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Cooking + Entertaining

Torta Pasqualina: the easy recipe for a filled savory cake of Ligurian origin

Torta Pasqualina: the easy recipe for a filled savory cake of Ligurian origin

The easter cake it’s a salty cake which traditionally takes place on the occasion of Easter: typical of Ligurian cuisine but appreciated and spread throughout Italy, this tasty rustic is made up of two shells of very thin pasta sheets that enclose a rich filling based on ricotta, beet (either spinach), chives and marjoram; inevitable, then, the raw eggs that harden during cooking in the oven: just place them in the special cavities created in the filling to obtain a real surprise effect when cutting them.

Similar in ingredients to another Ligurian speciality, the gee cake, the pasqualina cake has ancient origins: in fact, it was already known in the 15th century, a time when it was considered a dish with a marked symbolic value. The presence of 7 eggsconsidered a symbol of resurrection and rebirth, but above all the shell made with 33 pasta sheets, in reference to the years of Jesus at the time of the crucifixion, made it the paschal aperitif par excellence. Today, although it is still linked to the Easter period, this tasty rustic cake can be found throughout the year in cafes, bars and delicatessens in Liguria, declined in the various territorial variants.

The original Ligurian recipe calls for the pasta to be prepared at home with a mixture of water, flour and olive oil and rolled out by hand, sheet by sheet, while the filling must be based on beet my dispense, or curd, a typical Genoese fresh cheese. We offer you a quick version of the Pasqualina cake, with already prepared puff pastry and a filling of boiled spinach and cow’s milk ricotta, easier to find than the typical cheese. The result has nothing to envy to the traditional version, but if you prefer you can prepare the puff pastry or the shortcrust pastry at home and add a couple of tablespoons of skimmed white yogurt to the ricotta, to recall the sour flavor of the prescinsêua.

Perfect to serve at Easter lunch to enrich yours buffet of appetizers, if the Easter cake is left over, it is also ideal to take it to the Easter Monday Picnic along with other delicious salty empanadas, because with rest it becomes even better. Find out how to prepare it by following the step-by-step procedure and tips.

If you liked this recipe, try the mini Pasqualine, the single-dose version of the Ligurian rustic, and the tasty version with artichokes. Do not forget the other salty specialties that cannot be missing from the Easter table, such as the casatiello, the salty pastiera and the salty pigeon.


for the filling

clean spinach (or chard)

Extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare Easter cake

If you decide to prepare the pasqualina cake in the traditional way, first prepare the puff pastry or shortcrust pastry, then let it rest while you work on the filling. If, on the other hand, you have chosen to use the already prepared dough, as we did, skip this step and simply take the two rolls out of the fridge.

Then begin the preparation of the Pascualina cake by peeling and thinly slicing the spring onions. 1.

Then, collect them in a large frying pan together with a splash of oil and let them brown for a few seconds. 2. Then add the spinach, close the lid and let dry for a few minutes.

As soon as the spinach has reduced in volume, remove the lid, season with salt and pepper and allow all the water to evaporate. 3. Do not forget this step: to avoid a watery filling, it is important that the vegetables lose all their moisture.

Meanwhile, take the most tender leaves and sprigs of marjoram, chop them finely 4 and add them to the pan. Season everything, then turn off and allow to cool completely.

Separately, put the ricotta in a fine mesh strainer with a bowl under it. 5 and let drain for at least an hour, to remove all excess liquid.

Then transfer the ricotta to a bowl, add the grated Parmesan cheese and one of the eggs. Then add the cooked and now cold spinach and mix with a spoon until you get a creamy filling. 6.

Cut a disc of parchment paper and place it at the base of a 22 cm diameter mold, then arrange the first layer of puff pastry making it adhere well to the edges 7. Prick the base of the dough with the tips of a fork.

Fill the dough with the ricotta-spinach mixture, then using the back of a spoon and applying moderate pressure, form five well-marked holes in the filling. 8.

Gently crack open five eggs, one at a time, and let them slide into the holes. 9.

Now carve out the second puff pastry disk so that you get a circle as big as the surface of the cake. 10.

Place the disk like a lid being careful not to press near the eggs. At this point, fold the edges of the first sheet in, pinching them to create a decoration. eleven.

Brush the surface of the tart with a beaten egg yolk along with a drop of milk, then, with a long toothpick, pierce the surface of the pastry in the center and near the edges to let out the steam that will be created during baking. cooking. escape 12.

Place the Easter cake at the bottom of the oven and cook on static mode at 200°C for about 40 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C and continue for another 10-15 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. 13.

Let the cake cool for at least an hour, then turn it out on a serving plate and let it rest for at least 6 hours: this way it will set and it will be easier to cut. Serve the Easter cake by cutting it into slices to reveal the wow effect of the filling. 14.


If you prefer, you can substitute the spinach for fresh chard, chicory either herbs wildas in the Ventimiglia version.


The Easter cake can be kept in the refrigerator, well covered with a sheet of transparent film, to 2-3 days. Once cooked and completely cooled, it can be frozen, even already sliced: when you decide to try it, let it thaw in the fridge before heating it in the oven for a few minutes.

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