Savory Greens and Cheese Tart (Torta Rustica)

Recipe by David Turner

An Easter tradition in Southern Italy, torta rustica is a satisfying, savory pie to adorn your table any time of year. The flaky, buttery crust encases a creamy filling of spinach, potatoes, ricotta, and Parmesan. Basil and lemon zest add brightness and zing, while sautéed onions offer subtle sweetness and richness.

30 mins
1 hr 5 mins to 1 hr 15 mins
2 hrs
one 9" tart
Savory Greens and Cheese Tart (Torta Rustica) - select to zoom
Savory Greens and Cheese Tart (Torta Rustica) - select to zoom
Savory Greens and Cheese Tart (Torta Rustica) - select to zoom


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  1. To make the crust: Divide the pie pastry into two portions: one larger portion that’s about 2/3 and the remaining 1/3 of dough. Wrap the smaller piece of dough and return it to the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough to a circle about 1/8" thick. Line a 9" springform pan, 9" pie pan, or fluted tart pan with the rolled-out crust. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.  

  2. To make the filling: In a small saucepan, place the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until fork tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

  3. While the potatoes are cooking, warm the olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft and light brown. Adjust the heat or add a bit of water to the pan as needed to prevent the onions from burning. Transfer the sautéed onions to a large bowl. 

  4. To the bowl with the onions, add the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, basil, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg, and zest; stir to combine fully.  

  5. Gently stir in the potatoes. Try to avoid breaking them up too much. 

  6. Transfer the filling to the pie shell, spreading it into an even layer. 

  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the remaining pie dough into a 10" to 11" circle. Cut the circle into strips about 1" to 2" wide. Arrange the strips on top of the filling in a lattice pattern. Crimp to seal. (Alternatively, lay the circle of dough on top of the filling and crimp to seal. Cut a vent in the top to allow steam to escape.) 

  8. Refrigerate the torta rustica for 15 minutes, until firm.  

  9. While the torta rustica is chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F with the rack in the center. 

  10. Brush the top crust with egg wash and place the torta rustica on a baking sheet to catch any drips. 

  11. Bake the torta rustica for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown. Allow the torta rustica to cool for at least 25 minutes before slicing; serve warm. 

  12. Storage information: Store leftover torta rustica in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat individual slices in the microwave or serve at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make the torta rustica in advance? Store your assembled, unbaked torta rustica overnight (step 8) and bake the next morning. If baking in a glass or ceramic pie pan, allow the pie to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking to prevent thermal shock. Additional baking time may be needed. 

  • Let King Arthur's pastry pros show you how to bake your best pie ever: from flaky crust to perfect filling, we can help! Check out our Pie Baking Guide now.