Steeped in a rich tradition of Catholicism, Easter is a major celebration in Italy. The season begins with Carnevale in January, continues through the beginning of Lent, and concludes with Holy Week – the week immediately prior to Easter. The celebration really ramps up toward the end of the week.
On Holy Thursday, the Last Supper is reenacted.
On Good Friday, the death of Christ is observed.
On Holy Saturday, a somber Easter Vigil is held.
On Easter Sunday, the celebration feast begins!
Wondering what types of traditional Italian fare is served during the Easter holiday? Here you go.
Lamb: Lamb is the traditional dish on Easter. While there is regional variation of many of the other dishes, lamb is pretty much a given on any holiday table. We love this recipe for Roast Lamb Shoulder Stuffed with Sausage and Spinach.
Pasta: As usual, pasta is served as one of the courses. On Easter it is typically tortellini, ravioli, or lasagna flavored with lamb.
Torta Pasqualina: A savory green pie filled with eggs, ricotta, and artichokes that was traditionally made with 33 layers of dough to symbolize the 33 years of Christ’s life.
Casatiello: A savory stuffed Easter bread. It’s traditionally made with ham or salami, but you could also substitute Italian sausage if you prefer.
Colomba: A dove-shaped Easter cake topped with a sweet crust and sprinkled with nuts.
Eggs: While boiled eggs are part of the traditional Easter celebration, in Italy they aren’t brought by bunnies. Intricately-decorated chocolate eggs are also given as gifts between family and friends.
It’s always fun to learn about how Easter is celebrated in other cultures, and the rich Italian traditions do not disappoint. What dishes does your family serve for the holiday?
Make sure your recipes are perfect by choosing Isernio’s Premium products – find them at a grocer near you. And if your family is interested in serving something this year that’s a little unexpected but still honors the holiday, we’ve got a few more suggestions here.