I mix thoughts with colors and tastes.
I could be anywhere.
I don’t know if cooking has the same effect on you?
I’m a simple person who appreciates the happiness that comes from small things.
In my kitchen, with a bowl and a spoon. I prepare the ingredients, and I love to touch them with my hands before starting to cut, knead and cook.
Today mushrooms, flour, butter, fresh ricotta, marjoram, eggs, sweet pancetta, salt. Just what you need for a wholemeal savory ricotta mushrooms tart.
Thoughts go fast while I repeat reassuring and ancient gestures.
Before this woman, who today writes and shares recipes and stories on the blog, there was a mini-me child -how sweet to think about it now- playing at the office in the kitchen without ever losing sight of a grandmother who always had her hands busy.
A meat sauce to check, a menu lunch to think of, a dessert to make.
Before I did it with my hands, I learned to cook with my nose, associating the aromas with the different phases of cooking (I also wrote about this in the blog post dedicated to the recipe of Bolognese meat sauce). Then with the eyes, assimilate the gestures.
Things that I had assimilated without realizing. They have remained suspended, almost held back, for years. Until I had a kitchen of my own.
When it happened, to become queen of MY kitchen, I realized that I had fulfilled a dream that with every recipe renews a little bit of the poetry that wrapped my grandmother as soon as she fastened her apron.
I like to cook almost everything, and one of the things I love most is using my hands. To touch the ingredients, knead, shape. Through my hands, I feel the recipe take shape.
For instance, it happens when I mix flour and butter to create a fantastic thing like shortcrust pastry.
Savory tart with mushrooms and ricotta.
When I prepare the shortcrust pastry, and use butter as in this case, I choose a quality one. Makes a big difference. I also chose a good fresh ricotta and wholemeal flour.
Champignon mushrooms are an ingredient that can be easily found all year round and are affordable for all budgets. Do you have porcini mushrooms? You’ll find out how to use them in the food tips.
In the mushrooms cream, I add a very modest amount of sweet pancetta (bacon).
You don’t have to dice it up, you have to blend it all together. It tastes great even if you can’t see it.
If you have vegetarian guests, you can replace it using an equal amount of boiled cannellini beans (legumes are perfect to substitute meat).
One dish to serve with a side, delicious aperitif or buffet dinner? To you to find when to prepare this delicious savory pie.
Buona cucina, Monica
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For a more intense flavor, use a part of porcini mushrooms (fresh, frozen or dried), about 20 g, to be mixed in the filling.
If you don’t have marjoram, you can use rosemary.
Whole Wheat Savory Ricotta Mushroom Tart Recipe
round mould, 24cm diameter
List of Ingredients
Wholemeal flour, 200g
cold water, about 50 ml
a pinch of salt
sweet bacon, 70g
cow’s ricotta cheese, 250g
3 eggs, medium
grated parmigiano, 70g
½ yellow onion
white wine, 20g
marjoram, 2 twigs
In a bowl, mix flour, salt, butter, egg.
Knead with your fingertips adding cold water a little at a time. After having obtained a compact and elastic dough, wrap it in the film and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes/1 hour.
Now think about the stuffing. Clean the table from what you don’t need and prepare the utensils: bowl, cutting board and knife, a frying pan, kitchen paper.
If you like to taste while you’re cooking, keep some breadsticks on hand, they’re perfect for mushrooms cream. And since you’re going to use wine to blend in, quality wine I hope, remember a glass to fill in half while you’re looking after the mushrooms.
If you’re ready, let’s move on.
Wash the mushrooms well and remove the stalks.
Cut into thin slices and cook in a large pan with a little olive oil, a knob of butter, a pinch of salt and the marjoram previously washed. Cook over a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
Mix gently so as not to break the mushrooms that have to be also used for decoration. Blends with white wine.
Cook the mushrooms over medium low heat until well cooked and the cooking water evaporated (which then depends on how much they contain. They are not all the same. In general let’s say about 12-15 minutes).
Eliminate the marjoram and save ¾ of the mushrooms that will be used to decorate the tart.
Now cook sweet bacon for a few minutes in another little pan.
In a bowl, mix ricotta, eggs and parmesan. Add about 100g of mushrooms, pancetta and reduce everything to cream using the immersion blender. If you want to add some porcini mushrooms, now is the time to throw them into the mix. Mix and add salt.
Actually, a couple of breadsticks, they’re good, right?
Get the dough out from the fridge. Let it rest a couple of minutes and spread the shortbread thin enough (about 4mm).
Cover a round mould with baking paper, cover with shortcrust pastry, even the edges (1cm high) and pour the cream of ricotta and mushrooms.
Cook in a preheated oven (not ventilated) at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes. the cream of the mixture of ricotta and mushrooms. Cook in a preheated oven (not ventilated) at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Let it cool down, take a nice sip of wine and, with patience, begin the last step.
Not difficult but a bit boring. Cover the whole pie with the mushrooms kept aside.
Serve the tart warm or at room temperature.