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Autumn Torte Rustica Recipe

Autumn Torte Rustica Recipe

The wonderful flavor and lovely look of this cheese and vegetable pie is worth the bit of extra effort it takes to prepare it. The butternut squash adds a subtle sweetness that's irresistible. Slices make a great appetizer, or serve it with soup or salad as a light meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 small butternut squash (1-1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed


  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place squash slices on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly spritz with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes or until tender.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine two eggs, cheeses and sage. In a small bowl, whisk water and remaining egg; set aside.
  • 3. In a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender. Stir in the spinach, garlic and nutmeg. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; set aside.
  • 4. Unfold one pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a 14-in. square. Press onto bottom and up sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan, allowing excess pastry to drape over edges. Brush with reserved egg mixture.
  • 5. Layer with half of the squash, cheese mixture and spinach. Repeat layers. Roll out the remaining pastry into a 10-in. square; place over filling. Trim edges; fold the bottom pastry over the top and press edges to seal. Reroll pastry trimmings. Cut out with a small leaf cookie cutter; place on torte. Brush pastry with egg mixture.
  • 6. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 400° 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool for 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 403 calories, 24g fat (9g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 434mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 18g protein .

Reviews for Autumn Torte Rustica

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Reviewed Nov. 3, 2014

"I have made this several times. Wonderful !!!!!!"

Reviewed Oct. 17, 2014

"So beautiful! Turned out a lot like the picture. Based on other reviews I was concerned about the flavor so I:

- added extra squash (roasted with s&p and garlic powder),
- included a layer of roasted red peppers,
- added an extra clove of garlic to the spinach mixture and carmelized the onions as well
- added 1/2 tsp each of ground thyme and poultry seasoning to the sage/cheese mixture,
- substituted one cup of the ricotta with a cup of crumble feta."

Reviewed Jan. 17, 2013

"I was psyched to try this recipe and it lived up to my expectations! I just automatically season with salt as I cook anything. The friend I shared this meal with also gave it rave reviews. I look forward to producing this again, with just a bit more squash."

Reviewed Dec. 17, 2012

"This is delicious! Great at room temperature and I would definitely make this the day before to let all the flavors meld together. Made this for Christmas last year as an appatizer and everyone loved it!"

Reviewed Nov. 8, 2012

"P.S.  I used organic filo dough because it's what I had on hand which worked great - more flaky and held up well."

Reviewed Nov. 8, 2012

"This torte turned out beautiful and delicious. If you prep the ingredients and follow step by step, it's actually quite easy to make, too. Wonderful and yummy!"

Reviewed Oct. 17, 2012

"Definitely needs more seasoning. I used salt and garlic pepper when I roasted the squash, but the spinach and cheese mixture could use seasoning too. I would also try mashing the squash a bit before assembly. But, it was tasty and beautiful. It held together well and was easy to serve. I think I will make it again at Thanksgiving."

Reviewed Oct. 15, 2012

"This is a beautiful torte and easy to make but to make it truly delicious the herbs and some spice like curry and salt and pepper should be included in this recipe. Book Club liked it but with the above suggestions."

Reviewed Oct. 13, 2012

"This is absolutely delicious. The only thing I did differently was steam the squash and I used (2) 10 oz pkgs of fresh spinach and wilted it with the sautéed onions. This recipe is also very easy."

Reviewed Oct. 9, 2012

"With only my husband and myself I didn't want to make the whole recipe and I didn't want to wait for a large dinner party to give this a try. So, I made a half recipe with only one layer and I put it in a pie crust because I didn't want to take the time to make a puff pastry or go to the store to but one. We thought it was fabulous and will definitely make it for a dinner party or even the church Harvest dinner this fall. It will make a beautiful presentation and I'm sure it will be devoured."

Reviewed Oct. 5, 2012

"My husband and I felt it truly lacked in flavor, but attractive in appearance. Unfortunately I will not make this again."

Reviewed Sep. 30, 2012

"Made this for tonight's supper. Turned out exactly as pictured which rarely happens. Taste was fantastic! Both hubby & I agree this is a keeper recipe. Only thing I may do differently next time is increase the garlic by a "few" cloves, but that's just because we are garlic fanatics. Thanks for the great recipe!"

Reviewed Feb. 19, 2012

"excellent! Few changes: use minced dry onions instead of fresh to absorb excess moisture. Combine the spinach and cheese mixtures for a more stable filling-still colorful. Half the recipe fills a 9" pie plate nicely. Add 1 teas. salt to the cheese. This is a wonderful recipe."

Reviewed Jan. 9, 2012

"Great flavors and presentation.

I was disappointed that mine seemed to have liquid seeping at the bottom as it cooled. I did squeeze the spinach until it was almost dry. But, I didn't re-squeeze it after adding it to the onions and, that might be the answer. However, it still tasted great. The subtle flavors of the butternut, nutmeg, sage and spinach with cheese really complimented each other. prepared to give it more time than indicated in the recipe...I was making it for a dinner with friends and had to call them and ask them to arrive 30min later. I used the time table on the recipe to determine when I should start making it for a was off by about a 1/2 hour.
I read one of the reviews where the reviewer said she made certain things ahead of time...I think that's a good idea.
I think a better calculation of time would be: 45 minutes Prep. 50 minutes cooking and 45 min. cooling, before releasing the sides of the spring form pan.
Very good; but plan your timing accordingly."

Reviewed Nov. 11, 2011

"So pretty!! yummy good!! We love this, relly to simple to prepare to look this good!!"

Reviewed Oct. 1, 2011

"I just found this recipe, and will be making it again this weekend and at our Thanksgiving meal. I find the recipe calls for too much cheese and spinach as printed in the magazine, but after adjusting those, it is perfect!"

Reviewed Jul. 9, 2011

"I made this for my son's fiance's bridal shower. It looked spectacular and everyone like it. However, I did have one minor problem - the spinach wouldn't hold well in its layer and would fall out when the torte was cut. This layer needs something to bind it better - egg white maybe? Also, I followed what the previous reviewer did and baked it the day before and served it at room temp. I think it would taste better warm. Definitely use a 9" springform pan, as I could barely get the puff pastry to fit and I don't think it will stretch to fit a 10"."

Reviewed Oct. 15, 2010

"Forgot to rate in my previous review."

Reviewed Oct. 15, 2010

"I made this torte for Boss's Day. The picture looked amazing and I was looking for something different, but vegetarian to bring to the party. This dish was a hit! Due to time constraints, I made the three different fillings 2 days ahead of time, and assembled and baked the following day. The day of the party, I covered the dish in foil, and rewarmed it in the oven prior to the party. When you cut into it you see all the pretty layers and colors just like in the picture. All the flavors worked so well together, the sweet squash, the rich cheese, and the earthy spinach. This looks like something only a professional could make, but it is really easy to do, so do not be intimidated. I followed the recipe to the "T", but will no doubt try other combinations in the future! You will not be disappointed."

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