however, because I could be leading you astray just as much as the pro-cleanse people. Check out this article from Healthline.com, or this article from webmd, which is narrowing in specifically on the Master Cleanse diet. We all trust Webmd, right? Ah the site that tells us what may be wrong with us, along with 137 other ailments we didn’t know we might be suffering from. You can also just google “are cleanses safe,” and filter through the load of advice from medical websites and personal opinion yourself.

The bottom line is, I want you to be informed and use your critical thinking skills. Is a cleanse all they are hyped up to be? No, I think the real advice from doctors points in the opposite direction. But, even once you see a cleanse for what it is, and are still curious to try it, I think you should feel free to do that. Just be sure not to make a habit of it. ;) Then I hope you feel free to continue to feed your body the nutrition it needs, REAL food. Like this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe I’m about to show you. *Cue transition from Jenny’s soap box to recipe….*


Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 10 oz / 300g butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped small (or you could just say half of a small squash)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 7 oz / 200g arborio rice

  • 1 pint / 500ml vegetable broth

  • about 3 oz / 100g spinach, chopped or whole

Directions:

IMG_2737.JPG
  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.

  2. Add the squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook until squash begins to soften.

  3. Add the rice and stir around to toast, about 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If the rice starts to cook dry, add more water or stock as needed.

  5. Once the rice is cooked, the squash is tender, and the liquid is mostly absorbed (but not all!), add the spinach and stir until wilted.

  6. Serve immediately.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • Risotto is a fairly quick, delicious, and versatile dish, great for colder months. Feel free to add or subtract vegetables to your liking. Any type of squash you like could be used, even pumpkin! (The fresh kind you have to peel and cube, not the puréed and canned kind, silly.)

  • If you like to ahem, cook with wine, and sometimes add it to your food even, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of red or white wine or dry white vermouth (or more or less depending on how winey you’re feeling.) Add it in between steps 3 and 4, after you’ve toasted the rice and before the stock. Allow the wine to evaporate and absorb into the rice before continuing with stock.

  • When you’re in a pinch and don’t have risotto or arborio rice, you really could use any kind. Just keep an eye on the cooking instructions for the kind of rice you are using so you will have an idea how long it will take.

  • If reheating leftovers, I would recommend adding in a touch more water or broth. The longer risotto sits the more liquid it will absorb, and may end up a bit dry.

Italian American
Yield: 2-4
Author:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Creamy delicious risotto featuring squash, bell peppers, and spinach, made with or without wine as you wish.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: total time: 50 M

ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 10 oz / 300g butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped small (or you could just say half of a small squash)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 7 oz / 200g arborio rice
  • 1 pint / 500ml vegetable broth
  • about 3 oz / 100g spinach, chopped or whole

instructions:

How to cook Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.
  2. Add the squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook until squash begins to soften.
  3. Add the rice and stir around to toast, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If the rice starts to cook dry, add more water or stock as needed.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, the squash is tender, and the liquid is mostly absorbed (but not all!), add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  6. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

Risotto is a fairly quick, delicious, and versatile dish, great for colder months. Feel free to add or subtract vegetables to your liking. Any type of squash you like could be used, even pumpkin! (The fresh kind you have to peel and cube, not the puréed and canned kind, silly.) If you like to ahem, cook with wine, and sometimes add it to your food even, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of red or white wine or dry white vermouth (or more or less depending on how winey you’re feeling.) Add it in between steps 3 and 4, after you’ve toasted the rice and before the stock. Allow the wine to evaporate and absorb into the rice before continuing with stock. When you’re in a pinch and don’t have risotto or arborio rice, you really could use any kind. Just keep an eye on the cooking instructions for the kind of rice you are using so you will have an idea how long it will take. If reheating leftovers, I would recommend adding in a touch more water or broth. The longer risotto sits the more liquid it will absorb, and may end up a bit dry.

Calories

380.32

Fat (grams)

14.84

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.12

Carbs (grams)

58.29

Fiber (grams)

7.41

Net carbs

50.88

Sugar (grams)

9.25

Protein (grams)

7.08

Sodium (milligrams)

748.43

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 2 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

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Summertime calls for watermelon, lemonade, ice cream, swimming, and cook outs.  And every quintessential cookout will have something to cook outside, usually meat and vegetables in some form.  (I know we're all thinking hamburgers, bratwursts, and hotdogs, but hey, there are some other weird traditions out there, too.)  And if you're cooking out, you're going to need buns and condiments.  And the best condiment award goes to....pickles!!

