Fratelli Perata Winery
Fratelli Perata Mushroom Crostata (Tart)

When you have a basket of mushrooms, a craving for pizza, but no yeast in the cupboard, making a crostata, or tart, is a good way to the dinner table. Mafalda pairs so well with mushrooms, it's almost ridiculous, and the Cabernet Franc element loves a cabbage head. All we have to do is talk you into trying this combination. Never fear. It's very good. As usual the cabbage adds a background flavor and depth; the mushrooms are the main player here. Along with Mafalda, of course.

Crostata, pastry crust

1 1/4 cup flour, chilled
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vodka, chilled (for the tart, not to drink)
1/2 pound butter, very, very cold, even frozen, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup very cold water, probably won't use it all. My mother would put the cup in the freezer.

Key here is cold and don't over handle the dough. Blend flour with salt in bowl, add butter and blend with pastry knife or food processor, just until it forms a course meal, still with large pieces of butter. Add the vodka and just enough of the cold water so the dough holds together. Put on a lightly floured board and form a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate.

While the dough is resting make the filling:

1 large brown onion
6 ounces shiitake mushroom caps
1 medium cabbage, not more than 3 cups shredded
2 T olive oil
2 tsp thyme or 1 tsp thyme and 1 tsp tarragon if you like mint (will accent it in the Mafalda)
2 T water
1 tsp salt
Balsamic vinegar
Sour Cream when served

Using a mandolin or other safe means, slice the onion and cabbage very thin. Slice mushroom caps thin. In a high sided sauté pan, heat olive oil, add onion, mushrooms and thyme and sauté until onion is translucent. Mushrooms should look cooked but not start releasing liquids. Add cabbage and 2 T water. Cover and cook over medium low heat until very tender. More water may be needed as it cooks, but the final product needs to be on the dry side. When done, add a splash of balsamic vinegar and up to the 1 tsp salt, to taste. Set aside while you finish the tart.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Flour a sheet of parchment paper, put the ball of dough on a floured surface and roll out as if making a pie about a 12 inch diameter. Mound the filling into the center of the circle, spread out to have a 2 inch border all around. Carefully fold the border over the filling, pleating as you go. Some filling will show in the middle. Slide onto a cookie sheet, bake approximately 30 minutes. Note: if the filling is not dry enough, your oven will suffer. Put a piece of foil down to catch drips. Serve while warm with sour cream and Mafalda.