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Lisa’s Torta della Nonna

Torta della Nonna

If Lisa had to pick one of her absolute favorite desserts of all time in Italy, it would definitely be Torta della Nonna. Translating to “Grandmother’s Cake”, the crust is buttery, the filling is made of ricotta cheese, pine nuts, and eggs. It’s creamy and delicate and the toasted pine nuts are also sprinkled on top of the cake. Lisa has seen Torta della Nonna in country homes across Italy served in well used, old baking dishes and cooked outside in wood-burning ovens. She has also ordered it from the menu of some of the fanciest restaurants in Rome and Milan. No matter where you are in Italy, you can find Torta della Nonna! This cake has universal appeal and is definitely a national Italian treasure.

Watch Lisa make the recipe on the Lisa’s Italian Kitchen YouTube channel. Buon appetito e tutti a tavola!

Lisa’s Torta della Nonna Ingredients:


2 cups of flour

3 eggs

1/2 cups of sugar

6 Tablespoons of butter


2 cups whole milk ricotta

1 cup pignoli

1/2 cup of sugar

3 eggs

4 Tablespoons squeezed lemon juice

Lisa’s Torta della Nonna Directions:

For the pastry mix the flour, eggs, sugar, and butter together to form a smooth pastry dough. Knead until very smooth. Do not refrigerate, but leave in a medium size bowl with a cotton cloth over the top for 30-40 minutes.

Torta della NonnaTorta della Nonna

Mix together ricotta and sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and 3/4 cups pignoli. Set aside 1/4 cup of pignoli. Cut the pastry dough in half. Roll each half out large enough to fit in a pie plate. Place one in the bottom of a pie pan, preferably glass. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over interior of crust. Pour ricotta filling into crust. Roll out 2nd pie crust and place on top of the ricotta filling.

Torta della Nonna Torta della Nonna

Brush top of pie with egg white, then sprinkle the remaining pignoli across the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Torta della Nonna


  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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