Torta pasqualina is a beloved Easter pie in Italy. Originally from Liguria, the dish is now popular all over the peninsula.
The pie is made with puff pastry and a spring green, such as artichoke, chard leaves, or in this case, spinach. In the past, the recipe had stronger religious tones: it was made with 33 sheets of very thin pastry, one for every year of Jesus’ life to celebrate Easter.
The most important aspect of torta pasqualina is the eggs baked inside. When you cut the pie, you should see the egg sliced through the middle in what’s a beautiful and festive effect. To help with this, score a cross in the top of the pie, so that you can see where to cut.
YIELD: Serves 5
- 1 cup (150 grams) strong bread flour
- 90 ml cold water
- 10 ml olive oil
- 1/2 tsp saltFor The Filling:
- 7 oz (200 grams) washed spinach
- 5 oz (150 grams) of strained ricotta
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz grated parmigiano reggiano cheeseMETHOD:1. Place the flour with the salt in a bowl, make a well in the center of the flour. Add the water and the olive oil.2. Bring the mixture together with your hands and then knead to form an elastic dough. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.3. Prepare the filling: Saute the spinach in 1 tbsp oil. Season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Let cool for a while.4. Chop the spinach once cooled. Mix in the ricotta.5. Add the beaten egg, season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.6. Finally add in the grated cheese. Mix well7. Divide the dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other.8. Roll each ball into a circle, one of the circles will be slightly larger.9. Place the larger circle in a greased baking pan measuring 7 inches in diameter. Make sure to press the edges of the circle against the sides of the pan.10. Spoon the filling over the larger circle. Make 3 small rounds into the filling using the back of a tablespoon. Break an egg into each round.11. Cover with the smaller circle, firmly press down the edges to seal the pie.12. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top of the pie attains a light golden brown colour.Recipe Notes: You can use wheat flour for dusting but for the pie dough, choose a flour that has a high protein content.
TORTA PASQUALINA: THE FAMOUS ITALIAN EASTER PIE