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The Pallotta Family’s Traditional Italian Easter

Cooking for Your Family this Easter

pallotta family cooking together


Easter is here and like all of our Italian friends and neighbors in the North End, all we can talk about is food! Where do you buy Ricotta Fresca for your Pizza Gana (Pizza Chiana depending on your dialect) What do you stuff your artichokes with? Do you know a recipe for Stufoli (fried dough balls drizzled with honey and candy sprinkles)? Are you making Easter Torta?

In the North End, Italians from different regions of Italy all have their own style of making the same dish. Our mother always made her Pizza Gana, a pie filled with Ricotta Fresca, prosciutto, and other salumi by cutting the salumi in 1-inch pieces while others used slices of salumi.

The artichokes were filled with an egg stuffing while our best friend’s mother stuffs her’s with bread stuffing. You can always tell which part of Italy each family came from depending on how they cook their food.

Our Easter Routine

The week before Easter is a social get together in every grocery store in the North End. Everywhere we go, we run into old friends. We stop in Caffe Vittoria, drink an espresso, share a pastry and reminisce about our Easter’s of years gone by; the days when we would dress up in our finest clothes, go to church and drop by our neighbors and relatives’ houses. Each home would smell like Sunday Gravy (meatballs, braciola and pork ribs in a fresh tomato sauce)!

Our Mother would welcome her morning guests with a big piece of Torta (sweet Easter Bread), some strufoli, and an espresso with a shot of Sambuca. At the end of the day, she sent them home with a piece of Pizza Gana, of course.

Some people might think the tradition is foolish, but we are so fortunate that our friends and neighbors still realize just how lucky we are and continue to celebrate Easter like our mothers and grandmothers did. In our house, food is love and there was a lot of love going around on Easter Day. Buona Pasqua!  

Get Our Easter Recipes!

If you want to cook an Italian meal for your family this Easter, follow our recipes for two dishes all your guests will love! Click here for our Pizza Ganna and find our Pani Pasquali (Easter Torta) here