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Gennaro Contaldo’s savoury asparagus tart recipe

Welcome in spring with this seasonal dish.

Asparagus tart from Gennaro's Verdure
Asparagus tart from Gennaro's Verdure

“This delicious savoury tart is made for the spring, when asparagus is plentiful and at its best,” says Gennaro Contaldo.

“If you don’t have Parma ham, use cooked ham or, if you don’t eat meat, omit altogether. Serve with a potato salad.”

Torta salata di asparagi


(Serves 4)

  • 375g ready-made shortcrust pastry

  • 200g asparagus

  • 150g ricotta

  • 4 eggs

  • 30g grated Parmesan

  • 100g Parma ham, roughly torn

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Crunchy mixed salad, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease and line a 22 centimetre (8½ inch) round tart or quiche tin and line it with baking paper.

2. Roll out the pastry and use it to line the bottom of the prepared tin. Cover the pastry with baking paper, top with baking beans and bake blind for about 15 minutes, until the sides of the pastry have cooked through and are golden.

3. Using a large spoon, remove the beans and then the baking paper from the pastry case and return the pastry to the oven for a further five to 10 minutes, until the base is a pale golden colour.

4. Remove from the oven and prepare the filling.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 130°C fan/150°C/gas mark 2.

6. Finely chop most of the asparagus, reserving seven or eight spears, then bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the asparagus for about three minutes until just tender, then drain well and leave to cool.

7. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, Parma ham, a little salt and pepper and the chopped asparagus. Fill the pastry case with this mixture, then arrange the whole asparagus spears over the top. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 40 minutes, until the filling has set.

8. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes before serving with a crunchy mixed salad.

Gennaro’s Verdure: Big And Bold Italian Recipes To Pack Your Plate With Veg by Gennaro Contaldo
(Pavilion Books/PA)

Gennaro’s Verdure: Big And Bold Italian Recipes To Pack Your Plate With Veg by Gennaro Contaldo is published by Pavilion Books, priced £26. Photography by David Loftus. Available March 14


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