Not only does it have the best taste (opinion), but it stands alone.  As in, if you eat a pickle, no one will think twice.  But if we see you munching on a romaine lettuce leaf or slurping on a spoonful of ketchup, well, you might get some stares.  Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn't like hamburgers and once ate a romaine sandwich.  As in, onion, ketchup, mustard, and pickles sandwiched between to Romaine lettuce leaves.  Mmmmm.  Yeah, it was weird.  But I was so hungry, and hamburgers were the only option, I rather enjoyed it.  That's now on the worldwide webs.  Maybe I should change my heading to be: "Jenny, the girl who eats condiments like a main dish." Don't worry I won't, only you, my seven followers, are now privy to this information.  Haha.  

Back to pickles.  Now that we have remembered how great pickles are, did you know they are super easy to make at home?  Yes they are, and now you know that too.  Boil some water, throw some ingredients in a jar, chop up some cucumbers, stick them in the fridge, and voila!  Pickles.  

Recipe adapted from my mama


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes about 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water

  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar

  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt

  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional

  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 heads fresh dill

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, mustard seeds, or celery seeds, optional

Directions:

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. 

  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use.  Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use.  Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.  

  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own!

    1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar

    2) If you love dill, use more dill

    3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers

    4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice

    5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground.

  • The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle.  However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out!  I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.  

dill pickles, refrigerator pickles
American
Yield: 24
Author:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Classic dill pickles made in your refrigerator in just 3 days.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water
  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt
  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional
  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 heads fresh dill

instructions:

How to cook Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use. Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use. Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.
  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.

NOTES:

I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own! 1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar 2) If you love dill, use more dill 3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers 4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice 5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground. The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle. However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out! I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.

Calories

10.04

Fat (grams)

0.04

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.01

Carbs (grams)

1.91

Fiber (grams)

0.20

Net carbs

1.72

Sugar (grams)

1.09

Protein (grams)

0.25

Sodium (milligrams)

276.95

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tourte Milanese

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Tourte Milanese, also known as Tourte Milanaise.  No, the second version does not include mayonnaise.  Part of the family en croute, or encased in dough.  Who doesn't want to eat food, soup, and anything edible wrapped in flaky, buttery dough?  In this case, roasted peppers, herbed scrambled eggs, cheese, spinach, and meat.  

You will feel quite accomplished pulling this out of the oven, and taking your first bite into the explosion of hot, flaky layers, melty cheese, herbs, sweet peppers, smoky meat, and garlicky spinach.  It may look intimidating, but you can adjust this recipe to how much time and effort you want to put into it.  For example, you can make your own puff pastry, or you can pick it up at the store.  You could roast your own peppers, or buy a jar of already roasted peppers.  Of course, I enjoy making everything as home-made and from scratch as possible...clearly don't have kids yet.  I recommend reading through the recipe once or twice and taking a peek at my notes at the bottom to make your game plan.  For example, puff pastry can easily be a two day recipe, so you'll want to make that a day ahead, or way ahead, and freeze it until you have the urge to make a recipe like this.  

Want some inspiration?  Watch this fun video of Julia Child and Michel Richard making Puff Pastry and Tourte Milanese!


Tourte Milanese

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 1 lb. / 450g puff pastry, home-made or store bought

  • Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water

For the Eggs

  • 10 eggs

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil

  • 2 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or fresh or dried oregano

  • salt and ground pepper, to taste

  • 3 Tbsp / 42g butter

For the Rest of the Filling

  • 6 large red bell peppers (or use a 16oz jar or two of roasted red peppers)

  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680g spinach

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

  • 8 oz / 225g Swiss cheese

  • 8 oz / 225g smoked turkey or ham

Directions:

Generously grease an 8in / 20cm springform pan.  

Make the Crust

  1. Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover, and set aside.  

  2. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1/4" thick round.  Be sure to roll it thin enough so it will have a chance to be baked all the way through in the oven.  It should be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan with an overhang.  Carefully press into pan, being sure to press all the way into the corners.  Cover and refrigerate.

  3. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of puff pastry until it is 1/4" thick.  Cut out an 8 in / 20cm circle, using an 8 in / 20cm pie plate or cake tin as a template.  Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate.  

