“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Torta Pasqualina- Savoury Easter tart

This savoury tart is really a celebration of life, that of Jesus. Although I am not religious, I do admire and respect traditions and culture, especially in regard to the kitchen. 
This particular tart has been baked for centuries as a celebration of the rising of Christ during the religious period of Easter (the egg represents life).
Torta Pasqualina (Pasqua is Easter in Italian) dates to the origins of Liguria, in the north of Italy. It is typical in Liguria to use a cheese known as prescinsena which has a slightly sour flavour, however throughout Italy ricotta is generally used. Which keeps me happy as I am an avocate for ricotta.
Originally the tart was baked with 33 layers of dough to symbolize  the years of Christ`s life, and 12 eggs to represent the apostles.
This recipe is much less laborious and is really easy to make if using good quality store brought puff pastry. I love making homemade breads and doughs, however puff pastry I frequently out source (feel free to make your own...applause to you). Considering the many meals, dinners, feasts and celebrations that I will be catering for over the Easter period, I am sure you will forgive me for not making my own puff pastry in this case. This tart will be just one of many many dishes served on the Easter table, but is certainly one of my favourites.
Not only do I love the flaky pastry, the flavour packed creamy filling, but I love cutting the tart to reveal the colourful whole baked eggs (always use organic). 
Buona Pasqua (Happy Easter) xx
What you need:
Two sheets of puff pastry 
500 grams of Ricotta (buy a blend such as sheep and cow`s milk if possible)
500 grams of cooked shredded spinach 
six organic eggs
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
teaspoon nutmeg
salt and black cracked pepper 
How to make:
1: Pre cook spinach by wilted in a saucepan with a little water and then shred 
2: Place all ingredients (except for eggs) in a large mixing bowl. Ricotta, spinach, parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper 
3: Line a baking tin with baking paper and melted butter. Gently lay in first layer of puff pastry. Mark base with fork pricks 
4: Place 70% of the ricotta mixture in the base and then use finger to make six holes to place the eggs
5: Gently crack the eggs into the holes
6: Use the remaining 30% of ricotta mixture to top. TIP: Use the palms of your hands to make patty cake forms of mixture to place on top of the eggs. This will prevent breaking of eggs etc
7: Place the top layer of puff pastry and use fingers to seal the sides. Use eggs wash (egg and milk mixed together), to help seal pastry
8: Cut out pastry shapes and place on top of tart if desired. Brush with egg wash for a golden glow
9: Bake in a pre heated 200 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes. However read instructions on the packet of the puff pastry. Remove from oven when golden and allow to cool before cutting!

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