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Porrata (Leek Pie)

20 large leeks, washed very well
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (preferably Tuscan)
1 tablespoon butter
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 oz yeast
3 cups flour
1 cup of warm water
6 eggs
6 to 7 ounces fresh grated pecorino romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

Remove the outer tough first top layer of the leeks.

Slice into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Use as much of the leek
as you can but the higher up the you go the leek gets a darker
green and tougher.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan. Add the leeks and the
salt and pepper. Cook slowly over medium to low heat until the
leeks are soft, about 40 minutes.

Mix yeast in warm water. On a large pastry board or bowl, make a
well in the middle of the flour and place two eggs, salt and the
dissolved yeast mixture. Lightly beat the liquid mixture adding
a little flour from the mound at a time (if doing this on a board
- the traditional way - make sure you do not break the outer wall
of the flour or the mixture will flow all over). When the dough
is formed and a little stiff, start kneading it until all but a
couple of tablespoons of flour are used. This process should take
about 20 minutes. Place in a bowl dusted with the remaining flour
and cover. Set in warm draft free area until doubled in size.

Mix eggs and cheese in with the leeks which have been off the burner
for some time and cooled, and mix well.

Oil a springform pan (perhaps 10 inches or so). Roll out the risen
dough into a sheet about 1/2 inch thick. Place in the oiled pan
letting the excess drape over. Fill with the leek mixture and
cover with the remaining dough. Grind PLENTY of pepper over the

Bake in an oven which has been preheated to about 350-400 (depending
on how your oven operates) for about 40-50 minutes.

Let cool for 15-20 minutes before removing the springform pan.
Cut and eat.

Serve this with minestrone, a green salad and some good chilled
white wine.


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