Italian Easter Recipes for the Ultimate Festive Feast

Italian Easter Recipes for the Ultimate Festive Feast

Easter in Italy is a joyous time of year filled with festivities that can last for days. As with many Italian holidays, the celebration culminates in a feast, where friends and family gather around the table to enjoy a multi-course lunch that unfolds over the course of several hours. 

So what do Italians eat for Easter? Although traditional cuisine varies from region to region, there are a few dishes that have become widely popular for the Pasqua celebration. From primi to dolci, discover our Italian Easter recipes below to create your own feast at home!

ANTIPASTI

Italian Easter recipes torta pasqualina eataly

One of the most famous Italian easter foods is torta pasqualina, a savory pie filled with greens, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. Across central and southern Italy, you'll find another popular dish, pizza rustica – a rich pie filled with eggs, small bits of cured meats, and cheeses. Although often served as a snack or lunch throughout the weekend, these Easter pies also serve as an appetizer to a meal.

Other typical Easter starters include arancini, Sicilian fried rice balls, cured meats and cheeses, and carciofi fritti, or crispy fried artichokes.

PRIMI

Italian Easter recipes lasagna pesto eataly

No celebratory Italian meal is complete without pasta or risotto. For Easter, primi vary from region to region. In the north, fresh, stuffed pasta such as veal-stuffed agnolotti del plin is a popular choice, while in many other areas, pasta served with broth and sometimes even polpette, or meatballs, is traditional for Easter lunch. Baked pasta is also common for large celebrations since it can be made ahead of time. Nowadays, many Italian families enjoy pasta and risotto flavored with fresh spring vegetables like artichokes and peas.

Looking for more Italian Easter first courses? Try this baked Ziti alla Norma by Lidia Bastianich, Vegetable Lasagne, Spring Pea Ravioli, or Risotto alla Parmigiana.

SECONDI

Italian Easter recipes roast leg lamb eataly

As the main course, agnello, or lamb, is the star of the Easter table in Italy. Depending on the region, it can be served in a variety ways. For example, in central Italy, the dish is usually a roasted leg of lamb, simply served with rosemary and potatoes. In southern Italy, a lamb stew is made with spring vegetables like asparagus and peas. Pesce al Forno, baked fish, is a popular alternative for the seafood-lovers in your life.

DOLCI

Italian Easter desserts Colomba chocolates eataly

The moment we have all been waiting for: dessert! In Italy, there are many traditional Easter sweets, including cakes, chocolates, and cookies. A cousin to the Christmas panettone, colomba is a fluffy dove-shaped bread studded with candied orange peel and topped with pearl sugar and almonds. Although it originated in Milano, the sweet cake is enjoyed throughout many regions in Italy.

chocolate easter eggs eataly

Another sweet Easter tradition is chocolate eggs. As is true in many other cultures, eggs are a symbol of fertility and new life. During Easter, artisanal Italian confectioners carefully craft elaborate hollow chocolate eggs, filling them with small toys and surprises.

Finally, there's pastiera Napoletana, a rich, sweet pie filled with ricotta, eggs, and whole, cooked grain. The dessert originated in Napoli, but is widely enjoyed throughout Italy during Easter today.

Ready to create your own Italian Easter recipes at home? Find your local Eataly or shop online. Buona Pasqua!