Savory Artichoke Pie

 

This savory pie is a very popular dish in Italy, and the reasons for its positive reputation are very obvious: the ease of its preparation, the immediately crispy taste, and as often happens in the Belpaese, it is also a part of popular tradition. In fact, it was mainly in the 18th century that this pie began to be filled with all sorts of ingredients ranging from Meat, fish, vegetables, herbs, or cheese, depending on what ingredients were available seasonally and if it was possible to acquire them, as well as on the local customs and traditions. However, in the Middle Ages a harder outer crust was preferred, but it was not eaten. Later, the crust became edible and made out of puff pastry or short crust. The next step was more creative. In fact, with a puff pastry base, it’s possible to make infinite combinations of this savory pie, a tasty experience without limits. Here’s an example of how to make the delicious pie with artichokes, ideal for all seasons and excellent served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, all very Made in Italy.

INGREDIENTS

-300 g of puff pastry dough

- 6 artichokes

-1 lemon

-5 sprigs of parsley

-250 ml of vegetable broth

-1 golden onion

-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

-fine salt 

-freshly ground black pepper

-100 g of smoked scamorza

-200 ml of whole milk

-2  eggs

 

DIRECTIONS

Wash the artichokes and remove the outer leaves until you get to the heart where there are only clear and tender leaves, then cut the tips. Remove the florets, then reduce them to small pieces and put them in lemon water, also using the first 8-10 cm of the stem. Remove the tough outer part with a vegetable peeler and slice, then put it in the lemon water. Wash the parsley, pick the leaves and chop it with the crescent-shaped knife on a cutting board. Meanwhile, heat the broth and peel the onion, which should be cut vertically into four parts, and finely sliced. Place in a pan the oil, onion and hurting doing brown over medium heat, then add a pinch of salt, a tablespoon of vegetable stock and cook for a few minutes. Add the well drained artichokes, a pinch of salt, ground pepper, a ladle of vegetable broth and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Uncover and cook for a few minutes over high heat, stirring constantly, then add a tablespoon of chopped parsley and turn off the stove.

Pull out the pastry crust from the refrigerator, briefly knead with your hands and spread it with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 4-5 mm. Line a round baking pan with a sheet of baking paper, cover it with the dough and prick the bottom with a fork. Cut a sheet of baking paper, big enough to cover it with the dough and place a few dried beans, which will help it to not let the dough rise while its cooking. Bake for 15 minutes at 190 ° C. Meanwhile, cut the smoked scamorza  into cubes about one centimeter big in a bowl and whisk the milk with the eggs, then add a pinch of salt. Take out the savory pie crust from the oven, get rid of the paper and beans, then bake the dough in the oven for another 5 minutes. After the indicated time, spread the smoked cheese cubes into the base of the pie. Then add the artichokes and milk slowly, spreading them out evenly with the milk mixture. Bake the pie at 190 ° C for about 20 minutes, continuing to bake it until the surface is a golden brown.