Ligurian Easter Tradition – A Piece of Torta Pasqualina

It is no secret italians love their food and Easter is no exception to the rule.

In Liguria, there’s a traditional recipe that celebrates the Easter holiday, it is the Torta Pasqualina or Easter Pie.

It can be traced back to the 1500s and it’s an ideal recipe also for those who go on picnics on Easter Monday (Pasquetta).

In Genoa we make the traditional Torta Pasqualina with chards, but many genoese love to make it also with artichokes.

In the past, chards were a good alternative to artichokes, because they were cheaper.

Easter Cake Italia

It is said that this pie should have 33 layers in the crust to celebrate the number of years that Jesus spent on Earth (but generally most recipes contain 20-25 layers and some modern cookbooks call for 8).

Furthermore, the tradition wants that this pie is made with many eggs, which have a religious symbolism and that were a harbinger of spring (chickens that lay eggs year around are a recent development) and cheese.

In the past, these two fine ingredients were used only for special occasions.

As this dish comes from Liguria, it is made with “prescinseua” cheese (a local soft and creamy cheese), which can be substituted with ricotta.

Finally, tradition said that to honor the head of the household, his initials are pressed into the crust at the rim.

It can be tasted warm, but we love to eat it when it has cooled, we think it’s much better.

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