"La Festa di Pasqua"
We celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the first full moon of spring. It is a celebration of rebirth and hope and, for Christians, a celebration of the resurrection. In Italy, the week before Easter is the most solemn of them all. It is a time of refection and special church services beginning with the observance of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday and culminating in the glorious celebration on Easter Sunday. Italians consider Easter Sunday to be a more "relaxed" holiday than Christmas. There is an old saying, "Natale con I tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuol" (Christmas at home with your family, Easter with whomever you please.)
Bread has a religious significance on the Italian Easter table, for Christ is often referred to as "the bread of life." Hand-fashioned egg-decorated breads vary from region to region in Italy and go by many different names. But the commonality of baking whole eggs twisted or braided into bread is part of the theme of Easter; eggs being the symbol of rebirth.
According to tradition, the egg represents the origins of life, rebirth, hope, and new beginnings. Eggs are abundantly present in Italian Easter breads and sweet and savory cakes of the season. The unquestioned symbol of Easter throughout Italy is the chocolate egg. They are usually hollow, often with a gift inside. Their heights range from a few inches to several feet. The chocolate eggs are traditionally wrapped in a bright, colorful foil fanned out in a beautiful display and sometimes embellished with ribbons, bows, and flowers. It is thanks to the famous chocolatiers from the Piedmont at the end of the 1700's that we owe the creation of the first chocolate Easter egg.
Italian Easter Recipes
Pizza Chena, sometimes pronounced "Pizza Gaina," is a southern Italian savory "full pie" with a variety of cheese, cold cuts, and eggs encased in a bread crust.
Pizza Chena Recipe >>
The lamb, representing innocence and the sacrificed Christ (the lamb of God), is referred to as the Pascal lamb. It is the meat of choice on an Italian Easter dinner table.
Italian Lamb Recipes >>
Lamb keeps its place on the Easter table even with desserts. The often-elaborate lamb-shaped Easter cake can be found as the centerpiece on many Italian Easter tables.
Lamb Cake Recipe >>
Bolognese rice cake is served as a celebratory cake and is very typical during the Easter season.
Bolognese Rice Cake Recipe >>
Fiadone or ricotta pie is a typical Italian dessert is often served as an Easter specialty in southern Italy. The flavorings vary according to region. This recipe for fiadone has a custard-like filling with a delicate lemon flavor.
Fiadone Recipe >>
Colomba di Pasqua is a traditional Italian Easter yeast bread. It is shaped like a dove (colomba in Italian), the symbol of peace and resurrection.
Easter Dove Bread Recipe >>
Pastiera, the ultimate Neapolitam Easter dessert, is a sweet and creamy custard pie with whole grain wheat berries and bits of candied orange and lemon peel suspended inside a lattice-topped pastry crust.
Wheat Berry Cake Recipe >>
Casatiello is a rich savory bread filled with meat and cheese that is a traditional Easter bread from Naples, Italy.
Casatiello Recipe >>
Pardulas look like a pastry chef's version of the rising sun on Easter.
They contain very little sugar and the saffron gives them a slightly tangy flavor.
Pardulas Recipe >>
Torta Pasqualina is a savory vegetable Easter pie with origins in the region of Liguria in
northeastern Italy. The torta can be made with a mixture of greens
Torta Pasqualina Recipe >>
Many people throughout southern Italy give La Pupazza con l' uovo, the doll with an egg, as a traditional Easter gift, especially for children.
Puppazze con L'Uova Recipe >>
Our Easter brunch menu features Orange Smoothies, Crostini with Ricotta Cheese,
Amaretto Glazed Ham, Asparagi Mimosa, Ravioli with Lemon Cream Sauce, and Ricotta Cookies
Easter Brunch Menu >>
These cupcakes are perfect for Easter or any springtime party. Kids of all ages
can have fun with the decorating.
Easter Cupcakes Recipe >>
Italian Chocolate Easter Eggs
LAMB CAKE PAN
Italian pastry shops have an array of lamb cakes available at Eastertime. Some are filled with almond paste and others have candied fruit and nuts in the batter. Make one as a certerpiece for your Easter dinner or brunch table or to give as a charming gift.
The Italian chocolatier Perugina has been making chocolate Easter eggs for so many years that people who got them as kids in Italy are now passing on the tradition to their grandchildren.These hollow chocolate eggs are wrapped in bright, colorful and festive Easter foil packaging and inside the egg is a surprise for all to enjoy!
Pizza di Crema is a custard pie that is Neapolitan in origin. Pizza di Crema has a custard filling flavored with orange zest, cinnamon, and vanilla and enhanced with cherries.
Pizza di Crema Recipe >>
These large cookies are shaped like Easter baskets, brushed with a sugar glaze, dusted with candy sprinkles, and have a colored hard-boiled egg embedded.
Easter Egg Cookies Recipe >>
AN ITALIAN TRADITION
Tuscan sweet buns made with bread dough, olive oil, raisins, and rosemary. Similar to hot-cross buns, they are traditionally eaten on Holy Thursday.
Pan di Ramerino Recipe >>