Italian Easter Celebration

By Cindy Adams

Want to change it up this Easter? Why not bring Italy to your table? We’ve collected a couple of popular Italian recipes that will be a special treat for your family and guests.

To celebrate Easter, preparing a traditional, classic Italian Easter Pie (Torta Pasqualina) is a must for most Italians. This is truly one big mama of a torta/pie – certainly so massive, time-consuming, and expensive in ingredients, that it is saved only for special celebrations such as Easter . . . this is not your average weekly or even monthly pie/ torta!

A traditional Italian classic dessert is Tiramisù. Tiramisù is one of the most famous Italian desserts in the world, born in Treviso (a lovely town near Venice), it is delicious and easy to make.

Buon appetito! We hope you enjoy these great recipes and have a Happy Easter!„

Torta Pasqualina
Italian Easter Pie

This pie is a quintessential Italian specialty to celebrate Easter!

Made to feed a crowd, Italian Easter Pie is a massive, hefty pie packed with literally more than 2 pounds of Italian meats in this puppy: salami, hot capicola, Italian sausage, prosciutto and pancetta, and about 3 pounds of assorted Italian cheeses: mozzarella, ricotta, Parmigiano, all baked inside a delectable, buttery, flaky crust!


1 package dried porcini mushrooms soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 pound fresh spinach
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds ricotta cheese, drained
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons flour

Layers of Italian Meats and Cheeses
1/2 cup asiago cheese, shredded or sliced
1 large ball of fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 lb. provolone cheese, shredded or sliced 1/2 cup pancetta, cubed or sliced thin
1/4 cup mortadella, cubed or sliced thin
4 oz. hot cappicola, cubed or sliced thin
1/4 lb. prosciutto, cubed or sliced thin
4 oz. soprassetta, cubed or sliced thin
4 oz. Genoa salami, cubed or sliced thin
4 oz. pepperoni, cubed or sliced thin

Pie Dough
Use your favorite high-quality pie dough recipe.


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place dried porcini mushrooms in bowl of hot water to plump up for about 30 minutes, drain.

In buttered saucepan, sautè the mushrooms for 5 minutes.

In separate large frying/saucepan, in olive oil, cook the spinach for 2 minutes.

In another saucepan, in olive oil, cook artichokes for 5 minutes.

In another small saucepan, in olive oil, sauté garlic.

Add all of these together, except the spinach. Set it aside for the assembly of the torta.

Add in the parsley. Set aside.

In a large bowl, blend ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, whipping cream, and flour.

Add the mushroom, artichoke, garlic, parsley mixture to the cheese-egg mixture.

Assembly of Torta
Spray/grease a 10″ springform pan

Roll out pie dough so that it is wide enough to cover both the bottom and sides of the baking pan.

Pour in about 2 inches of the cheese-egg-artichoke filling mixture.

Bake for about 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and alternate layers of remaining cheeses and Italian meats, except the mozzarella.

Layer the cooked spinach on top.

Layer the slices of mozzarella on top of spinach.

Pour remaining cheese-egg-mushroom-artichoke mixture over the meat and cheese layers.

Place a top layer of pie dough on top and baste with an egg wash.

Bake for 70 – 80 minutes, using aluminum foil to prevent dough from burning.

TIPS for Making Italian Easter Pie:
Chop up all of your ingredients ahead of time and have everything measured out and ready to go to cut back on time.

As always, only use the very freshest Italian specialty ingredients.

Be creative and add your favorite ingredients or delete some of those in this recipe that you may not prefer. Adding chopped red peppers, for example, adds another layer of red pops of color.

It is also common to have hard-boiled eggs inserted in the filling.

Bake one day ahead of serving and refrigerate. Re-heat for about a half-hour before serving so that the Italian Easter Pie is served warm.

Buona Pasqua my Friends!