Are you thinking about what to cook for your Easter Lunch? This spring 2020 is a bit different from others, since our social gatherings are smaller, at home and only with those, who live with us. That’s why we calculated an average number of 4 people for the following recipes, but you can double the quantities if you live in a big household.
Our menu is inspired by traditional Italian recipes, from North to South the habits may vary, so we tried to create a delicious and easy mix for you. If you want to discover more typical recipes of Italy, you can find them here.
During our culinary journey we’ll visit the whole Italian country, mentally travelling from Genoa, Bologna, Florence and Rome to Sicily.
So, 3,2,1… let’s go!
Likewise every “real” Italian lunch, this menu begins with a starter.
This curious dish originates from Genoa, embedded in the beautiful Ligurian Golf between France and Tuscany, and the original name in dialect is “Gattafura”. According to tradition, this savory cake was prepared for the Easter feast covered with thirty-three layers of puff pastry, in homage to the years of Christ.
Don’t worry, our recipe doesn’t require 33 layers, so phew, you will make it!
Finely slice the artichokes and chop the spinach with a knife. Chop the onion and fry it in a pan with the oil. Divide the onion into two pans, add the spinach in one, the artichokes in the other, salt and leave to dry. As soon as they are dry, allow to cool. Prepare the dough with ricotta, 1 whole egg, salt, nutmeg, mixing the vegetables, fresh marjoram and grated cheese. Spread part of the sheet and line a mold, distribute the dough, form 5 holes and arrange the yolks of the remaining eggs. Cover with a disk of the remaining sheet; brush the egg and bake at 180 degrees for 50 minutes. Leave to cool and serve at room temperature.
What typically comes after the starter in all Italian regions is the famous “primo”, the first course based on carbohydrates. We’d like to give you 2 options, where are the most popular ones in Italy: pasta or risotto.
Make ragù: Clean celery and carrots, wash under running water and finely chop with a knife together with the onion. This mince for the sauté can also be prepared with a mixer. Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan, heat, add the mince and fry for a few minutes, stirring. Once the sauté has dried, add the minced meat and sauté for a few minutes. When the meat is dry, blend with the white wine. Evaporate the alcohol and then add the tomato puree. Season with salt and cook over medium heat for about 2 hours with the lid slightly raised. Stir occasionally and add a little water if needed. To make the sauce more delicate, milk can be added at the end of cooking.
Prepare the bechamel: Melt the chopped butter in a saucepan over low heat and then, removing it from the heat, add the sifted flour. Stir vigorously with a whisk to remove lumps and reposition on the heat until the mixture is golden brown. Incorporate the milk by working the mixture with a whisk to avoid lumps. Season with salt and nutmeg and, stirring constantly with the whisk, cook the béchamel sauce until thick and full-bodied.
Prepare the lasagna: Spread the béchamel on the bottom of a rectangular baking dish about 30 × 20 cm in size. Lay the lasagna sheets over the entire surface and season with béchamel, a few ladles of ragù and grated Parmesan. Cover again with lasagna sheets and proceed in layers until all the ingredients are used up. Finish with a layer of lasagna seasoned with plenty of ragù and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for about 30 minutes, until a delicious golden crust is created on the surface.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the vegetables. Fry everything on low heat. Add the whole chicken livers and cook them for about ten minutes. Then extract and finely chop them with a knife. Add them to the sauté again. Turn up the heat, pour in the rice and toast it. Pour in the red wine, let it evaporate, add a teaspoon of tomato paste and continue cooking with the hot broth. When cooked, turn off the heat, stir in the butter and Parmesan. Add the parsley, mix well and serve immediately.
Guess what comes after the primo (= “first”)… it goes without saying that this is the “secondo”.
The secondo is not secondary in importance, every real Italian meal needs to include it.
When you want to make lamb in the Roman style, cut the lamb meat into small pieces. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan with the lightly crushed clove of garlic. Add the meat to the saucepan and let it brown evenly. At this point, blend with the white wine and let it evaporate over high heat. In the meantime, pound the needles of the rosemary sprig in the mortar together with the anchovies and dilute it all with the white wine vinegar. Continue cooking the lamb for about 40 minutes with subsequent additions of water or broth so as not to burn it. Only towards the end of cooking, add the mixture of rosemary, vinegar and anchovies to the saucepan and let it shrink until it forms a pleasant sauce together with the cooking surface of the meat. Serve the lamb with all its sauce and if you like, accompanying it with a salad of fresh tomatoes.
Let’s reach the highest level of food exhilaration with a sweet moment and a coffee for digestion. What, do you think you need help with digesting this meal? 😉
The Sicilian Easter dove (palummedda) consist in some sweet and strong cakes that in their most ancient and traditional version are precisely in the shape of a dove, but also of designed rhombuses, baskets or cages, made with flour 00 , sugar and cinnamon in the center of which there is often a boiled egg.
Mix the flour with the lard, sugar and water. The dough must be soft enough, similar to the consistency of the dough for the bread, very malleable, easy to manipulate with your fingers. Now divide the dough into several loaves that will serve for the base and for the various decorations. In one of these halves place 1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs in the center with their shell. Brush the surface with water and place the other sheet on top. Cut out the shape you prefer with a washer: a dove, a heart, a basket … there is no limit to your imagination! Put the shape you made in a baking tray with parchment paper.
Now proceed with the decorations to be placed over “Auceddu ccu l’uovu”. First, with a very thin piece of dough spread out, cut out some leaves. Place them on the mound of hard-boiled eggs, first brushing with water. Then start with the grapes (racina) by making small dots stretched on one side in order to attach them to each other. Place these on the 2 eggs too. Then put the small doves with their nest.
When you are finished bake at 180 degrees for 20 min. As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush with the beaten egg, sprinkle with colored sprinkles and put them back in the oven for 5 min. Now your Sicilian Easter Dove – Auceddu ccu l’uovu – is ready!
Finally… this is the long-awaited moment of the espresso coffee. Have a sip of hot espresso and lean back, now you can relax and remember the delicious moments of this Italian Easter Lunch.
Do you feel ready for preparing these delicious traditional recipes?
After this delicious Easter Lunch, we are sure that you will want to visit the paradise of culinary creations, so don’t hesitate and sign up for a tour now. Find all our destinations here!
If you are not sure, when you’ll be able to travel, we recommend you a gift card: it is valid for 1 years on all our 25 European cities and on all types of tours, cooking classes included, if you -think you still need one. 😉
We have created amazing food tours and cooking experiences that will show you how and what local people enjoy eating. Typical dishes, served in different restaurants, will present you the local food culture!