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!
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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!
- 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: