Part of the Easter traditions in Italy is the making of the Italian Easter pie. This was a dish that kept the family members looking forward to Easter because it is was such a treat. Over the years the pie that was specifically reserved for the Easter celebrations is now made whenever and wherever people feel like eating it.
With the improvements in mass communication the recipe has reached all corners on the world. Although the pie retains its name as the Italian Easter pie you don’t really have to wait till Easter to treat yourselves with this pie nor do you have to be Christian!
Basically an Italian Easter pie is quite like a quiche. It is a sort of savory pie that is filled with eggs, cheese, meat and a whole range of other possibilities. The Easter pie holds a special place in the lives of the Italian Christians. This is because the period prior to Easter Sunday is a period of fasting and Easter Sunday gives them the opportunity to celebrate with something meaty, cheesy and delicious. You will be able to find the Easter pie with many different names and variations in its recipes.
The city that brought us pizza has its own version of the Easter pie known as pastiera. The people of Naples are into using ricotta cheese and whole grains in the making of the Easter pie. Pizza piena is another name that they have given to it which means stuffed pie. Pizza gain is another name used for the same dish and so is Pizza Rustica and pizzachino.
The Sicilians use pork, cheese, macaroni and eggs in the making of their Easter pie where as the Calabrians are into ham, sausages, mozzarella, ricotta and hard cooked eggs. The particular version of the Easter pie that is found in the region of Liguria is known as Pasqualina and is made using spinach, ricotta cheese and eggs.
The trend in central Italy is somewhat different from what you find in other regions of the country as the Easter pie is found more in the form of a bread than a pie all through out the regions of Umbria to Marches. Torta di pasqua and pizza di pasqua are the names given to the central Italy variation of the Easter Pie.
Making Your Own
There is no hard and fast rule to the making of the Italian pie when it comes to the types and volume of cheese and meat that you can use in the making of the pie. You can do that to suit your taste. Semi soft cheese however seems to work best as it melts into the pie and results in better baking.
To put the finishing touches on the pie you can surely add some finely grated Parmesan or Romano which will give your pie an extra flavor. In terms of meat you have a lot of options like pancetta, sopressa, pepperoni and sausage. If you are not into making your own pie crust then you can easily buy ready made pie crusts to make the job easier. Have fun experimenting with the Italian Easter pie because anything you make is bound to have a good taste.