Torta di Pasqua:Traditional Italian Easter cake, pie

April 1, 2010 9:52:38 AM PDT
Torta di Pasqua translates from Italian to English as "Easter Cake" or "Easter Pie".Baking Torta di Pasqua is a long-established Easter custom in Italy and among Italian-Americans, as well. Eating the rich treats made with cheese and eggs has long been the way to end the fasting and frugality of the Lenten season. The cakes and pies are usually baked during Holy Week but are typically not enjoyed until served as an antipasto for Easter dinner.
  • Torta di Pasqua or Pizza Rustica
  • Torte di Formaggio (Ricotta Cheesecake)
  • Recipes for the Torta di Pasquas are traditionally large in scale because, according to Italian custom, you are supposed to share the cakes or give a piece to people you owe favors to. There are two basic types of Torta di Pasqua, sweet and savory. A sweet Torta di Pasqua or Torte di Formaggio, is a cheesecake made with ricotta cheese, eggs and honey. A savory Torta di Pasqua, frequently called Pizza Rustica, is a pie made with pizza dough filled with egg and cheese custard and various kinds of cured meat. There are as many variations of these recipes as they are bakers in Italy!

    The recipe we give for Pizza Rustica is a recipe handed down to Chef Chris Macchia by his father Anthony. Chef Chris, who presides over the kitchen at Chicago's Coco Pazzo says the recipe has been used in his family for longer than anyone can remember.