Holidays | Pizza and Flatbreads

Torta Pasqualina

This savory pie is native to Liguria and is an Easter tradition. Fresh baby greens and the first eggs of the season herald the onset of spring.  The sweet, native Taggiasca extra virgin olive oil guarantees the success of the pastry.  

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds of greens
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 2-3 smallish spring onions, chopped
  • Galateo & Friends Extra Virgin Olive Oil Galateo & Friends Taggiasca Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pound ricotta, well-drained
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, well-drained
  • 1 cup grated grana type cheese (Parmigiano, Pecorino, Grana Padano)
  • 11/2 teaspoon sea salt + additional
  • 11/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground + additional
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 12 sheets of phyllo dough, opened and covered with a damp cloth
  • 8 large eggs

Preparation:

Time: 2 hours
Yield: 8

Make the Torta

To clean your greens, fill a large stock pot with water. Immerse the greens and push them up and down and swirl them about. Dirt and grit will sink to the bottom. Dry them in a salad spinner or shake them and roll them up in kitchen towels. For the greens you can use baby spinach for the entire quantity. It would be closer to the roots of the dish to use a mix of spinach, chard, baby kale even dandelion greens or nettles. If you have access to sheep’s milk ricotta, use it. Some people do not layer the ricotta with the greens. Instead, they blend them together.
  • Put the greens in a large sauté pan, cover and wilt them over medium heat with just the water clinging to the leaves. When they are wilted, put them in a colander to drain. When cool, squeeze out any remaining liquid by hand. Chop them fine on a board or pulse them in the food processor. Put them in a bowl. Sprinkle in the marjoram. Sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft, then stir them and their oil into the greens. Whisk 1 egg lightly and blend it into the greens. Season with one teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • In another bowl, blend the ricotta, yogurt, 1/2 cup grated cheese, and 1 egg, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  • Lightly oil the interior of a 9” springform pan. Use a brush to oil a sheet of pastry. Drape it over the pan, oiled side up. Repeat until you have used six sheets. Push the pastry down into the pan.
  • Spoon in the greens and level. Dollop the ricotta mixture on top and then spread it smooth. Use the back of a tablespoon to make 6 impressions in the filling. Make sure they are deep enough to hold the eggs. Crack an egg into each depression. You may be more comfortable cracking them into a teacup and sliding them in one at a time. Drizzle a drop or two of olive oil over each egg. Salt and pepper each one. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of grated cheese over the top.
  • Cut the remaining sheets of pastry into 12” circles. Lightly oil each as you stack them on top of the torta. Be generous when you oil the top layer. Trim the excess pastry. Crimp the edges to seal. Cut a vent in the center of the pie or prick a pattern with a fork.
  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF
  • Bake for 60 -70 minutes. Internal temperature should be 150º F. Cool on a rack for 1 hour. Release the springform and serve at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.
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