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Saints Feast Family
~Exploring Catholic Patron Saints of the Day & their Feasts (Catholic Cuisine)
(Find food, recipes, traditions, locations, relics, prayers, songs, book, movies, art, products, crafts & more!)

March/April

Little Easter
Happy Little Easter!  
Angel Monday! Resurrection Monday! In Italy today it is Pasquetta!

Pasqua: Pasqua is considered the most important religious event of the year in Italy—rivaling Christmas in its religious and cultural importance—this is also a primal celebration of the end of winter and nature’s rebirth. On Pasqua the solemnity and abstinence of Holy Week come to a joyous end!

In Italy, Easter Sunday is a nationally observed holiday, but the Monday immediately after is also a national holiday,

called Pasquetta (literally “Little Easter”) or Lunedì dell’Angelo (Angel’s Monday)

Saying in Italy: “Natale con i tuoi. Pasqua con chi vuoi.” In English:

“Christmas with your family. Easter with whomever you like.”

 

Often, this holiday includes a road trip & picnics.

Pasqua is an homage to spring. Typically, in Italy, the Pasqua table is vibrant with the fresh colors of early spring—decorated with flowers or peach tree stems, beautiful colored boiled eggs and the season’s freshest vegetables will all play a part in the feast to come!

Dolci (dessert) is an important part of the feast that consist of Napoletana a ricotta orange cake, cassata, cannoli, casadina, Pani di Pasqua (Easter Bread), and of coarse Chocolate Eggs!

Recipes

Easter Bread

Italian Easter Bread!
Also known as Pane di Pasqua

Ingredients

  • 1 package Rapid Rise (instant) yeast, or 2 TBSP 

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/3 cup butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (approximate)

  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water (topping for yellow rich color,
    brushed on top before going into the oven)


​Directions:

  1. bloom yeast in the warm milk and melted butter (around 100 degrees)

  2. beat sugar and eggs until fluffy

  3. add hook to mixer 

  4. add flour and salt to eggs

  5. add yeast mixture

  6. Knead dough and roll into a ball

  7. let rest and proof until double in size

  8. cut and shape, let proof again
    *If adding eggs don't pre-boil just color and place the eggs into the center of the circles

  9. Bake at 350 degrees until golden but not a minute longer.

~My oven for this recipe is best at 16-19 minutes and in the middle of the oven!
Soft like a yeast cloud! <3
**I love adding a nice compound butter like honey butter...perfecto!
***makes 18 circles 💕



 

Sweet Risotto Easter Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) of sugar, plus extra for dusting

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) of short-grain risotto rice (such as Arborio or carnaroli)

  • 2 pinches of salt, dived

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliters) of liqueur such as rum, brandy, or sambuca

  • Zest of 1 lemon or orange

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or the seeds of half a vanilla bean)

  • 2 cups (500 milliters) whole milk, warmed slightly
     

Directions:

  1. Prepare a 9- or 10-inch (23- or 25-cenimeter) solid-bottomed round cake pan or pie dish by greasing well with butter and sprinkling with sugar to cover (if not making a gluten-free dessert, you can sprinkle with a dusting of flour instead of sugar).

  2. Cook the rice with a pinch of salt in boiling water, as you would pasta. Remove after about 10 minutes—it should be al dente.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, rum, zest, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until combined. Add the warmed milk and the rice.

  4. Pour the custard into the prepared pan. The rice should settle evenly along the bottom. Bake at 350° F (180° C) for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown with some darker splotches and firm, not liquid, when gently touched (a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean).

  5. Remove and let cool in the pan. Serve cold or at room temperature and store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for 3 days at most.



 

Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake

  • 120 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • 275 grams (1 1/3 cups) caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

  • 1/4 cup lemon zest

  • 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature

  • 240 grams (2 1/2 cups) almond meal

  • 300 grams (10 1/2 oz) ricotta

  • Flaked almonds, to decorated

  • Powder sugar, for dusting

Directions:

 

  1. Heat oven to 160 degree celcius fan-force (325 degree fahrenheit fan-forced). Line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper and set aside.

  2. Place the butter, 165 grams caster sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Scrap down the sides of the bowl, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until fully combined. Add the almond meal and beat to combine. Fold ricotta through the almond meal mixture. 

  3. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with a hand-held electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites mixture and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.

  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the tops with a palette knife, decorate the cake with almond flakes, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked and firm to touch. Allow to cool completely in the cake tin. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Pastiera (Ricotta and Cooked Grains Cake) Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 small orange

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounce) unsalted butter,
    cold, cut into small even cubes

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • A few drops of ice water, if necessary


Directions:

*Soak it in a triple volume of water for 24 hours, draining the soaking water and starting with fresh water, about 3 cups of cooking water per 1 cup of wheat. Cook the wheat for 2 hours, uncovered, at a low simmer, or until the grains are pale, soft and tender. Allow the entire mixture to cool, and if some of the cooking liquid congeals around the kernels that's fine—don't try to separate the goo from the grain. You can process the ricotta smooth in a food processor first if you know that your crowd isn't into the distinctive texture that ricotta brings to the dessert.

  1. Place the cooked grain, milk, sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon in a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon until the mixture is creamy—the grains will retain their shape, but the rest of the mixture should be soft and smooth and there should be no huge clumps of grain; it should resemble creamy oatmeal. Transfer the grain mixture to a shallow bowl and allow it to cool completely.

  2. On a floured board, roll 2/3 of the pasta frolla into an 11-inch circle, 1/8th of an inch thick. Transfer the dough to a deep, 9-inch pie plate, or a 9 x 2-inch layer cake pan by rolling the dough around the pin like a carpet and then unrolling it onto the pan. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, then trim the dough to leave a 1/2-inch overhang. Gather the scraps and save them for another use. Chill the shell while you put together the rest of the filling.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.

  4. Place the ricotta in a large bowl and whisk in the eggs, vanilla, orange flower water or zest. Mix in the grain mixture and candied fruits, making sure all the ingredients are completely combined.

  5. Set the filling aside while you roll out the remaining pasta frolla into a rectangle at least 11 inches long and 6 inches wide. Using a pastry cutter, make 6 or 7 long strips of dough, 3/4-inch wide. Pour the filling into the chilled shell and carefully arrange the enough of the strips on top to form a lattice pattern and pinching the edges together with the overhang. Trim all the pastry flush with the top of the pan, then gently roll it down and inward with your finger to form a lip around the perimeter.

  6. Use a fork to slightly beat the egg with a small splash of water to make an egg wash. With a pastry brush, glaze the pastry strips and edges. Bake the pastiera on the middle rack of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating it 180° after 20 minutes to ensure even browning. If necessary, you can protect the edges from overbrowning with some strips of aluminum foil.

  7. The pastiera is done when the filling is set but jiggly and the pastry is golden brown. A knife inserted in the center will come out clean. Remove it from the oven and set it to cool on a rack. Allow the pastiera to cool completely, or chill it overnight before cutting it into wedges to serve.
     

Pasta Frolla

  1. makes one 10-inch tart shell -

  2. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and citrus zest in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine the dry ingredients.

  3. Add all of the cold, cubed butter to the bowl, and process until the mixture is sandy and there are no visible lumps of butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the food processor and pulse three or four times or until the dough comes together. If necessary, add some ice water, a few drops at a time, to make the dough come together.

  4. Remove the dough from the food processor and work it a bit with your hand to even out any dry or wet spots. Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling it out.