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Easter Monday Picnic: Italian “Tramezzini” and 5 Easy Ideas

How to prepare the real Italian Easter Monday Picnic Basket  or “Cestino di Pasquetta”

An All Italian Easter Monday Picnic: usually on the Angel Monday we organize a nice picnic out of town with our best friends and family. It is the first time outdoor opening the good season, spring is in the air, allowing a convivial way to continue Easter festivities celebrating spring. A Tramezzino is the Italian take on the British tea sandwich. Although the sandwich has become a symbol of contemporary lifestyle on the go, sliced bread stuffed with various ingredients is actually an ancient preparation. How to get organized? And what do we bring with us in the basket so that the picnic is a great success? Below 5 easy ideas, quick and tasty!!!!

Sliced Bread or Tramezzini all’Italiana 

Perfect for the Easter Monday Picnic: made with two pieces of white bread with the shape of a triangle and the crusts cut off, Tramezzino is often filled with all kinds of delicious treats. Just be creative!

The word “tramezzino,” is due to the Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio; in 1925, he was sitting inside Caffé Mulassano, Turin, enjoying an “aperitivo” accompanied by these kinds of special sandwiches. He liked them so much that he ordered another round, asking for more “tramezzini”. Observing their shape, they reminded him of the “tramezze” partition walls of his home in the countryside. Based on this, the Tramezzino was born. If you don’t know Gabriele D’Annunzio, you should read his wonderful poetry…

Between our favorite fillings for those tea sandwiches or Tramezzini: ham and cheese, asparagus and sliced eggs, tuna and sliced tomato, arugula with cured beef, tuna and artichokes, wurstel sausage and artichokes, smoked turkey and lettuce. Below a couple of healthy vegetarian options without mayonnaise…

1) Vegetarian Tramezzini: with Ricotta, Capers, Black Olives, Mushrooms


Ingredients for 2 people

  • 4 slices of sliced bread (white, whole and other kinds as you prefer)
  • 50 grams of fresh spinach
  • 150 grams of Ricotta Cheese
  • 10 grams of Capers
  • 10 grams of Black Olives
  • 2 large Mushrooms previously washed well and cut into thin slices
  • Salt, pepper as you prefer


  1. Take a bowl and include the ricotta cheese, olives and capers. Mix well all the ingredients and leave the ricotta stuffing aside.
  2. Take the sliced bread and add the filling on top starting with fresh spinach, there is no need to add additional sauce because the ricotta mix is very tasty, while the olives and the capers give the right strong flavor. Add the ricotta stuffing on top of the spinach leaves.
  3. Before closing the “Tramezzinoinclude also the mushrooms in thin slices.

2) The Classic One: Mozzarella Cheese and Tomatoes or “Tramezzino Pomodoro e Mozzarella”


Ingredients for 2 people

  • 4 slices of Sliced Bread
  • 3 fresh Tomatoes
  • 150 grams of Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 leaves of Basil
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pepper as you prefer
  • 3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise


  1. Cut into slices the tomato season with oil, salt and pepper and basil leaves, let it cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Cut the sliced bread, spread the mayonnaise.
  3. Make a first layer with tomato slices and then a few slices of mozzarella cheese, close with the other slice of bread.

3) Easter Cheese Pie with Italian Sausages or “Torta al Formaggio con Salumi”


Ingredients for 1 Large Pie

  • 500 grams of Flour
  • 20 grams of Fresh Yeast
  • 100 grams of Pecorino Cheese
  • 150 grams of Parmesan Cheese
  • 150 grams of Emmenthal Cheese
  • 1 glass of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 glass of Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • Salt and Pepper as you preferred


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and leave it to rest. Mix the eggs with Pecorino cheese, Parmesan cheese, flour, oil, salt and pepper to taste and finally add the yeast dissolved in milk.
  2. Whisk the mixture well and then you can work it with your hands or, even better, with the mixer, once all the ingredients are well-blended pour into a large cylindrical mold with high sides and add the Emmenthal in chunks directly into the dough and let rise for a couple of hours covered with a cotton cloth.
  3. Heat the oven to maximum then lower it to 180-190 degrees and bake the pizza, it will be ready when is golden on surface around 50/60 minutes. Let it cool in the oven with the door open and switched off.
  4. Serve this delicious Pie or Cheese Bread with slices of Italian Salami and Parma Ham.

4) Italian Red Wine o “Vini Rossi Italiani”


You could also bring some great Italian wines with you:  like Amarone,  Chianti or a southern Nero D’Avola you can find wonderful options. Dark chocolate and red wine is often a good combination. Or just pick a dessert wine such as Passito or Moscato.

5) Dove Cake with Chocolate Eggs or “Colomba e Uova di Cioccolato” 


The Dove Cake is a must for our Easter meal you can add some chocolate eggs of the best quality, dark and with milk both variations will be the perfect combination for your picnic. A delicious sweet sandwich idea for your Easter Monday Picnic:  you can prepare a sandwich with a slice of dove cake and a piece of chocolate: you have to try it!!!

TIPS: For a shabby picnic, romantic and retro’, opt for the classic wicker basket. You can use more than a basket: one for the tablecloth and the dishes and one for the foods. For drinks it is preferable to bring a cooler box with you.


Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!

Easter Monday Picnic

Did you know... Easter

Easter, an Italian History full of Ancient Traditions and Symbols

Everything about our Easter ancient Italian Traditions, Food, Symbols and more…

The Easter Italian name “Pasqua” is derived from the Hebrew Pesach (passage). It’s between the most important festivities  for the Christian tradition because it recalls the resurrection of Christ. Like all Italian festivities, Easter is rich of traditions and specific rituals. The Christian Easter takes place over three days: Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday or called “Pasquetta” which literally means little Easter. From an ancient tradition on Good Friday and until Easter Sunday, in Italy the church bells do not ring as a sign of grief for the crucified Christ. 

On Good Friday, still today there are numerous processions in which the statues of the crucified Jesus and Mary are carried on the shoulders or exposed in the main squares. Often they are part of a parade in costume. As a symbol of peace during these events, in churches and houses, palms or olive branches are collected and exposed. At the end of Lent, which traditionally represents forty days of fasting.

Easter Day is also a day of celebration and an excellent opportunity to enjoy good food, while on Easter Monday with the arrival of summer, Italians love to make picnics in the open, excursions in mountains or go to lunch by sea. Food is the central element of those festivities, there is an Italian  saying:  “Christmas with your family, Easter with everyone else“.  The Italians also love to get together on Easter Sunday to enjoy together the traditional Easter food. 

Easter Breakfast: usually the families of the central regions prepare a full basket for Easter breakfast. This basket contains the Easter Cake “Colomba”, different kinds of  Italian Salame (like sausages), boiled eggs decorated with colors by special children, chocolate eggs. On Saturday before Easter, they go to church to be blessed.

In this period, in Italy we prepare different types of bread and Easter Cakes enriched with the main ingredients of our tradition. The most widely used ingredients, in any case, remain: cheese, spinach, pork, olives, eggsAnd the Easter Egg, Italy’s undisputed Easter symbol.

The Dove Cake or “Colomba”: according to legend, King Alboin, after conquering the city of Pavia, ordered that on Easter Sunday were handed: gold, precious objects, and twelve-sixteen girls. Among the gifts, the old cook of the court created for the sovereign a soft and fragrant cake shaped like a dove. The dove dessert as we know it today, is a soft leavened cake, with candied fruit and a crisp coating of icing and almonds.

The Easter Egg symbol: the ancient Roman Peasants used to bury some red eggs in the soil of their fields to prevent hail. As a symbol of fertility and, therefore, favorable for the harvest. It is precisely with the meaning of renewed life that the egg became part of the Christian tradition, recalling the resurrection of Christ and eternal life.

Happy Easter and Buona Pasqua!

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!



Easter Healthy Main Pie Vegetables Vegetarian

Italian Easter Pie with Ricotta or Torta Pasqualina

How to prepare the real Italian recipe of Easter Pie or “Torta Pasqualina”

It is not Easter without our “Torta Pasqualina” Easter Pie.  Originally, from  Genoa, everyone in Italy loves it, generation after generation, simply because you can never get tired of good things!!! This savory pie, called Torta Pasqualina in Italy, is often made for special occasions or parties, it’s easy to make and serve, plus, it’s delicious. This preparation is very simple, what really makes the difference for a good recipe are always the ingredients, their freshness, and the highest quality: spinach, fresh ricotta, organic eggs as main ingredients for this marvelous spring recipe. Light, yet filling, this savory Italian quiche is simply gorgeous. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY TO TRY IT!

Ingredients for a cake pan – 23/25 cm

  • two circles of dough: puff pastry or dough briseé (you can buy it frozen or make this base preparation at home if you have more time)
  • 600 grams of Spinach
  • 300 grams of Ricotta cheese
  • 70 grams Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 Eggs
  • Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg as you prefer


  1. Add the spinach into a pan, without water, (previously washed and shredded), cover with the lid and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain the spinach and sauté with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for additional 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a bowl, add the ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg, parmesan cheese and 1 egg, mix for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and mix well.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, roll out your first piece of dough, roll out the dough into a very thin 12-inch circle. Place the dough circle on a 12-inch pizza pan lined with parchment.  Add the spinach mixture on top. Spoon the spinach evenly over dough to a 2-inch thickness, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. With the back of a spoon make 4 holes on the spinach mixture over the dough and in each little hole pour a whole egg opened gently. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, cover with the other circle of dough and paint lightly with oil.
  4. Seal the edges well, fold outer edges together and crimp to seal the pie. Then prick the surface with a fork just a little bit here and there.
  5. Bake the Pasqualina Pie, in preheated oven, at 190 degrees for 45 minutes.
  6. Slide the Pasqualina Pie onto a cutting board and let cool slightly before slicing. May also be served at room temperature.

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!


Easter cake

Easter Menu

Italian Traditional Easter Menu or Menù di Pasqua

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 180° for about 50/60 minutes.

MAIN COURSELasagne 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 COURSELamb 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


  1.  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.
  2. Place the lamb in a large tray and bake it at 180° degrees for 22 minutes.
  3. 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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


  1. Prepare the traditional custard, as our recipe, by combining milk 1 cup of coffee.
  2. 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.
  3. Servants dove into slices with the prepared cream, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of coffee powder and coffee beans.


Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!


Pranzo di Pasqua