Weekend cooking challenge #1

As one of the newest endeavors of Fork and The Cork, I joined Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge.  The premise is simple: 

Once a month we cook the same recipe, compare notes, and discuss it in the group. Please post a photo of your finished dish!!! Many photos will be posted in the Martha Stewart Radio Blog!!!
This Challenge was created by Mario Bosquez, host of Living Today, on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius Satellite Radio.  The Challenge was a success, and my picture made it on Martha Stewart's Radio Blog!  Check it out at:

My picture is #3 out of 15, I am Listener Laurie. 

The recipe was chosen by Mario:  Spinach Torta, by James Beard Award-Winning author Laura Schenone. 

Spinach Torta via Hoboken

This recipe is part of Living Today’s weekend cooking challenge. The recipe is adapted from “The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family”, by Laura Schenone, W.W. Norton, 2007, all rights reserved. For more information, visit http://www.lostravioli.com/

Vegetable pies called torte (plural) are ubiquitous all over Liguria, which depends so heavily on vegetables and herbs in its cuisine. I call this spinach torta “via Hoboken” because it has been Americanized with the use of cream cheese. It is delicious and simple--still made in my family a hundred years after immigration.

Serves 10 to 12 as an appetizer or side dish

  • 4 packages frozen chopped spinach
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parsley, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1.
Brush about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 x 11 inch pan or Pyrex-type 2. dish.
Begin with three mixing bowls; large, medium, and small. In the largest bowl, defrost the spinach very well. Expedite 3. this with heat or the microwave if you wish. Place the cream cheese (or other fresh cheese) in the medium bowl. Beat the eggs in the small bowl.
Cream the cream cheese, using a handheld electric mixer. Add the beaten eggs to it, then the Parmigiano-4. Reggiano, salt and pepper, and parsley. Mix well, then pour half this mixture in to the spinach. Evenly spread the spinach mixture into the oiled pan. Cover the spinach with the remaining half of the liquid egg mixture.

Bake about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden.

This was surprisingly easy, and it was fun to make!  I have never been a big fan of brunch/eggs/quiche/etc. etc., but I really did like it!  A perfect dish to complete your Easter brunch, and it can easily be prepared in advance, then brought to room temperature before serving. 

The challenge was fun in itself, as everyone decided on a 2pm Eastern start time to the challenge.  We were all on facebook, asking questions, looking at each other's pictures, and learning as we went along.  What a great idea!

I am looking forward to the next challenge, and can't wait until it's revealed!


  1. Hi Laurie, thanks for sharing my torta recipe with your readers. It was a fun experience doing that with Mario and his his facebook fans. If any of your readers would like to see step-by-step recipes of my son and I making this old family recipe, you'll find them here: www.jellypress.com.

    best wishes,

  2. Congrats Laurie on your stardom. :)

  3. Laura, I am so honored not only to have made your recipe, but also to have you comment on my blog! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through www.jellypress.com, and can't wait to try some more of your delicious recipes! Thank you!



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