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Torta Pasqualina: Italian Spinach Pie for Easter

Torta Pasqualina is sliced exposing an egg inside it.
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Looking for pie recipes for Easter? One of our most cherished spring recipes – Torta Pasqualina – is a traditional Italian Easter Pie! With heaps of spinach, a good measure of ricotta cheese and a surprise of whole eggs inside, this puff pastry spinach pie is both delicious and filling! A great vegetarian option for your Easter table, this spinach and ricotta pie, can be served both warm and cold! We made our Easter Pie in a 2 lbs loaf tin to serve four!

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What is Torta Pasqualina?

A well-known pie from Liguria, made with spinach (or chard), ricotta and egg filling, is a true Italian Easter tradition. The pastry used varies widely, from shortcrust to filo! When made with filo, 33 sheets are used to represent the years Jesus lived before crucifixion! We, however, made ours with shop-bought puff pastry to make it an easy and effortless Easter Pie!

A Slice of Easter Pie is served on a small brown plate.

The most interesting feature of this Italian Spinach Pie is whole eggs baked inside. It’s a wonderful surprise to find when you cut into the pie and expose little yellow rounds of yolks!

***TIP: if you are looking to make an impression at your Easter dinner table, make small cuts in the pastry you top the pie with to guide you on where to cut for the best chance of exposing the pretty eggs on the first slice.***

Ingredients for this Easter Pie:

  • 375 g ready-rolled puff pastry: ready-rolled puff pastry makes it easy to assemble, but making your own can be extremely rewarding!
  • 450 g spinach: whilst spinach is a traditional choice for this Italian Easter Pie, we also make it with swiss chard and it is just as delicious. Note, though that swiss chard will take longer to wilt, so we place it in hot water for a few minutes before cooling and squeezing the moisture out.
  • 6 eggs: 2 beaten, 3 left whole, 1 for eggwash
  • 250 g ricotta: drain your ricotta before adding it to the filling. You don’t want extra moisture going into the filling! If you can’t get hold of ricotta, use cream cheese instead!
  • 2 brown onions: we used two medium-sized onions.
  • 20 g parsley stalks and leaves chopped: you need to use quite a handful of fresh herbs in this recipe, otherwise, the flavour may get lost. We love this pie with lots of parsley, but dill and coriander will work too.
  • 1/4 tsp allspice: flavours of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all in one ground up berry! It’s become one of our favourite spices to use both in the savoury and sweet dishes.
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg: a small pinch of nutmeg goes a long way!
  • 50 g parmesan: finely grated. If you wish, you can substitute parmesan with Grana Padano, pecorino or other strong-tasting hard cheese.

Method: How to Make Torta Pasqualina?

Prepare the Spinach:

Place washed spinach in a large colander. Boil a whole kettle of water and pour it slowly over the spinach in order for it to wilt. If you need to, boil another kettle and repeat. Leave the spinach to cool down just enough so you can handle it with your hands (about 10-15 minutes).

Squeeze out excess moisture with your hands, then place the spinach in a piece of muslin cloth and squeeze again. This process will ensure the filling isn’t too wet and you won’t have the dreaded soggy bottom. At the end of this process, you should be left with a block of compressed spinach. Chop it up roughly with a sharp knife and tip it into a large bowl.

Make the Spinach and Ricotta Pie Filling:

Whilst the spinach is cooling, chop the brown onion finely. Place the onions in a frying pan with a tbsp of oil. Sautee on low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes until soft, but don’t let the onions brown too much. Tip the onions in together with spinach.

Chop the parsley, including the stalks and leaves. Grate the parmesan.

To the same bowl, add the ricotta (drain any excess liquid if there’s any in the tub), parsley, parmesan, 2 eggs, allspice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Place the mixture in the fridge whilst you prepare the loaf tin.

All the filling ingredients in a large bowl.

Assemble the Pie:

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Lightly grease a 2 lbs loaf tin with oil or butter and line with baking parchment with sides sticking up higher than the rim, so you can lift the cooked pie out.

Unroll the puff pastry and cut a third of it off for the pie lid. Roll the rest of the puff pastry so that you can line the loaf tin on the bottom and up the sides right up to the rim (see photos below). If you have pastry overhanging, cut it off leaving about 1cm still sticking up. You can cut some decorations out of the scraps to decorate the top.

Spoon the spinach filling into the lined tin. You should have enough filling to fill it almost to the brim. Make three deep groves in the filling, and crack an egg into each.

Roll the remaining pastry for the lid, so that it is about 2 cm larger in length and width than the measurements of the loaf tin.

Beat one remaining egg in a small bowl. Brush the edge of the pastry carefully so as not to get any egg on the tin.

Place the puff pastry lid on top of the pie and crimp the pastry to seal in the spinach filling.

Decorate the Italian Easter Pie with any leftover pastry, then brush it with egg wash. Pierce a few holes with a fork so that the steam can escape whilst the pie cooks.

Decorated Easter Pie with crimped edges.

Bake:

Bake the assembled spinach and egg pie for 45-50 minutes. Once cooked, take the pie out of the oven and leave it in the tin for 10 minutes to firm up. Lift the pie out of the tin by holding overhanging baking parchment and then leave it to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe FAQs:

Should Torta Pasqualina be Served Hot or Cold?

