As you’d expect from a graphic designer, I’m mad about magazines (and books). Good old print stuff. I delight in going into a magazine shop, browse and discover new titles and issues, here or abroad. Whether on design, typography, photography, architecture, food obviously, anything goes. One that I’m really fond of is an italian food magazine La Cucina Italiana.Every time I go to Italy, I pick up a copy of a current issue, or if anyone I know goes over, I ask them for one. It has got a very retro look, reminds me of old cookbooks and it has been around since 1929. There’s something very traditional about it but with a modern twist to its content. It really depicts italian cuisine. And the recipes can be quite cool.
Last time I went I picked up a copy of the spring issue. Towards the back, they do a column called Ieri e oggi (Yesterday and today), where they revisit an old recipe published in the magazine and how it evolved until today. This issue had a lovely article about Paolo Marzotto, a chef, a sportsman, sommelier, an italian count. I have read about him, tried his sicilian wines and now there was one of his recipes from the ‘60s – artichoke tart Villa Serena. And they didn’t change a single thing. I guess it’s a hint on how good it actually is. It’s named after a house where he lived when created the recipe, in Valdagno, very close to the valleys where we cycled this spring.
After I had gotten back, this tart was the first on my recipes-to-do list. I have adapted it, tested a couple of times and it’s brilliant. But I drew inspiration for it in the middle of Veneto, where signore Marzotto is from.
There is something very autumny about tarts. And to celebrate autumn, this tart will do the trick. The recipe for the crust is quite universal – you may want to use it for different tarts. It’s delicious, it can be prepared upfront and be kept in the fridge for a few days in case you need to rustle up something quick. I always make little tartlets as well when baking with different toppings, as snacks for the next day or just for fun. Here I used them for sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus and goat’s cheese tartlets. Both very simple and yummy.
All the recipes after above trip to Italy inspired me to do a little design project too. As many recipes from italian cuisine have become a staple, from spaghetti bolognese, pesto alla genovese, anything carbonara and so on. I thought it would very handy to have some of these recipes always around your kitchen. So I did a little collaboration with my mate, who helped me illustrate a few recipes and translate them into… kitchen towels! They are in the making at the minute and hopefully will be ready soon to pose in front of the camera. Here’s a sneaky peek into the set, that will actually have this very recipe printed on them.
Enjoy the tortino!
- THE CRUST
- 100 gr rye flour
- (use rice flour for GF version)
- 50 gr ground almonds
- generous pinch of sea salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil or butter or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp arrowroot (or any starch)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 6-8 artichoke hearts in olive oil
- (preferably grilled)
- 2 boiled eggs
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1 large portobello mushroom
- (or a large mushroom of choice)
- 1/2 cup coconut or cashew milk
- 1/4 cup goat's cheese
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- sea salt and black ground pepper
- To prepare the crust, combine the flour, almonds and starch first. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then add the oil/ butter and then water. Start with bringing the dry ingredients towards the middle of the bowl with your hands until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in foil and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- The dough can be made upfront; just store it in the fridge, tightly wrapped in foil.
- When ready, press the dough firmly into a tart pan and pierce the bottom of the crust, so it doesn't bubble in the oven.
- To prepare the filling, start with heating a medium sized pan. Add olive oil, minced garlic and rosemary. Fry for a few minutes then add slices of mushroom. Don't stir them, just leave them cook on one side, then gently turn them onto the other and cook for another couple of minutes.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the coconut/ cashew milk with two fresh eggs at room temperature and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the boiled eggs in quarters length-wise and place them onto the tart, along with the artichoke hearts and goat's cheese. Pour the mixture over the tart and then top it with mushroom slices. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180°C.