Serves 8 to 10
This Italian tart, known as Torta di Riso e Zucca, is perfect in the fall when squashes are in season. Serve this dish as a vegetarian main course for Thanksgiving, or alongside a simple salad for brunch.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus as needed for dusting dough and work surface
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1 1/4 cups short-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped leeks (about 4), white and light green portions only
- 4 sage leaves
- 1 2/3 cups butternut squash purée (see note)
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano- Reggiano (6 oz)
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- To make the dough, put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Add the butter and salt. Use the paddle attachment of the mixer or a pastry cutter to mix the butter into the flour enough to make a mixture that resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix the dough briefly, just enough so that it will hold together when you press it into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before rolling it out.
- To make the filling, bring a saucepan of salted water to a full boil over high heat and add the rice. Stir to separate the grains, and let the rice cook uncovered until the grains are tender, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat if necessary, to keep the rice from boiling over. Drain the rice in a sieve or colander and transfer to a large bowl.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sage leaves and cook them gently over low heat until the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the squash puree, cheese, and the leek-and-sage mixture to the rice. Stir until evenly blended. Season with a pinch of cinnamon and salt and pepper.
- Unwrap the dough and set it on a floured work surface. To line a 10-inch tart pan, cut the dough into 2 almost equal balls; one should be slightly bigger than the other. Working with the large ball first, roll the dough out into a 14-inch-diameter round about 1/8-inch thick. Lift the dough gently into the tart pan. Add the filling. Roll out the smaller ball of dough into an 11-inch diameter round; it should be the same thickness as the bottom layer. Transfer the top crust to the tart. Pinch the edges together with your fingertips or crimp them together with the tines of a fork.
- Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool the tart for at least 15 minutes on a rack before cutting and serving it.Chef’s Note: To prepare the squash purée, steam, boil, or roast the butternut squash until tender. Purée, using a splash of water if needed, in a food processor or blender.