Torta di Verza

Enjoy Torta di Verza with Babarolo white wine!

As a little girl I was treated to Italian food of the highest quality.

No wonder, because both my grandparents came from the restaurant industry. Of course, my mother was also influenced by this. This is one of the perks of growing up in an Italian family. My family comes from two small neighboring communities in the mountainous region of Emilia Romagna, about a three-hour drive south of where we live in Piedmont. At that time, daily life was difficult because the area was very poor. But due to the fertile soil and livestock, fruits, vegetables, cheese and especially pork were plentiful. The famous Reggiano Parmesan cheese, as well as the Parma ham, come from the region of my ancestors.

The Emilianese have a reputation for being exceptionally good at turning leftovers into delicious meals. For example, wrap all the food from the day not eaten in a thin dough, drizzle with plenty of olive oil and then bake.

This dish was called Savoy Torte and it became a tradition in our family too, which was then continued in North America.

 The original version is the Torta di Verza, also known as Savoy Savoy Torte.

This dish can be served as both a starter and a main course. The baked dough with the Parmesan cheese and the olive oil totally satisfies the senses. No wonder this dish is still at the top of our list to this day!

I regularly made Torta di Verza for our B&B guests and sometimes even let our neighbors taste it. You liked it, but for you it was a dish from another country, namely Emilia-Romagna! A neighbor had a particularly clever idea. After tasting it, she suggested replacing the Parmesan cheese with Piedmontese Grana Padana cheese and you have a local recipe!

So here's the recipe!

The dough coat:

3 cups / 375 grams all-purpose flour

1 cup of ice cold water

1/2 teaspoon salt

Put the flour with the salt in the food processor and start with the regular dough hook. Add the water drop by drop until the dough is kneaded into a ball. Stop the machine and knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for half an hour.

The filling:

1 savoy cabbage

1 cup / 100 grams grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano

1 cup / 100 grams grated Pecorino Romano

1/2 cup / 120ml olive oil

salt and pepper

Remove the core of the savoy cabbage and cut the leaves into strips. Then blanch in boiling water for a minute and then briefly place in ice water and allow to drain.

Dry the savoy cabbage completely with a kitchen towel. It is important that the savoy cabbage is no longer damp. Add olive oil and cheese and season with salt and pepper.

The dough:

Roll out the dough as thinly as possible - on a floured surface. Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brushed thinly with olive oil (it is best to wrap the dough around a rolling pin so that it can be transported better and, above all, undamaged). Spread the savoy cabbage in the middle of the dough, about 3-4 centimeters thick. Then take the edge of the dough and pull it over the savoy cabbage - don't worry if holes appear on the top. If the top stays intact, poke a few holes with a fork. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes (or until crust is nicely colored).

Serve with a mixed salad or a nice soup. I'll show you some wonderful Babarolo white wines that harmonize very well with this Torta di Verza.

Buon appetito!