A crostata is an Italian baked tart or pie, also known as coppi in Naples and sfogliate in Lombardy.[1] The earliest known use of crostata in its modern sense can be traced to the cookbooks Libro de Arte Coquinaria (Book of the Art of Cooking) by Martino da Como, published circa 1465,[2] and Cuoco napolitano (Neapolitan Cook), published in the late 15th century containing a recipe (number 94) titled Crostata de Caso, Pane, etc..[3]

Crostata with lemon ginger filling
Place of originItaly
Region or stateLombardia
Main ingredientsPastry crust, jam or ricotta, fruit
VariationsCrostata di frutta, crostata di ricotta, many other sweet or savoury variations

A crostata is a "rustic free-form version of an open fruit tart"[4] that may also be baked in a pie plate.[5]

Historically, it also referred to an "open-faced sandwich or canapé" because of its crusted appearance,[2] or a chewet, a type of meat pie.[6]


The name derives from the Latin word crustāta, the feminine past participle of crustāre (to encrust), and ultimately from the noun crusta (crust).[7] The French term croustade derives from it, from which the English term custard derives.[7] The word crostata appeared in the earliest Italian dictionaries, included in the 1612 dictionary Vocabolario degli accademici della Crusca (compiled from 1591-1608)[8] by the Accademia della Crusca and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa,[9] and the 1617 dictionary Il memoriale della lingua italiana: ridotto in ordine d'alfabeto per commodità del lettore by Giacomo Pergamino, in which it was defined as a type of torta.[10]


Traditionally, a crostata consisted of a base, usually three layers, of friable dough "flavoured with clarified fat and butter".[11] Today, shortcrust pastry is used instead. It is differentiated from a torta by its filling: a crostata has an inconsistent chunky filling, whereas a torta has a consistent filling made of blended ingredients.[11] There are "endless variations"[12] of both sweet and savoury crostata,[5] the sweet ones usually being served as a dessert.

Sweet variations use fruit preserves as a filling, typically apricot, cherry, peach or nectarine, or berries.[12] The crostata can also be blind-baked and then filled with pastry cream (crema pasticciera) topped with pieces of fresh fruit; this is called crostata di frutta. In his 1570 cookbook Opera dell'arte del cucinare, Bartolomeo Scappi included a recipe for a crostata of plums and sour cherries,[11] and others for quince, and pears. A modern version is crostata alla nutella, which has Nutella as the filling.[13]

Ingredients for a savoury crostata may include meat, fish, or vegetables,[11] which are pre-cooked.[5] Opera dell'arte del cucinare included a recipe for a "crostata of crabmeat and shrimp", and also stated that to instead make a torta, the shrimp and crab should be crushed.[11] A popular sweet variant, especially in central Italy, is crostata di ricotta, made with ricotta mixed with sugar and lemon zest, and which may additionally include cocoa or raisins.[14][15][16]

Scappi included many recipes for crostata in Opera dell'arte del cucinare. For meat and seafood based crostata, there were recipes using pork jowls or prosciutto,[17] crayfish, anchovies, or oysters. Other savoury crostata recipes included a crostata with creamy cheese referred to as a butirata,[17] those with truffles or field mushrooms,[18] one with artichoke or cardoon hearts,[18] and one with "the viscera of any sort of turtle".[19]



  • Adams, Jody; Rivard, Ken (2002). In the Hands of A Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant. HarperCollins. ISBN 068816837X.
  • Baretti, Giuseppe Marco Antonio (1816). Dizionario italiano, ed inglese. 1. Florence: Giovanni Marenigh.
  • Capatti, Alberto; Montanari, Massimo (2003, original Italian in 1999). Italian cuisine. Arts and Traditions of the Table Series. Translated by Áine O'Healy. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231122322. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  • Chakhchakhian, Manouel (1804). Dizionario italiano-armeno-turco.
  • Corley, Dinah (2011). Gourmet Gifts: 100 Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion to Make Yourself & Wrap with Style. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9781558324350.
  • Vocabolario degli accademici della Crusca. Accademia della Crusca and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Giovanni Alberto. 1612. Retrieved 2013-04-02.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Cushing, Christine. "Crostata Di Ricotta". Food Network Canada. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  • Pergamino, Giacomo (1617). Il memoriale della lingua italiana: ridotto in ordine d'alfabeto per commodità del lettore. Giovanni Battista Giotti.
  • Rocco, David. "Crostata di Ricotta". David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway. Cooking Channel. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  • Scappi, Bartolomeo (2008, original Italian in 1570). Ballerini, Luigi; Ciavolella, Massimo (eds.). The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570): L'Arte Et Prudenza D'Un Maestro Cuoco (the Art and Craft of a Master Cook). Lorenzo da Ponte Italian library series. Translated by Terence Scully. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802096241. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  • Scully, Terence, ed. (2000). The Neapolitan Recipe Collection: Cuoco Napoletano. Translated by Terence Scully. New York: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0472109723.
  • Sessa, Mirella (2001). "Note del curatore". CRIBeCu - Accademia della Crusca - Scuola Normale Superiore. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  • Skeat, Walter William (1911). A concise etymological dictionary of the English language. Oxford: American Book Company. LCCN 11035890. OL 16525337M.
  • Weekley, Ernest (1967). A-K. An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English. 1. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0486122875. LCCN 67-26968.
  • "Crostata with ricotta cheese". The Foodellers. The Foodellers. Retrieved 2019-07-24.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • "Crostata alla Nutella". Giallo Zafferano. Banzai Media. Retrieved 2013-04-01.CS1 maint: others (link)
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