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trillium

Passover & Easter in Italy: Foods & Traditions

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Not wearing my trainers. Just loved the San Giuseppe topic you started.

I agree about David Downie's book, Cooking the Roman Way as praised in the current thread on Lazio.

It includes a recipe for an Easter bread made with ham and olives. I wonder just how many different Easter breads there are in Italy's regions, including the type that Lidia Bastianich shares from Friuli-Venezia Giulia.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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my cookbook is at home... but I believe Joyce Goldstein offers some thoughs (and if I'm not mistaken) a few Italian Passover recipes in her book Cusina Ebraica.

I'll try to have a look and let you know - but this is my busiest week of the year - so it may not happen until after the fact. Perhaps somebody else has it.

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Perhaps somebody else has it.

Joyce Goldstein's Cucina Ebraica contains two of my favorite Passover recipes:

Sweet and sour Squash

Roast Chicken with oranges, lemons, and ginger

Italian Passover recipes for both Seders

Minestra di Riso per Pesach

Passover Chicken Soup with Rice

Muggine in Bianco

Striped Sea Bass in Gelatin

Spinaci Saltati

Sauteed Spinach

Capretto per Pesach

Passover Kid

Matza Coperta

A Matza Omelet

Ricciarelli di Siena

Sienese marzipan pastries delicately scented with orange

Second Night:

Minestra di Sfoglietti per Pesach

Passover Pasta Soup

Spigola Arrosto

Roast Snapper.

Artichokes

Torta del Re

King's Cake, a heavenly almond cake

a bit of background on Passover in Italy

the Nazis began deporting with the same frightening efficiency they displayed elsewhere. Those who had advance notice either went into hiding or took to the hills; Edda Servi Machlin, whose father was the Rabbi of the Tuscan town of Pitigliano, joined the partisans in the wild hills of the Maremma region.

she didn't forget her homeland, nor the foods her family ate. Quite the contrary, she has lectured widely on Italian Jewish life, and gathered her recollections of life and cuisine into a delightful book entitled The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews.

Speaking of Passover, she says, "Other differences [with respect to the Eastern European Jewish Seder] stem from the fact that some foods which are not considered Kosher by the Ashkenazim are permitted by the Italkim or Sephardim and vice versa.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Two good general resources for Italian Easter Baking and Desserts:

Carol Field’s “Celebrating Italy: Tastes & Traditions of Italy as Revealed Through Its Feasts, Festivals & Sumptuous Foods”

click

Nick Malgieri’s “Great Italian Desserts”

click


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I posted this in the Friuli-Venezia Guilia thread but thought the recipe links would also be of interest here:

(I've made the Austrian version of this Easter Bread and it is very delcious with sweet butter.)

...

I was researching an Austrian Easter Bread/Bun called "Osterpinzer" and came across an interesting discovery, namely that there is an Easter bread from the Istrian and Veneto region with a very similar name, "Pinza".  The recipes look very similar too.  I ran across a recipe from Lidia on-line from her book, "Lidia's Italian Table".  Here it is: click

In her book she says it is a precursor to the Italian pannetone and colomba cakes but she doesn't shed any light on whether it originally came from more northern climes like Austria or vice versa.

Here is another Istrian link with some Pinza recipes that I ran across: Pinza Easter Bread .

The Austrian and Italian versions are both cut in the same manner as well before baking, with deep slashes that make an open flower type pattern on top of the baked bun or loaf.  This type of bread, is I think, typical in style with that of several central and eastern European countries at Eastertime, but I thought it was interesting that the names were so related in this case.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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We're italkim - here's what we make for passover: click.

The matzoh ball soup is not traditional, but my mom's friends seem to like it. We really should have a rice & chicken soup, but we don't. Call it living in the states for too long now - assimilation is a killer

The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews is really amazing book. I highly suggest it to anyone with tastebuds. :wink:


Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.

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My Dad's side of the family are originally from Verona, but they moved to Prague and then to Germany.

We never had gefillte fish for our seder. My grandparents and the rest of the family didn't know what it was until they moved to the States and Israel.