Make the Eggs

  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together.  Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour in eggs.  Gently stir, continuously moving the setting eggs towards the center and allowing runny eggs to reach the bottom of the pan.  When the whole mixture has started to thicken, but still a bit runny, remove from heat and pour onto a plate. Cover and refrigerate and until ready to use.  

Roast the Peppers

Skip this step if you bought roasted red peppers.  

Method 1: Place peppers over an open flame on your stove top until blackened.  Flip and allow second side to roast.  Repeat until all peppers have been roasted.  

Method 2: Place all peppers onto a tinfoil lined sheet pan.  Place under broiler in your oven, checking every few minutes, until peppers are blackened.  Turn peppers over and roast second side.  

Once peppers have been roasted, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to steam.  

Remove peppers and rub the skin off.  Cut out the stems and slice from top to bottom, laying them flat.  Remove seeds and trim away any inside veins.  

Place peppers on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid, cover, and refrigerate.  

Blanch and Sauté the Spinach

  1. Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil.  Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute.  Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking.  Press the spinach to remove excess liquid.  

  2. Place oil, butter, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat.  When garlic starts to sizzle, add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a plate lined with paper towels.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.  

Assemble the Tourte

Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  

Remove the pastry lined pan from the fridge, along with your eggs, peppers, spinach, cheese, and turkey/ham.  Layer your ingredients in this order, laying them flat and spreading to the edge:

  1. Half of eggs

  2. Half of spinach

  3. Half of turkey/ham

  4. Half of cheese

  5. All the peppers

  6. Other half of cheese

  7. Other half of turkey/ham

  8. Other half of spinach

  9. Other half of eggs

Trim the pastry overhang to within 1 in / 2.5cm of the pan.  Brush the inner side with egg wash and fold over filling.  Brush the other side with more egg wash. 

Remove the round pastry top from fridge, re-rolling if it has shrunk any.  Place over the folded edges of the tourte, pressing down to seal it.  Brush with more egg wash.  Cut a vent in the center of the dough, or use a knife to trace a design.  Or, you can cut out shapes form the puff pastry scraps and decorate the top.  Brush shapes with more egg wash.  Chill assembled tourte in fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking.  

Place tourte on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and a deep golden brown.  

Cool for 30 minutes before releasing from pan and serving.

Can be assembled a day ahead.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.  To reheat, place in an oven preheated to 350°F / 177°C for 20-30 minutes. 

Jenny's Notes:

The recipe above is pretty traditional, however, it can easily be adjusted to your tastes.  

No soggy bottoms here!

No soggy bottoms here!

  • Before layering in the filling, I suggest sprinkling the bottom with a grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, or bread crumbs, to avoid the soggy-bottom syndrome. I did a combo of cheese and bread crumbs.

  • For the herbed scrambled eggs, chives, parsley, and tarragon combo is more traditional, but I prefer green onion, basil, and oregano. To be completely honest I've never had tarragon, but from what I've read I can't say I have a real desire to.

  • Feel free to use whichever color peppers you like! I roasted multi-colored mini sweet peppers. The white from the eggs (ish), green from the spinach, and red from the peppers is supposed to resemble the colors of the Italian flag, but hey. I'm just making Italy more colorful than it already it is.

  • 1 1/2 lbs of spinach may seem outrageous, but it really cooks down. I have used a scant pound before when that’s all I had, but the spinach is surprisingly delicious and I wouldn’t modify the recipe down if I had a choice.

  • Play around with cheeses! You'll want softer cheeses, ones that melt well. Think cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda, brie...I opted for half Swiss and half dill havarti. Two beautiful melting cheeses.

  • I pulled the tourte out of the oven after 1 hour 10 minutes, but it could have used more time to bake the pastry all the way through. It can be difficult to tell as your only clue is the color of the pastry.

Tourte Milanese, Julia Child, Michel Richard, spinach, roasted red peppers, en croute, scrambled eggs, cheese, puff pastry,turkey, Italian flag
breakfast, dinner
Italian, French
Yield: 8-12 Servings
Author:

Tourte Milanese

Layers of turkey, cheese, spinach, roasted red peppers, and eggs encased in flaky puff pastry.
prep time: 1 H & 35 Mcook time: 1 H & 30 Mtotal time: 2 H & 65 M

ingredients:

For the Crust
  • 1 lb. / 450g puff pastry, home-made or store bought
  • Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
For the Eggs
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 2 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or fresh or dried oregano
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp / 42g butter
For the Rest of the Filling
  • 6 large red bell peppers (or a 16oz jar or two of roasted red peppers)
  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680g spinach
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 8 oz / 225g Swiss cheese
  • 8 oz / 225g smoked turkey or ham

instructions:

