For a traditional Italian Easter dish, try this wonderful torta pascualina recipe.
Originating in the region of Liguria, in the north of Italy, they have been making torta pascualina for centuries. For good reason, it is delicious! If you're looking or something different this Easter, give this savoury delight a try. It will definitely impress.
Typically, torta pascualina is made with ricotta cheese, but I prefer the taste of goat cheese in this dish. However, that shouldn't stop you from using ricotta if you want to try a more authentic tart.
I've also seen Swiss chard used instead of spinach. In either case, wring out as much of the liquid from the greens as you can to make the perfect tart.
There is a little pre-prep before you begin. If you are using fresh spinach, you will need to cook and drain all 2 pounds of it ahead of time. It is easier to thaw and drain 2 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach. Whichever way you choose, the end result needs to be about 3 cups of cooked spinach.
The other thing you will need to prepare ahead of time are the hard-boiled eggs. I boil them for about 10 minutes to ensure the yolks are solid.
TIP: If while baking the top starts to get too dark too quickly, place a loose sheet of foil over it until baking is complete.
TIP: If you are cooking the spinach from fresh, cook extra then make your own frozen spinach cubes with the left over. Use them in future dishes, smoothies, and when making ice cream!
(Makes 10 servings)
3 tablespoons plant-based butter
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3 cups cooked spinach, drained (or 2lb fresh, or 2 10-ounce frozen packages)
1 cup goat cheese (or ricotta for a more authentic tart)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg mixed
1 tablespoon water
In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter then add the onion. Sauté until the onion begins to soften and become translucent (about 10 minutes).
Add the garlic, salt and nutmeg then stir to combine. Sauté for an additional minute then add the mushroom and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the cooked spinach and combine well, sautéing for another minute before removing the pan from the heat. Set aside and allow it to cool.
Once the spinach mixture has cooled to room temperature, preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C and spray a 9-inch tart pan, with removable bottom, with calorie-free cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the goat cheese, mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, 2 eggs, and ground black pepper. Mix well to ensure they are thoroughly combined, then add the spinach mixture. Continue stirring until well combined.
Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out one of the thawed puff pastry sheets into a 14-inch circle. Fit this circle of pastry dough into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Roll the other sheet of dough into a circle about 9-inches in diameter the set aside momentarily.
Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and arrange them, yolk-side down, evenly around the tart pan. Transfer the spinach and cheese mixture into the tart pan, over and between the cut eggs, and smooth the top.
Place the 9-inch circle of puff pastry dough over top of the tart pan and crimp the edges closed with a fork. Use a fork to dock the top of the dough to enable venting of steam as the torta pascualina cooks.
In a small bowl beat together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Brush the top and edges of the tart dough with the egg wash.
Lower the temperature of the oven to 350°F / 175°C and place the tart pan into the oven. Bake for 1 hour until the top and edges are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow the torta pascualina to cool in the pan for about 1 hour before attempting to press the bottom out of the pan. Continue cooling until it reaches room temperature. Serve and enjoy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 348 | total fat = 22.17g | saturated fat = 10.66g | cholesterol = 137mg | sodium = 801.85mg | net carbohydrates = 18.78g | dietary fibre = 5.74g | sugars = 2.5g | protein = 13.07g