This savoury pie is originally a Ligurian preparation – but it’s so delicious and easy to prepare that most families throughout the whole of Italy enjoy it over Easter.
‘Pasqualina‘ can literally be translated with ‘eastery‘, and this pie is indeed the perfect dish to celebrate Easter at the table. The eggs inside the Torta Pasqualina simbolise rebirth, a theme dear to most Easter celebrations. Moreover, this pie doesn’t contain any meat, so it can be safely enjoyed also on Good Friday or Holy Saturday; according to the Catholic Church, these are days on which one should fast or at least abstain from eating meat.
As it is great to have both warm and cold, the Torta Pasqualina has become an unmissable dish in many Easter Monday picnics!
Serves: 8 | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 50-60 mins
- Spinach or Swiss chard: 1 kg
- Ready rolled puff pastry: 640 g (about 2 standard-sized rolls)
- Ricotta: 250 g
- Parmesan, grated: 100 g
- Eggs: 4
- Nutmeg: a pinch
- Butter, unsalted: as needed
- Marjoram, fresh or dried: to taste
- Salt: to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Thoroughly rinse the Swiss chard, then boil them in salted water. Once soft and cooked through, drain the Swiss chard and let it cool down.
Tip: Don’t throw away the water you used to cook the Swiss chard – it may come in handy if you’re planning to prepare some pasta, as well. Check out our article on How to Re-Use Cooking Water
Use your hands to squeeze all the water out of the Swiss chard, then cut it in small pieces.
Tip: Be careful, as Swiss chard holds plenty of water – if you don’t squeeze all the water out, your pie will end up with a soggy bottom!
Melt a knob of butter in a pan, then brown the Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and whilst it’s still warm add the ricotta, the Parmesan, the nutmeg, some marjoram and salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly for at least 7 to 8 minutes.
Use some butter to grease the inside of a the inside of a springform pan with high edges. Cover the inside of the mould with a roll of puff pastry, then fill the mould up with the ricotta and Swiss chard mixture.
Use a tablespoon to move the filling around and create four small cavities, then delicately break a whole egg in each of them.
Cover the pie with the second puff pastry sheet and prick it with a fork. Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Tip: To check whether your Torta Pasqualina is ready, prick it with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out dry and clean, then the filling is cooked through and your pie can be taken out of the oven. If instead the toothpick comes out wet, the filling is still too moist. Back in the oven!
Let the Torta Pasqualina cool down slightly before serving.