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Recipe for torta co’ becchi

First courses

The typical cuisine of Lucca is one of the tastiest in Tuscany. From delicious tordelli and tasty soups to traditional buccellato and many other delicacies, there's plenty to delight even the pickiest palates.
Among all these wonders, however, there's one dessert that's particularly appreciated by the "DOC" people of Lucca, the recipe of which has been changed many times and almost lost over time - "Torta co’ becchi". It's a shortcrust pastry crust in the shape of a crown that's filled with vegetables and spices: the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Here, we suggest the original recipe from Lucca. It's a delicious dessert that's rich in traditional country flavors and aromas of the past.


For the filling

  • 500g finely cooked and drained swiss chard (about 900g raw)
  • 2 handfuls of parsley
  • In spring-summer, you can add a little borage and mountain salad
  • 50g stale bread
  • 50g rice
  • Some milk (just enough to cook the rice and soak the bread)
  • Water (just enough to cook the rice)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 50g Parmesan cheese
  • 50g pecorino
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 50g butter
  • 50cl. extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g sugar
  • ½ tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A teaspoon of pepolino or thyme

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 300g 00 flour
  • 100cl extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • ½ sachet of baking powder
  • 1 sachet of vanilla
  • Lemon zest
  • A pinch of salt


Dough: cook the parsley and chard in salted water. Drain, then finely chop, before frying in a pan with butter and oil. Meanwhile, boil the rice in half milk and half water. Soak the bread in milk and squeeze it. Grate the pecorino and parmesan. In a bowl, mix together the cooked vegetables, the drained rice, the squeezed bread, parmesan and pecorino, eggs, sugar, pepper, nutmeg, pine nuts, pepolino or thyme, and salt.

Shortcrust pastry: mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, salt and lemon zest, then add the oil and eggs. Knead together until you get a compact dough. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Roll out the shortcrust pastry into a 28cm pan, leaving 2cm before the edge of the pan. Inside, after piercing the dough with a fork, put in the dough, leveling the surface. To form the "beaks", cut the edges crosswise with the tip of a knife at a distance of 2cm and roll them inwards. Brush with egg yolk to make them shiny and golden. Bake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.