Posted by: familiabencomo | Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Roasted Asparagus, Red Onion & Ricotta Tart

Monday night I had the great pleasure to make a Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Tart which I found on Marie’s Proud Italian Cook blog. This was a huge success over here at Casa Bencomo…. So much so that I turned around and made something similar last night. I followed Marie’s directions exactly and just replaced the tomatoes with asparagus & red onions for Tuesday night. I had never used puff pastries before & was delighted by the ease of incorporating them into a meal. This recipe is extremely versatile and I bet there are a thousand different ways to switch up this dinner tart.

I made double use of the oven by baking my sweet potato rounds at the same time (40 minutes at 400, lightly coated with EVOO, salt, pepper). And, for the chicken…. well, Deeda at Passionate About Baking inspired me to use my last Meyer lemon (boohoo!) with her Citrus Makes Me Happy post. I marinated the breasts in lemon juice, diced lemon rinds (oh so sweet!), EVOO, sea salt & pepper. Then, cooked them in a large skillet with the marinade. Once they were done, I added more lemon juice & chopped fresh parsley. This was a surprising easy meal to make – less than an hour from the time I walked through my front door until we sat down for dinner. In fact, there was time to pour a glass of wine while I had everything in progress. Bliss.

On a COMPLETELY different note….. I have to share this photo with you. This is my son & Michael Phelps!!!! There was an International Swim Meet in Santa Clara this past weekend which we all attended. It was so much fun to be there watching all the hot-shots, Olympians & future hopefuls swim. We were surprised by the accessibly to these swimming stars and my son was awestruck to meet so many of his heroes. Every swimmer & coach (Bob Bowman!) that he spoke with was extremely kind and encouraging to him – they left an indelible mark. I only have Phelps here because he’s the most recognizable one.

my son is the little one



  1. YUMMY! i’d love some tart too please. xx

  2. This is yummy and lovely. and your son sooo cutexxxxgloria

  3. Another delicious meal at Casa Bencomo…I will supply the wine and conversation on my visit!!! And, great pic of Gianluca and Michael Phelps.

  4. Such perfect summer fare – I could eat this kind of tart on a regular basis – add a light salad and voila.

  5. Diva – I saved you a piece….

    Gloria – Thank you, dear!

    Mom – I can’t wait – just one more week.

    Giz – It really was good. My preference was the tomato tart, but everyone else liked the asparagus better….go figure.

  6. awww..what a cutie 🙂

  7. All my fault bella, about the lemon…that tart looks heavenly. I saw it at Marie’s too & WISHED we got puff pastry here. No chance…& I don’t think I’m enthu enough to roll out my own! Ooooooooooh that tart looks beautiful. Believe it or not, but asparagus is unheard of here. Do I now qualify for a slice, or have I winged too much?
    Love the picture of Gianluca with Michale Phelps. He (your little fellow) has such a naughty expression in his eyes. xoxo Tanti baci Amy

  8. Hi Amy – I was at a swim meet between PV High and Peninsula High just the other week. My friend’s son is one of the fastest in the state so I went to see him swim. I haven’t been to a swim meet in years. It was exciting because these two high schools were both undefeated. Sitting in the sun watching these terrific athletes was great fun. Can’t wait ’til the Olympics. Wishing much success to your boy in his future swimming meets…

  9. I can’t tell which is more delectable looking–this beautiful tart or your adorable son!!! He’s cute, but I think I’d have to eat the tart before cooing over his cuteness even more. Ha! 🙂

  10. Yum that looks good. You know we can’t get sweet potatoes around here in Italy (or many other root veg for that matter) and my family all really miss them. I used to roast them in the oven just like the ones you made, all sticky and caramelized and lovely. That tart looks delicious too. ciao Amanda

  11. Hi Amy! Good to see you and that lovely tart on your dinner plate looks delicious.

    So cool for your son and Michael Phelps! Good for him!

  12. I’ll bet that tart was fabulous with asparagus! The chicken looks like a great dish too. What’s not to love about a great meal that you can put together in an hour! Well done!

    You’re little guy is a real cutie pie too!

  13. Maryann – Thank you, dear!

    Deeba – You poor thing NO puff pasties & NO asparagus!!! I think they should divert the unused aide from Myanmar to YOU! I had no idea there was a crisis situation there. 😉 You absolutely qualify for a slice! I want to try this with mushrooms next (
    Thank you about my son…. Of course he has a naughty expression b/c we practically bumped into his Hero as we were arriving to the swimming facility – we went there with the intent of “hopefully” getting a good look at Phelps & met him 2 minutes after parking the car! Gianluca & Alfredo went back the next day with a printed 5×7 of this photo & Phelps signed it. He was so great with Gianluca – all of the swimmers were.

    Lori Lynn – I hope your friend’s son did well! It is such a thrill watching these meets – even better when there is a personal connection. We are counting down to the Olympics too! Thank you, dear, for the well-wishes – he loves the sport & his grades have shot up dramatically this year with the gained confidence & focus.

    Jessie – Absolutely! It’s impossible to coo on an empty stomach. However, if you are at our house, then you have to grab what you want fast so that the “cute” little kid doesn’t eat it first! Thank you, sweetie.

    Amanda – That’s such a shame about these root veggie. The sweet potato is my “fall-back” side dish – it’s easy & tasty. However, it’s impossible for me to feel TOO sorry for you when you are living in picturesque Italia with your own art school. ( I love how you have set everything up for us to just arrive & enjoy!

    Nicole – Welcome back! I hope NYC survived your trip. Thank you, dear.

    Susan – Thank you. Yes, dinner in about an hour is the best. Unfortunately, it’s not like that everyday. Darn. Thank you for the “cutie pie!”

  14. Another yummy dinner creation and how exciting for your son to meet such amazing athletes and you can see the joy in his face on this pic with Michael Phelps!

  15. Awesome photo of Gianluca & Michael Phelps! What a way to encourage a kid! thanks for your Asian Chicken Salad dish! I will try it out this week!

  16. Carolina – Thank you, dear. You should have seen the expression on Alfredo’s face! He literally jumped up & down after Phelps walked away.

    Yulie – I know!!! Gianluca has been so inspired to swim this week & he’s reading more swimming magazine to study the USA team. I hope you get a chance to try the salad – you may have to adjust the amount since it’s just you & David. You can toss half the salad one day & toss the 2nd half for leftovers the next.

  17. You always put a smile on my face! 😀
    I’m so glad the tart worked out for you! I’ll have to now try your yummy asparagus version. Now on to your future olympian son, wow, what a great experience for him, he must have been on cloud 9!! How encouraging!
    Thanks Amy, for always making my day!

  18. Marie – My goodness! I’m happy to put a smile on your face when my family is well-fed. Dinner was dull before I found your blog. So, thank YOU! I preferred the tomato tart, but the kids (Alfredo is one of the kids) liked the asparagus better. As for my son…. Meeting & talking to swimmers that he has only read about or seen briefly on TV makes his goals seem more tangible. It’s amazing because he works harder in the water AND in the classroom. Thank you, Marie, for the nice words – you always make my day too. xoxo

  19. This looks so nice Amy, I make a similar one to Marie but have never made it with asparagus so now is the time methinks!! Your son is such a cutie, how nice for him to meet one of his idols:)

  20. That is so cool for your son! I saw Michael Phelps in Long Beach when he was trying out for the Olympics, but I didn’t get me pic taken with him. ;(

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