Torta Pasqualina

Liguria

Torta Pasqualina or Easter Pie, a traditional Ligurian recipe made each year to celebrate the Easter holiday.

Italians often go on picnics on Easter Monday (pasquetta) so this recipe is ideal to take with them.

Serves 6 to 8

It is said that this pie should have 33 three layers in the crust to celebrate the number of years that Jesus spent on Earth, but generally most recipes contain 20-25 layers.  Although it is time consuming to roll out each layer thinly enough, you can substitute layers of fillo pastry.  The Arabs traded here so the fillo is the correct pastry.

Sheets of Fillo pastry (as many as you want to use – see above)

If you can’t find fillo pastry, you can use flaky or puff pastry instead.

Filling:

2 Pounds Spinach or Swiss Chard cooked, drained and as much water as possible squeezed out

80 g Grated Parmesan Cheese

A teaspoon of fresh marjoram or dried if fresh is unavailable

500 g Ricotta cheese

Salt & Pepper

8 Eggs

Oil for brushing the layers of pastry

  1. Brush a 10 inch baking dish, or spring form pan with a little oil, and drape the first sheet of pastry over the pan, allowing an equal amount to overlap the rim. Brush with oil, and continue with more layers, brushing oil between each layer.
  2. Mix the spinach or Swiss Chard with the parmesan cheese and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the Ricotta over the spinach.
  4. Make 8 hollows evenly spaced around the filling, and carefully crack the eggs into the hollows.
  5. Layer more pastry, brushing with oil between each.
  6. Roll and press the edges inward. Brush the top with oil.
  7. Bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown.

Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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