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Savory Cheese Torta

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

This stunning cheese pie is presented like a galette or country pie. You can make this free-form or in a baking dish. Although one is enough for eight people, I found I needed another one for seconds. Vary the cheeses for different tastes and fold in cooked baby spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes or chopped green olives for layers of flavour.

Servings: 8

Ready time: 2 hours

Wine pairings:

This torta combines some of the same ingredients, but it’s baked and filled with melted cheese, a wine-friendly profile. Specifically, it will be good with an aromatic white, such as gewurztraminer and pinot gris, especially from Alsace.  -Beppi Crosariol


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup cold water


1 tbsp olive oil

16 thin slices pancetta

2 cups mascarpone

2 egg yolks

2 eggs

1 cup grated provolone

1 cup grated Asiago

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water


Combine flour, Parmesan cheese and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle in enough water so that pastry starts to come together. Dump into a bowl and, using your fingertips, combine gently into a smooth ball. (This prevents overprocessing the pastry). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry pancetta slices until crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

Mix together mascarpone, egg yolks and whole eggs in a bowl. Stir in provolone, Asiago, mustard and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roll out chilled pastry to fit a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or tart pan with a removable bottom, leaving about 2 inches of overhang.

Layer fried pancetta on top of crust. Spread egg and cheese mixture over top. Fold overhanging pastry over filling – it will not cover the entire top – and brush with egg wash. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is firm and crust is golden.

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