Torta Pasqualina, the perfect Easter appetizer

Easter is here, what is the best way to celebrate? Preparing Torta Pasqualina!

Torta Pasqualina is a traditional Italian recipe prepared on Easter! It is the perfect dish to celebrate spring and for outdoor snacks, spending time together. This is a savoury pie, typical of Ligurian cuisine. It is a rich and tasty rustic cake perfect for appetizer. This pie is loved by all Italians. The ingredients are simple and genuine: puff pastry, spinach, ricotta cheese and eggs.

Every dish has its own story

Torta Pasqualina is a dish that over the year has become known not only outside Liguria but also outside Italy. This is a vegetarian pie that was known centuries ago as Gattafura. It was first named like this in the 14th century by the Milanese scholar Ortensio Lando. According to the legend, it is said that the most experts chefs of Genoa prepared the cake with 33 layers of puff pastry in honour of the years Christ lived on Earth. Also, eggs in the filling were considered a strong symbol of birth. In addition, as not everyone had an oven at home at the time, each family made a sign with a knife to recognize their cake.

Different ways to prepare Torta Pasqualina

The queen of savoury pies is typical of the city of Genoa. The traditional recipe is based on Swiss chard, ricotta cheese, and eggs, but it can also be made with artichokes or a rich versions with cold cuts. The three main version of this pie are Torta Pasqualina with artichokes, Torta Pasqualina with charcuterie, and Torta Pasqualina without ricotta cheese. The filling can be varied in a thousand ways. For example, you can use spinach or escarole, but you can also enrich it with other vegetables such as mushrooms, depending on your taste. Indulge yourselves!


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Un post condiviso da Il Club delle Ricette (@ilclubdellericette)

The traditional recipe


  • 1.5 kg already cleaned spinach
  • 500 g ricotta cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 190 g Parmesan
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 sprigs of marjoram
  • Nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 25 g oil


  • 600 g plain flour
  • 350 ml water
  • 35 ml oil
  • salt

The first thing to do is preparing the dough for 4 puff pastry. Melt the salt in the water, in a bowl put the flour and pour in water and oil. Mix the dough with your hands, transfer it to the table and continue mix till the dough will be smooth and elastic. Cut it into 4 pieces, cover those with a cloth and let them rest for an hour.

Meanwhile, let’s do the filling. Wilt the spinach in a pan with oil and chopped onion. Add salt, pepper and then switch off the flame. Once the vegetables have cooled down, let them drain in a colander, then chop them on a chopping board. Transfer them to a bowl and add 2 eggs, 50 g of Parmesan, the chopped marjoram leaves, salt, pepper, and mix. In another bowl put the ricotta cheese, mix with a whip, add 3 eggs and 90 g Parmesan and mix. Add a sprinkling of nutmeg and a pinch of salt, then mix well with a whisk so that the mixture is rather creamy and without lumps.

Take one piece of the dough and roll it out well with a rolling pin and place it on a cake tin (previously brushed with oil). Brush the pastry with oil, take the second roll, roll it out with a rolling pin and place it on top of the first roll. Now add the vegetable mixture, levelling it well with the back of a spoon, and pour above the ricotta cream. With the back of a spoon, make seven hollows, one in the center and six on the sides, and place the yolks of the remaining 7 eggs inside these hollows, taking care not to break them. Lightly beat the 7 remaining egg whites with a pinch of salt and pour them over the ricotta surface. Sprinkle the cake with the remaining Parmesan cheese and then cover the filling with the third sheet. Brush it too with oil and add the last piece. Then cut off the excess pastry at the edges with a small knife and fold it in towards the inside of the cake tin to form a cord that will seal the sheets. Brush the surface with oil.

Cook the Torta Pasqualina on the lower floor of the oven (preheated 180°) for 55 minutes. Take out the cake and let it cool down. You can eat this dish warm or cold. Enjoy the Torta Pasqualina along with family and friends!!


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Un post condiviso da Lorena Bassanese (@nonsolodolcedilorena)

Cover photo by Max Gioviale from Pixabay