Traditional Tuscan Easter Recipes

If you are spending Pasqua con i tuoi (Easter with your family), celebrate with cuisine and a beautifully laid table on both Easter Sunday and Pasquetta (Easter Monday) and throughout the month of April.  The following is a guide featuring time-honored Tuscan regional recipes to create at home.



Bruschetta (crostini) with fava bean purée (crema di baccelli)


Tuscan quiche: torta di pepe, a tradition in Camaiore


Roast lamb and potatoes

Peas, Florentine style


Sweet Easter bread: schiacciata di Pasqua alla livornese (from Livorno)


Bruschetta with fava bean purée (crostini con crema di baccelli)

Ingredients: bread, one kilo (4 cups) of fresh fava beans (baccelli), extra virgin olive oil, a small onion or two shallots, a potato, vegetable stock, a dash of salt and pepper, lemon juice.

Toast bread rounds.  Shell the fava beans.  Heat olive oil in a skillet, add the fava beans and the chopped onion or shallots, and sliced potato.  When heated, cover with water or vegetable stock, salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, and finish with a few drops of lemon.  Purée using an immersion blender (frullatore ad immersione), and spread on toasted bread rounds (crostini).  Top with cheese shavings (a mild cheese is recommended) if desired.

Torta di pepe from Camaiore

Ingredients: 300 grams of cooked rice, 200 grams of cooked and chopped Swiss chard (bietola), 1 cup of milk, 80 grams of parmigiano cheese, 60 grams of grated pecorino cheese, 2 eggs, 3 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper, a dash of salt.

Prepare an unbaked pie shell (pasta sfoglia) and place it in a circular baking dish.  Beat the eggs in a bowl, and add the milk, cooked rice, grated pecorino and parmigiano cheese. Fold in the chopped Swiss chard (bietola), the three teaspoons of pepper and a little salt.  Some grated nutmeg may also be added.  Pour into pie shell and bake at 200° for an hour.

Roast lamb and potatoes

Ingredients:  800 grams of lamb, two cloves of garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven. Add extra virgin olive oil in a baking dish.  Mince the garlic and rosemary, add the salt and pepper.  Rub the lamb with this mixture, place in the pan, and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, basting with the sauce, then add sliced potatoes around the lamb.  Total cooking time: one hour.  Serve hot.

Peas, Florentine style (piselli alla fiorentina)

Ingredients:  1 kilo of fresh peas, olive oil, 75 grams of bacon (pancetta or carnesecca), one garlic clove, a handful of parsley, olive oil, one teaspoon of sugar, a dash of salt.

Shell the peas, and put them in a pot with the chopped parsley, olive oil, minced garlic and add water just to cover.  Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, then add the sliced bacon, sugar and salt; the dish will be ready in just a few minutes.

Schiacciata di Pasqua alla livornese (from Livorno)

Ingredients:  500 grams of flour (half 00 and half Manitoba), two eggs, 150 grams of sugar, a cup of milk, yeast, 1 cup of sugar, half a cup of oil or butter, grated orange peel, plus (choose one) aniseed (semi di anice), Strega or sambuca liqueur.

Blend the milk and yeast in a bowl, add the flour, and let rest, covered, for at least two hours.  Then add one egg beaten with sugar and mix well.  After another three hours add the other beaten egg, the grated orange peel and either the aniseed or a half of cup of Strega or Sambuca liqueur.

Let rise for another half hour, place in a buttered and floured pan, then brush with the surface with beaten egg and sugar.  Bake at 200° for a half hour to 40 minutes.

Buon appetito!  (rosanna cirigliano)