The Tradition of Italian Easter Pie
The Italian Easter Pie is a delicacy that you wouldn’t miss during Easter in an Italian family. The traditional Italian Easter pie comes in different forms. There is one that comes in 33 layers of crusts.
The layers represent the years that Jesus lived on earth. It is called Torte Pasqualina, and it’s made with cheese, greens, ham, and boiled eggs.
The one prepared with cured meats and cheese is called Pizza Giana Italian Easter pie.
The Origins of Italian Easter Pie
The Italian Easter pie is also known as Pizza Rustica. The Easter pie Italian tradition began with a family called the Saparitos. They ran an Italian restaurant in New Rochelle. An old lady by the name of Stella Saparito is the one that passed the tradition to her kids and grandchildren. Stella’s mother, Catherine Perri, brought the recipe from Calabria in 1902.
Stella would shop for all the required ingredients before the Easter holiday. During Good Friday, she would start making the pie crust and fillings for three pies. The three pies would be enough for almost 40 people.
The pizza rusticas would be ready by evening, but none would taste them until Holy Saturday at noon. The Easter pie Italian tradition was passed across to the next generations of Stella’s family. It then became a norm in Italian families.
The Only Recipe You Need for Italian Easter Pie
Italian Easter Pie Recipe
Yields: Serves 8
Time: 1 hr 30 mins
For the Crust
- 400 grams all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 7 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
- 8 ounces (227g) Italian sausage
- 0.13 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 15-oz (425g) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 4 eggs
- 8 ounces (227g) cubed genoa salami
- 2 ounces (57g) sliced prosciutto
- 8 ounces (227g) cubed smoked ham
- 8 ounces (227g) cubed hot capicola
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2(10-oz) (283g) frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
- 1 cup whole roasted red bell peppers
Instructions for Crust
- Mix sugar, flour, and salt in a food processor until well combined. Do this 3-4 times.
- Add butter and egg. Mix 8-10 times until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Sprinkle the ice water over the dough.
- Put the dough on a floured surface. Divide into a half and shape into disks of 4 inches each.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and let them refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350degrees F (177 degrees Celsius) with a rack at the center.
- Unwrap one disk and roll it to a 16-inch circle. Place it on a 9-inch spring-form pan.
- Refrigerate and use it when necessary.
Instructions for the filling
- Cook the Italian sausage over medium heat while breaking it until it crumbles, for five to seven minutes.
- Place it on a flat surface and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
- Whisk pepper, 3 eggs, and ricotta in a large bowl. Then put in capicola, ham, and salami and stir.
- Shingle the prosciutto slices in the dough’s bottom. Spread the mixture of ricotta over the prosciutto, and then distribute the sausage into an even layer on the ricotta. Take the peppers and sprinkle them on top of the sausage. Top with parmesan and spinach.
- Roll the remaining dough into a circle of 12 inches. Place the filling. Trim the overhang so that the size is the same as the bottom crust. Pinch the bottom and top crusts firmly together.
- Beat the remaining egg and apply it over the top of the pie. Cut four vents of 4 inches each on top of the dough. They should be circular.
- Transfer the pie to a baking sheet and bake for one hour until it is golden brown. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 more minutes till the temperature reads 150 degrees F (66 degrees Celsius).
- Transfer the pie to a wire rack. Give it at least three hours to cool. You can also refrigerate it for up to two days.
Tips on Making Italian Easter Pie
- The traditional Italian Easter pie can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days.
- You can freeze the Italian Easter pie once you have cooked it. For significant results, cut into slices. To thaw, you need to leave it in the refrigerator and then heat it at a medium-low temperature in the oven.
- To make your pie more crispy and crunchier, use high-quality puff pastry.
- To have a tasty cream suitable for the springtime, mix chard and spinach for your filling.
- To prepare Pasqualino with artichokes, follow the same steps, but substitute chard with artichoke hearts:
- Cook the artichoke hearts in a pan with little oil.
- When they are cold, crumble them and add them to cheese.
- You can change the ingredients by using chard, cured meats, and pecorino cheese.
Amount per serving
- Calories—502. g
If you are looking for an Easter pie, then you need to try the Italian Easter Pie recipe listed here! The preparation is easy—although long.
If you enjoyed this Italian recipe, why not read our article, and try our recipe on What is Risotto?