Torta Pasqualina is a traditional Italian recipe served at Easter. This delicious pie features a puff pastry crust stuffed with spinach, ricotta and eggs – yum!
Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty…ready or not, here I come! A couple of months ago, Robbie discovered the wonders of hide-and-go-seek. I mean it’s a classic kids’ game for a reason! We had to teach him how to be sneaky when it comes to hiding – he would always hide in the exact same spot where we hid. But once he got the hang of being sneaky, he’s been a pro at it! Under his bed? Yup. Under our bed? That, too. I’m just waiting for when he takes the can out of the trash can area and hides there. (Hey, his Dad did that when he was a kid…so it’s only a matter of time!)
So why did I start this post with talking about hide-and-go-seek? Well, it’s the eggs. Torta Pasqualina is a spinach and ricotta pie that originally hails from the Italian region of Liguria. (Liguria is in the northwestern area of Italy, and the capital city is Genoa.) These days, the Torta Pasqualina has stretched beyond the Ligurian borders, and it can readily be found all over Italy.
One of the things that really makes Torta Pasqualina unique is the addition of uncooked whole eggs into the spinach + ricotta filling. The eggs bake along with the pie, and once you slice into the pie, you have a really fun visual effect from the cooked eggs. (They almost look like hard-boiled eggs.) But here’s the thing – finding those eggs can be a bit of a challenge! Thus, the hide-and-go seek reference. One easy way to cheat at this game is simply to put a little mark in the crust so that you know where to slice the pie. The goal is to cut the pie so that you slice right through the middle of the eggs.
Torta Pasqualina is also known as Italian Easter Pie. I’ve gotta say – Italians have some pretty awesome Easter food traditions! The Torta Rustica is another Italian Easter tradition, although that one hails from the southern area of the country. It’s quite delicious.
According to legend, the original Torta Pasqualina had a dough which consisted of 33 layers – one layer for each year of Jesus’ life. The modern version of this pie switches over to using puff pastry for the pie crust, and I’m ok with that. The flaky puff pastry provides a wonderful accent to the savory spinach + ricotta + egg filling.
While I do love Italian salami, prosciutto and pepperoni, the Torta Pasqualina is a vegetarian recipe. If you’re looking to add meat, check out the Torta Rustica instead – it’s delicious! Oh, and while we’re talking Italian meats, I also have to recommend this Italian Prosciutto Panini. ::mind blown::
While the Torta Pasqualina was traditionally served at Easter, it can certainly be made at other times as well. If you’re looking for a fun way to mix up the routine, then put this Torta Pasqualina on the menu. It’s a unique and tasty dish! Cheers!
Did you make this Torta Pasqualina at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version of this fun recipe!
- 30 oz. fresh spinach
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium white onions diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 7 large eggs
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry i.e. (1 17.3-oz. box), thawed
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, drop a large handful or two of spinach into the water and let cook for 2 minutes. Transfer spinach into a colander and rinse under cold water. Repeat until all spinach has been wilted.
- Using paper towels, squeeze spinach to remove as much water as possible. Transfer spinach to a cutting board and chop coarsely; set aside.
- Add olive oil to pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes.
- Transfer onions and garlic into a large bowl. Add spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 1 egg; stir until well combined.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray an 8” springform pan with nonstick baking spray. (Note: The pan should be at least 3” deep.)
- Working on a lightly floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry into a 14” circle. Press puff pastry into bottom and sides of the prepared pan.
- Pour spinach mixture into pan. Using a spoon, carefully make 5 holes in the spinach mixture. Crack one egg into each of the holes.
- Roll second sheet of puff pastry into a 9-inch circle. Lay puff pastry over the spinach mixture and pinch edges of puff pastry together to crimp and seal the pie.
- Using the back of a knife, cut slits in the top of the dough over each of the 5 eggs. (Note: The score marks will both serve as steam vents as well as a guide for where to slice the pie so that you cut the eggs in half.)
- Using a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg for 1 tablespoon of water; brush egg wash on top of the pie. (Note: The entire egg wash will not be used.)
- Bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes, or until top is golden brown in color.
- Let cool for 30-45 minutes before releasing springform pan and slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Looking for other tasty Italian recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
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Will be making this and your torta rustica soon with few subs can i use dairy free ricotta and parmesan as am dairy free i never had torta pasqualina and rustica before i love italian food soooooooooooooo much will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Hey Ramya! That’s awesome…I love both of these recipes. So I haven’t made this recipe with dairy free ricotta and parmesan, but I suspect it would work just fine. (I don’t know if you have to drain dairy free ricotta like you do with traditional ricotta, so confirm that!) Also, make sure to squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as possible. We love Italian food here, too, and I hope you get a chance to make these recipes!
Cutting into this delicious dish is like finding a hidden surprise. I love how the eggs look when you’ve sliced right through one. What a wonderful combination of flavors and is perfect for Easter brunch. Such an impressive dish!
Normally I wouldn’t be that interested in finding a hidden surprise in my food, but in the case of this Torta Pasqualina, it was totally acceptable! Add in the fact that this was a delicious pie, and I was a happy camper. Thanks, Kathy!
Every kid should have hide-and-go-seek memories, right? Love that Robbie is making his. And, yes, perfect illustration for the eggs hiding out in this mouthwatering torta! This beauty needs to be on our Easter table!
You make an excellent point, Marissa! I think Robbie will certainly have good hide-and-seek memories – just yesterday, he jumped out of his hiding spot and nearly scared the wits out of me. I hope he remembers that – I sure will! And, yes, the torta pasqualina is a great recipe for Easter brunch!
Fabulous. I love tortes/torta like these. You can do so much with the fillings! I love that this one has the raw eggs in it before baking. I’ve never done that! Thanks!
