How to Make Torta Pasqualina (Italian Easter Pie)

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Torta Pasqualina is not only tasty but also quite a stunner on the holiday table. Full of cheese, spinach and whole eggs, this Italian Easter pie is tasty and beautiful!

Eaten in Italy as part of a traditional meal on Easter Sunday, this savory pie is filled with creamy ricotta, spinach (or Swiss chard if you wish), Parmigiano and eggs. The result is a gorgeous dish that can be served with fresh salad, vegetables and hot coffee.

Where did Italian Easter Pie come from?

This Easter pie is originally from Genoa, the capital of Liguria in Northwest Italy. In some areas, people hide whole hard-boiled eggs under the crust, while others carefully break uncooked eggs into the filling before baking. Either way, the result is a beautiful cooked egg that will be revealed with the first slice!

The recipe for Easter pie varies across Italy. While Torta Pasqualina is traditional in Liguria, head to Abruzzo in central Italy for pizza rustica, a pie made with soppressata, prosciutto and cheeses. Further south, near Naples, the ingredients include cured meats as well as fresh sausage.

Find more Italian Easter recipes for a traditional holiday meal.

How to Make Italian Easter Pie

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold water

Filling:

  • 2 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and pressed dry
  • 1-3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs

Editor’s Tip: Follow this guide to make perfect hard-boiled eggs.

Directions

Step 1: Make dough for crust

Torta PasquallinaAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

In a large food processor, pulse the flour and butter just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the sugar and salt and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to come together. (This will take 5 to 6 tablespoons of water.)

Step 2: Knead and shape dough

Torta pasquallina CRUSTAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

As soon as a ball begins to form, turn the pastry dough out onto a floured surface. Knead into a large, smooth ball.

Cut off about 1/3 of the dough to create two pieces, one small and one large. Form both pieces into disks. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

Step 3: Make filling

Torta PasquallinaAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

In a large bowl, combine spinach, cheese, eggs (first, remove 2 tablespoons and reserve), oil, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Step 4: Assemble the pie

 Torta Pasquallina PIEAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease a deep-dish pie plate or springform pan. Roll out both disks of dough and place the larger one into the bottom of the dish.

Spread the filling evenly across the dough. Place the hard-boiled eggs in an evenly spaced circle, pressing them down into the spinach filling.

Place the remaining dough on top and crimp the edges. Cut four slits into the dough.

Step 5: Brush on egg wash

Torta PasquallinaAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Add 1 tablespoon of water to the reserved beaten egg. Use a pastry brush to gently brush egg wash all over the dough.

Step 6: Bake

 Torta PasquallinaAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Bake for 1 hour until the dough is golden brown. Then slice and enjoy warm or at room temperature. Serve as part of a full Easter brunch!

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Anna Francese Gass
Anna Francese Gass started her career in the corporate world but soon decided she would rather be in a kitchen than a cubicle. She enrolled at the French Culinary Institute to follow her dream to cook professionally. Soon thereafter, she found her niche in the test kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, Food52 and Whole Foods. Anna is a contributing editor for the New York Times, Taste of Home, the Washington Post, Bon Appetit and Food52. She appears regularly on Good Morning America, the Today Show, Access Hollywood, The Rachael Ray Show and Food Network. Anna is also celebrating the release of her bestselling cookbook, Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women.