It wouldn’t be Easter without Pastiera Napoletana. When I look back to Easters as a child, I remember the Pastiera Napoletana that my mom would make just as vividly as Easter egg hunts with my cousins (maybe it’s the Italian in me that always remembers the food?). Anyway, it’s interesting that my mom only started making this recipe at Easter when she immigrated to Vancouver from Italy in her 20’s. Apparently in the Italian region of Italy that she comes from (Lazio), the Pastiera is not widely used. It is more popular in southern Italy, specifically in Naples (hence its name). Makes sense that my mom got this recipe from her friend Carmela who was born in Salerno (a city in the same region as Naples).
Pastiera Napoletana is a decadent dessert that resembles a pie, but is filled with cooked wheat (grano cotto), ricotta, and hints of citrus. I figured that this year, it was time to take the reigns on one of my favorite Easter traditions and make the Pastiera Napoletana myself. I’m happy to report that it was a hit!
To gather my specialty ingredients, I of course stopped by Cioffi’s. Cioffi’s is a family owned and run business in North Burnaby, and I can always count on them to have traditional, quality Italian ingredients in-store.
To make the pastiera, I picked up the main ingredients at Cioffi’s: D’Amico Grano cotto, Santa Lucia ricotta, fior d’arancio (orange concentrate), and Paneangeli vanillina.
So are you ready to see how I made it? Check out the recipe below!
Will you be trying this recipe out for Easter?
- 500 g flour
- 250 g butter
- 200 g icing sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 250 g grano cotto
- 150 mL milk
- 20 g butter
- 500 g ricotta
- 150 g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 50g fior d'arancio note: this usually comes in a small tube- use half the tube.
- 2 packets vanillina
- 1 shot glass sambuca
- In a mixer, mix flour and butter until a sand-like consistency is achieved. Then place your flour mixture on a working surface and sift the icing sugar on to the flour mixture. Create a well in the center of the icing sugar. Add the egg yolks to the well and start mixing ingredients together with a fork. Once the egg yolks have absorbed enough flour, you can continue mixing with your hands. Work the dough with your hands until the ingredients are mixed together, and you are able to form a ball with the dough. Wrap it in saran wrap. Place the ball of dough in the fridge for at least 30 mins to allow it to set.
- In a saucepan, add the grano cotto, butter and milk. Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil, and stir continuously until a cream-like consistency is reached. Let the grano cotto mixture cool.
- In a mixer, mix ricotta, sugar and eggs, vanillina, and fior d'arancio until ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Mix the grano cotto and ricotta mixtures together.
- Take out your dough from the fridge, and use a flat, floured surface and rolling pin to roll it out. The thickness of the dough should be about 0.2 inches. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and cut off any edges that hang off the pie dish. Spoon in the filling. With any leftover dough, cut long strips to top the pastiera with. Take these strips and make a criss-cross pattern on top of the pastiera.
- Bake for one hour at 350 degrees fahrenheit