Italian Vegetable Torte

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I absolutely love quiche. I have been called an old lady because of this but nevertheless, I like nothing better than to be sat down watching a Bette Midler movie with wedge of quiche in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. This Italian torte has everything a quiche has, everything except pastry that is. It’s not exactly healthy but if you convince yourself that the vegetables in it are good for you then you’re part way there.

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:
150g asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 zucchini (halved lengthways then finely sliced)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
75g spinach (stalks removed)
25g frozed peas (defrosted)
1 tablespoon fresh basil (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
salt & pepper
75g parmesan cheese (finely grated)
250g ricotta cheese
250g marscapone cheese
4 eggs

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC

Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and slice into 1cm slices. Cook in boiling water for about 2 1/2 minutes then drain and set aside to cool.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions over a medium heat for about 5-6 minutes until soft. INcrease the heat and add the zucchini and cook until soft and golden. Add the garlic and peas and stir for about 1 minute. Finally add the spinach and stir briefly until it’s wilted. Remove from heat.
Add the asparagus, basil and mint and season with salt & pepper. Set aside to fully cool.

Grease a 20cm circular baking tin (springform) with butter and dust with about 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, marscapone, eggs and 1/2 cup of the parmesan. Add the vegetable mixture and combine well. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and then sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the top. Place in the oven on a tray and cook for about 30 minutes. The top should be lightly golden and slightly wobbly in the centre.

Leave to cool for 30 minutes then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.

SERVING:
Bit of salad and “Beaches DVD” (optional).

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