Artichoke Torta holds a lot of meaning for me. That, and its cousin zucchini and rice torta along with pasta con pesto, were among the first authentic Italian foods I ever tasted. The mother of one of my best high school friends made them. Lisa had a Nonna and Nonno. I had an Oma and Opa, which is to say she grew up eating Italian food and I was more accustomed to German fare.
My early exposure to spaghetti came from a guy named Chef Boyardee. I thought he made a pretty good sauce until I was invited to dinner at Lisa’s house. I was floored to learn that her mother made the sauce from … tomatoes! I had no idea, and no clue how good red sauce could taste. Lisa introduced me to lots of Italian dishes, including savory torta, which has become one of my go-to appetizers.
This week, the Sunday Supper tastemakers have been busy in their cucinas getting ready for tonight’s Italian Fest. We will gather at 7 p.m. ET for our weekly Twitter party, celebrating the very best of Italian cuisine. No doubt you’ll be ready to mangiare afterward.
Artichoke Torta is not an inexpensive venture, but since it serves a crowd as an appetizer, I think it’s worth it. You’ll need three boxes of frozen artichoke hearts which will set you back about $10. That’s an ingredient I rarely see on sale. The other thing you might balk at is the 1/2 cup of olive oil in the batter. I have seen this recipe call for 1 cup and I have made it with that. I find the end result too loose with a full cup even when I drained and squeezed as much liquid as I could from the artichokes,
The torta is best served warm or at room temperature, but it should sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting. This will set it. When you remove the torta from the oven, some of the olive oil will bubble and pool. As the torta cools, the liquid soaks into the mixture which firms as it cools.
I have also made the zucchini and rice version, which is firmer yet. A hunk of either for your work lunch is a good thing. That is if you have any left over after your party.
- 3 9-ounce packages frozen artichokes
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, small dice
- ½ cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ to ⅔ cup olive oil (depending on how dry you can get the artichokes)
- Simmer frozen artichokes according to package directions, 15 to 20 minutes or until soft. Drain, pressing out as much liquid as you can. Cool, then chop finely. Mix with garlic, onion and parsley, and set aside.
- Beat eggs in large bowl until frothy with Italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Stir in bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Mix in artichoke mixture until evenly distributed.
- Pour batter into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish that has been lightly greased with olive oil or nonstick vegetable spray. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown.
- Let cool and cut into 1-1/2-inch squares. The torta is best served warm at room temperature.
Check out this week’s recipes and don’t forget to join us tonight for Italian Fest on Twitter at 7 p.m.
- Cacio e Uova Meatless Recipe from She Loves Biscotti
- Gnocchi alla Romana from Tramplingrose
- Italian Rice Balls from My World Simplified
- Rosemary Focaccia from Curious Cuisiniere
- Tomato Caprese with Burrata from Casa de Crews
- Asparagus and lemon risotto from Un Assaggio of Food, Wine & Marriage
- Braised Italian-Style Beef Short Ribs from Hardly A Goddess
- Bruschetta Chicken from Meal Planning Magic
- Bucatini with Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce from The TipToe Fairy
- Orechietti with Broccoli Rabe and Shrimp from Delaware Girl Eats
- Cheesy Gnocchi and Sausage Bake from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Classic Vodka Sauce from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Fast Faux-Baked Ziti from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Florentine Pizza from A Mind Full Mom
- Gluten Free Meatballs with Homemade Sauce from Gluten Free Crumbley
- Green and Yellow Artichoke Tortellini with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Spring Peas with White Wine Reduction from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini from Eat, Drink and be Tracy
- Mushroom Bolognese Pasta Recipe from Life Tastes Good
- Parma Rosa Baked Ziti from Palatable Pastime
- Pasta Con Sarde a Mare – Pasta with Sardines at Sea from Caroline’s Cooking
- Pasta e Fagioli from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Penne with Sausage in Creamy Boursin Cheese Recipe from Feeding Big and more
- Pesce all’Aqua Pazza from Monica’s Table
- Polenta-Crusted Italian Sausage Pies from Wholistic Woman
- Pumpkin Agnolotti from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Shrimp Fra Diavolo from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Slow Cooker Lasagna from Food Lust People Love
- Stuffed Ravioli in Alfredo Sauce from The Freshman Cook
- Tuscan Kale Pesto Risotto from Cooking Chat
- Tuscan Porterhouse with Balsamic-Rosemary Steak Sauce and Seared Radicchio from The Texan New Yorker
- Tuscan Style Chicken Breasts from Simple and Savory
- Zuppa Toscana from Momma’s Meals
- Italian Berries, Mascarpone and Marsala Budini from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Berry Tiramisu from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cannoli Poke Cake from Moore or Less Cooking
- Cherry Walnut Biscotti from Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Tiramisu from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Fiordilatte Gelato from Manu’s Menu
- Italian Cream Cheesecake from The Crumby Cupcake
- Lemoncello Tiramisu from The Redhead Baker
- Limoncello Cookies from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Orange and Almond Ricotta Cheesecake from Pine Needles In My Salad
- Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries from The Chef Next Door
- Salame al Cioccolato (Chocolate Salami) from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Strawberry Panna Cotta from From Gate to Plate
- Tiramisu Semifreddo from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Wine and Cheese Chocolate Muffins from What Smells So Good?
- Zabaglione Gelato from Magnolia Days
- Bicerin (Italian Coffee) from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Limoncello from Our Good Life
- Liquore all’Alloro from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Sgroppino (Frothy Italian Sorbetto Cocktail) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
And Artichoke Torta plus More Recipes for Italian Fest from Sunday Supper Movement
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