Traditionally, this Italian Easter pie is served at room temperature. It is best the same day it is cooked, as the pastry becomes less crispy after refrigerating. We personally like it warm (but not straight out of the oven).

What to Serve Torta Pasqualina With?

Italian Spinach Pie can be served on its’ own or as part of a buffet. But if you’re looking to make a meal centred around Torta Pasqualina, we suggest serving it with:
– Cherry Tomato and Red Onion Salad with Balsamic
Green Bean Salad with Hazelnuts
– Greek Yoghurt, Pesto and Feta Dip (recommended, if you’re serving the pie cold)

Baked Torta Pasqualina, still in its tin, on a barble table top.

Other Easter Recipes

If you’re looking for other ideas for your Easter table, have a look at our Ultimate Easter Menu for Two. Some of our other favourite Easter recipes are below:

Torta Pasqualina is sliced exposing an egg inside it.

Torta Pasqualina: Italian Spinach Pie for Easter

Looking for pie recipes for Easter? One of our most cherished spring recipes – Torta Pasqualina – is a traditional Italian Easter Pie! With heaps of spinach, a good measure of ricotta cheese and a surprise of whole eggs inside, this puff pastry spinach pie is both delicious and filling! A great vegetarian option for your Easter table, this spinach and ricotta pie, can be served both warm and cold! We made our Easter Pie in a 2 lbs loaf tin to serve four!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course, Vegetarian Main
Cuisine Easter, Italian
Servings 4 portions
Calories 302 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 375 g ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 450 g spinach
  • 6 eggs 2 beaten, 3 left whole, 1 for eggwash
  • 250 g ricotta
  • 2 brown onions finely chopped
  • 20 g parsley stalks and leaves chopped
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 50 g parmesan finely grated

Instructions
 

  • Place wash spinach in a large colander. Boil a whole kettle of water and pour it slowly over the spinach to wilt. If you need to, boil another kettle and repeat. Leave to cool down just enough so you can handle the spinach with your hands. Squeeze out any moisture with your hands, then place the spinach in a piece of muslin cloth and squeeze again. This process will ensure the filling isn't too wet and you don't have the dreaded soggy bottom. You should be left with a block of compressed spinach. Chop it up roughly with a sharp knife and tip into a large bowl.
  • Place the finely chopped onions in a frying pan with a tbsp of oil. Sautee on low-medium heat for 8-10 minutes until soft, but don't let the onions brown much. Tip the onions in together with spinach.
  • To the same bowl, add the ricotta, parsley, parmesan, 2 eggs, allspice and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Place the mixture in the fridge whilst you prepare the loaf tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C Fan. Lightly grease a 2 lbs loaf tin with oil or butter and line with baking parchment with sides sticking up higher than the rim, so you can lift the cooked pie up.
  • Unroll puff pastry and cut a third of it off for the pie lid. Roll the rest of the puff pastry so that you can line the loaf tin on the bottom and up the sides right up to the rim (see photos above). If you have pastry overhanging, cut it off leaving about 1cm still sticking up. You can cut some decorations out of the scraps for the top.
  • Spoon the spinach filling into the lined tin. You should have enough filling to fill it almost to the brim. Make three deep groves in the filling, and crack an egg into each.
  • Roll the remaining pastry for the lid, so that it is about 2 cm larger in length and width than the size of the loaf tin.
  • Beat one remaining egg in a small bowl. Brush the edge of the pastry carefully not to get any egg on the tin.
  • Place the pastry lid on top of the pie and crimp the pastry to seal in the filling.
  • Decorate the pie with any leftover pastry, brush it with eggwash. Then pierce a few wholes with a fork so that the steam can escape whilst the Easter Pie cooks.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Once cooked, take the pie out of the oven and leave it in the tin for 10 minutes to firm up. Lift the pie out of the tin by holding overhanging baking parchment and then leave Torta Pasqualina to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

For serving suggestions, have a look at Recipe FAQs in the text above. 

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 24gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 286mgSodium: 440mgPotassium: 905mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 11704IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 446mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Easter Pie, Easter Pie Recipe, Italian Easter Pie, Italian Easter Pie Recipe, Italian Easter Recipes, Italian Pie, Italian Spinach Pie, Liguran Easter Pie, Ligurian Torta, Pasqualina, Pie for Easter, Spinach and Egg Pie, Spinach and Ricotta Pie, Torta di Pasqualina, Torta Pasqualina, Torta Pasqualina Recipe, Torta Pasqualina with Puff Pastry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

10 Replies to “Torta Pasqualina: Italian Spinach Pie for Easter”

  1. 5 stars
    This is an amazing pie for any occasion! Spinach and ricotta are just the perfect combination, and puff pastry is just… Well, you can’t go wrong with the puff pastry!

    1. Completely agree – flaky puffy pastry makes everything amazing! 🙂

  2. Claudia Lamascolo says: Reply

    5 stars
    We just love this recipe and even give it out to others its easy and so delicious perfect anytime!

    1. Thanks so much, Claudia! Is is the best compliment when our recipes get shared with others! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I loved it! We have a very similar version in South America. Brought me some great memories. Perfect recipe!

    1. Tavo, I would love to try the South American version! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! We really enjoyed both making and eating it!

    1. Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  5. Cara Campbell says: Reply

    5 stars
    What a cool recipe! I definitely have never tried it before, but I absolutely love it!

    1. Glad you like it! Thanks, Cara! 🙂

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