Italian asparagus tart

I have been wanting to try Ursula Ferigno’s asparagus tart recipe in the wonderful cookbook Bringing Italy Home for a while now, and when I finally got around to it, it was as lovely as I had hoped it would be.

Because I had a roll of puff pastry that I needed to use up I substituted it for the pastry in the book, and that worked well too. The focus is indeed on the filling, which is moist and luscious, and I wanted to eat it before I even put the whole thing in the oven. Ricotta has that effect on me.

Italian asparagus tart, serves 6

1 roll puff pastry

350 g asparagus, trimmed

25 g unsalted butter

2 tbsp plain flour

4 eggs, lightly beaten

250 g ricotta

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

55 g Parmesan, grated

sea salt and black pepper

Cover a pie dish with the puff pastry. Pick holes with a fork and pre-bake for 10 minutes in 200C. Cook the asparagus in salted wanted until just soft (about 5 mins). Drain and leave to cool. Cut off the spears and put aside. Cut the stems into 2 cm large chunks. Make a roux with the butter and flour (melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour), leave to cool. Combine all the ingredients, apart from the spears, in a bowl. Pour it into the pie crust, smooth it out and decorate the top with the spears. Bake in 200C for 30 minutes. Serve as a starter, at a buffet or a lighter dish for say, lunch time.

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