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Mantova in the Lombardy region of Italy. Three years ago our family played host to a delightful young lady from this area so a trip to Italy would not have been complete with paying a visit to her and her beautiful family.

Mantova is an amazing medieval town which is unspoilt by tourism. Wandering through the cobblestone streets we marvelled at the architecture and the embellishment of the buildings.

I only wish we had more time to spend in this hidden gem.

Of course, I couldn’t help but take in the delights of the town’s foodie famous crumble cake, Sbrisolona. Have a look under the torta at the beautiful handmade filled fresh pasta.

Returning to the family home in the outskirts of Mantova in Castellucchio we were treated to a wonderful afternoon “snack” or merenda of delicious salami and local bread. Sitting quietly and proudly at the end of the table was a humble cake with light dusting of sugar. Naturally I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sample this torta which did not disappoint. And who could leave without the recipe? Our gracious host assured me the recipe which came when I arrived back in Australia.
We had a whirlwind tour of Mantova but I know we will return. What a treasure!

Here is the recipe as supplied by our lovely host. Thank you, Katia!

Torta Greca

160 grams of flour
100g butter
150 g sugar
3 eggs
100g amaretti
70-100 g dark chocolate
100 gr almonds
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 packet of baking powder or 2 teaspoons of baking powder


Mix butter and sugar then add the eggs, crushed amaretti biscuits, almonds and chocolate flakes.
Finally add the vanilla, baking powder, flour and mix.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes in the oven
at 160 ° C.

Torta Greca translates to Greek cake but why it is named I don’t know. Katia, the supplier of the recipe, suggests that the baking tin can be lined with puff pastry before pouring in the batter and baking as per the recipe. Certainly if you google “Torta Greca” you will find many versions of the pastry encased torta. In this case I have baked it as Katia did – without the pastry.

This is a typical, delcious Italian torta which I love in all it’s unadorned beauty. Enjoy it with a great espresso.

Sandie of the lovely blog, Crumbs of Love, was our November…
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