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Italian Easter Traditions
 
April 2007
Lynne's Letter What's Cooking?

Buona Primavera! Happy Spring!

Spring has arrived in full pastel bloom and Easter is right around the corner.

As we crawl out of our winter hibernation, spring encourages us to once again connect with friends and family. So enjoy the season come un Italiano. Whether you create an authentic Italian Easter feast or a simple Italian spring meal – make the warmth and abundance of Italy your spring inspiration.

Italians celebrate spring with gusto. In the Rosaia family, Easter marked the end of Lent and the reemergence of delights banished for 40 days. Heaping platters of antipasti, homemade ravioli, roasted baby lamb and other savory selections are forever linked with the sounds of my boisterous family and dear friends.

Traditional Seven Course Italian Easter Dinner

  • Antipasti platter (served at the table or as an hors d’oeuvre)
  • Antipasto Salad
  • Italian Soup – a chicken or beef broth
  • My Nonni’s Three Meat Ravioli & Tuscan Meat Sauce
  • Capretto o agnellino al forno – roasted goat or baby lamb
  • Carciofi fritti - artichokes, zucchini or cauliflower (traditionally battered and deep fried but we won’t tell if you decide to grill them.)
  • Pane di Pasqua (aka Uovo Santo) – eggs nestled within braided bread
  • St. Honore cake & homemade biscotti for dessert

(Note: In my Bisnonni Armida’s day, they would also include ‘boiled meats’ in the feast, but we cut it out as 'tripe' just doesn't sound as good as it used to.)

Enjoy A Perfect Italian Spring Menu

For a large, festive occasion such as Easter dinner, the meal typically begins with an antipasti platter (Antipasto literally means ‘before the pasta) consisting of sliced meats, cheeses and marinated vegetables It is often followed by a salad and a light broth to stimulate the taste buds and prepare you for the main dishes.

After this delicious cornucopia of aromas, textures and tastes, your palate is primed for the main course – the Pasta. Serve My Nonni’s Three Meat Raviolis and Tuscan Meat Sauce with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Add some steaming hot ciabatta or focaccia bread and a bold Chianti to round out the dinner. In Italy, the love of food and the love of family are inextricably linked together. Designed for sharing, this delicious spring menu is the ideal way to reconnect with friends after a long winter.

For more Italian recipes, visit our website at www.mynonnis.com/recipes.asp.

My Nonni’s Now In:

  • 8 Lunardi’s Markets
  • 6 Mollie Stones
  • 2 Piazzas
  • 3 Draegers
  • Star Market

Find store locations near you.

New from My Nonni’s

My Nonni's traditional Tuscan Meat Sauce will soon be available in a 12oz. one pouch box. Available in stores by the end of April.

Columbus to Distribute My Nonni’s

Columbus Distributing, one of the largest distributors of fine foods, is now selling and distributing My Nonni’s in the bay area and throughout the western United States.

From Your Home to Ours

Share your favorite recipes using My Nonni’s products for possible inclusion on our website or recipe cards. details . . .

Recipes

Traditional Antipasti Platter

Ingredients

Cold Cuts (charcuterie) - sliced thin:

  • ¼ lb. Imported prosciutto (San Danielle is the best)
  • ¼ lb. Mild salami (Columbus)
  • ¼ lb. Imported mortadella with pistachio nuts
  • ¼ lb. Mild coppa

Marinated Vegetables:

  • Jar of Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Jar Roasted red peppers
  • Jar of pepperoncini
  • Jar of marinated mushrooms

Cheeses:

  • Bocconcini
  • Chunks of Parmesano Reggiano cheese
  • Asiago, Provolone, and / or Italian Fontina cheese, cut in thin stripes
 

Breads:

  • Grissini breadsticks (I usually roll my prosciutto around them)
  • Focaccia, ciabatta or herb slab (variety of artisan breads)

Olives:

  • Combination of gourmet olives (Kalamata, Nicoise, and Colossole)

Misc:

  • Deviled eggs
  • Grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, peppers)
  • Figs (if in season)
  • Melon (if in season, can wrap the prosciutto around it).

 Instructions

  •  This plate can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, covered and chilled. Bring it back to room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Note: To capture the essence of the Italian culture, use only authentic products to bring your table that much closer to Italy.

Tuscan Antipasto Salad

Ingredients

  • 2  8 oz. Giardinera (Mixed preserved vegetables, drained)
  • 1  lg. can black pitted olives (drained)
  • 1  2 oz. jar Pimento’s (drained)
  • 1  2 oz. jar chopped stuffed pimento olives
  • 1  8 oz. jar of cocktail onions (drained)
  • 2  6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts in oil
  • 1  jar mushrooms in oil
  • 1  4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms (drained)
  • 1  tablespoon of red wine vinegar or more for taste
  • 2  sm. cans of tomato sauce
  • 3  cans tuna packed in water (drained)

Instructions

  • Mix together. Seal tightly and refrigerate. Stir occasionally. (It is best made ahead several hours or the night before.)
  • Serve over bed of butter lettuce.

Learn Italian

Italian for Easter

  • Buona Pasqua - Happy Easter
  • Il coniglietto - Bunny Rabbit
  • Antipasti – Before the Pasta
  • L’agnello - Lamb
  • Un uovo benedetto- a Blessed Egg
  • L’Ultima Cena- Last Supper
  • La pace - Peace
  • Oh! Che vita beata!- Oh! What a Wonderful life!

To learn more Italian words and phrases visit our website at www.mynonnis.com/learn.asp.