Torta pasqualina (Italian artichoke pie)

    2 hours 10 min

    Torta pasqualina, which is traditionally served during Easter in Italy, is a sophisticated savoury pie that can have different fillings. This recipe is with artichokes. The crust consists of several layers of thin pastry similar to a strudel.


    1 person made this

    Ingredients
    Serves: 6 

    • For the crust
    • 300g 00 or plain flour
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 240ml water
    • For the filling
    • 7 fresh artichokes
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 1 tablespoon plain flour
    • 1 medium onion, minced
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 150g grated Parmesan cheese
    • 250g prescienseua cheese or ricotta
    • a few sprigs marjoram, minced
    • a few sprigs parsley, minced
    • 7 eggs
    • salt
    • extra virgin olive oil for brushing

    Method
    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Extra time:50min resting  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

      Make the crust

    1. Place the flour on a work surface and mix with the salt. Make a well in the centre and add oil and water. Mix and knead quickly until smooth and soft. Shape into a ball and cover it with a bowl placed upside down. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
    2. Make the filling

    3. Remove the fibrous end of the artichoke stems and 5 to 6 layers of the external leaves until you get to leaves that are soft and white at the base. Remove the fuzzy core. Slice artichoke hearts into this wedges and place in a bowl with cold water, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon flour (this is a trick to remove any bitterness and prevents artichokes from turning dark). Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain well.
    4. In a saucepan, fry the onion in oil on low heat till soft. Add the artichokes and stir to coat in oil. Cook on medium heat until soft, about 20 minutes, stirring often. Cover with a lid about halfway into the cooking.
    5. Transfer the artichokes to a bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese and add the remaining to the artichokes along with the ricotta, marjoram and parsley. Add 4 eggs, stir well and season with salt.
    6. Bake the pie

    7. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a 26cm round tin.
    8. Divide the dough into 6 small balls. Roll out the first to a thin disk to fit the bottom and sides of the tin; there should be about 1cm overhang. Brush with a little oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Roll out another ball into a disk and place on top of the first. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Proceed the same way with a third layer.
    9. Tip the artichoke and ricotta filling into the tin and spread it evenly. Using a spoon, make 3 small holes at equal distance in the filling. Place a small knob butter and crack an egg into each hole. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan.
    10. Roll out the 3 remaining balls as described and layer them to cover the filling. Fold the overhang towards the centre. After placing the last disk on top, seal the seams by pinching them together with your fingertips.
    11. Bake in the preheated oven till golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.

    Tips

    To save time, you can also use frozen artichoke hearts. And you can use chard or spinach instead of artichokes.

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