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Playing Crostata with Kale, Butternut Squash, and Ricotta

You can make this crostata, or tart, earlier in the day and serve at room temperature. It makes for a lovely first course or lunch with a side of dressed greens—and is just as good cut into bite-sized squares as part of a buffet. You can wrap leftovers in foil and freeze them; thaw and reheat before serving.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, extra-virgin
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for the sheet pan
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, grated on the coarse holes of a box grater
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice, or other short-grain
  • 1 teaspoon salt, kosher, plus more for cooking water
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ricotta, fresh (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups Grana Padano, grated
  • 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 eggs, large, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup raisins, golden (optional)


Serves: 10 to 12 as a first course, more as an hors d’oeuvre


For the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse to mix. In a spouted measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil and 1⁄3 cup cold water. With the machine running, pour in the liquids and process until a soft dough forms on the blade, about 30 seconds. If the dough is still crumbly, add a bit more water. If it is too wet, add a bit more flour. Dump the dough on a floured countertop, and knead until it just comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate, if making a day ahead).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a rimmed half-sheet pan. For the filling, in a large bowl, stir together the grated squash and rice and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, so the rice absorbs some of the liquid from the squash.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the kale. Simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Rinse, drain, cool, and squeeze very dry and finely chop the kale.

Add to the bowl, along with the ricotta, grated cheese, scallions, eggs, milk, cream, raisins (if using), and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough to a rectangle 2 inches longer and wider than the sheet pan. Center the dough in the pan, and press to fit. Pour and spread the filling into the crust, and fold the edges of the crust back over to create the sides of the crostata. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is set, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before cutting into squares.

Excerpt from "Lidia's Celebrate Like An Italian" by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Copyright © 2017 by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Used with permission by Knopf. All rights reserved.

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