Like all holidays in Italy, Pasqua (Easter) has infinite traditions, both religious and culinary. After 40 days of fasting for Lent, Easter Sunday arrives with enough food to feed an army.  Dishes include lamb or kid/goat, savory Easter breads with a different twist from every region and sweet Easter dove-shaped bread aka “la colomba“.

I am fortunate to spend my Easter Sunday near Naples, where my maternal grandparents were born. As emigranti, they transported many traditional recipes from Salerno and Avellino to Boston: specialities from this amazing region that my family cooks for every Easter lunch and that I want to share with you.

Tortano Napoletano – My personal favorite tortano is a savory-spicy cheese bread speckled with salami, provolone cheese and lard; melt in your mouth, cling to your arteries goodness.

tortano4

Pizza Rustica or “Pizza Chiena” – This savory pie is stuffed with cheese and meat. Ingredients include cheeses like ricotta, pecorino and mozzarella and cured meat like salami and prosciutto.

pizzachiena

Cannelloni – This homemade pasta is rolled and filled with ricotta cheese and ground meat before it is topped with tomato sauce. It wouldn’t be an Italian meal without pasta.

canellonieaster

Capretto  – In the past goat was esteemed as better than lamb. In most Italian homes lamb is the main course but in our home goat takes center stage. It is roasted with potatoes and garlic, olive oil and white wine. This succulent dish signals spring time!

goatPastiera Napoletana – This Neapolitan dessert is made with ricotta cheese, orange blossom water, cooked wheat berries and candied citrus peel.

pastiera

Buon appetito and Buona Pasqua!