A square overhead image of the Asparagus Ricotta Tart on a wooden board.
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Asparagus Ricotta Tart

This gluten-free savory Asparagus Ricotta Tart has a smooth ricotta filling & is topped with sautéed asparagus & cheesy mozzarella. You'll be amazed at how crispy this cornmeal crust tart becomes once it is baked. This will quickly become one of your best recipes for party appetizers...your guests are going to love it!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus ricotta tart, polenta crust
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 214kcal
Author Maria Vannelli RD

Ingredients

Sautéed Asparagus (for 1 tart):

  • 1/2 bunch asparagus fresh
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • squirt lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Polenta Crust (for 2 tarts);

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal fine
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal coarse

Ricotta Filling (for one tart);

  • 3/4 cup ricotta well drained
  • 3 tablespoons Romano Cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch pepper

Toppings (for 1 tart):

  • 2-3 tablespoons mozzarella cheese grated, for topping
  • fresh thyme to garnish

Instructions

  • Wash and trim the asparagus.
  • Cut the asparagus stalks in half.
  • In a large skillet, over high heat, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Add the cut-off asparagus bottoms and sauté for about 3 minutes. Make sure to give the pan a few shakes during this process.
  • Add the top half of the asparagus and smashed garlic clove and sauté for another minute or so. Just before removing the pan from the heat, squirt a little lemon juice over the top and give it a few more shakes. 
    Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Set aside the sautéed asparagus while we prepare the polenta.

Polenta Crust;

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Position rack to center. Spray a 14 x 4.5 inch tart plate with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • Bring water to boil in a large pot.
  • While waiting for the water to boil, whisk together fine and coarse cornmeal in a bowl and set aside. 
  • Add salt and olive oil to the boiling water.
  • Reduce heat to lowest setting.
  • Whisk in the cornmeal; whisk continuously for about 2 minutes. When the mixture begins to thicken, use a wooden spoon and stir for another 5-7 minutes. Mixture will become thick.
  • Spread about 2 cups of the polenta in a long rectangle tart pan with a removable bottom. Coat the back of a spoon with a little olive oil to help spread it out.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Ricotta Filling:

  • While the polenta is in the oven, prepare the ricotta filling. 
    In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta, Romano cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.

The assembly:

  • Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for a for minutes. 
  • Spoon ricotta filling into polenta tart crust. 
  • Place the sautéed asparagus on the ricotta filling.
  • Reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for about 20 minutes or until the ricotta is set.
  • Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese down the center and broil for a few minutes until bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and garnish with fresh thyme.

Notes

Time to sauté the asparagus will vary according to its size. Asparagus should remain crisp as they will continue to cook in the oven.
Please note that the measurements for the cornmeal in this recipe will make two tarts -I will make one Asparagus Ricotta Tart and the other I will make into a free form Polenta Pizza with herbs. 
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1.6mg