Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Easter pie or torta pasqualina, Genoa style
( Torta pasqualina )

Authentic Italian recipe of Liguria

Torta pasqualina (Easter pie) is a very popular recipe. Typical of Liguria but now cooked throughout Italy. Guess how many versions there are ... endless. So why another recipe? Because it is a tasty savory pie not only for Easter but all year round. It is okay as a starter, main course and meal, buffet-style. Here I show you my interpretation with some changes that make it more suitable to be served on special occasions. And not only ... read more in healthy eating.

difficulty: difficult

time: 2 hours

calories: 444 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • For the pastry
  • 200g (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Warm water
  • For the filling
  • 1.2kg (2 2/3 pounds) Swiss chard, finely chopped
  • 125g (4.4 ounces) single cream
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons grated grated "Parmesan" cheese
  • 7 quail eggs
  • 30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 400g (14 ounces) "ricotta" cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
difficult recipe
preparation: 1 hour
plus resting time for pastry
cooking: 1 hour
total: 2 hours
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 444 (kcal) 23 % - 1835 (kJ)
Protein: 14.6 (g) 30 % GDA
Total fat: 27.2 (g) 39 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 37.3 (g) 14 % GDA
Sugars: 8.3 (g) 10 % GDA

Download free PDF version (261 download).

Easter pie recipe (Torta paqualina)

Preparation and cooking

  • - Clean and wash Swiss chard.
    Steam and let cool.
    Squeeze from all water and cut into thin strips.
  • - Prepare the dough.
    Put flour and salt in a bowl or on a work surface.
    Stir to blend.
    Make a well in the center and add olive oil too.
    With your fingertips gradually incorporate flour into the oil.
    Then add, gradually, some tablespoons water till a soft dough forms.
    Cover with a napkin and allow to rest for about 20-30 minutes.
  • - Mix single cream with white flour and ricotta cheese in a bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon.
    Add Swiss chard, 1 tablespoon Parmesan and marjoram.
    Stir accurately and season to taste with salt and pepper if you like.
    Your mixture should be thick and creamy.
  • - Divide your dough into 4 pieces and flour them.
  • - Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • - Oil a round shallow oven dish, 10 inches in diameter.
    Take a portion of dough and roll it out on a floured pastry board to a quarter-inch thickness.
    Lay your pastry sheet on the oven dish, allowing it to flow over the edges. Oil it lightly.
    Repeat the operation with another pastry sheet and don't oil it.
    Spoon the filling on top.
    Level off the top and leave an inch space free all round.
    Hollow out 7 little cavities in the filling and break in your eggs.
    Season each egg with salt, pepper, meltedbutter and remaining Parmesan.
    Roll out the other two pieces of pastry on a floured pastry board to a quarter-inch thickness.
    Cover the filling with a pastry sheet, even thinner than the previous ones.
    Brush some olive oil on the first and then place the second sheet.
    Cut off all the pastry overlapping the dish.
    Roll the pieces up to make a cord to put around the edges of your pie, forming a rim.
    With the prongs of a fork, mark out notches in it.
    Or form small holes on the surface as you can see in the photo.
  • - Bake your pie for an hour or until the surface is golden.

Just before serving

  • - Serve your Easter pie warm or cold.



  • - You can prepare Pasqualina pie in advance and then heat it just before serving. I think it is even better ;)
  • - For a low fat recipe: use olive oil instead of butter.
  • - You can modify the filling according to your taste or other recipes. Swiss chard can be substituted with spinach. You can halve the dose of Swiss chard and add 8 artichokes (slice them and flavour in a pan for ten minutes before adding the other vegetables).
  • - Use ready-to-bake puff pastry if you have no time to prepare pastry at home. Fillo (phyllo) dough is perfect.
  • - Replace Parmesan cheese with Pecorino, if desired.
  • - What have I just written? a lot of versions for Italian Easter pie ;))

Menu planning

  • - As you can see, I use quail eggs instead of regular eggs. I find them much better when I have to serve compact slices of Easter pie. Besides these eggs are distributed well in the filling.
  • - Torta Pasqualina is ideal for a snack, a picnic, a meal, buffet-style. Serve it as appetizer too, accompanied by an assortment of cured meats. Special!
    You can think of it as a single-course meal but it is high-calorie dish. Don't think of it often, please! :))

Healthy eating

  • - A tip to lower total fat in this recipe. Keep on hand a spray bottle with olive oil. Instead of brushing olive oil on the baking sheets and pan, spray it. It will be distributed more evenly and in smaller quantities.
  • - Another tip: replace butter with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  • - Fiber per serving: 2.8 grams (daily intake is 23 grams)


What's the right wine for " Easter pie or torta pasqualina, Genoa style "?

My husband and I usually match Gavi (white wine from Piedmont - Italy) but another choice could be Cinque Terre from Liguria.

Follow the link if interested in Liguria, its recipes, typical products and wines.

« dedicated to ... Easter