I introduced, my other half to Venetian Haroset and now he makes a variation of it. It is outstanding and we are not allowed to come to my cousin's seder without it. :smile: He won't let me give out the recipe :hmmm: . One of the ingredients is chestnut paste.

I make matzah balls from the whole matzah. Here is a picture of the soup and the recipe for the matzah balls.

gallery_8006_298_1100295229.jpg


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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We're italkim - here's what we make for passover: click.

The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews is really amazing book.  I highly suggest it to anyone with tastebuds. :wink:

I have, slightly by accident a spere copy of both Volume 1 and 2 of Machlin "The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews" (Giro Press about 1993). I think I paid about $30 each. Happy to pass them on to a good home

In it she descibes sfogliettiPassover Pasta, amde from passover flour (same flour used to make Matzo), and baked as soon as mixed, a bit like matzo

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I have, slightly by accident a spere copy of both Volume 1 and 2 of Machlin "The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews" (Giro Press about 1993). I think I paid about $30 each. Happy to pass them on to a good home

In it she descibes sfogliettiPassover Pasta, amde from passover flour (same flour used to make Matzo), and baked as soon as mixed, a bit like matzo

Sfoglietti are made from flour and eggs, but no water and then baked. They're pretty decent in soups. Also for the original poster - artichokes with peas or just sauteed would be a great addition to any meal.


Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.

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Here's what I've found on Eastertide dishes after researching my cookbooks:

First of all, once again, Michele Scicolone’s book Italian Holiday Cooking proves to be an indispensable resource. Quite a few of the recipes listed below are also found in her cookbook. She gives a great sidebar discussion of both Easter (Pasqua) and Easter Monday (Pasquetta) and suggested menus for both.

Sweet Ricotta Tarts are eaten all over Italy, according to both Scicolone as well as Lynne Rosetto Kasper in The Italian Country Table.

In Lombardia, particularly the Camonica Valley, little glazed rolls, stuffed with candied fruits are consumed, often paired with something savory such as chamois proscittuo(!) at the start of the meal (Italian Country Table).

Similarly, in Milan and Pavia (differing legends and history, of course), a similar bread is shaped into a dove and baked. (The Italian Baker, Carol Field)

In Friuli, they make Gubana, a bread stuffed with nuts, chocolate, dried fruits, and several liqueurs. (The Italian Baker)

In Umbria and Le Marche, cheese breads are made, and in Umbria, these breads are baked in little flower pots. (The Italian Baker)

In Recipes from Paradise by Fred Plotkin, he describes one Ligurian dish, Torta Pasqualina, a savory pie stuffed with prescinseua (a tangy cousin of ricotta) cheese, fresh herbs, greens, and whole raw eggs which set while the pie bakes.

The Romans have Torta Salata, an eggy bread with olives, ham, and pecorino romano. (Cooking the Roman Way)

According to Arthur Schwartz’s Naples at Table, in Campania, a variation of the traditional bread Tortano, now called Castiello, is served. These are lard (and it must be lard, implores Schwartz) enriched loaves of bread, stuffed with salami and provolone or some other sharp aged cheese, that then have hard-boiled eggs affixed to them before baking.

Campania and Abruzzo among other Southern regions has pizza rustica, aka pizza chiena, aka pizza gain, a baked pie stuffed with cheese and ham. In Abruzzo, the cheese would be their much-beloved scamorza, smoked fiore di latte.

For the dinner itself, lamb, of course, plays a major role in traditional Easter meals all over Italy. A traditional recipe in many different regions is to roast the leg over a bed of potatoes (Italian Holiday Cooking).

In Puglia, one traditional Lamb dish according to Nancy Harmon Jenkins in Flavors of Puglia is to oven-braise it with peas and pancetta, then finish with raw eggs and cheese swirled in, which “cook” in the sauce.

This egg and cheese emulsion stirred in at the end finds its way into many traditional lamb preparations across the South, including also Campania, Lazio, and Abruzzo and is often called “brodetto”.

A tradtional pasta dish eaten during Easter week in Rome, according to Cooking the Roman Way, is penne tossed with ricotta and asparagus.

