Easter or Pasqua in Italian, is one of Italy’s biggest and most important holidays. Grand processions, firework displays and other open-air events are held across the country, as each region celebrates the resurrection of Jesus according to their own unique set of traditions. As this collection of Italian Easter recipes demonstrates, this also extends to the foods that are eaten. In Sardinia star-shaped tartlets filled with ricotta, saffron and citrus peel are a traditional favourite, while In Sicily, colourful Italian biscuits called Cuddura Siciliana are eaten during Easter lunch. These unusual little biscuits feature a whole boiled egg wrapped in pastry and are said to have originated with the Ancient Greeks who colonized Sicily over 2500 years ago

lam-with-artichokes-carre_agnello_carciofi

The Italian mainland has just as rich a food heritage as its islands. In Naples a fragrant wheat cake called Pastiera Napoletana is commonplace. Served for breakfast on Easter Sunday, it is traditionally prepared on Good Friday to allow enough time for the citrus, vanilla and ricotta filling to properly infuse. No Italian Easter collection would be complete without a Torta pasqualina, a delicious Easter pie which has a rich ricotta and egg filling – ingredients that were historically forbidden during lent. Bring this classic Italian Easter dish to your own home with Luca Marchiori’s easy recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

Per 6 servings

2 lb lamb loin
6 artichokes
Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 small bunch mint, chopped
3 ½ oz Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
mix of spices (oregano and capers) to taste

PREPARATION: 1 hour and 40 minutes

  • Clean the loin of lamb, leaving it whole.
  • Flavor the lamb with Sapori Italiani - mix of spices and allow it to marinate at least one hour. 
  • To clean the artichokes, cut them in half, and then julienne style (cut them into short, thin strips).
  • Place them in the pan with a little Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP and sauté until tender. Once the artichokes are done, add the chopped garlic and mint; mix gently.
  • Brown the lamb in the pan with some Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP, and then put it in the oven until it is finished cooking (approximately 10 minutes). Just before the lamb is finished, degrease and douse with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
  • Once the lamb is finished cooking, let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Place the cooked artichokes in the center of a dish.
  • Slice the lamb, following the line of the ribs, and place them on top of the artichokes.
  • Drizzle it slightly with the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena remaining in the pan and the flavorful Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP and serve.
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Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian religion and is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, three days after he had been crucified. One important detail about this holiday, is that the date changes from year to year.

As was decided at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AC, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring and can therefore vary from March 22nd to April 25th. The week prior to Easter, beginning with Palm Sunday, is referred to as Holy Week and is a period of many symbolical celebrations, including the preparation of long tables in churches that represent the table there Jesus held his last supper with his twelve disciples.

There is also the procession of Good Friday, during which people try to recreate the Christ’s long walk towards the cross.

  


Campania-style Fried Eggs with Cheese

The importance of Easter in Italian culture is reflected in the country’s food traditions. During Easter lunch in Italy, lamb and eggs are always served. They appear either as part of the meal itself, or as sweets in the shape of these symbols of life and rebirth (in the case of eggs) and of sacrifice of the son of God for humanity (in the case of the lamb.)


INGREDIENTS:

Per 4 servings

6 eggs
bechamel
1 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
nutmeg
oil
1 egg
all-purpose flour
breadcrumbs
salt
pepper

PREPARATION:   

  • Shell the hard-boiled eggs, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to leave the whites empty.
  • Mash the yolks with a fork and work them into the béchamel or Ricotta, the grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.
  • Spread the mixture inside the half egg-whites cut previously, giving the mixture a rounded shape to simulate a whole egg.
  • Coat these eggs in flour, immerse them in the beaten egg, and dip gently in the bread crumbs, taking care, using the hands, to preserve the shape.
  • Fry in abundant boiling oil, a few at a time, until golden.
  • Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.
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