With no further ado, here are the other Easter-themed recipes prepared by my fellow Cucina Conversations bloggers:
Daniela of La Dani Gourmet is sharing her recipe Torta coi Bischeri, or a pie with a chocolate and rice filling;
Carmen at The Heirloom Chronicles has baked up one of my very, very favorite snacks in the whole wide world -- taralli all'uovo;
Flavia from Flavia's Flavors is sharing a recipe for focaccia veneta;
Last but not least Marialuisa over at Marmellata di Cipolle has made pitta chijna, a Calabrian specialty for Easter.
Lisa aka Italian Kiwi has a recipe to still be announced -- check back for that soon!;
My contribution for this month is the traditional Easter Torta Pasqualina, a savory pie that comes from Genova. I'm no stranger to savory, veggie-and-cheese pies (like this Butternut Squash Galette, this Three-Cheese Zucchini Tart, and this Cherry Tomato Crostata) finding them splendidly versatile, as at home showcasing seasonal ingredients as they are accommodating whatever you happen to have in your fridge. And let's be honest -- a vegetable is always, always improved by the addition of cheese (the more, the better) and a pastry crust, right?! That's what I thought.
In the course of my Torta Pasqualina research I came across recipes using artichokes, chard, or even beets, recipes for torte made with homemade pastry crusts, others with store-bought crusts for the cook short on time, plus a particularly fancy, tiered torta with 3 layers and different pie crusts dividing them. In the end, I decided to keep things simple and stick with the more traditional version of the Torta Pasqualina, or rather: a fluffy ricotta filling, mixed with lots of spinach for color and an arguable dose of nutrition (this is basically health food, people) generous helpings of salty rich Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, and, best and prettiest of all, four whole eggs baked right into the top of the pie, bright golden yellow like a circle of miniature suns. This dish is as beautiful as it is tasty, and would be perfect for an Easter brunch, as a starter, or as a hearty alternative for vegetarians who won't be eating the usual Easter lamb or ham. Bonus: This makes great leftovers (if it lasts) and beyond Easter, makes fantastic, portable picnic food (especially if you are celebrating Pasquetta on Monday). I loved this and I think you will too.
Notes on the crust: The crust here is on the simpler, sturdier side to support all the filling and let it shine, but I've also made this with Smitten Kitchen's flakier, buttery pastry dough (find the recipe here) with great results (this was the preferred crust from most of my taste testers and my preferred crust too). The choice is up to you -- I've provided both recipes below. Note that you'll have some leftover pie crust recipe using either recipe -- use the scraps to cut out decorations for the top of the pie if you're feeling creative.
Ingredients for the crust:
3 1/2 cups (450 grams) of flour
A very generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (255ml) water
2 1/2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
Smitten Kitchen's crust recipe, using 2 cups white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
Ingredients for the filling:
1 pound (500 grams) spinach, stems removed, rinsed
1 cup (250 grams) of ricotta cheese
A scant 1/2 cup (35 grams) of Pecorino cheese
A scant 1/2 cup (45 grams) of Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste