Easter Pie / Torta Pasqualina

The Saturday before Easter, many Italian cooks find themselves in the kitchen making torta pasqualina or Easter pie. More prevalent in the southern regions, this double crusted pie is densely packed with a filling of spinach or Swiss chard, ricotta cheese and eggs and is served on Easter. There are many variations on this classic; for instance in Genoa, artichokes are in the filling, other regions use wild herbs.

Assemble the pie a day ahead, then bake and let cool before serving.


  • 6 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups ice water
  • 2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Four 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 cups skim-milk ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 8 large eggs
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Add 1 ½ cups ice water, a little at a time, and mix with your hands to form a rough ball of dough. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add just enough additional ice water to form a smooth ball; the dough should not be sticky.
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Set aside, covered, on a floured surface.
  3. In a bowl, mix the spinach with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Set aside. In another bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the half-and half, marjoram, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 10 by 3-inch springform pan. On a floured surface, roll one piece of the dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush with a little olive oil, and place in the bottom of the springform pan. Repeat with 4 more pieces of dough, brushing each one with a little olive oil.
  5. Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the dough. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the spinach. Use the whole egg to make 8 shallow impressions in the ricotta, then carefully crack 1 egg into each impression. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper and put ½ tablespoon of the butter on each one. Sprinkle the Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese over the eggs.
  6. One at a time, roll out the remaining 5 pieces of dough into 12-inch circles. Carefully lay the circles over the eggs, letting the edges hang over the pan, and brush each one with olive oil. Trim off the excess dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the top layers of dough in around the edges of the pan and pinch to seal. (At this point the pie can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake, or overnight.)
  7. Two hours before serving time, brush the top of the torta with the egg wash. Bake the pie for 1 hour or until the top is nicely browned. Let cool to room temperature.
  8. Release the sides of the springform pan and cut the torta into wedges.
Print This Recipe


Doris Sticco

This recipe sounds great, as all of your recipes do, but you had a different recipe on your show today (1-2-2011). Do you have that one with the Ricotta dnd Wheat Berry filling? I have your books and just love your show. I am in the process of writing an Italian Cookbook, have so many recipes from my Grandmother. Do you have any advice for me? Love, Doris


My mother-in-law made an Easter Pie that included the ricotta and Italian sausage, ham, rice and boiled eggs. Do you have a recipe tho ingredients? What part of Italy would make a pie like this. I have done research on the family and found that they may come from Terradura. Would they make a pie like this? Thanks.


Hi Sandra, there are so many versions of the Easter pie; most are from southern Italy.

Armando A Bona

La torta pasqualina e’ di origine Ligure.. Mia madre la faceva con 12 strati per i 12 apolstoli. Tempoi che erano, tempi che fu!! Adesso fanno uno o due e basta cosi!
Buona Pasqua! Armando Bona

Janice Klier

I was looking for a picture of your Easter Pie to go with the recipe so I know howvitlooks please.

Leave a comment

Your comment will be revised by the site if needed.