Easter Pies: Pizza Rustica & Pastiera Napoletana

This one’s for the start of the meal – only on Easter!

Easter 2012 Update!

I put together a 4-course Easter dinner menu with wine pairings that your family and friends will love. Pizza Rustica is the opening act and Pastiera Napoletana is the closer. Check out the menu post that includes my video demonstrations and text recipes for each course.

This year for Easter I’ll be in Virginia with my sister Lucia and brother-in-law Carlo, my nieces and nephews, their spouses, and my great nieces and nephews. It’s a three-generation cooking branch of the family. We’ll all be in the kitchen making the pizza rustica and pastiera napoletana, probably on Good Friday. But, we won’t eat them until Easter Sunday.

Serve the pizza rustica as part of the antipasti course and the Pastiera as your dolce (dessert).

The pastry crust recipes are  basically the same for both except I leave out the sugar and lemon rind in the torta rustica crust. These are very versatile pastry crusts that can be used in many applications.

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter! Buona Primavera! Happy Spring!

Pizza Rustica

This savory pie is also called torta rustica, pizza ripiena, pizza chiena or in Neapolitan-English slang, pizza gain.

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Pastiera Napoletana

This is probably the most famous Neapolitan pastry and it is one of my absolute favs. But, I still only make it once a year at Easter. Here in America, Pastiera is sometimes called pizza grano, Easter sweet pie, ricotta cheese cake, pizza or torta dolce.

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22 Replies to “Easter Pies: Pizza Rustica & Pastiera Napoletana”

  1. When are you coming out with new episodes I really love your show….. Wonderfull food and good cooking tips cant wait to see more…!!!!

  2. Ciao Gianni. Buona Pasqua ! I made both of these last year for Easter, the family loved them and I am using your recipes again this Easter. I do have a question though, I was unable to find Citron in Georgia, do you know of a website that sells it. I made this and just added a little more lemon and orange rinds and it was still wonderful. My Nonno who did all the baking took so many recipes with him when he departed this life, so yours are helping me recreate so many of them. Thanks. Buona Pasqua !!

  3. Buona Pasqua Gianni!
    Thrilled to find your site….brings me back to my childhood in New Jersey with my Grandparents, Angelo and Maria. Such wonderful recipes, just like I remember. With your videos, I am recreating my memories for my own 4 children and they say Thank You!

  4. Gianni! I am so happy to find you! These recipes bring me back to my childhood in New Jersey, just the way my Grandparents, Angelo & Maria used to make for our whole family. Now, I try to recreate them for my own children. Thank you so much! Buona Pasqua!

    1. Ciao Patti. Buona Pasqua to you and your family.

      Thanks so much for your message. I got it when I was shooting an interview. I hope you don’t mind that I read your email as an example of the reactions to my website that give me the most pleasure. Hearing stories about food traditions that bring family and friends around the table to enjoy a meal and to appreciate each other makes me smile.

      Buon appetito!

      –Gianni

  5. YES!!! Gianni got videos again.
    You have no idea how much me and my 8 year old daughter appreciate this. You are her chef of choice, and Italian has become her favourite cuisine at home.
    Thanks Gianni. I hope more are to follow.
    Happy Easter.

    1. Ciao Tommy.

      You and your daughter have made my day. I’m happy to report that I’ll be shooting 3 new episodes tomorrow so keep an eye out for my producer to post those over the next several weeks. Wish me luck.

      Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

      –Gianni

  6. GIanni,

    My wife learned from my grandmother how to make pizza cheina and pizza grano, two of my favorite Easter pies. Also, my family and my wife’s family make a macaroni pie, with spagetti, eggs, ricotta and plenty of black pepper. Many other napuletano friends do not know what this is, and I think it is probably localized to some towns near Naples. Have you ever heard of this?

    1. Ciao Anthony. Yes, I make a version of the spaghetti pie. My recipe, without ricotta, is posted on the website. I’ll be in and around Naples soon and will keep an eye out for this dish. Want to share your recipe?

      1. Gianni- I love this website, first time I’ve visited, I’m very interested in finding your recipe for the spaghetti pie with eggs, pecorino, black pepper, no ricotta mentioned above. Sounds just like my mom would make for my father every Easter, I’ve been looking for the recipe for years!

        1. Ciao Thomas. Buona Pasqua. I hope my spaghetti pie recipe brings back memories of your Mom’s. Let me know how it turns out for you.

          –Gianni

    2. Anthony I have been looking for those 2 recipes forever
      i have found similar recipes but never authentic I think you are from the same area my parents came from.
      unfortunately they died young and I never got the recipes I wonder if you would share these two recipes,macaroni pie and pizza cheina what memories
      thank you

  7. Hi Gianni,

    Thanks so much for your great videos. I am reminded of my wonderful grandparents, Giovanni & Valentina, who came from Italy many years ago. I have a question about the Pastiera Napolentana: Are the four eggs that go into the pastry crust whole eggs, or just the yolks? From the video it appears to be just yolks, but I can’t tell for sure.

    1. Ciao John. I’m happy that the video brings back good family memories. I use whole eggs for the pastry crust. There’s a full-text recipe under the video box that may be helpful if you make pastiera. Buon appetito!

  8. Ciao Gianni! I discovered your website by accident, looking for recipes for gnocchi. Italian cooking is a new direction for me, as my own heritage is more Indian than European. It’s been a fabulous eye-opener, and some of the tomato sauces are ideal as the weather here in England moves towards summer! I haven’t tried the desert pies yet, but it’s a recipe on my to-do-list, that’s for sure! Do you have any other desert recipes you could post here, or advise me of? Keep up the good work and the great cooking! Buona Pasqua!

  9. I was advised of your site by a Frat Brother who I understand knows your sister in Richmond VA..

    Going to try the sweet Easter Ricotta Pie… if I can find the grain and the candied fruit..We have a pretty good Italian market near by that I will visit. There is a large Italian population in Trenton NJ which is near my home.. but seems like the new generation do not do a lot of cooking.. ie many very good Italian resturants, not too much in the way of Italian groceries..

    thanks for a good web site.. Happy Easter !!

      1. Gianni
        When I was growing up in NY, we had a friend who made a sweet macaroni pie at Easter time. I think it may have had ricotta cheese as part of the ingredients. Do you have a recipe for that kind of a pie?
        I am going to make your pie with the wheat berries next….it sounds delicious.
        Thanks
        Pat

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