Happy Easter! Today’s post is a bit different – I thought I’d bring you a seasonal recipe from Carlo’s restaurant, I Tre Fratelli. Carlo is one of the main characters in The Secret. He’s revived the village’s fortunes by reopening the once thriving but long-neglected restaurant (but he’s increasingly concerned that his mother’s hiding the truth about her past.)
Torta Pasqualina is a savoury spinach pie with hidden hard boiled eggs, traditionally eaten at Easter but can be enjoyed any time. It’s originally from Liguria the region bordering Tuscany and just up the coast from the fictional village of Santa Zita. It’s vegetarian, quick and easy to make and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days.
2 sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry
1 500g pack of spinach
1 tub of ricotta
100 Parmesan cheese or vegetarian hard cheese
(Or 50g Parmesan and 100g Provolone, Gruyere or cheddar)
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease a medium sized pie/quiche dish
Hard boil five of the eggs
Sauté the onions
Wash the spinach and put in a pan with just the water clinging to its leaves, and heat until it wilts (around 5mins). Allow to cool, squeeze dry and chop.
Add the onions to the spinach, add seasoning and allow to cool.
Use one of the pastry sheets to line the pie dish, trimming and rebuilding the edges so that it just overlaps. Spoon in half of the spinach and cheese mixture and spread evenly. Cut the hardboiled eggs in half and place them yolk down around the dish on top of the spinach mixture.
Top with the remaining spinach mix, brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg and place the second pastry sheet on top. Trim to fit, prick all over with a fork or cut a cross in the centre. Brush all over with the beaten egg and place in the oven for 35 minutes.
Beat the remaining egg and brush the edges of the pastry
Serve hot or cold with a crisp salad.
The Secret is available here: mybook.to/thesecretjohnson