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March 6, 2013 / TAB

LIS- Eat your veggies!

Color me dubious but the sound of a vegetable torte for a “sweet” was strange. So when the recipe for today’s cooking lesson was for a Lucca specialty, Torta con becchi, I was hesitant but curious.

We started by laying out the ingredients.

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Antonella was our fearless leader. 

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Geoff, our pasta specialist, started work on the crust, making a volcano and adding eggs yolks, whites, melted butter, vanilla, yeast dissolved in a little milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Work into a ball and let rest in plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes.

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Next we worked on the filling using a vegetable I’ve never seen or eaten, bietola, or beetroot leaves also called chard (but different from any chard I’ve seen).

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The leaves had been cooked down previously and resembled cooked spinach. To that we added salt, pepper, nutmeg, and butter and cooked for about 5 minutes.  

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Then parsley was added along with cinnamon, vanilla, grated pecorino romano cheese, eggs, crustless bread cubes soaked in milk, pine nuts, candied lemon, orange zest, and raisins. Mix well. 

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In a lined pie tin, press the dough down well and add the filling.

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Then cut the edges on the diagonal and make the becchi, beaks.  

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Bake about 40 minutes. It was wonderful and my doubts have flown away.

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What to do while waiting for the baking to finish? A game of Briscola…. 

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Antonella giving pointers

Antonella giving pointers

keeping a eye on the cards

keeping a eye on the cards

 

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