(Alternative) lunch is served: Happy Easter to you all!

Here we go: it is Easter again! Time to gather the family and celebrate all together in front of a rich table, loaded with food and drinks.

Usually, in Italy the protagonist of Easter lunch is lamb, cooked in the oven with potatoes. But not everybody likes this kind of meat, whose flavor is quite strong, and a lot of people, even between non-vegetarians, stopped eating it after some successful campaigns which had revealed how cruel the butchering of lambs is.

But what to cook on Easter day, if your friends do not like lamb-based dishes? No panic, the Italian tradition offers uncountable alternatives: you are spoilt for choice!

Are you looking for inspiration? Here we suggest a complete menu, from the hors d’oeuvre to the dessert, being sure that with these recipes you will make such a good impression on your beloved ones…

Hors d’oeuvre: Carciofi alla Giudia
I carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style artichokes) are a typical recipe of the Jewish Roman tradition. Usually they are considered as a side dish, but fried, they are fancy enough to be a starter as well.

Everybody could prepare them: you just need to clean the artichokes, wash them with water and lemon juice, add salt and pepper and fry them. Before serving, squeeze them in the frying pan so that they open themselves like a flower. Ready to taste their awesome flavor?

Main dish: Torta Pasqualina
Torta Pasqualina (Easter flan) is a typical recipe from the area of Genoa, in the Northern part of Italy, and, as suggested by the name, is a must of Easter time.

It is basically a savory pie made with puff pastry. The recipe can be easy or difficult depending on whether you buy the pastry at the supermarket, or you prefer to prepare it on your own.

Other than that, preparation is a child’s play. You lay the pastry in the baking tray and you put the fudge over it. The fudge is made with spinach (cooked in a pan with butter), two eggs, grated cheese, and marjoram. Then you cover the fudge with a ricotta cream and there you create some holes with a spoon. Fill the holes with as many yolks. Eventually, lay another layer of pastry to close the flan. Forty-five minutes in the oven and that’s it!

Dulcis in fundo: Pastiera Napoletana
In the end, a tasty dessert from Naples: the famous Pastiera Napoletana, usually prepared on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. It is a cake, made with short pastry and a fudge of ricotta cheese, candied peel, orange flavored water and boiled wheat.

According to the legend, Maria Theresa of Austria, whose nickname was “the queen who never smiles”, smiled for the first time when she tasted this delicious cake!
So, what’s better than this dessert to end our great Easter lunch? Enjoy!

[Italiano]

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