From antipasto to dolce, get delicious recipe ideas to add Italian flair to your Easter meal.
In Italy, the Easter (Pasqua) meal is a multi-course feast shared with family. Get inspired with our tour of regional specialties, and add a taste of Italy to your Easter celebration.
Start with an antipasti spread
Antipasti – small bites of a variety of delicious foods designed to stimulate the appetite – are an excellent way to feed a crowd. Italian cheeses and salumi are the stars of any antipasto platter. Try serving a variety of cheeses, such as a soft, gooey and pungent square of Taleggio PDO, a mild semi-soft dolce (young) wedge of Gorgonzola PDO and a firm, nutty aged Asiago PDO. For salumi, think thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma PDO, a delicate Coppa Piacentina PDO and a spicy Soppressata di Calabria PDO. Round out your platter with dried figs, marinated vegetables, grilled bread and Italian extra virgin olive oil. As bonus your guests will love, shake up a tasty Italian Cocktail.
Set down a sensational pasta
For the traditional first course (primo), a baked pasta – enough to serve a crowd – is an Easter essential. Try lasagne alla napoletana (the South’s version of lasagna, which includes mini meatballs among the layers) or pasta al forno pugliese (the well-loved dish that has inspired North American bake ziti). Savoury breads, such as casatiello napoletano (with hard-boiled eggs and salumi) and pies, such as torta pasqualina (filled with eggs, cheese and greens) are also popular.
Learn the Essentials of Italian Entertaining.
Wow with a showstopping secondo
For secondo – the main event – lamb is a traditional choice, often grilled or braised. Springtime in Italy brings an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables, such as artichokes, asparagus and fava beans – the perfect contorni to balance the meal. Serve them up grilled, fried or marinated to round out your platter. (Try our Fennel Salad and Grilled Radicchio.)
Make it a dolce ending
Along with chocolate eggs, Italian dolci (desserts) include pane di pasqua, sweet Easter bread with a decorative egg in the middle and struffoli – fried dough balls that are stacked in a pile, drizzled with honey.
Learn more about the art of making Italian desserts.