Food and wineGenoa

Ligurian Easter Tradition – A Piece of Torta Pasqualina

By April 18, 2011 No Comments

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

In Liguria, there’s a traditional recipe which 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 (Pasquaetta).

In Genoa we make the traditional Torta Pasqualina with chards, but many genoese love to make it also with artichokes. In past, chards were a good alternative to artichokes, because they were cheaper.

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 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 initialas be pressed into crust at the rim. It can be tasted warm, but I love to eat it when it has cooled, I think it’s much better.

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