Monday, 11 May 2015

Layer Bake!

Strati di Sfoglia con Funghi, Pomodorini & Ricotta
Layered Puff-Pastry with Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes & Ricotta

Oh, I know, most people will be thinking, " yet another puff-pastry tart" and thinking, "how simple and boring!"- and yet, I would have to digress... Because indeed, store-bought puff-pastry is of course simple... But it is only as boring as the person using it!

So that doesn't affect you and me, right? Because we are far, far, far from being boring! And this simple mushroom, tomato and ricotta tart is ample proof of that!


My secret to making this crazy idea turn out so well? oh, you should all know that by now I would hope! But I shall give new readers the benefit of the doubt in not being able to guess that my favorite way to make almost any pastry at home... Is to use a frying pan to prepare it with!

Read on, and if you are new here, you will soon see how and why I do it!


My ingredients to make this lively little tart, which yielded 4 nice slices, was: 1 roll of puff pastry, about 20 regular mushrooms, 6-7 cherry tomatoes, 2 Spring onions, 2 heaped tablespoons of ricotta, some fresh parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg and a little olive oil.

I know it must get annoying for you when I notice myself that one of my creations has turned out particularly well and I happen to mention it... But may I just mention that this one of my creations did turn out particularly well? :-) Thank you!

Preparation here is simple... Brush the mushrooms clean or peel them, but do not wash them and then cut them into thin slices. Keep the nice, "T-shaped" slices to lay out on the pastry and finely chop the left-over outer pieces. Cut the cherry tomatoes into very thin slices too- you don't want them to be too thick and juicy as that will make the pastry too moist and soggy. And finally, finely chop the Spring onions and plenty of parsley. There! That wasn't too much hard work now, was it?

Another thing you need to do before you start having fun assembling your pastry layers, is to turn in the oven and get it nice and hot... But whilst that is happening, get busy with making a nice filling for your pastry!


In a bowl, mix the ricotta, finely chopped mushrooms, the onion, parsley and plenty of salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg.


Stir everything together well and resist the urge to use too much ricotta... As with the tomatoes, you don't want to have too much unnecessary moisture as it will make the pastry soggy otherwise.


Now cut your pastry into strips of around 2" width and spread with the mushroom and ricotta filling from one side.


Set out the mushroom slices on top of this and then the tomato slices on top of them... Again, don't overdo it- just add enough to give a splash of color and a little extra flavor. Season with salt and pepper and you are good to go!


Now, begin stacking up the pastry layers, in on top of the other, up to about halfway and then press and squeeze them together, simply using the back of a fork.


Once you have connected all of the pieces and folded the final strip of pastry up, season with salt and pepper, add a small tricke of olive oil to the mushrooms, and pop the pan onto the stove top for 4-5 minutes, to get the pastry "baking" from below and to kick-start the baking process.

Keep shaking the pan and when the pastry slides loose all by itself, pop it into the oven to finish baking at 180 C for around 40-45 minutes, until perfect and golden brown.


Nope, it doesn't get that much better than this!

And is that a gorgeous looking pastry? Or is that a gorgeous looking pastry? And absolutely not boring in the slightest!


Layers of simple goodness and rich, unspoiled flavors... Just good, basic, fresh ingredients, combined to be their best!

Take a slice, take a bite... And see how easy it's been to take such simple ingredients up to the next level!


  1. Die Anordnung des Blätterteigs (samt Auflage) ist raffiniert!

  2. Dankeschön Zizibe- ich freu mich das es Dir gefällt! :-)

  3. Hallo,Francesco, ich habe das Gericht zum 2. Mal nachgebacken.
    Meine Gäste und ich waren sehr zufrieden.
    lg Zizibe

  4. Mensch, das freut mich aber sehr! You made my weekend! Viele grüße and keep on cooking! Francesco