How to Make It
Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. If using a silver pan, preheat oven to 325° F. If using a dark non-stick pan, preheat to 300° F. Remove rim from pan; press crust gently onto bottom of pan and trim edges to fit. Bake crust for 5 minutes; set aside to cool. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended. In a separate bowl, combine cooked sausage and sun-dried tomatoes with 2 cups of the cheese mixture; stir well. Spread sausage mixture evenly over crust; top with remaining cheese mixture. Spoon rounded teaspoons of pesto randomly over batter. Cut through pesto and surface of batter with a knife, using a swirling motion for a marbled effect. Bake on the middle oven rack at 400° F for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 200° F and bake 55 to 60 minutes longer, or until center is just set. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing rim of pan from cake; run a knife or metal spatula between cake and rim of pan to loosen. Cool another 30 minutes before slicing or refrigerate immediately up to one day in advance of serving time. (To reheat torte, cover loosely with foil; bake in preheated 350° F oven 25 minutes). Garnish with tomato or roasted red pepper strips and fresh herbs if desired. Serve warm within two hours.
Note: To substitute dried sun-dried tomatoes for the oil-packed variety, pour boiling water over 3/4 cup (gently packed) dried tomatoes in a small bowl; let stand 3 minutes. Drain well.
Swirling tip: Drag knife across batter in swirling horizontal lines about 1 inch apart, then run knife through these lines at a 90° angle, again about 1 inch apart.