The torta pasqualina is a traditional pie from Liguria, a wonderful region by the sea in North-west Italy. This pie is made during Easter time when the days are getting warmer and sunnier, and people enjoy having pic-nics outside bringing their home-made food to share with friends.
We will show you how to make this pie either with home made puff pastry or with ready-made puff pastry.
If you are going to spend your Easter holiday in Liguria, take a look at the Liguria section of this page.
Thanks Giulia (www.followingthenorthstar.com) for these amazing pictures and for the nice time spent working together.
INGREDIENTS for 8 servings (round deep pie dish 22 cm diameter)
For the filling
350 gr ricotta
800 gr spinaches (or baby spinaches) or chards, washed
nutmeg to taste
80 gr parmesan cheese
2 layers of ready-made puff pastry or homemade puff pastry (see below)
For the homemade puff pastry:
250 gr flour
60 gr extra vergine olive oil
100 gr cold water
Blanch the spinaches or chards (thinly sliced) in boiling, salted water for few minutes, then drain very well, and once cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess liquid.
If you use the baby spinaches start from here.
Drizzle a little oil to a pan over medium heat, put the vegetables in, season with salt and pepper and let them cook for 4-5 minutes, until wilted down. Squeeze out any excess liquid.
Place into a bowl the ricotta, parmesan, 1 egg, the cooled and roughly chopped vegetables and nutmeg, mix very well. Now you have to choose if you want to use the ready – made puff pastry or if you are brave enough to challenge yourself in doing the home made puff pastry.
If you use the ready-made puff pastry
Line the buttered pie dish with one puff pastry dough layer. Using a fork make some small holes into the dough, in this way it doesn’t bubble while cooking. Pour the filling into the pie dish and use a spoon to create four egg-sized holes. Break an egg into each hole. Cover with the second layer of pastry dough, trim the edges away, press the bottom and top layers together sealing very well.
Bake in a 200°C oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
If you make home made puff pastry
In a large bowl or on a wooden table pour the flour and make a hole in the center; add the oil and the water using your hands, mix everything together until very well blended. Cut in 6 parts and make 6 mini balls-dough. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
Then on a wooden table roll out each ball-dough as thin as possible. Grease the pie dish with extra vergine olive oil and line one sheet-dough in. Oil this sheet and line the second one on top, oil it and line the third layer. Using a fork make some small holes into the dough, in this way it doesn’t bubble while cooking.
Pour the filling into the pie dish and use a spoon to create four egg-sized holes onto the filling. Break an egg into each hole, then cover with the last 3 sheets (oiling each of them).
Then pinch together all of the layers and roll them, sealing well.
Bake in a 200°C oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
Enjoy your Easter Monday pic-nic!