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Easter Cake (Torta pasqualina)

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Medium
  • Bread, focaccia, pizzas
Light, yet filling, this savory Italian quiche is commonly served during the Easter season.
Liguria

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • 10 oz puff pastry dough
  • 12 oz chard
  • 2 oz onion
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • 7 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 for brushing the pastry dough
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Carefully wash the chard and slice it thinly. Then blanch it in boiling, salted water for two minutes, and drain immediately.
Peel and chop the onion and garlic.

Add a little oil to a pan over medium heat.
Add the onion and, once soft, add the chard and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the chard from the pan and let cool.
In the meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and marjoram.
Once the chard is cool, stir in the herbs, ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Then begin to assemble the quiche by dusting a work surface with flour. Roll out 4 sheets of pastry dough until as thin as possible.

Grease a tart mold with extra virgin olive oil and then place one of the sheets on top. Brush the surface of the dough with olive oil.

Then cover the first layer with a second sheet of dough. Using a fork or a knife, piece small holes into the dough so that it doesn’t bubble during cooking.

Then add the chard and ricotta mixture. Use a spoon to create 4 small nests in the ricotta and add an egg to each nest.

Cover the quiche with the third sheet of dough and brush it with olive oil, as before. Cover with the fourth and final layer of dough.

Using a knife, cut away the excess dough and press down the edges of the quiche, sealing it well.

Use a knife to pierce small holes into the top of the quiche, but be careful not to make your incisions directly above an egg.

Brush the top of the quiche with the remaining egg, (previously beaten) and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool and serve sliced.

 Food History

Consumed since ancient times, eggs are one of the foods most commonly associated with the Christian Easter tradition.
Eggs have always been known as a symbol of life and the resurrection. For a period, they were also a symbol of deprivation, together with meat, during the period of Lent. Given the symbolic value of eggs, it should come as no surprise that they are the basis of two traditions: giving eggs to your family and friends at the beginning of spring and decorating eggs with bright colors – the later of which was already popular in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome.
In the Middle Ages during the period of Lent, eggs were boiled, decorated during the Holy Week and consumed on Easter Day, after having been blessed in church the day before. Over time, another tradition was born, that of donating excess eggs to the poor and children. Today, this tradition still exists in the form of giving chocolate eggs to kids.