Shirt, coat and tight shoes. A daylight that is so special only at that time… the walk to the church with an olive branch in hand (symbol of peace and rebirth). Throughout Italy, there are numerous cities that celebrate the resurrection of Christ with very folkloric and heartfelt celebrations. Each region has its own rite, processions and traditions. In the big cities people go simply to mass.”Go in peace, Mass is over” was the pastor’s last sentence, which meant I could take off my Sunday clothes and got to walk back home where the ‘ragu’ and fresh taglietelle were waiting for our return!
With all the Family in the car towards the hills of Rome
A red Fiat 124 with a suitcase full of different food items for the classic Easter Monday family getaway. The first beautiful spring days, the children run in the meadows, the uncles cooking at the barbecue grill lamb and sausages with a glass of red in hand. We deserved a piece of ‘Colomba’!
It is known that the ‘Colomba’ (sweet cake in the shape of a pigeon), the chocolate egg, the ‘torta pasqualina’ (savoury cake) and the lamb or suckling lamb are the most famous dishes of the Italian gastronomic Easter tradition. Eggs of all kinds, especially the ‘real’ ones, a symbol of rebirth and new life, are the undisputed protagonists of the Easter table. Baked lamb or suckling lamb will be on most Italian tables, a Catholic symbol of purity, redemption and resurrection.
Today I remember some dishes from the different regions that are never missing on the table at Easter. The ‘torta Pasqualina’ deserves all our attention, also because it is a very old dish, linked to Easter since time immemorial. Born in Liguria, the pasqualina pie has traveled all over Italy to present itself at the table with variations in the filling (from artichokes to spinach). ‘La Crescia’ is one of the special breads prepared for the Easter holidays all over Italy, but especially in Val d’Aosta and the Marche. A focaccia made with egg, olive oil and grated pecorino. It is eaten in slices, accompanied by salami. A cornerstone of Neapolitan cuisine, La Pastiera, a wheat and ricotta-based dessert copied from us around the world, was created to greet the arrival of spring and Easter. ‘Scarcedda’ is a typical Basilicata dessert that is almost exclusively prepared during the Easter period. Gold in color and filled with ricotta and sugar, it also contains a hard-boiled egg. ‘Le Cuddure’, shortbread-like biscuits with funny shapes that literally wrap hard boiled eggs and are produced in Sicily. Green Lasagne alla Bolognese… nothing celebrates more than a lasagna. In Piemonte, there is no feast without ‘Agnolotti del Plin’, a stuffed pasta made from the reuse of roasted or stewed meat. In Trentino, lamb is once again the protagonist, but in the inviting form of Easter meatballs. The meat is minced and mixed with egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley, milk and breadcrumbs. Also, very popular with children. And we end with the ‘Colomba’, the sweet symbol of Easter that we all know!