Torta Pasqualina, curiosity and traditions of this historic Ligurian dish

Ingredients, history and traditions of this typical Ligurian dish of vegetables that they used to eat at Easter

“The race of Genoese is like that of the redskin, it is dying little by little. It is a pity for the world, which we gave away two great things as America and Pasqualina cake. ” So he wrote the journalist Giovanni Ansaldo in 1930. The origin of this dish is lost in the mists of time and the authorship is disputed. But the Ligurian can boast of having on their side a document of 1500 from Hortensius Lando, citing Genovese pasqualina in the “Catalogue of the inventors of things you eat and you drink”, appreciating it so much to write: “I liked that most then the bear the honey”.
torta-pasqualina 1
Close up view
Pasqualina is a typical pie of the Genoa area: it is baked and stuffed with vegetables, eggs and cheese. Today, its flavor has exceeded the boundaries of the Superb and is well known by every Ligurian palate (and beyond). The name already explains the occasion and the time when, traditionally, was preparing. Generally, in fact, it was used as a main course of the Easter menu. But there are many traditions associated with this dish, we see some examples.
• The pasqualina cake is even better if eaten cold, the day after it is prepared. That’s why, over time, has become the symbol of food not only of Easter, but of Easter Monday also. It is in fact used as a dish for picnics and outings that are done on the Monday.
• The ingredients vary according to the season: in addition to eggs and cheese, using the herbs, peas, onions and artichokes (preferably those of Albenga); but also borage, chard and spinach.
• In the original pasqualina can not really miss: marjoram and prescinseua, typical Ligurian cheese curds, very difficult to find outside of this region.
• The sheet: tradition has it that he did no less than 33 layers, as the years of Christ, and all extremely thin. Over the years, due to lack of time, their number is reduced. Even the type of pasta is particular: it is prepared with water, flour and olive oil, but without yeast.
• The stuffed pie, according to tradition, must be covered: the lower sheet must exceed the edges of the pan, so as to form with that of over a nice decorative curled crust.
• In the past, due to its size, it was not enough your home oven to cook this dish. For this, the cooks accounted on the sheet the initials of his own family. So, when they went to withdraw from bakers not confused with the other.

torta pasqualina (interno)

Grandma’s tips
The day prior to when you want to prepare the cake, wash the vegetables thoroughly, eliminates the stems, and cut into very thin strips the leaves. Then put them in a cloth and wait all night that would release their water. Some, then, boil the herbs in boiling water or blow up in a pan together with artichokes and a fried onion. Others, however, leave it raw in the dough and the baking directly in the oven. Raw or cooked, the vegetables are added to the stuffing of grated cheese, beaten eggs, salt and fresh marjoram. Then poured the mixture into the cake tin and spreads over the prescinseua. Using a spoon, create some wedges and there dropping of whole eggs, which when cooked become hard boiled. It closes all with the sheet and bake for 45 minutes even up to an hour, depending on the size of the cake.



1 Kg. Of white flour
4 tablespoons oil
salt, and water as needed.
1 kg. of herbs (or 10 artichoke hearts)
1/2 onion, chopped
60 grams of butter
500 grams of prescinseua (replaceable with cottage cheese added of a dash of milk)
6 eggs
1 glass of milk
100 grams of grated parmesan
salt, pepper and marjoram.

Mix the flour with the oil, salt and enough water to make a paste of right consistency. Knead very well and divide into 10 pellets (once if there were up to 33), cover with a damp towel and let them dry over a stand for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile boil the herbs (or artichokes) and season with the fried onions and oil. Whisk the ricotta with the milk and add a pinch of salt.
Pull 10 thin layers with pasta and roll out the first on a greased and floured cake tin. Brush them with a little oil and cut with a knife the paste cord growing from the pan. Roll out the other five layers, always brushing with oil, then make a layer with vegetables and one with cheese.
Prepare on the cheese 6 dimples and place in each a bit of butter, breaking inside an egg, season with a pinch of salt, pepper and marjoram and Parmesan.
Cover with the remaining layers brushing with oil. Prick with a fork the last sheet, grease it well and cut the cord of pasta that grows from the pan.
Bake in oven at moderate heat (it would be better the bread oven) for about 60 minutes.
Pasqualina cake has to take on a blond color. It can serve, according to taste, warm or cold.
Trick: If you want you can use, with good results, even the puff pastry, but do not tell it all around!

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