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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Torta
Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Torta
(Torta di Salsiccia e Broccoli Rabe)
For the Crespelle:
2 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
3/4 pound broccoli rabe
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

For the Bechamel Sauce:
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup)

For the Assembly:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 pound chilled Italian Fontina cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
1 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup)

An 8-inch (20-cm) round springform pan
Prepare the Crespelle:
Blend together eggs, milk, flour, and salt in a blender until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl.

Lightly brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with melted butter and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.

Ladle about 1/4 cup batter into skillet, tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom.

Pour excess batter back into bowl.

Cook until just set and underside is lightly browned, about 30 seconds.

Invert crespella onto a clean kitchen towel to cool completely.

Make 5 more crespelle with remaining batter in same manner, brushing skillet with melted butter as needed.

Prepare the Filling:
Cut off and discard 1 inch from stem ends of broccoli rabe, then coarsely chop remainder.

Cook broccoli rabe in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking.

Drain well in a colander and pat dry.

Cook garlic with red-pepper flakes in olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes.

Add sausage and cook, breaking up sausage with back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes.

Stir in broccoli rabe and cook, tossing to coat with sausage, until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Prepare the Sauce:
Heat butter in a 2 to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat until foam subsides.

Add flour and cook, whisking, 3 minutes.

Add milk in a slow stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking.

Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes.

Stir in salt, pepper, and cheese, then remove from heat.

Assemble the Torta:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425F.

Invert bottom of springform pan, then lock.

Wrap outside of entire bottom of springform pan with a double layer of foil.

Generously brush inside bottom and side of pan with butter.

Sprinkle bottom with bread crumbs.

Stir together Fontina and Parmigiano cheeses in a bowl.

Put 1 crespella in bottom of springform pan.

Sprinkle with one sixth of filling and drizzle with 1/3 cup sauce.

Make 5 more layers each of crespella, filling, and sauce (end with a layer of sauce).

Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over top.

Bake, uncovered, until top is bubbling and golden, about 25 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes.

Remove side of pan and carefully slide the torta off the bottom of the pan onto a plate.

Cut torta into wedges. Makes 4 to 6 (main course) servings.
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