Zucchini, Bacon, and Pecorino Tart.
Zucchini, Bacon, and Pecorino Tart.
Have I ever shared with you guys my desire to travel to Italy? I’m sure that I have, but after reading A Table in Venice, my desire is now pretty much just a full-blown NEED. But then, let’s be real, who doesn’t want to travel to Italy? From what I read, see, and hear, Italy is a pretty magical place, full of history, beautiful landscapes, and um, PIZZA, and PASTA, and ok, BURRATA too.
Clearly, I have my priorities straight, right? Right.
In all seriousness, Italy is majorly on my travel bucket list. Asher has been begging for me to take her for at least a year. Ever since I had her watch that Mary Kate and Ashley movie, “When In Rome”, she’s been dying to go. Like DYING. She said if I take her that she’ll try any new food at least once, even the stinky cheeses (I’ll believe that when I see it). She also said that we need to go to Rome and see the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Venice, St. Peter’s Cathedral and every other landmark along the way. It’s funny, Asher may only be nine, but she sure knows how to sell someone on taking her to Italy. Things were way too crazy last summer/fall with the cookbook release, so maybe we’ll make it there this year. I hear that autumn is the best time to go?
The inspiration behind all this Italy talk comes from one of the most gorgeous cookbooks, A Table in Venice by Sky McApline. As you might guess, the recipes in Sky’s new cookbook are all inspired by her life in Venice, Italy. For those of you unfamiliar with Sky and her story, you need to read her blog or check out her Instagram. Sky lives a pretty incredible lifestyle, splitting her time between Venice and London. In my eyes, Sky’s life is truly a real life Italian fairytale. Just one glance through her Instagram feed and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
When I received Sky’s book in the mail, it came with the sweetest hand written note. I cannot remember the last time I received a hand written note, but I think we all need to commit to writing out more notes, sealing an envelope, and sending them out more often. There’s something so much more personal and special about a hand written note. No email will ever be able to live up to the special touch that a hand written note brings.
Her note was the perfect way to introduce her cookbook, and after reading it, I dove into the book with wide eyes, flipping through page by page. The photos are simply stunning. Venice looks like the most incredible city in all the land, and the food looks even more incredible. I mean, some of Italy’s best recipes come out of Venice after all.
As you can imagine, I had a really hard time choosing a recipe to share today. There are so many that I’m dying to make, as the book is full of recipes from brunch, to lunch, to dinner, to dessert. But this spring-like tart was calling my name. It’s buttery, flaky, cheesy, filled with veggies, and balanced with a little salty bacon. Not sure it really gets better than that.
This tart recipe involves store bought puff pastry, which makes things very easy (because no one really wants to make homemade pastry dough) and the filling is made up of a heck of a lot of zucchini, eggs, bacon, and pecorino cheese. It’s has simple Italian flavors, and it’s so delicious.
Sky suggested topping the tart with zucchini blossom flowers. If you know me, then you know that zucchini blossoms are totally my kind of touch, so I of course went with Sky’s suggestion. I also garnished my tart with a bit of basil for a pop of bright green color…
Nothing short of perfect.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I have already added this tart to my menu. It’s a great make ahead dish to serve as a main for brunch or a side for dinner. Or, if you’re like me, you can make it tonight and eat it with a side salad for dinner. As you guys know, cheese, veggies, and eggs are totally my kind of meal.
Until then, make sure to check out Sky’s new cookbook, A Table in Venice. It’s a coffee table book, with recipes you’re all going to love.
Zucchini, Bacon, and Pecorino Tart
Buttery, flaky, cheesy, filled with veggies, and balanced with a little salty bacon. Not sure it really gets much better than that!
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3-4 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cubed bacon or pancetta
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
- zucchini blossoms, for topping (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with a little butter or oil, then dust it with flour until well coated.
2. Roll out the puff pastry into a large circle and drape it over the tart pan. Press the pastry into the nooks and crannies, then roll a rolling-pin over the top to cut away the excess pastry. Cover the pastry with a sheet of parchment paper and fill it with baking beans or weights. Set the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until dry to the touch. Remove from the oven, discard the parchment paper and baking beans, and bake for 3 to 5 minutes more to crisp up the base.
3. Meanwhile, roughly slice the zucchini into 1 inch thick rounds. Drizzle the olive oil into a large saucepan, set on medium heat, and add the zucchini and salt. Cook, stirring until the zucchini begin to color very lightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Toss in the pancetta and cook, stirring until the pancetta is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes more.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream with a fork, then whisk in the cheese. Season with a little salt. Allow the pancetta and zucchini mixture to cool a little (so that it doesn’t cook the eggs), then add it to the eggs and cheese, and toss well.
5. Pour the filling into the prepared pastry shell. If using, open the zucchini blossoms very gently and pull out and discard the stamens. Then arrange the flowers on the top of the pie, gently pressing them into the filling. Bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden on top. It’s delicious eaten warm from the oven, or at room temperature.
Recipe reprinted with permission from A Table in Venice by Skye McApline.
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