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Torta Di Pasqua (vegetarian Sicilian Easter Pie)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped, or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped
  • spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virg olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 scallions, including greens, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried basil
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 cups nonfat or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup shredded smoked mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded whole-milk or part-skim mozzerella
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, sliced

Instructions

In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the spinach, cover the pan, and remove from the heat. Wait 3 minutes, lift out the spinach, transfer it to a colander, and let it cool and drain at room temperature. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onion and scallions. Reduce the heat to medium and saute, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the pine nuts, oregano, basil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and continue sauteing until the pine nuts begin to color, about 4 minutes. Stir in the raisins and spinach and remove from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, smoked mozz., and mozz. Mix well to combine. Add the spinach mixture and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate while proceeding with the recipe. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan on top of a layer of phyllo 4 sheets thick. Keep the rest of the phyllo covered with wax paper, drape a damp towel on top. Trace the outline of the pan on the phyllo with a sharp knife, cutting out a circle of dough the same diameter as the pan. Repeat twice with the remaining dough. You should have 3 circles, each 4 layers thick. Place 2 of the dough circles side by side on a baking sheet and brush the surface of each with butter. Keep the third covered with wax paper draped with the damp towel. Bake the 2 dough circles for 6 minutes, until golden. Turn them over and brush the bottoms with butter. Return them to the oven until golden, about 6 minutes more. Leave the oven on. Reinsert the bottom into the springform pan. Place one of the baked dough circles into the bottom of the pan. Spread half the spinach mixture on top. Distribute half of the egg slices over that. Top with the second circle of baked dough. Spread the rest of the spinach mixture on top, and distribute the remaining egg slices over it. Lay the remaining circle of dough on top of the pie, and lightly brush it with butter. Bake in the center of the oven until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let the pie cool thoroughly in the pan on a rack before unmolding. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

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