It seems like only yesterday that I was in the kitchen preparing Tess Williams’ dried fig and chocolate hot cross buns and Trish Deseine’s white chocolate soup for an Easter double-feature. This year, I thought we’d go savory. Photostylist and producer Annette Joseph, who has the envious fortune of dividing her time between Atlanta and the Ligurian coast in Italy, has given us the quintessential Italian Easter dish, the torta pasqualina. This show-stopping double-crusted spinach tart is good any time of year, so if you’ve got other plans this Easter, don’t worry. — Kristina
About Annette: Annette Joseph is a photostylist and producer in Atlanta, Georgia. Highlights of her upcoming work this year include a cookbook, a reality show called All about Annette that traces her travels around the world as a stylist and producer and an appearance on the Today Show on June 30th to share great holiday entertaining ideas for July 4! Her Ligurian apartment can be seen here, and her recipe for a great Southern apple-pear cobbler is here.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
For the Crust:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3/4 cups ice water
Make crust in a food processor. Put flour in the bowl and add oil and salt. Pulse until pebble-sized crumbs appear, and as you pulse, add water through the chute until dough comes together.
*Note: You may need to add a little more water to the dough — it should form a soft ball of dough. Set the dough aside and make the filling.
For the Filling:
- 1/2 medium red onion sliced thinly
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 eggs + 1 for egg wash
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. In a large sauté pan, add olive oil. Slice the red onion into thin slices, sauté with the oil. Once the onions have become transparent, add the spinach. Add salt and pepper.
3. Sauté mixture until spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes. Cook off as much liquid in the pan as possible. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine cheeses, marjoram and 1 egg.
5. When the spinach mixture has cooled for about 10 minutes, squeeze excess liquid from the mixture and add to the cheese mixture. Combine well and set aside.
Assemble the pie:
1. Divide crust into two parts, put flour on a board and roll dough out to 1/4 inch disk. Place this disk into a 12” pie form or a ceramic pie dish. Make sure the edges of the dough overlap the side of the dish. Fill with the spinach mixture, smooth the top and make four indentations into the spinach mixture with a spoon. These indentations will hold the eggs. Crack an egg carefully into each indentation.
2. Roll out the remaining crust and place on top. Pinch all around the edges and finish with egg wash on top.
3. Bake in a 375ºF oven for 1 hour.
Why Annette Chose This Recipe
I am fascinated with the torte from this region of Italy. Liguria is a place where clever recipes are abundant. This recipe is no exception. Happy Easter, everyone. Celebrate with this torta!