This spinach ricotta pie or pascualina is perfect for Easter or a vegetarian entree. Delicious spinach pie filling with flavorful ricotta and parmesan cheese, in a crispy and flaky crust. The wonderful surprise is the beautiful egg inside!
What Is Pascualina?
Pascua means Easter in Spanish and Italy. Pascualina or also known as torta pasqualina is a spinach and ricotta pie that is traditionally associated with Easter in Italy. Its ingredients that stay away from meat are perfect for Lent.
It's originally from Liguria, a region in Italy. It's been brought to Argentina and Uruguay by Italian immigrants.
Why This Recipe Works
This is my husband Marco's family recipe that has been handed down for generations. It never fails regardless of who's making it, including me, an Asian! Another family recipe is his ricotta and spinach crepe cannelloni. Yum!
This Italian spinach pie with puff pastry is so easy to make, despite its fancy looks. Trust me.
It's packed with veggies and protein, which makes it perfect for a healthier option that's not just another bowl of salad. Right?
As with all typical traditional recipes, this easy spinach and ricotta pie also uses basic ingredients that are available all year round. Perfect to make at any time, I mean how great is that?
Ingredients For This Pie
Spinach - Fresh ones, they're easier since they don't release so much liquid like frozen spinach. Spinach is an amazing ingredient, and I use it a lot in my spinach and feta gozleme. You've got to try it!
Ricotta - Is an Italian whey cheese. It's unique and mild in flavor, and it blends in easily with the other ingredients. If you're not familiar with it, I have a recipe that shows how to make ricotta at home.
Boiled eggs - I learned to make pascualina from Argentina using boiled eggs. You can also use raw ones, just crack them in the holes we prepare for the boiled ones, and they will cook perfectly in the oven.
Puff pastry - Traditionally the crust for this Italian spinach ricotta pie had 33 layers, which was Jesus's age. Well, if you don't feel like making your own crust, puff pastry, or shortcrust pastry work great, no worries.
I love using puff pastry in pies like my basil chicken pot pie. Scrumptious!
Walnuts - To add a contrasting texture when biting into the pie. Pecans or other nuts work fine also.
*See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
1. Prepare the spinach. Microwave the spinach for 3-4 minutes on max power until it's wilted. Leave to cool and then squeeze to drain its liquid. Chop into small pieces and place into a large bowl, set aside.
2. Cook the onion. Saute the onion and garlic on medium heat for more or less 10 minutes until the onion is translucent. Season with salt, black pepper, and chicken bouillon powder.
3. Add the other ingredients - Add ricotta, parmesan, parsley, nutmeg, and walnuts, and mix well using a spatula. Adjust seasonings. Then mix in beaten eggs.
4. Place the boiled eggs. Make indentations in the pie filling with the back of a spoon and place the boiled eggs inside.
5. Brush with egg wash. Cover the pie with another sheet of puff pastry. Cut off the excess, seal, and crimp both sheets together. Brush the top with some egg wash.
6. Bake. Prick some holes all over the pie with a fork. Bake at 375ºF for 50 minutes. Leave for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy your Italian Easter pie!
Recipe Expert Tips
- Drain the spinach. To avoid too much liquid, and making the spinach and ricotta pie too wet and soggy. We don't want that! So, drain the spinach as much as you can.
- Final taste before adding the eggs. Adjust the final seasonings before adding in the eggs. That way you'll have an idea if something is lacking, without having to worry about eating raw eggs.
- Undercook the boiled eggs. Since we're going to bake the boiled eggs in the pie, so I usually boil the eggs for just 8 minutes. This will prevent the eggs from getting too hard after baking.
- Let it rest. Leave the spinach ricotta pie to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before slicing. This prevents the pie juice from oozing out too much, making the pie bottom soggy. I usually rest it for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
How Serve And Store
Serve - This Italian spinach ricotta pie can be served warm, or cold. It can be a side dish or a vegetarian entree itself (as we usually enjoy it).
Store - In an air-tight container, in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes, if you want it hot.
Freeze - The boiled eggs don't freeze well, so remove them if you want to freeze the pie. Freeze in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat it if you wish.
If you love unique pies from all over the world, I'd highly recommend you make my Spanish tuna pie (Galician empanada). It's as delicious as it's beautiful!
We always eat it as is, but you can have it with some salads on the side.
Yes, but remove the boiled eggs beforehand because they don't freeze well. Freeze the pie in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat if you wish.
Yes, you can microwave it for a few minutes or steam it until it's wilted. This is needed to drain its liquid and prevent the pie from getting soggy.
If you tried this Spinach Ricotta Pie or Pascualina or any other recipe on our website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let us know how it went in the comments below!
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Spinach Ricotta Pie (Pascualina)
- 16 oz fresh spinach
- 2 white onions , diced
- 2 garlic cloves , diced
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 17 oz ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup walnuts , chopped
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 3 large eggs
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 lb puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)
- 1 large egg , for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 375ºF using top and bottom heat. Butter an 8-inch springform pan.
Preparing the spinach
- Microwave the spinach for 3 minutes using max power, until it's wilted. Leave to cool for a few minutes and squeeze out the liquid as much as possible.
- Roughly chop it and place it in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Saute the onion and garlic in a pan, on medium heat with some oil and a pinch of salt until the onion is translucent. It'll take more or less 10 minutes.
- Mix in chicken bouillon powder, and black pepper. Pour into the spinach bowl and leave to cool before adding in ricotta cheese, nutmeg, parsley, walnuts, and parmesan cheese.
- Season with salt and black pepper and mix everything well.
- In another bowl, beat 3 eggs and then pour them into the spinach ricotta mixture. Give everything one last mix. Set aside.
- Place 1 pastry sheet in the springform pan. Press it to the bottom and the sides of the pan. Spoon in the pie filling, spread evenly, and then make 4 holes with the back of a spoon in the pie filling.
- Place 4 boiled eggs in the holes. Cover the pie with another puff pastry sheet, lightly pressing it on the pie filling. Cut off the excess puff pastries, pinch to seal, and crimp them together.
- Brush the puff pastry with some egg wash. Prick some holes on top using a fork.
- Bake on the lower ⅔ rack for 45-50 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave for 30 minutes before removing it from the springform pan. Slice and enjoy!
- If you don't use/own a microwave, you can steam the spinach instead.
- Microwaved/steamed spinach holds lots of heat. Make sure to cool them first before squeezing out the liquid.
- Leaving the pie to set longer after it's baked prevents the pie juice from oozing out, thus avoiding a soggy-bottomed pie.
Originally published on Aug 16, 2017. Updated with improved text, recipe, and pictures on Apr 1, 2023.