The Spinach ricotta pie recipe also is known as (Torta Pascualina). It’s a classic 4 layer sheet crust with a delicious Ricotta, spinach filling and of course the eggs baked inside.
It is a savory cake made traditionally in Liguria in northwest Italy and has been taken up residence in Argentina and Uruguay as a popular Easter dish. Whenever you serve this, it’s a delicious combination of cheeses, spinach, and egg, wrapped up in crisp pastry.
- For The Dough:
- 4 Cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup of water (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup of Olive oil
- One Egg
- Pinch of Salt
- For The Filling:
- 4 Cups of spinach
- 1 large onion
- A clove of garlic
- 1 ¼ cups of Ricotta cheese
- Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- Nutmeg for seasoning
And to make this cake, we need to first prepare the dough.
In a large bowl, put the 4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of Olive oil, one egg and a pinch of salt, 1 cup of water at room temperature and start mixing to combine. Then transfer it to the table and keep kneading it for about 10 minutes to obtain a soft and smooth dough. It should feel very soft and easy to knead.
Once it’s well kneaded, form a cylinder and then divide it into 8 pieces with the same size. Then form each piece into a ball and place them on tray. Once they are all ready, brush each of them with some oil to prevent them from forming a crust.
Now cover them with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let them rest for at least 1 hour. If you let them rest overnight, it will be much easier to stretch the dough.
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And now, let’s prepare the filling:
1- finely chop the onion and then the garlic in a skillet over medium heat. I’ll saute the onions first season with a pinch of salt and cook them until they are soft and translucent, but not brown and set aside.
2- In the same pan, you need to cook the spinach the Italian way, with some olive oil and the minced garlic and cook them until wilted. And once they are ready, remove from the pan and transfer them into a colander to cool and drain the liquid.
3- And once they are cool enough, squeeze out even more moisture and chop them well. Because, that way you’ll not have chunks of stems when you cut the pie.
4- Now that you have all the spinach chopped, grate some of the cheese about a cup. And start preparing the filling by adding the onions to the Ricotta and the grated cheese and mix well, then add the spinach season with nutmeg freshly ground black pepper, and a bunch of fresh oregano leaves which you should finely chop, and add One Egg and then mix Season with salt and mix one more time.
Once the filling is ready, keep it in the fridge, and start working on the dough.
1- Go a heap and stretch the balls of dough, starting from the center outwards keeping its round shape to form a disk. Stretch it quite thin about a millimeter thick and then repeat this with another 3 balls.
2- Now take one of the disks, spread it with some olive oil and dust it with flour on top of it. And place another disk of dough on it and again, spread with some olive oil and dust with flour and repeat with the remaining two disks. And once you have done this with all four, stretch again and now you should have four-layer sheet dough.
3- Now, make sure that your dough sheets are large enough to cover the bottom of your
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4- Oil and dust the mold with flour, and Line it with the dough. Pour in the spinach and Ricotta mixture spread it evenly, and using the back of a spoon, make five large holes on the top of the mixture for the eggs, then sprinkle with more grated cheese.
5- Trim the excess of the dough and place the tin in the fridge, while you prepare one more pie crust with the remaining 4 balls of dough, which you’ll use to cover the pie.
6- Press the edges to seal the two sheets of dough Trim the excess… and then crimp the pie to seal.
7- Make a cut with a knife in the center and insert a metal funnel as chimney to let the vapors out while cooking, and prevent the top crust to bubble up and the juices to boil over the top.
That way your pie will look nice and clean after baking.
8- Paint the top with beaten egg and bake at 200 degree Celsius. And since this is a quite tall pie, it will take 50 to 60 minutes to cook.
Once it’s nice and golden brown, remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for about 15 to 20 minutes before taking it out.
You can serve it cold or at room temperature in any season of the year. So, I hope you’ll be able to try this at home, because, It’s not terribly hard and it’s worth the effort.