This savoury pie “Torta Pasqualina”,is usually served at Easter. A flaky crust, filled with braised chard, ricotta cheese, eggs and parmesan cheese.
This dish is a classic “poor cooking” the defines Italy cooking; inexpensive ingredients to make the pie crust, eggs, a always-present leafy vegetable such as chard, an easy milk leftover such ricotta cheese the keys to make this pie an exceptionally easy dish to impress.
Ingredients for the filling:
1Lb Ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium onion sliced
2 Lb chard chopped and sliced
7 egg yolks
Few springs of dried thyme or marjoram
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt, pepper and olive oil as needed
Ingredients for the pie crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
Start making the pie crust by mixing the ingredients tills a smooth and uniformed dough is formed; divide it into 4 smaller dough: two of 300gr each (10oz more or less) each and two of 180gr each (6oz more or less). Cover with plastic and let it rest for 1hr or so.
In the meantime, make the filling by sweating the onion in a tbsp of olive oil, let it cook till soft; add the chard and cook all together till soft, adding salt & pepper to taste. Once done, transfer in a bowl to let it cool down. Stir in with the chard mix 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, the dried herbs.
In another bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with 3 eggs and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, pinch of nutmeg and salt; mix till smooth and no lumps.
At this time, prepare the pie crust; use an 11”or 12” pie dish. With a rolling pin, roll out the bigger dough balls into thin round sheet and place one on the bottom of the pie plate that is well oiled, brush more oil on the dough sheet and place the second one on top of it pinching the sides together; let the sheets overflow on the pie plate as you will cut the excess after it is all sealed together.
Spread the chard mixture on the bottom of the pie, leveling it well. Then spoon the ricotta mixture on top and level it. Make 7 holes in the filling and carefully place the 7 egg yolks in, paying attention not to break them. If you have leftover egg whites from separating the eggs, spoons some of it on the surface of the filling. Sprinkle with the left 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan.s
Roll out the smaller dough balls to a thin round sheet as the previous ones; place one on top of the filling and brush a tbsp of olive oil, then place the second one on top of it. Pinch the edges all together, cut the excess crust and fold in the rim in, use a fork to seal it. Brush another tbsp of olive oil on the crust.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 360F for 45-50 minutes.