Italian Easter Pies -(repost) & Happy Passover

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Hi Everyone,

This is a busy week in many households that celebrate Easter. This week many Italian’s make their Easter pies for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

I am not making Easter pies this year due to my surgery, but wanted to repost the recipes for my Italian Easter Pies, one sweet (Pizza Dolce) and one savory (Pizza Rustica) for all of you to try and enjoy.

Photo Mar 28, 11 53 10 PM PIZZA RUSTICA AND PIZZA DOLCE -EASTER 2018

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Pizza Dolce

Photo Mar 27, 11 26 19 PM -PIZZA DOLCE 2018

It is an Italian cheesecake made with ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar and extracts.

It is definitely not a low-calorie pie.

INGREDIENTS:

24 eggs

3 lbs. Whole milk ricotta cheese (large container)  

1 qt. Whole milk 

1 oz. lemon extract 

1 oz. almond extract 

1 oz. vanilla extract 

1 oz. anise extract

Zest of ½ a medium lemon 

3 ½ cups sugar 

Colored confetti sprinkles (aka: rainbow nonpareil)

 DIRECTIONS:

 Add eggs, milk and ricotta in a blender until smooth (I divide this to 1/3 at a time), transfer to a large bowl.

When completed, add extracts, sugar, lemon zest and mix well.

Spray two 9 ½ X 11 inch GLASS pans with Pam. Fill each pan ¾ of the way full—add rainbow confetti on top of mixture.

Place in a 350-degree oven for approx. 1 ½ hours. (More sprinkles can be added during the cooking time).

 (1 fluid oz. = 6 tsp or 2 TBSP)            This recipe makes 2 pans

Ready for the oven….

Photo Mar 26, 5 42 22 PM PIZZA DOLCE READY FOR THE OVEN

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica is my absolute favorite. 

Photo Mar 28, 12 07 56 AM PIZZA RUSTICA 2018

It is a classic savory Italian Easter pie made with cured Italian meats, Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs. We usually eat thin slices of Pizza Rustica as an antipasto on Easter before a traditional lamb dinner, and it can be served either warm or cold .

This pie is also a main part of “Easter Monday” or “La Pasquetta” which means little Easter.

Easter Monday is a national holiday in Italy. Italians leave the city and head to the country, the beach or the mountains for a family picnic. Pizza Rustica, frittata, Easter bread, wine and chocolate biscotti are all on the menu.

The whole point is to celebrate the return of Spring.

We always celebrated Easter Monday when I was a child.

Depending on what region of Italy you are from, the name of this recipe may vary. It is also called Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Gaina and Pizza Piena .  

However, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter what region you are from!

Ingredients:

¼ lb. prosciutto

1 stick soppressata (or mix half sweet and half hot)

1 stick pepperoni salami

¼ lb. hot capicola

6-8 slices of genoa salami

Fresh basket cheese……. NOT Mozzarella –– usually sold in a 2 lb. baskets at the Italian market. Let it drain in a colander overnight and when ready to use squeeze out any excess liquid. (Use a wooden spoon or fingers to crumble)

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13 large eggs

¼ cup half and half

¼ cup grated provolone

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Nutmeg (approx. 2 shakes)

½ Cup fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

Salt – can be omitted because the cold cuts are salty

2 egg yolks & a tsp of sugar for the glaze

Two 1 lb. balls of pizza dough (either homemade, or from a pizzeria)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut first six ingredients (meat and cheese) into small bite size pieces & mix together in a large bowl (This prep work can be done on one day and assemble the pie the next day).
  2. When ready to assemble, add Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, provolone, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper to prior meat and cheese mixture
  3. Prepare small roasting pan or spring-form pan, with olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cut pizza dough and shape to form a bottom layer WITH SIDES and a top layer of dough. (If you don’t want a full top layer, cut the dough in strips and criss cross on top with no venting)
  4. After shaping the bottom layer of dough in the pan–add the meat and cheese mixture. Separately, beat the 13 eggs and half and half, and pour over dry mixture in pan and MIX WELL. Add top layer of dough (or strips)
  5. Roll top & bottom layers of dough together around the sides to seal. Vent the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife several times.
  6. Add sugar to the EGG YOLKS and brush the top of the pie to prepare a glaze when cooking.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr. to 1 hr. /15 minutes….
  8. For the first 30 minutes cover the pie with aluminum foil. For the remaining 45 minutes bake uncovered. If using a spring-form pan-let pie stand 15 minutes then release pan sides and transfer to plate. Can be served warm or cold.

Ready for the oven…

Photo Mar 27, 8 48 20 PM - RUSTICAPhoto Mar 27, 9 43 23 PM - PIZZA RUSTICA READY FOR THE OVEN

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And Happy Passover to all our members who will be celebrating this weekend!

I don’t have any recipes for Passover but I do have a list of the traditional foods for a Seder plate (source: myjewishlearning.com).

The Traditional Foods of Passover

Seder Plate

Here is an example of a traditional plate used only on Passover. From the bone at the top and counter-clockwise we explain the traditional foods.

1. Z’roa: A lamb shank represents a symbolic offering to the temple.
2. Beitzah: The egg is a symbol of rebirth.
Maror: Bitter herbs such as horseradish signify the bitterness of enslavement.
Karpas: A non-bitter vegetable, here parsley, is dipped in salted water to symbolize tears.
5. Haroset: A mixture of apple, nuts and wine that represents the mortar and bricks used by the enslaved Jews. 
6. Hazeret: Another bitter herb, such as romaine lettuce. Some do not use a second bitter herb. 
Source: myjewishlearning.comHappy Passover for blog image

Have a wonderful and Happy Easter and Happy Passover with your family and friends. 

Wishing you many blessings in the year ahead…

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

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4 thoughts on “Italian Easter Pies -(repost) & Happy Passover

  1. Antoinette (Toni) Steigerwald

    Diane, thank you for this lovely post ! Praying for complete healing from your heart surgery.
    Thanks for the recipes for Both pies, and especially the history lessons on Easter Monday and Jewish Seder.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Loretta Lawrence

    Diane it is wonderful to see you back. I loved your telling of Easter Monday. It is the first time I have heard if it. We should all celebrate like Italians with a simple life and making time for what is really important in life. As usual your posts are stunning and informative. Blessings Loretta and Ken Lawrence

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. aries041158 Post author

      Hi Toni, thank you for the prayers, they are very much appreciated. I am now 10 weeks post transplant and I am starting to take a few steps unassisted, thanks to my physical therapist. I am trying to get myself ready to prepare a tablescape in a few months. I am glad that you enjoyed the post today.

      Like

      Reply
  3. aries041158 Post author

    Hi Loretta, How are you? I am so glad you enjoyed the post today….Easter Monday was a great holiday for me when I was a child. We live on Long Island and very close to all the beaches. When I was a child, if the weather was nice we would go to the beach and have a picnic and if it was too cool for the beach, we would take a ride out east on the island near the Hamptons or Montauk and have a picnic near all the farm stands. I have very fond memories of that holiday. You are right, we all need to step back and enjoy life. With my heart transplant and getting a second chance, I think I will go back to a simpler life that isn’t so hectic…..Many blessings to you as well.

    Like

    Reply

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