torta pasqualina

Torta Pasqualina, a journey through time

Torta Pasqualina is a typical savory pie from the city of Genoa, prepared with a special puff pastry filled with chard, eggs, fresh marjoram and other ingredients such as prescinsêua, a fresh curd similar to ricotta cheese that is difficult to find outside Liguria.

The History of Torta Pasqualina

As the name suggests, it is derived from the word “Easter,” as it is traditionally prepared and eaten during the Easter season, although then it can be generally linked to the celebration of the arrival of spring.

In the fifteenth century, it was called “Gattafura,” because it was claimed that they were particularly beloved by cats who cunningly “furaged,” stole them.

The first person to mention it at that time was the famous Master Martino de Rubeis, the father of Renaissance cooking, in his “Libro de arte coquinaria.” They were later mentioned in the sixteenth-century treatise “Catalogo delli inventori delle cose che si mangiano et si bevano” by Hortensio Lando.

Annotated the Lando thus “in Genoa they make certain cakes called gattafure because the cats gladly fur them and vague they are, but who is so listless that he does not gladly fure them? I liked them more than the bear the honey.”

Turning from history to legend, it is said that Genoese housewives could stack up to thirty-three sheets of dough on top of each other, in homage to the years of Christ.

Whole eggs in the filling were also believed to be a strong symbol of birth. Also, since in those days it was not for everyone to own an oven in their home, each family would make a mark with a knife to recognize their cake (either ancient Christian symbols were used, such as a cross or fish, or they were marked with numbers or letters).

It was not until the early nineteenth century that it took on the name Torta Pasqualina, by which we, too, have come to know it.

How to make Torta Pasqualina

The outside of the torta pasqualina was prepared with many thin sheets of puff pastry, one on top of the other. Herbs, Swiss chard, marjoram, peas, and spring onions are used for the filling, enriched with eggs and prescinsêua, ingredients once reserved for grand occasions or parties.

There were at least a couple of variations of it, but the original, although many people think otherwise, did not include artichokes, but chard because it was cheaper and more readily available from the “besagnine,” the greengrocers of the time, than the more expensive, because out of season, articiocche (artichokes).

The convenience of torta Pasqualina is especially the fact that it can be prepared in advance to be eaten in the following days, cold or warmed, at home or outdoors on an excursion out of doors, to enjoy the Easter Day outing and in general the days with the first warmth of spring.

The torta Pasqualina is not only a culinary masterpiece, but also a symbol of conviviality and family tradition.

The moment of sharing it at the table becomes an occasion of joy and celebration, uniting people around a dish that has stood the test of time. Its artisanal preparation, which requires time and dedication, helps to preserve Genoese culinary culture, passing from generation to generation as a treasure to be treasured and handed down.

In an ever-changing world, torta Pasqualina represents a tangible link to our cultural and gastronomic roots, carrying tradition forward with each delicious bite.

Where to stay

Just under a kilometer from the city center and a hundred meters from Brignole train station, Urban Flora is the perfect place to visit Genoa and enjoy a nice slice of Torta Pasqualina.

With us you will experience a Scandinavian-modern look, where fresh and pleasant plants will make you enjoy as much relaxation as possible and for an unforgettable vacation. All rooms provide a private bathroom, smart TV and free Wi-Fi that will make you feel right at home. Book your room now or contact us to ask for more information.

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