Pesto & Parmigiano Cheese Torte

Pesto Parmesan Cheese Torte - Plated Alone 1.2

Within the past week, you may have heard that there’s a flu epidemic terrorizing the United States.  You may also know that the media really excels at overreacting.

Remember when we were all going to die from SARS?

And that time we were going to die from the Swine Flu, too?

And that Y2K was the end of the world?

_____________________  {insert anything related to Kim Kardashian}

As much as the press tries to convince me that NYC is about to turn into Contagion, and that Mike Bloomberg hates teachers, and that binge drinking is bad for you, I do my best to block it all out. Unfortunately, though I have successfully avoided the flu, a serious sinus infection has caught up to me, and it is reaaally cramping my week.

my ingredients / trader joe's advertisement

my ingredients / trader joe’s advertisement

I stayed home sick yesterday and amidst my boredom, I thought about cooking something and writing up a post.  I poked around the kitchen for a few minutes trying to get creative, but after 33 consecutive sneezes I gave up, melted some cheese on some wheat thins, and called it a day.

Am I a pillar of ingenuity or what!?

Luckily, I make a habit of keeping a few reserve recipes to use on a rainy/sick day like today.  Since I’ve been posting healthy food lately, I know you’re probably getting a little bored.  So here’s a neat little dish that’s totally delicious and utterly terrible for you – Pesto & Parmigiano Cheese Torte.

my lightly coated pignolia nuts

my lightly coated pignolia nuts

I made this appetizer a few weeks ago and wow, was it good.  Creamy, warm, and bubbly with the perfect zest and crunch, this baby is a real crowd pleaser.

Granted, the crowd was just me and Dave, but I think we’re good judges.

almost ready for the oven!

almost ready for the oven!

What I liked most about this dish was it tastes much fancier than it actually is.  Using high-quality ingredients and the right blend of flavors and spice, this torte is rich and sumptuous without taking hours to prepare.  Starting with mascarpone cheese for a light, sweet base, I utilized cream cheese to create texture and grated parmigiano to add a sharp, nutty taste.  To build my flavor profile I added pesto and rosemary to enhance my cheeses, while a topping of pignolia nuts perfectly contrasted my smooth foundation.  Finished off with a brief stint in the oven, this dish is ready to serve with crackers or crostini in no time flat.

The perfect substitute for your average cheese plate, this cheese torte is definitely sensation worthy – Media, take note!

Pesto & Parmigiano Cheese Torte

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 12 mins

Total Time: 22 mins

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Mascarpone Cheese (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 3/4 tsps + 1 tsp Pesto Spread or Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Pignoli Nuts
  • 1 1/4 tsps Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt - approx.

Directions:

  1. Allow cream cheese and mascarpone to soften on kitchen counter for 15 minutes. While you wait, grate parmigiano reggiano.
  2. In medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese and mascarpone, blending together thoroughly. Next, add in grated parmigiano, 1 3/4 tsps pesto, rosemary, and sea salt, combining each thoroughly.
  3. In small bowl, mix pignoli nuts with 1 tsp pesto, tossing until all pieces are well coated.
  4. Spoon cheese mixture into a shallow non-stick pan (mine was 8" X 8" x 1"), spreading evenly. Top with pignoli nuts, then bake at 325F for 10 - 15 minutes until cheese begins to bubble. Immediately remove from oven and serve with your choice of pairing.
Nutrition Information:

Calories: 328 Fat: 23g Carbohydrates: 3g Protein: 6g

 

this tasted great with lightly salted pita chips

this tasted great with lightly salted pita chips

 

be careful not to use too much pesto - the oil rises to the top when baking

be careful not to use too much pesto – the oil rises to the top when baking

 

creamy & smooth + warm & bubbly = outrageous!

creamy & smooth + warm & bubbly = outrageous!

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Pesto & Parmigiano Cheese Torte”

  1. #
    1
    Lauren — January 17, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

    Next time if you ever make pesto from scratch substitute kale instead of basil. It’s wonderful!!

    Reply

    • Christine Fischer replied: — January 22nd, 2013 @ 11:49 am

      thanks Lauren! great idea – I will def have to try!

      Reply

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