How to cook Tourte Milanese

Make the Crust
  1. Generously grease an 8in / 20cm springform pan.
  2. Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover, and set aside.
  3. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1/4" thick round. Be sure to roll it thin enough so it will have a chance to be baked all the way through in the oven. It should be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan with an overhang. Carefully press into pan, being sure to press all the way into the corners. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of puff pastry until it is 1/4" thick. Cut out an 8 in / 20cm circle, using an 8 in / 20cm pie plate or cake tin as a template. Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate.
Make the Eggs
  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour in eggs. Gently stir, continuously moving the setting eggs towards the center and allowing runny eggs to reach the bottom of the pan. When the whole mixture has started to thicken, but still a bit runny, remove from heat and pour onto a plate. Cover and refrigerate and until ready to use.
Roast the Peppers
  1. Skip this step if you bought roasted red peppers.
  2. Method 1: Place peppers over an open flame on your stove top until blackened. Flip and allow second side to roast. Repeat until all peppers have been roasted.
  3. Method 2: Place all peppers onto a tinfoil lined sheet pan. Place under broiler in your oven, checking every few minutes, until peppers are blackened. Turn peppers over and roast second side.
  4. Once peppers have been roasted, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to steam.
  5. Remove peppers and rub the skin off. Cut out the stems and slice from top to bottom, laying them flat. Remove seeds and trim away any inside veins.
  6. Place peppers on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid, cover, and refrigerate.
Blanch and Sauté the Spinach
  1. Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil. Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking. Press the spinach to remove excess liquid.
  2. Place oil, butter, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat. When garlic starts to sizzle, add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a plate lined with paper towels. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Assemble the Tourte
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
  2. Remove the pastry lined pan from the fridge, along with your eggs, peppers, spinach, cheese, and turkey/ham. Layer your ingredients in this order, laying them flat and spreading to the edge:
  3. Half of eggs
  4. Half of spinach
  5. Half of turkey/ham
  6. Half of cheese
  7. All the peppers
  8. Other half of cheese
  9. Other half of turkey/ham
  10. Other half of spinach
  11. Other half of eggs
  12. Trim the pastry overhang to within 1 in / 2.5cm of the pan. Brush the inner side with egg wash and fold over filling. Brush the other side with more egg wash.
  13. Remove the round pastry top from fridge, re-rolling if it has shrunk any. Place over the folded edges of the tourte, pressing down to seal it. Brush with more egg wash. Cut a vent in the center of the dough, or use a knife to trace a design. Or, you can cut out shapes form the puff pastry scraps and decorate the top. Brush shapes with more egg wash. Chill assembled tourte in fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  14. Place tourte on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and a deep golden brown.
  15. Cool for 30 minutes before releasing from pan and serving.
  16. Can be assembled a day ahead. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, place in an oven preheated to 350°F / 177°C for 20-30 minutes.

NOTES:

Before layering in the filling, I suggest sprinkling the bottom with a grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, or bread crumbs, to avoid the soggy-bottom syndrome. I did a combo of cheese and bread crumbs. For the herbed scrambled eggs, chives, parsley, and tarragon combo is more traditional, but I prefer green onion, basil, and oregano. To be completely honest I've never had tarragon, but from what I've read I can't say I have a real desire to. Feel free to use whichever color peppers you like! I roasted multi-colored mini sweet peppers. The white from the eggs (ish), green from the spinach, and red from the peppers is supposed to resemble the colors of the Italian flag, but hey. I'm just making Italy more colorful than it already it is. 1 1/2 lbs of spinach may seem like a lot, but it really cooks down. Play around with cheeses! You'll want softer cheeses, ones that melt well. Think cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda, brie...I opted for half Swiss and half dill havarti. Two beautiful melting cheeses. I pulled the tourte from the oven after 1 hour 10 minutes, but it could have used more time to bake the pastry all the way through. It can be difficult to tell as your only clue is the color of the pastry.

Calories

653.54

Fat (grams)

44.19

Sat. Fat (grams)

13.43

Carbs (grams)

38.20

Fiber (grams)

4.08

Net carbs

34.12

Sugar (grams)

5.94

Protein (grams)

27.68

Sodium (milligrams)

762.57

Cholesterol (grams)

308.66
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator