How to prepare the perfect Easter Menu, a wonderful “Menu di Pasqua”
An all Italian Easter Menu with Easter Eggs, Casatiello, Pesto Lasagne, Lamb with Baked Potatoes Green Peas, a delicious Colomba Dessert with Custard, Chocolate and Hazelnut sauces. Happy Easter!
APPETIZER: Stuffed Eggs or “Uova Ripiene”
Ingredients for 6 people
- 12 Eggs
- 150 grams of Tuna canned
- 4 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoon of Capers
- a mix of Parsley and Basil
- Salt and Pepper as preferred or dust with Paprika in the end on top
For the final decoration
- 150 grams of Green Salad chopped, a few Radishes
- 50 grams of black Olives
- Add the eggs to a large pot bring water to boiling temperature, reduce the heat to medium-low, cook the eggs for eight minutes, drain them and move immediately in cold water. When they have cooled, peel them and cut them in half lengthwise, remove the red egg, being careful not to break the egg white.
- Drain the tuna, rinse the capers to remove the excess of salt from them, then mix: tuna, capers, mayonnaise, the egg yolks and season with salt, blend until mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl, add some parsley, basil and fresh onion previously minced and mix well. If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Fill the eggs with 1 tablespoon of the mixture. In a large serving plate pour the salad, radishes cut into thin slices and some black olives, add the eggs filled and seasoned with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.
APPETIZER: Neapolitan Easter Bread or “Casatiello Napoletano”
- 500 grams of Flour
- 200 grams of Sausages we like Salame Napoletano
- 200 grams of Cheese we like provolone Cheese or Caciocavallo Cheese
- 50 grams of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons of Pecorino Cheese
- 1/2 half glass of Milk
- 5 Eggs for decoration
- 25 grams of Brewer’s Yeast
- Salt and Pepper as you preferred
- Melt the yeast in warm milk. Place the flour in the center and add the yeast dissolved in milk, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and water for the dough (about a glass). Knead the dough until it forms a soft dough. Cover it and let it rise for about two hours in a warm place.
- When the dough has doubled in volume gather out a ball and set aside. It will need to fix the eggs when decorating. Roll out the dough in the meantime giving it a rectangular shape.
- Cover the pastry spread with salami and cheese in chunks. Sprinkle with cheese and roll the dough lengthwise giving it the shape of a sausage. Then arrange them in a mold donut oiled joining the two ends. Cover again with a cloth and let rise another 2 hours.
- After you have cleaned and washed the eggs very well, arrange them on the surface of Casatiello and fix each with two strips of dough crosswise.
- Bake in preheated oven at 180° for about 50/60 minutes.
MAIN COURSE: Lasagne with Pesto
Ingredients for 4 people
- 250 grams of Lasagna or 1 Box of “Lasagne Barilla” for example (Italian Brand)
- 100 grams of grated Parmesan Cheese
- 300 gr of Pesto
- 400 grams of Ricotta Cheese
- 600 grams of Pachino Tomatoes
- Half Liter of Béchamel
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt, Pepper as preferred
Easy Besciamella or Béchamel Sauce
- 50 grams of Butter
- 50 grams of Flour
- Half liter of Milk
- Salt, Pepper, and Nutmeg as you prefer
Preparation 1° Besciamella or Béchamel Sauce
1. Melt the butter in a pan add the flour and cook for 3 minutes; meanwhile bring the milk to a boil with salt pepper and nutmeg, stir in the butter and flour and simmer for five minutes.
THE SECRET: the bechamel is ready just when you put the spoon in the sauce and when you take out the sauce it stays firmly attached to the spoon.
Preparation 2° The Tomato Sauce
2. In a pan, cook the Pachino tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oil Olive, salt and half glass of hot water for 10 minutes, without restricting too much the sauce.
3. In a bowl mix the ricotta cheese with a bit of milk dissolved (half glass) and pesto.
Preparation 3° The Lasagna Pasta
4. Cook the lasagna according to the instructions. About 8 minutes in 6 quarts of boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water. Lay the individual lasagna noodles out on kitchen towels, very delicate, not touching between each other, so they do not stick together while you layer the casserole.
