Typically enjoyed throughout the day as a snack or appetiser, the torta also makes a wonderful lunch when served with a salad or taken on a picnic.
2 sheets pre-rolled butter puff pastry (25cm × 25cm)
1 egg, beaten
10 large silverbeet leaves, stalks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Italian pork and fennel sausages, skins removed
good handful basil leaves, roughly chopped
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan
sea salt and ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.
Roll each sheet of pastry out on a lightly floured bench to make a slighter thinner and larger rectangle, about 25cm × 35cm. Place on lined flat baking trays and chill until ready to assemble.
Filling: Cook the silverbeet in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again then roll up in a clean tea towel and squeeze out all the water. Pull the leaves apart and chop roughly. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the fennel and garlic with a good pinch of salt until soft. Crumble in the sausages and break the meat into small pieces with a fork, stirring until fully cooked. Set aside to cool, then mix in the silverbeet, basil and parmesan and season well.
To cook: Place one sheet of pastry on a lined baking tray and brush the whole sheet with egg wash. Add the filling, spreading it evenly and leaving a 2cm border all the way around.
Place the second piece of pastry over the top. Pull the border of the bottom piece of pastry up over the top piece and crimp the edges together to seal well. Brush the whole pie with egg wash and prick the top with a fork. Sprinkle with a little sea salt. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up the pastry.
Bake for 25–30 minutes until a good golden colour and the pastry is crisp. Leave at least 10 minutes before cutting. Best served just warm or at room temperature the day of cooking.
Cook's tip: You need 300 grams of silverbeet leaves after the stalk has been removed. This looks a lot but it reduces enormously when cooked.