Pasqualina is something my mother would make basically only once a year and I have always loved. Spinach is among my top three favorite vegetables, along with broccoli and zucchini. But those also happen to be my sister’s top three least favorite vegetables. So any chance to have spinach was good with me. I know, strange child.
Now, as the weather warms up, I keep thinking about Pasqualina. It helps that we are actually near Easter and I have tons of spinach lying around. You could make it the vegetarian main at your Easter celebration, providing you eat eggs. I think it would also make a fantastic dish for a picnic. Either way, it is a bit of work to get starting but fantastically comforting to open the fridge and see an easy dinner for later in the week.
Pasqualina (Spinach Pie)
Adapted from Rachel Roddy’s column in The Guardian
10 tbsp butter (140 g)
2 c flour (250 g)
7 oz ricotta (200 g)
1/4 tsp salt
20-25 oz frozen spinach (600 g)
8 oz ricotta (250 g)
6 eggs, 2 beaten and 4 whole
1/2 c Parmesan, grated (50 g)
1 tsp salt
- Using a food processor, blitz butter into flour until you have pea-size chunks of butter. Add ricotta and salt and pulse gently until dough comes together. Dump out on counter top and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Microwave spinach until just defrosted. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Mix with ricotta, 2 eggs, Parmesan, and salt. Set aside.
- Cut dough into 2 pieces, one twice as large as the other. Take the larger piece and roll it out on a floured surface, until about 15 inches in diameter. Place in a 9 inch springform and press in.
- Add spinach filling to springform. Make 4 divots in the filling and crack an egg into each.
- Take remaining dough and roll out into a 9 inch circle. Place gently on top of filling. Roll dough pieces together to make a firm seal.
- Make several cuts into dough top, taking care not to cut the eggs below.
- Bake 50 minutes or until golden. Let rest before serving. Best served warm or at room temperature.