Chocolate and sweet treats are synonymous with Easter, so much so that savoury food seems to very much take a back seat when one thinks of the types of food eaten to celebrate this religious festival. This little realisation inspired me to learn about the savoury foods, unique to other countries and cultures outside of New Zealand, that are prepared and cooked at Easter. I found recipes for Polish and Ecuadorian Easter soups, Russian, Portuguese and Turkish Easter bread and Greek meat dishes.
However it is the tradition that surrounds Italian Easter Pie that appeals to me most. Recipes for this delicious pie vary greatly from region to region, some shared freely, others a closely guarded family secret passed down from generation to generation. Preparation of the pie is a family affair, enjoyed just as much as its consumption. Kitchens fill with the happy sounds of chattering children and adults peeling and chopping, whisking and mixing, all crammed around the kitchen table.
Regional differences aside, these pies generally share 3 common ingredients – cheese, meat and eggs. Sometimes the eggs are boiled before they are added to the mixture, other times, as with this pie, they are simply whisked into the filling. Particular to this pie is the addition of sugar into the pastry crust which works to give it a fuller, more rounded flavour.