A great appetizer for a holiday party or get-together serving up to 20 people. May make ahead and freeze. Recipe found in Favorite Brand Name Resipes - "Italian Favorites"
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-hihg heat until hot; add onion and garlic. Cook 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 3o minutes or until mixture reduces to 1 1/3 cups. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine cheeses and black pepper in a medium bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Set aside.
Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink; stir to separate. Drain on paper towels; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out 1 pastry sheet to 13 inches square on lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
Layer 1/2 of the cooked sausage on the bottom of the pastry shell. Top with 1/2 reserved tomato sauce mixture, spreading evenly. Drop 1/2 cream cheese mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls over tomato sauce mixture. Arrange 1/2 Gruyere in pastry shell, forming solid layer. Spread pesto evenly over the Gruyere with a small metal spatula. Arrange remaining Gruyere over pesto, forming another solid layer. Drop remaining cream cheese mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls over the Gruyere. Top with remaining tomato sauce mixture. Layer with remaining sausage. Fold pastry over filling.
Roll out remaining pastry sheet to a 12 inch square on a lightly floured surgface; trim to an 8-9 inch circle. Make decorative pastry cut-outs from excess dough, if desired. Beat egg yolk and water in a small bowl with fork until blended. Carefully place circle on top of torta, pressing gently to adhere. Lightly brush top of crust with egg mixture and arrange pastry cut-outs on top. Brush cut-outs also with egg mixture.
Bake for 1 hour or until pastry is golden. Let stand in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack. To serve, carefully remove side of pan; let stand 45 minutes before cutting into wedges. Garnish as desired.
2 T. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Italian-style tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 T. tomato paste
2 tsp. dried Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pkg (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pound fresh uncooked Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pkg (17 1/4 oz.; 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 pound thinly sliced Gruyere or mozzarella cheese
6 T. purchased or homemade pesto
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. water