I seriously hope this post could be a talisman for a milder weather conditions, ’cause here in Turin autumn is back!

And I crave for picnic, so I want to share with you a Ligurian classic, a savoury pie usually made for Easter holidays, the Torta Pasqualina: a delicate spinach and prescinseua (a fresh cheese that you can easily replace with ricotta -I did it, too, ’cause it’s very hard to find just outside Liguria region) filling  is surrounded by a shell made with many layers of a very light dough (made with wine and extra-virgin olive oil) rolled out very thin and overlapped, with a final surprise in the procedure… suffice it to say that you’ll need a straw!

The recipe is the traditional one, taken from Vitto (aka La cucina piccolina), and it was the subject of an MTC challenge in 2012.


Torta Pasqualina, a Ligurian Easter Savoury Pie


Recipe type: Quiche, Starter/Finger food
Cuisine: Italian, Ligurian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: a pie 22-24 cm in diameter
  • 300 gr of “0” flour – a manitoba flour would be better
  • salt
  • 30 gr of extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ glass of dry white wine
  • about ½ glass of water (the one that you just have to get a soft dough, but not sticky)
  • 1.2 kg of chards
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • chopped onion (I didn’t use it)
  • 250 gr of “prescinseua” (you can use ricotta)
  • about 50 gr grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • a pinch of marjoram
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 or 3 eggs
  1. First of all, prepare the dough. Mix the flour with salt, oil, wine and water, until you have a soft dough, but not sticky. Divide it into 5 balls and let them rest (covered with a towel of plastic wrap) for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.
  2. Wash and clean the chards (removing almost all the stem), chop them and toss them in a pan with some extra-virgin olive oil, marjoram and chopped onion (which I didn’t use). Cook it thoroughly (it has to be dry) and let it cool.
  3. In a bowl mix 250 grams of “prescinseua” (I used ricotta, instead) with about 50 grams of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a pinch of marjoram, salt and pepper.
  4. Roll out one ball of dough into a very thin sheet and line the bottom and sides of a round baking pan (diameter 22-24), previously oiled. The dough MUST be larger than the pan (oil the edge of the pan, too, otherwise the dough will tear up later in the process) . Oil the layer using a brush.
  5. Roll out the second ball of dough into a thin sheet and put it on top of the first sheet. Pour in the chards and, above them, the cheese mixture.
  6. Then, with the back of a spoon make 2 or 3 holes and in each one break an egg in, season with salt and pepper and pour a drizzle of oil on each egg.
  7. Roll out the other 3 balls of dough into very thin sheets (be careful to not perforate them).
  8. Cover the filling with one of these very thin sheets (also these must be larger than the pan). Oil the dough thoroughly and gently (remember the eggs) with a brush or with your fingers. Place the second sheet, oil it well, and place a straw on an edge (you’ll use the straw to blow air between the layers of dough), place the last sheet and oil it well, too. Now roll the dough the extra dough on the edge like a cord, leaving the point where you previously put a straw open .
  9. Now the fun part: blow some air to inflate the last layers or dough. When it’s swollen like a balloon, remove very quickly the straw and seal the opening.
  10. Bake in a 356°F (180°C) oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Take it out of the oven and brush it very gently with oil. Let it cool down and, if you rolled out the dough thin enough, it will come down and cover the filling like a veil.



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