Artichoke Pie in a Flaky Crust

I got the idea for this type of pie from Marcella Hazan, More Classic Italian Cooking. Soon, though, I was using Ms. Hazan's dough with different fillings: artichokes, broccoli, carrots, etc. It's a savory, slightly rich pastry which can be served at almost any temperature. Leftovers pack well in lunch boxes and for trips. We love to have this pie, with any of the fillings, for Shavuot, the festival in early summer that commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments. It's traditional at Shavuot to serve only dairy foods. I serve this pie with a large green salad and cold fruit.

Although the pie was originally intended for fresh artichokes, it's not always possible to get good fresh artichokes in central Illinois. We are, however, fortunate to have a great Middle-Eastern food store here that sells frozen artichoke bottoms from Egypt. These are not like the American frozen artichoke hearts. The Egyptian ones are quite large and have none of the residue from the choke or the leaves, just the smooth bottoms.


Preheat oven to 375° F.
Mix flour, butter, ricotta, and salt in a bowl or a food processor fitted with the plastic blade. Knead for 5 or 6 minutes by hand or 1 minute in the food processor. Divide into two parts, one larger than the other. Roll the larger piece to cover the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Roll the other to form the top of the pie.


Heat oil in pot. Sauté onion, carrot, and parsley. Add artichokes, and cook until lightly golden. Remove from heat, add pepper, ricotta, parmesan, and eggs. Pour into pastry, cover with second pastry sheet, crimp edges, and bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot, lukewarm, or cold to 6-8 persons.

Variations on the filling

You can substitute 2 small bunches of broccolini for the artichokes, or leave out the artichokes altogether and simply increase the carrots to 1 cup chopped carrot, proceeding with the recipe as above.
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