The Torta Pasqualina (Italian Pasqualina Easter Pie) comes directly from the ancient Ligurian culinary tradition. This rustic cake is easy to prepare and is usually cooked for Easter.
We know that the recipe for this savory pie dates back to the Middle Ages, although the first mention is from the Sixteenth Century, by Ortensio Lando, who calls it “gattafura”.
According to tradition, the Ligurian women were able to prepare and overlap one another up to 33 sheets, one for each year of Jesus, just to associate the kitchen with the religious sentiment that marks Easter.
It is good warm but also cold, so that it is ideal for the Easter Monday picnic or for the Easter breakfast.
Wash thoroughly and boil the chard in a saucepan with the lid for 10 minutes in lightly salted water. Then drain it, let it cool and squeeze it very well.
Prepare the filling of the Pasqualina cake by mixing the ricotta well with 1 egg, Parmesan and pecorino. Work it well adding a little salt and pepper. When the mixture is well mixed, add the boiled chard. You can do this by combining the leaves as they are or chop them with a knife.
Take a circular mold of 22 - 24 cm in diameter, not too low, and line it with baking paper and the first roll of puff pastry. Cover the mold, fill it with the ricotta and chard filling, previously prepared.
Using a spoon, make 4 small grooves in the filling equidistant from each other. Peel a whole egg in each hollow so that it becomes firm during cooking.
Close the cake with the second disc of puff pastry and fold the edge of the disc of the base inside sealing it gently.
The classic Ligurian recipe is with chard, but if you prefer you can replace the chard of the Pasqualina cake with spinach or radicchio, or even artichokes.
You can keep the Easter cake well-covered in the refrigerator for 3 days. Once cooked and completely cooled the Pasqualina cake can also be frozen, for convenience you can already cut it into slices so as to defrost only the portions you will need. Before serving, thaw it in the refrigerator and then heat it in the oven or in the microwave.
For a more Easter cake, you can have fun with the decorations! Two ideas: arrange on the cake shapes like doves, chicks or eggs made with the advanced dough, or place in the center an egg with a shell painted with food colors: beautiful and "sharp"!