The Pascualina pie, or chard pie, is simple to make, delicious and very healthy. It’s also the perfect recipe to welcome the fall season. While some fruits and vegetables are harvested throughout the year, they become richer when produced locally; Swiss chard falls into this category.
Typically made in Argentina, pasculina has Italian origins since Italy is one of the largest immigrant groups to migrate to the country. The very first recipes can be traced back to Genoa, where it was originally consumed during the Pascuas (Italian for Easter), hence its name. Unlike other pies, pascualina’s surface is covered, giving no hint to the filling within. The original recipe called for thirty-three layers of dough, which symbolized the age of Christ, while the eggs used in the filling symbolized birth and the renewal of life. For obvious reasons, very few people prepare it in such a labor-intensive way these days.
In this version, I use whole-wheat flour to make the crust healthier, and more nutritious. Although I’ve chosen chard for the filling, it can be easily swapped out for spinach or a mixture of both greens. Chard is very low in calories and fat, and it’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K, and B6. It’s also rich in minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.
This recipe is ideal if you’re trying to introduce green vegetables at home, especially when you have young children and it becomes hard to achieve that goal. The Pascualina can be served as the main course for a light lunch or as an accompaniment to an entrée at dinner.