Finally, David Downie also gives a wonderful description of “Pasquetta”, Easter Monday, in his excellent cookbook Cooking the Roman Way. In Rome, Pasquetta is traditionally a picnic day, and Romans vacate the city in droves and go out into the countryside, particularly the area of Frascati and the Alban Hills. Traditional dishes to pack up and take along:

Lamb in Egg and Cheese Sauce

Fettuccine Alla Romana: Fettuccine tossed with a rich ragu of sausage, chicken livers, and shortribs

Fire-roasted artichokes

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In Puglia, one traditional Lamb dish according to Nancy Harmon Jenkins in Flavors of Puglia is to oven-braise it with peas and pancetta, then finish with raw eggs and cheese swirled in, which “cook” in the sauce.

This sounds terrific, and the recipe is locatable by Google (I don't know the ethics of linking to it since I can't tell from the page if it's authorized or part of a review). I already have a two-pound boneless portion of leg of lamb curing in the fridge, so one way or the other I won't be doing it authentically -- I think I should leave the pancetta out too, because of the salt of the cured lamb -- but I'm definitely going to do something similar, and I love the idea of the sauce.

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WOW, Kevin! :biggrin:

Any idea of what you're gong to make :blink: ?!


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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My grandmother used to make pie for easter, I don't rememeber the name but maybe you all can help me ID it. It was served cold, alternating layers of various types of italian meats and cheeses, basic pie crust on top and bottom. Pizza Jen is what I remember her calling it or something similar but it was many, many years ago. Any idea?

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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See the original post, sweetie. However, the meal seems to be based on regional cooking that is seasonal vs. what is eaten on Easter in Emilia-Romagna.

(Cf. Lazio thread; I am about to post a quick, related note.)


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Here's the really odd thing I've noticed in Italy over Easter... Everybody, and I mean everybody, buys these pre-packaged Easter cakes. Kevin72 described them-- they're sort of like a coffee cake or sweet bread, sometimes dove-shaped, and topped with nuts and sugar. You could probably make a good one yourself, but I don't get the sense that many people do. And I haven't seen them in pasticcerie, either; just these prepackaged, industrial cakes. It blows me away that in a country that prizes good cooking, and good home cooking, as much as the Italians do, there's so much demand for these things. I'm sort of at a loss: there just seems to be an expectation that this is what you do for Pasqua-- whether or not it's something you'd actually want to eat. Very very strange...

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Sorry if I get to this post so late, but I have just noticed a quote about casatiello and would like to make some clarity. Casatiello is on thing and Tortanto is another (or at least are different).

Basically, Casatiello is a lard enriched dough, with grated pecorino and parmiggiano as well as black pepper. Once molded into a ring, whole eggs (with all the shell) are added on top and fix with some dough.

A tortano is based on the same enriched dough (including b pepper and grated cheeses) but it is flatten, cubes of provolone, caciocavallo, salami and cicoli are added, and then rolled and form into a ring. You can also add eggs as for the casatiello, but it is not a must.

I will later attache this year pictures, however for now find below last year pictures, also including Pagnotte con l'olio (olive oil, gaeta olives, fennel seeds, chayenne pepper rolls) and 2 Pastiera (ricotta and wheat neapolitan ester cake)

gallery_24289_2821_79151.jpg

gallery_24289_2821_81644.jpg

gallery_24289_2821_20538.jpg


Edited by Pizza Napoletana (log)

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Another 2 Neapolitan Easter recipes, from last year,

Agnello al Forno (in Naples we use Goat Kid, but in London I had to use Lamb, roasted with new potatoes and shallots)

gallery_24289_2821_80451.jpg

and Agnello Cacio and Uova (it should have been again Capretto -goat kid, with eggs, parmesan, pecorino and garden peas)

gallery_24289_2821_9758.jpg

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Andrew: the cake is 'colomba' (= dove), the symbol for Easter / peace. It's true, many people buy it already made - you can actually find some brands which are truly good (the 'semiartigianali'). It may be troublesome to make it at home, because of the extremely delicate dough (which can easily become acidic), and of the time required to make it rise. That' why many end up buying it already made. Some pasticcerie, however, make it upon customer's request. :wink:

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