My grandma is turning 97 this year.
Growing up, she would always cook for my family. Couscous, vegetable and pasta bakes, yogurt cakes, pies, ravioli, tortes, you name it. We went to her apartment for family meals on special occasions, but oftentimes she would get up early and cook tons of food just so my dad could take it home to me and my siblings.
My sister, brother and I fought tooth and nail over the food. An uneven number of raviolis could start a civil war. If my brother took too long to come down to the kitchen for dinner, my sister and I would eat all the ravioli all between the two of us and pretend there were never any when he eventually showed up at the table. (We were nice sisters otherwise. I promise.)
My grandma is such an amazing lady. Strong-headed, generous, kind, funny, loving. She’s the kind of person who offers her cleaning lady two coffees with a plate of cookies and fresh fruit every day.
The more I think about it, the more I realize my grandma is my hero. She lost two children and her husband, lived through a war that uprooted her to a different country and left behind a house with a fridge full of fresh groceries and linen hanging in the backyard, and yet she remained the nicest, warmest, most generous person you will ever meet.
She lost so much but kept on giving, always opening her heart to those around her.
My grandma is in relative good health for her age, but I know she’s not going to live forever. I’ve been thinking about my her legacy a lot lately. I’ve always liked cooking and baking, but it only became a huge part of my life in this past year. I’ve made her yogurt cake for years, but the rest of her recipes have remained shrouded in mystery for years — she always made things taste better somehow.
So I’ve given myself a challenge: I will learn how to make every recipe of hers so her cooking and baking lives on through me. I don’t care if it sounds pompous, because I doubt I will get to do anything this important during my life.
Without (any) further ado, here goes my grandma’s Ricotta Torte recipe.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes
- 2 puff pastry crusts
- 500g of Ricotta cheese
- 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
- 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 100g of parmesan
- 1 small can of green peas, mashed
- Set one of the crusts at the bottom of the pie tin. I recommend using a deep 23cm pie tin. Otherwise, go for a large pie tin if possible, otherwise there will might be too much filling.
- In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, chopped parsley, eggs, parmesan and mashed green peas.
- Spoon the mixture on top of the crust.
- Place the remaining crust on top of the mixture. Using your fingers, gel together the sides.
- Using a pastry brush, gently cover the top crust with egg yolk.
- Cook for 45 minutes at 200C. (My oven is notorious for burning everything so 30 minutes was enough. When the crust looks cooked and evenly golden, you should be all good).