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Chef Paolo Laboa's Torta Bietole




2 cups all-purpose flour

3 ounces water, divided

2 tablespoons Ligurian extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt


1 pound fresh Swiss chard,

1 cup ricotta

1/3 to 1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup yogurt, divided

Sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil



For the dough
Put flour in a bowl, add 2 ounces water and olive oil.  Start kneading.  Add more water until the dough is firm and homogeneous, but still soft.  Continue kneading for 5 to 10 minutes.   Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

For the filling
Wash the chard and remove the center ribs and stems; coarsely chop and put in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the ricotta, flour, 1/4 cup of the yogurt and stir well.  Add salt to taste and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease a 10-12-inch cake pan with olive oil.  Divide the dough in half, leaving half covered.  Take the other ball and, working on a floured surface, roll until very thin.  You can use your hands to stretch the dough, taking care not to put any holes in it.  Put it on the back of your hand and, with the other, gently stretch the borders in all directions.   You should end up with a circle wide enough to cover the cake tin and reach over the edges.

Put the dough circle into the pan and gently fit it in against the sides.  Spread the remaining yogurt thinly over the dough; fill with the chard mixture.  

Repeat the rolling and stretching steps with the second ball of dough and place it over the top of the filling, trapping a layer of air between the filling and the top crust, forming a dome.  Once the cover is completed, cut the excess dough about a half inch from the pan and roll the edges inside to seal the filling, being careful not to leave holes.

Gently sprinkle olive oil over the top of the domed dough and spread it with your fingertips or a soft brush.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough is golden and crispy.  Serve at room temperature.  The day after it’s even better!

This recipe is featured on show 2812 – Cooking of Liguria.




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