Courgette Crostata – or what to do if you can’t find your pie dish
Alright – I know I am mixing my languages – a crostata is an essentially Italian dish, and this recipe, with its Gorgonzola and mascarpone is essentially Italian – while courgettes is the French for the Italian zucchini, but couldn’t resist the delicious opportunity for alliteration. The hard ‘c’s at the beginning of each word roll of the tongue deliciously, as easily as the Real Thing rolls onto the tongue!
This is a dish for the forgetful (I’ve lost all my pie dishes); or (myself among them) the downright lazy. You simply make a soft cheese and egg filling, top it with sliced zucchini/courgettes, and enclose it in a pastry sheet.
It doesn’t always look great, but it does always taste great! It can look absolutely magnificent in a giant paint splat kind of way – but, just to manage your expectations, it will never look ‘professional’… more just passionate!
Goes well for lunch with ham.
Recipe for courgette crostata
serves three to four (especially with a salad)
• 320g/11 oz ready-rolled, shortcrust pastry sheet, or a 250g block..or you could make your own.
• 250g/4 oz – 275/5 oz mascarpone – or a mix of soft goat cheese and cream cheese
• 2 eggs
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• 30g/1 oz – a small bunch fresh flat-leaved parsley
• 8 spring onions
• 1 medium courgette
• 50g/2 oz Gorgonzola dolce – or any blue cheese
• Flour for rolling out
• Sweet, smoked paprika
• A little finishing walnut oil
Also, as an option, a handful of chopped walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC.
2. In a medium bowl mix the mascarpone, the Gorgonzola, the herbs, spring onions and salt.
3. In another small bowl beat the eggs. Pour most of the beaten egg mixture into the mascarpone mixture, but save about two tablespoons for brushing over the pastry.
4. Layout, or roll out the pastry on a floured surface, and shape it into a round shape.
5. Move it onto a large, oiled baking sheet. Throw over the chopped walnuts, if using, and press down lightly.
6. Spread the mascarpone mixture onto the centre of the pastry, leaving a border of a couple of inches (5 cm).
7. Thinly slice the courgette and place the slices, overlapping slightly, in a pleasing spiral pattern. This is pretty much impossible as they tend slip around.
8. Then fold the outside edges of the pastry over, pleating it and pinching it together, to contain the filling.
9. Brush the remaining beaten egg over the surface of the pastry, and drizzle a little finishing oil over the courgettes.
10. Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180ºC and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
11. If the courgettes look a bit dry drizzle a bit more finishing oil over them.
12. Serve, dusted with the sweet, smoked paprika.