Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Cardoon pie
( Tortino di cardi )

Our original home cooking

Cardoon pie is a great recipe to make in winter when cardoon is in season. I planned it one day when, after picking up some cardoons in my organic garden, I was looking for a different way to cook them. I thought they might be delicious with the same technique of eggplant parmigiana (you can find the link to recipe below). In fact, I was not wrong. My recipe, however, doesn't provide for frying and is therefore digestible.

difficulty: medium

time: 2 hours 30 minutes

calories: 295 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 8

  • A medium size cardoon plant (1kg - 2.2 pounds)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 young fresh onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoons dried chives
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) breading mixture
  • 750g (1 2/3 pound) puréed tomatoes
  • A glass of white wine
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
medium difficulty
preparation: about 60 minutes
cooking: about 90 minutes
total: 2 hours 30 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 295 (kcal) 15 % - 1235 (kJ)
Protein: 12.5 (g) 25 % GDA
Total fat: 13.6 (g) 20 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 30.6 (g) 12 % GDA
Sugars: 5.4 (g) 6 % GDA

Download free PDF version (195 download).

Cardoon pie recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Clean and wash all the stalks of your cardoon plant.
    Steam them until tender.
    Let them cool and then cut them into 6-8cm (2 1/2 - 3 1/4in) pieces.
  • - Beat eggs with 2 tablespoons dried chives and a pinch of salt.
  • - Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • - Dip every cardoon piece into beaten eggs and then into breading mixture.
    Add some milk to beaten eggs only if they aren’t enough.
  • - Grease some baking pans with 1 tablespoon olive oil and arrange your cardoon pieces on them.
  • - Bake until their surface is golden.
    Remember to turn upside down all cardoon pieces at least a time.
  • - Meanwhile prepare tomato sauce.
    Place puréed tomatoes together with wine, onions, parsley and bay leaf in a pan.
    Season to taste with salt and cook on medium heat, half-covered.
    Don’t let your sauce reduce too much.
    Turn off the stove, add the remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons) and dried chives and stir.
  • - Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • - Spoon a little ladle tomato sauce on the bottom of a deep baking pan.
    Arrange your cardoon pieces and cover with the sauce.
    Sprinkle with some grated mozzarella.
    Continue alternating cardoon pieces with tomato sauce and mozzarella.
    Complete with tomato sauce and mozzarella.
  • - Bake until mozzarella melts and pie surface is golden.

Just before serving

  • - Serve your cardoon pie warm.



  • - This is a digestible recipe for I don’t fry breaded pieces of cardoon. But you can fry them, if desidered. In this case nutrition facts change and can change a lot.
  • - If you like Parmesan cheese, you can sprinkle it on every layer of your pie.
  • - You can prepare this recipe in advance, even the day before.

Menu planning

  • - You can prepare this cardoon pie for your family menu when you have more time to spend in the kitchen. In this case you can serve it in suggested portions, combining it with a winter soup, or double portions and serve it as a main dish.
  • - I prepare it for my get-togethers too because it is perfect as starter in an assorted antipasto platter. Combine it with salami or smoked fish in slices.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - And now let's look at nutrition facts of cardoon pie.
    Calories, fats and sugars do not seem exaggerated but the portion is small. If you want to prepare it for your family menu, I'd suggest serving it after a good soup. Soup, rich in fiber, helps to achieve satiety quickly.
  • - Anyway it's a recipe to do preferably for your get-togethers.


What's the right wine for " Cardoon pie "?

My husband and I like Rosso Capri (red wine from Campania - Italy) to piar to this carddon pie.