Around the world, those country’s celebrating Easter all have different traditional foods they will put on the table on Easter Sunday. Beyond local variations of dishes featuring hard-boiled eggs, lamb and sweet Easter bread, there are also more unique dishes that make fantastic additions to any Easter menu.
This year why not make your Easter brunch, lunch, or dinner a virtual trip around the world adding local favourites to your menu. Or simply pick a place where you’d love to spend the long Easter Weekend and instead of going there, prepare the traditional local Easter food from this country.
If you have ever spent an Easter holiday in Italy, you might have come across Torta Pasqualina already. Literally translated as Easter cake, you are forgiven to think this might be a sweet dish. Instead, Torta Pasqualina is a savoury pie that was originally made with artichoke but today is usually made with chard leaves or spinach along with ricotta and parmesan cheese.
The highlight are the hard-boiled – or in this case hard-baked – eggs folded into the pie.
Torta Pasqualina origins in Liguria but overtime has become a favourite dish served on Easter Sunday across the whole country.
Though personally I prefer it still warm, Torta Pasqualina is often served cold as well. Which makes it perfect if you are planning a picnic after your Easter Egg Hunt.
Serves 8 large or 12 small slices
For the dough
250 g all-purpose flour
100 ml cold water
50 ml olive oil
3 pinches of salt
For the filling
500 g fresh green spinach
250 g ricotta
120 g parmesan, freshly grated
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 bunch flat-leave parsley
1 tablespoon of butter
15 ml olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
In a bowl, mix the flour with salt olive oil and water. Knead together until smooth than divide into six portions, three larger and three slightly smaller. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for one hour.
For the filling, wash the spinach leaves and cut them into small stripes.
In a large saucepan, fry the finely chopped onion together with the halved garlic clove over medium heat than add the spinach. Cook the spinach until it has lost the water (around 15 minutes), stirring from time to time.
Take from heat, add the roughly chopped parsley, ricotta, two eggs, 60 g freshly grated parmesan, then seasons with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Grease a 20 cm pie plate with oil and dust with flour.
Dust a clean surface with some flour and thinly roll out the three larger portions of the pastry one by one.
Lay out the pie plate with the first sheet of pastry, allowing it to overlap the rim. Brush the pastry with oil. Add the two other sheets of pastry in the same way.
Sprinkle the bottom of the pastry with 30 g freshly grated parmesan then add the spinach-ricotta mixture.
With a tablespoon, make three holes in the spinach-ricotta mix at equal distance then carefully crack the three remaining eggs into the holes. Season with salt and pepper.
Dust the remaining 30 g of freshly grated parmesan over the spinach-ricotta mixture and eggs.
Dust a clean surface with some flour and thinly roll out the three smaller portions of the pastry one by one.
Cover the pie with the first sheet of the pastry, then brush with oil. Add the other two sheets in the same way.
Pinch the edges of the six sheets of pastry together, rolling the overlap of the three bottom sheets into a small sausage roll. Brush the surface of the pastry with oil.
Prick the top of the pastry carefully a couple of times, without picking the eggs.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the pastry has turned golden-brown.
Serve still warm or at room temperature.
What is your favourite savoury Easter dish? What is the origin of the dish?