Torta Pasqualina is a traditional Easter Spinach and Ricotta pie from Northern Italy. It has creamy ricotta and spinach filling, with hard-boiled eggs inside and a golden puff pastry crust on top. The recipe has ancient origins but it has been adapted for modern times. Each family has its own variations with different types of greens and cheeses.
In Italy, it's very common to eat Lamb for Easter, but since I never really liked lamb, I always stuffed myself with appetizers and side dishes during the family Easter lunch (and Lasagna, of course). Torta Pasqualina is not very traditional in Tuscany but it comes from our neighboring region, so we had it once in a while and it was my absolute favorite.
Spinach, Ricotta, Eggs, what not to love? To this day I have to say that the classic combo of Spinach and Ricotta is still my weakness. Whenever there is a dish involving them, like the Classic Cannelloni, I cannot resist!
What is Torta Pasqualina
Torta Pasqualina is a traditional savory pie originally from Liguria, a small region in the center of Italy, situated on the western coast. It's commonly made for Easter and it's said that the recipe comes from Medieval times.
The original recipe requires the puff pastry to be exactly 33 sheets to represent the years of Christ at the time of his death. The filling should be composed of Swiss chards and Prescinseua, a very light milk curd, typical from the same region. This type of quiche is traditionally prepared for Easter even today, but the recipe has been adjusted in modern times with more common ingredients, such as Ricotta and Spinach.
You can enjoy it warm on Easter lunch or even cold at the Easter Monday picnic! (But of course, you can make this recipe all year long, not only for Easter. I promise I won't tell anyone).
- Puff Pastry. It's also traditional to use filo pastry sheets to make this pie, but I find puff pastry to be quicker and easier to use.
- Spinach. I always prefer to use frozen spinach because they take much less space when you need a bigger quantity as in this case (hello small European fridges). I thaw them, squeeze out the excess water, and season them.
- Ricotta. Use fresh cow or sheep ricotta cheese. It's important that it's fresh and not too loose for the filling to set correctly.
- Parmesan. Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano adds savoriness to the filling, complementing it perfectly.
The peculiarity of this spinach and ricotta pie is the hard-boiled eggs inside, so it's important to get them right! In many recipes, they add the raw eggs to the pie before baking, but this way, the egg whites almost completely disappear. I prefer to see the full egg in its nice shape so I choose to hard boil the eggs before adding them to the filling.
I tried several times and they always come out perfect, never overcooked, and a very nice showstopper when you cut into them for the perfect slice!
First, make the filling with cooked and seasoned spinach and Ricotta cheese. Line a tall round pan with parchment paper, add the puff pastry and half of the spinach and ricotta filling, and the 3 hard-boiled eggs.
Cover the eggs with the other half of the filling.
Cut a round of puff pastry the size of your pan and place it on top.
Trim the pastry on the sides and then roll the edges.
Beat an egg and brush it all over the top of the pie.
With a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the center to let the air out.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes at the bottom rack of the oven, until golden on top.
You can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before reheating and reheat in the microwave or in the oven to preserve the crispy crust.
You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
The peculiarity of this quiche is that it's very tall because it has full hard-boiled eggs within the filling.
The perfect pan size to bake it in would be a 10" diameter x 4" tall casserole pan / 25 cm x 10 cm). See below some affiliate product examples:
FAQ & Tips
Yes, you can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, bring to room temperature, and reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes to make the crust crispy again.
Sure, you can skip adding the eggs to the filling and still have a delicious spinach and ricotta pie.
Puff pastry is what will give the best results. But you can also use pie or quiche pastry, either bought or homemade. You can experiment and find your favorite result. If you change the pastry, adjust the baking time according to the package instruction of the pastry.
Related Recipes you might like
If you like this recipe, try also these other savory pies:
- Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Quiche
- Potato, Rosemary and Cheese Tarts
- Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Tart
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Torta Pasqualina, Easter Spinach and Ricotta Pie
- 2 rolls Puff Pastry
- 1 lb Frozen Spinach, 2 lb / 1 kg Fresh
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- 4 Eggs
- 4 tablespoon Parmigiano cheese, grated
- Black Pepper
- Nutmeg, ground
Make the Filling
- Add the frozen spinach in a pot with a bit of water, cover and bring to boil. When the ice starts to melt, uncover, bring the heat to medium and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic cloves cut in halves, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
- Keep them on medium heat until the water all evaporates (careful not to keep them too much on the fire or they'll stick to the bottom of the pot). When they are done, remove the garlic and set them aside in a bowl to cool down completely. (about 20 minutes)
- When the spinach are completely cooled, add the ricotta cheese, the grated Parmigiano cheese and, if necessary, season again with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Add 1 egg and mix well with a fork until all the ingredients are completely mixed together.
- Put the remaining 3 eggs in a pot with cold water and bring to boil, then boil them for about 3-4 minutes to get soft boiled eggs; immediately transfer them into cold water to stop cooking and gently peel them.
Assemble the Pie
- Preheat the oven at 375°F (190°C).
- Cover the baking pan with parchment paper and then add a sheet of puff pastry.
- Make several punches on the bottom with the fork, then pour half of the filling in. Even it out then add the 3 soft boiled eggs. Add the remaining filling on top.
- Now cut a round of puff pastry the size of your pan and place it on top. Trim the edges of pastry to keep about 1 inch and then roll the edges.
- Beat 1 egg and brush it all over the surface of the quiche.
- Bake it in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, in the lowest rack of the oven, until you get a golder crust.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or cold!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.