Torta d'Agli

Garlic Torte

Source: Libro de arte coquinaria by Maestro Martino de Como, 15th century

Original Recipe:

Torta d‘agli

Toy li agli e mondali e lessali; quando sono cocti metili a moglio in aqua freda e poy pistali e metili zafarano e formazo assay che sia fresco e lardo batuto e specie dolze e forte distempera con ova e mitili ova passa e poy fa la torta.

Translation: (from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy)

Garlic Torta

Take the garlic cloves, and peel them and boil the; when they are cooked, put them to soak in cold water, and then pound them and add saffron and plenty of cheese, which should be fresh, and chopped pork fat, and sweet and strong spices, and moisten with eggs, and add raisins, and then make the torte.

My Interpretation:

1 lb. Garlic

¼ cup Butter

8 oz. Farmer's cheese

8 oz. ricotta cheese

3 Large eggs

1 pie crust (see recipe for Paest Royall)

Bring pot of water to boil. Place garlic in water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove and drain garlic. Chop garlic and combine remaining ingredients and turn into pie crust. Bake at 400°F for 45-60 minutes.


    • I’ve reduced the number of eggs from what was noted in the original recipe, since I'm uncertain the average size of eggs that would have been produced in this time period. Large eggs appear to be the most likely size of egg a modern cook would keep on hand.

    • I chose a blend of ricotta and farmers cheese for this dish to give the cheese a firmer texture once baked. Barbara Santich indicates in her book “In spring there was soft, fresh cheese probably similar to today’s ricotta (in fifteenth-century Italy it was known as recocta, recooked); this was particularly important for torta fillings...”

    • I also choose to use butter instead of lard, other recipes from this same manuscript and similar in style also indicate that this substitution can be used (see Torta Commune).

    • The original recipe indicates to remove the torte from the pan after it is cooked. Consider leaving the torte in the pan for transportation purposes.

    • When I first made this torte and gave everyone an 1/8 of a full pie, a number of people experienced stomach discomfort. When people had smaller portions, there were no complaints of stomach discomfort.

Works Referenced:

Libro de arte coquinaria, Maestro Martino de Como, Digital version: Valeria Romanelli, 7/2004.

The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, Translated by Luigi Ballerini, Jeremy Parzen, Stefania Barzini, University of California Press, 2005

- A translation of the work of Maestro Martino of Como, 15th century

The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy; Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi, translated to the English by Edward Schneider; The University of Chicago Press, 1998