Torta Pasqualina – A Pie for Easter

Swiss chard is one of the heroes of my plot, and I’ve blogged about my love of it before. Its vibrancy always makes a visit to the plot a joy, but recently its been joined by many green shoots and leaves emerging all over the plot. Spring is such a great season and the prospect of new life and a season of growing ahead is an uplifting one. Although much is growing at the allotment, there is not a vast amount able to be harvested; and with Easter coming up I was looking for a dish which could combine some allotment ingredients and celebrate Easter at the same time. Cue the arrival of the Guardian the other day and Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for a Torta Pasqualina. It seems the Italians also have a need for an Easter dish which uses seasonal vegetables. The combination of chard and ricotta is always a good one, and having discovered Genius Gluten Free Puff Pastry recently its a dish I can make for the whole family. Here’s my recipe, loosely based on Ottolenghi’s.

Torta pasqualina

You will need (makes enough for 8)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1kg Swiss chard (we have the Rainbow variety which adds great colour to the dish), stalks stripped and finely chopped, leaves shredded
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
Handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
Small handful of new fennel tops, finely chopped
½ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
250g ricotta
50g parmesan
9 eggs
Salt and black pepper
500g Genius Gluten-free puff pastry
Gluten-free plain flour, for dusting

Start by sweating the onion for a few minutes until it is softened, then add the chopped chard stalks and celery. Continue to cook for a few minutes, before adding the leaves and allowing them to wilt. Take the pan off the heat, cool, then place the mix into a tea towel and squeeze out any liquid. The dryer the mix, the better it will hold its form later. Add the cheese, herbs, spices and 3 eggs to the chard mix and mix thoroughly (seasoning with a little salt and pepper as needed).making a torte pasqualina

Roll out the 2/3 of the pastry and use it to line a 20cm loose bottom cake tin. Place the chard mixture into the pastry case and make 5 indentations, breaking an egg into each, before rolling out the remaining pastry and making a lid for the pie. Trim the edges and then crimp them to provide a secure seal. Brush with  beaten egg and prick a few holes in the pastry, before placing in a preheated oven (180°C) for 45 minutes, until golden on top. Leave to cool and serve.

torta pasqualina

 

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11 thoughts on “Torta Pasqualina – A Pie for Easter

  1. Glorious. I love Torta Pasqualina and this looks like a great version. Enjoying a second burst of life from last years chard too (before it goes to seed) so thanks for reminding me of this great use for it.

  2. I saw that recipe too and thought it looked really good. Unfortunately my kids treat hard boiled (or baked) eggs with great suspicion… the word ‘evil’ is often used. Do you think the pie would work without the eggs?

    • The egg, ricotta and Swiss chard mix is quite firm when cooked, so you can have a deep pie. Well worth a go. BTW still looking for wild garlic, but off to dorset, so may find some there.

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