Torta Pasqualina (easter Chard and Ricotta Pie)

 

This pie -- made with fine, almost transparent layers of dough and filled with chard, creamy ricotta and carefully eggs -- is one of Liguria's iconic dishes, next to pesto of course. It has become an essential part of the Italian Easter table ("pasqua" means Easter in Italian). This is the most traditional way to make a torta pasqualina, but there are many other ways you can approach this pie. To cut a few corners, you could skip the dough and use high-quality, store-bought puff pastry or filo pastry instead (Ottolenghi does his torta pasqualina with all-butter puff pastry). But I do highly recommend trying out this dough and this technique -- it's rather amazing, with a result that is somewhere between puff pastry and filo pastry. You can also combine the ricotta and chard mixture together for one filling rather than separate layers. You can leave out the cracked yolks over the top, if you wish, or you can use whole eggs, if you don't like separating. You can use spinach or any other greens instead of the chard. This recipe supplies more than enough dough (it's easier to work with more than less), so when you trim it, you will have quite a lot left over -- you could make a focaccia di recco with it (https://food52.com/blog/12384-focaccia-di-recco). Or you can roll out the dough and make decorations for the top of the pie, if you want to get really festive!

What you will need

4 cups (500 grams) bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for brushing dough)

1 1/4 cups (about 310 milliliters) water, or as needed

2 pounds (1 kilogram) swiss chard (or other greens such as spinach)

1/2 medium brown onion, chopped finely

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 handful fresh marjoram leaves

8 eggs

1 cup (120 grams) grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups (about 350 grams) ricotta

1 pinch ground nutmeg

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