Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Torta Verde

This is a typical Ligurian vegetable pie. It may be served as part of an elaborate selection of antipasti, or as a first or main course, depending on the meal. This is loosely based on a recipe in Colman Andrews' Flavors of the Riviera. If you don't have chard, use young, tender spinach.

Makes one 16-inch pie

Ligurian Pastry Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water

Oil for finishing


2 pounds baking potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound chard or spinach leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 large eggs
1 pound whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper

One large round baking pan, such as a pizza pan, well oiled

  1. For the dough, place flour, salt and baking powder in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade and pulse to mix. Add oil and pulse to mix in. Add water and pulse until dough forms a ball. Let processor run for about 10 seconds to knead dough. Remove dough from work bowl, divide in half and wrap each piece separately and refrigerate while preparing filling.
  2. For the filling, peel and quarter the potatoes. Cut 1/2-inch thick and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover pan. Allow potatoes to stand for 10 minutes.
  3. For the filling, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drain the potatoes and stir them in. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the lowest level.
  5. To assemble the Torta, oil a large baking pan, such as a round pizza pan. Roll half the dough and line the pan. Spread the filling on the dough. Roll remaining dough and place over filling. Trim excess dough from edge of pie and seal edges. Brush top crust with oil and bake for about 1 hour, or until the filling is set and the dough is baked through.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.