Liz Clements | Lifestyles Editor
Food is the center of an Italian’s world. Everyday their world stops for a few hours so that they can enjoy a meal together, and every holiday meal is filled with symbolism. While Easter in Italy is more relaxed, and the week leading up to this holy day is meant for reflecting, repentance, and church going, Easter Sunday is filled with a feast.
There are three things an Italian Easter meal is comprised of: eggs, lamb, and bread, and the most traditional way to intertwine these ingredients is with Easter bread.
This bread can be of the savory or sweet kind, braided, rolled or in a ring, and with eggs inside or out. You are probably most familiar with the braided sweet bread that has dyed eggs and sprinkles on top, but I prefer savory Easter breads. Savory Easter bread is the perfect thing to have for brunch on Easter Sunday; after you come home from church or after sleeping in you can break bread with your family and let the celebration commence.
My Easter bread is filled with eggs, cured meats, roasted red peppers and cheese. Easter breads are usually very decadent because it’s traditionally the first indulgence after the cycle of fasting, at least in my faith. In my religion it’s meant to remind you of Christ’s sacrifice and the blessings that we are given. But you don’t need to follow my religion to enjoy Easter bread, you just need to have open-minded taste buds and a willingness to try something new. You can certainly change up the recipe and put in anything you have, or look for inspiration online. This bread has thousands of variations because each one is a family tradition, like the family crest of food.
Like on any holiday, drinking is always involved. Traditionally, wine will be served with the meal, and if you are sticking with lamb, it should be red wine. When Vince was growing up, this wine would have been his grandfather’s homemade wine poured from a huge jug, but today we are left to fend for ourselves on the wine front.
You’ve seen me write several times on my favorite red wines, Corvo Rosso and Melini Chianti, but for this special occasion it’s okay to splurge on something a little nicer. I’m no wine connoisseur, but after doing some research, all the wine sites recommend a cabernet sauvignon, particularly from 2003 as their number choice of wine for lamb. I would recommend going to a fine wine and spirit store and asking the associates for help in choosing the perfect wine.
Whatever your religion or Easter plans are, I wish everyone good luck and a wonderful spring. Enjoy.
1 recipe pizza dough or a ball from your favorite shop
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced deli ham
½ cup diced prosciutto di parma
½ cup diced capacola
1 roasted red pepper
1 cup sliced mozzarella cheese
Kosher Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. In a sauté pan over medium heat sauté your onion with olive oil, salt and pepper, once soft and translucent add your meats and pepper, then toss. In the meantime, crack your eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add a splash of milk. Whisk vigorously and add to pan. Gently mix every minute until eggs are cooked. Remove from heat. On a baking sheet, stretch your pizza dough out to the size of the pan and layer your mozzarella cheese down the middle. Then add your egg mixture and, starting with the side closest to you, roll the dough into a log. Brush with some egg wash and cut three small slits in the top of the dough to let all the steam out. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy, let cool for about 10 minutes, and dig in.