5. Start by placing a little bit of béchamel sauce on the bottom of the casserole, then build the 4 layers of lasagna, alternating pasta, béchamel sauce, Ricotta Cheese and Pesto, Pachino Tomatoes Sauce and Grated Parmesan Cheese and then again for 3 layers more. Finish the lasagna with béchamel sauce, Ricotta Cheese and Pesto, Pachino Tomatoes Sauce and Grated Parmesan Cheese.
6. Bake uncovered at 200° degrees until the lasagna is bubbling and the corners are getting brown; about 30 minutes.
MAIN COURSE – Lamb with Baked Potatoes or “Abbacchio con Patate al Forno”
Ingredients for 4 people
- 1 kg leg of Lamb
- a Glass of White Wine
- A bunch of Rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper as preferred
- 8 Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Wash the lamb, dry it with a paper to remove excess of water and then with a knife push the garlic and rosemary into the cuts and slashes, season with salt and pepper, let the lamb rest for 10 minutes.
- Place the lamb in a large tray and bake it at 180° degrees for 22 minutes.
- Let’s prepare the potatoes: wash, peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks, season with salt and pepper, add 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and extra rosemary. After 20 minutes add the potatoes around the lamb pour the glass of wine over the lamb and give the potatoes a shake and a turn. Let it cook for 45 minutes. Let the lamb rest and serve it still warm.
SIDE VEGETABLES – Peas with Parma Ham or “Piselli con Prosciutto”
Ingredients for 6-8 people
- 100 grams of Butter (you can also use Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of Butter for a healthier option)
- 1 kg grams of Peas, better if fresh, or you can use the frozen ones
- Half glass of stock or white wine
- 250 grams of Parma Ham ideally in one thick slice to be cut into cubes
- 1 little Blonde Onion
- Salt and Pepper as preferred
1. In a saucepan add the butter or olive oil and the blonde onion previously washed and cut, cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until the onion becomes a bit brown.
2. Add the peas, salt, pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, add the stock or white wine and the Parma ham, let it cook over low heat for 15 minutes more. Serve!
DESSERT: Colomba with Creams, 3 delicious sauces to make your “Colomba” Dessert unforgettable
A) Traditional Custard or “Crema Pasticcera”
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 4 tablespoons of Sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Flour
- 1 Lemon peel (ideally organic – peel just the yellow part to avoid a bitter taste)
- 1/2 LT of Milk
1. In a bowl whisk 4 egg yolks with 4 tablespoons of sugar, it’s ready when it will be frothy and the eggs will look a bit pale with the sugar melted in, add the 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk for 1 minute.
2. Now pour the compose in a high pan (you can also just use a pan from the beginning) and spill half liter of milk cold, add the milk slowly and keep mixing it, cut the zest of 1 lemon and put into the custard, cooking over low heat for 15 minutes, keep mixing, turning gently with a spatula or a wood spoon, those do not stick to the mixture, forming an 8, so that the cream will stay liquid and not depositing on the bottom.
3. The cream is ready when it becomes from liquid to creamy and in general when the mixture starts boiling. Do not keep boiling just turn off the heat and enjoy warm or cold.
B) Chocolate Cream or “Crema al Cioccolato”
- 70 grams of Hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon of Sugar
- 100 grams of darK Chocolate
- 1 dl of fresh Cream
- 30 grams of chopped Hazelnuts
- Blend in a mixer 70 g of hazelnuts with 1 tablespoon sugar. Mince 100 g of dark chocolate, transfer it to a bowl and loose it in a double boiler with 1 dl of fresh cream. Add the hazelnut puree and cook another 2 minutes, stirring.
- Cut Slices of Colomba cake and cover each slice with the chocolate cream and powder, to taste, with 30 g of chopped hazelnuts coarsely.
C) Coffee Cream or “Crema al Caffè”
- 1 cup of coffee
- 50 grams of dark Chocolate
- 10 Coffee Beans
- 1 teaspoon of Coffee powder
- Prepare the traditional custard, as our recipe, by combining milk 1 cup of coffee.
- Melt in a water bath 50 g of dark shredded and verse into it 10 coffee beans Chocolate, helping with tweezers. Drain and let them dry on waxed paper.
- Servants dove into slices with the prepared cream, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of coffee powder and coffee beans.
AUGURI DI BUONA PASQUA!!!
Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana
The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!