Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My throw it all together Torta

This week has been a big week for meals in our house.   I'm very lucky that lovely hubby has been home because we've had my brother and his two boys for dinner a few nights already.

On a couple of occasions we've had to pick up Nephew J from school with Little Miss R, so he gets to stay at our place until his daddy (my brother) picks him up around 5.30pm.

The kidlettes have all been excited to see each other and it also means my brother has had a chance to catch up with my husband.  They are not only brother's-in-law but have been best friends since about kindegarten so I'm pretty lucky that my husband gets on well with my family.

Because they're here so late, I've ended up feeding a horde on a few evenings and this meal below is one that stretched a long way.

I made a basic tomato sauce and let it simmer right down.  (Ingredients and quantities will be at the end of the post).


I also roasted a heap of roast vegetable in strips or thin slices.  These included carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, capsicum (pepper), and zucchini (corguette).

Master M looked at the dish in the below photo and asked me if it was compost.  I'm not sure if I should now call this my compost pie/torta.

I made the pastry myself this time but you can easily used bought shortcrust pastry.  I use bought pastry most of the time but for this pie I just love using homemade pastry.  I don't know why but it just adds to the flavour I think.

I line a springform pan (around 24cm) with 2/3 of the pastry then start to layer in the ingredients.

You can layer it any way you wish and use what ingredients you wish to as well.  This time I started off with a little of the tomato sauce, then half of the roast vegetables.


I then added a layer of bacon, then some more sauce, more roast vegetable, some salami I had in the fridge and some leftover roast chicken.  I put some more sauce on top.

I then rolled out the rest of the pastry and put it on top, trying to jigsaw it all together because some bits kept breaking and I was interrupted a great MANY times by the four very hyperactive kids that were here at the time.


Dinner was finally ready and I'm surprised I remembered to take this last photo considering the chaos that was going on at the time.

Very rustic, not pretty but bloody yummy.  Amazingly all four kids ate most of their piece of pie, as well as the mashed potato and steamed carrots and broccoli.  I was so happy with the result.

So you want to know what I did to make this particular pie?  If you do, read on, if you don't then I'll say hooray and I'll see you next time.

Tomato based sauce.

1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 crushed garlic cloves
pinch of mixed dried herbs
half a teaspoon sugar (this helps bring out the full tomato flavour)
a good slurp of worcestershire sauce ( a couple of teaspoons I suppose)

Put in a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until it's reduced quite a bit, maybe 15 to 20 minutes.

The pie crust to suit a 24cm spring form tin.

3 cups of plain flour
200g softened butter
2 eggs

rub the butter into the flour, or blitz in a food processor until crumbs.  Then mix in the eggs until it forms a dough.  Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for about half an hour.

Break off about a third of the pastry for the top.  Roll out the rest for the base of the pie and after greasing the pan, line the pan with the pastry.

Layer all the ingredients in the pan.  You can do this anyway you like, I did sauce, vegetables, bacon, sauce, vegetable, salami and chicken, sauce and a little bit more bacon. 

Then roll out the top piece of the pastry.  Lay it over the top of the pie and fold down the edge bits until it's all enclosed.  Brush the top with a litte egg or milk, cut a few holes in it with a knife then place some foil over the top.

Place in a 200 degrees celcius oven for 30 minutes, then reduce to 180 degrees and cook with the foil off for a further 30-40 minutes.

Let sit for awhile before serving.  It's great hot but also absolutely fantastic cold.  Enjoy.

xx Susan


1 comment:

driftwood said...

mmmm yum! and compost pie is a winning name for it!