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Roasted Cipollini Onion Torta

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

This savory torta is a refreshing departure from the overload of sweet pies at Thanksgiving. The caramelized onions and creamy cheese sauce fit the flavor profile for any fall meal.


  • 8 ounces cold butter
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • 2 ounces water
  • 2 ounces grated pecorino Romano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Onion Filling
  • 2 pounds cipollini onions, peeled
  • kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Pecorino Fonduta
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 5 ounces grated pecorino Romano, plus more to assemble
  • 1 teaspoon salt
To serve
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • aged balsamic vinegar
  • thyme leaves, for garnish


For the dough:


Dice butter and keep cold until ready to use.


Place all dry ingredients in a food processor to combine. Add diced butter slowly, until the mixture forms a ball.


Tightly wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour (the dough can be made in advanced and frozen until ready).


Once ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F and roll dough into one large pie or 4 to 5 individual rounds.


Prick the pie crusts with the tines of a fork and transfer dough to pie tins. Line the pie dough with parchment paper (the paper should fit snugly on top of the dough itself) and fill with uncooked beans or pie weights.


Blind bake pie dough for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.

For the onion filling:


Adjust oven rack to center position.


Season onions with salt and let sit for 15 minutes.


Melt butter and add olive oil in a large heatproof non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and toss to coat.


Transfer to oven and roast, tossing occasionally, until deeply caramelized and tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a sheet tray.

For the pecorino fonduta:

In a saucepan over medium heat, add cream and cook until reduced by about half.

Transfer to a blender (or using a hand blender) and puree cheese and salt into the reduced cream while still hot. Set aside until you're ready to build your tart.

To assemble:


Fill cooled pie crust with roasted onions, completely covering the crust. Pour a thin layer of fonduta over the onions. Sprinkle with pecorino cheese.


Place pies under the broiler to caramelize the cheese, 3 to 4 minutes.


Garnish with cracked black pepper, a drizzle of aged balsamic and a sprinkle of thyme leaves. Serve hot or at room temperature.