You should totally try the raw eggs in a torte trick, Mimi! The result is quite visually appealing…as long as you remember where you put the eggs. Haha!
this gorgeous dish sounds so good, David! I love that you used puff pastry, too! Totally adds to the ease of making it! This would be perfect for Easter! I may just give it a try! I love the cheese and egg and spinach combination so much!
Puff pastry makes this recipe so much easier! I can’t imagine making this torta with 33 layers of dough…wow. This is indeed a great Easter recipe, and we really enjoyed it here (even if we ate it a bit before Easter – haha). Thanks, Laura!
Although I love savoury puff pastry pies, I’ve never tried Torta Pasqualina which is strange because spinach, eggs, ricotta, and parmesan is such a brilliant combination. Indeed, when I saw the photos, I really thought you put inside hard-boiled eggs. So I guess you’ve perfectly nailed the “hide-and-seek” part!
Nope, raw eggs is the secret here, Ben – the eggs bake along with the pie, and you end up with a really fun (and tasty!) torta. I agree with you about the combination of spinach, ricotta, parmesan and eggs – they all come together to create a delicious dish. Thanks so much, my friend!
What a perfect Easter brunch dish. I can definitely see some cold smoked salmon sitting on my plat next to a slice of your Torta Pasqualina.
Happy to you guys or as we say here “glad påsk”…
Ah, you make an excellent point about smoked salmon here, Ron! In fact, I wonder if you could combine the two into one…hmmm…
Either way, glad påsk right back at ya!
That looks so good! And it is the kind of dish I can have anytime in the day 😀
You make a great point here, Taruna! This torta could be served for brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s quite tasty, and the eggs hiding inside make for a fun visual appear, too.
I’ve never had anything quite like this before, but from the sounds of it, I’d love to try! Plus, doesn’t puff pastry just add so much buttery flavour to just about any dish? Love it! This would be a lovely addition to any menu, David! Love the presentation too!!
Ah, this is definitely a recipe worth trying sometime, Dawn! The parmesan, spinach and ricotta all go so well together…and you’re right about puff pastry. It’s the perfect way to wrap up so many dishes – not to mention how easy it is, too! Thanks so much, my friend!
One of my favorite Easter pies. Although the torta rustica certainly gives it some serious competition. I like your tips on making sure you get a slice of egg with every slice of pie. Best wishes for a Happy Easter to you and yours!
I do agree with you that the torta rustica gives this one a run for its money. If I could only pick one, it would probably be the rustica…but the pasqualina sure is tasty, too! Happy Easter to you and your family, too, Frank!
Anothner spectacular dish, David. Man, you do a lot of cooking! I love this torta. It’s gorgeous. It’d make a spectacular brunch item.
When my nieces and nephews were young, I used to play hide and seek with them all the time. They loved it! They still talk about it as adults. It’s kind of cool that I would’ve made an impression on them that would have lasted into their adulthood. Mainly, though, I think the real impression was that I was an adult who lavished attention on them. The same is surely the case with you and your son. That you’re so close now is certainly going to have an immesurably positive effect on his entire life.
Man, I do indeed do a lot of cooking. It works out well, though, as the cooking usually turns into our weeknight dinners. This is indeed a fun recipe, and it’s quite tasty, too, Jeff!
I think it really is important to have an adult who lavishes attention on kids – I still remember which of my uncles did that! But the fine line that I’ve had to draw with Robbie is giving him plenty of attention while still teaching him that there are times when Dad needs to work. Either way, hope your week is going well, my friend!
I love hide and seek too when I was a child, I was a pro in that game. I remembered one time I hid in an almost impossible place for someone to see me and committed to it, so committed, I stayed there for 3 hours and just came out when it was nearly dark. BTW that dish looks stunning as always, I had tried it in numerous occasions but never knew that was the name for it.
Wow, 3 hours! That’s commitment, Raymund. You certainly have my respect for that – I think I would’ve gotten bored and given up. Haha!
And, yes, the torta pasqualina is a stunning – and delicious – dish. Thanks so much, my friend!
i had a little laugh when i saw your post as this is the third recipe i’ve seen this week for it. obvs as it is easter, everyone is doing it doing it … la la la…
have a wonderful easter break. we are in lockdown till thursday night so we’re hoping that it doesn’t continue over easter. cheers!
3rd recipe for torta pasqualina this week! Ah, I guess Easter has struck again, huh? 🙂
Hope you guys have a great Easter break, and I hope the lockdown doesn’t turn into something larger. Stay safe down there!
I so love your seg from hide and seek with Robbie to hide and seek with eggs in this recipe – I gotta say, the eggs cooked up gorgeously even though they were added in raw!! Gosh I wish I had seen this before Easter – but hey, Mother’s day is coming up and this would be perfect for it too! Thanks for this recipe, my friend!
Yes! The eggs in this recipe are such a fun and unique addition…not to mention visually appealing. (Well, as long as you remember where to slice the torta!) You know, I think this would indeed be a good Mother’s Day brunch idea. Putting it on the list as I remember Laura really liked this one! 🙂
I love Torta Pasqualina and this looks like a great recipe. In your Torta Rustica, you use frozen spinach. Will frozen spinach work with this one also? If so, would you use 30 ounces of frozen? I love your recipes. Thank you!
Hey David! Thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂 I haven’t tried this Torta Pasqualina recipe with frozen spinach, but it should work well. I would go with 18-20 ounces of frozen spinach to replace the 30 ounces of fresh. (Frozen spinach is a bit more compact.) Just make sure to thaw the spinach and then press as much water out of it as possible – otherwise your Torta will be a bit soggy. Let me know how it turns out!