Breaking Lent: Celebrate the Holiday with Traditional Italian Easter Pizza

Many have gone without worldly delights during Lent season, but this weekend the Italians have a fun dish to break 30 days of mourning with: the decadent Easter pizza, a deceptive name for an indulgent torte packed with cheese, cured meats and even hard-boiled eggs.  

Easter Pizza is a dish of a thousand names: Pizza Gain, Pizza Rustica, Pizza Ripiena, Pizza Chiena – all roughly translating to “stuffed pizza.”

Like ramen or curry, the Easter pizza recipe varies from region to region or even from one’s maternal grandma to paternal grandma. Its main ingredients are spring's staples: eggs, fresh cheese and the occasional green, with the glorious return of meat that was missed during Lent season.

Related: Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria Creates Easter-Themed Pizza to Support Foster Children and Families

American Food Roots finds the origins of Easter Pizza in Naples with references dating back to the reign of the Bourbons in the 17th century. And there are numerous versions of this pizza, such as a torta Pasqualinia (Easter pie). The website also shares this tidbit: “If you make an old-school version, the layers of torta Pasqualina should add up to 33, one for each year of Jesus’ life.”

There are more recipes of this pizza online than one can shake a carrot at, but, once baked, this dish will keep a family stuffed until at least Wednesday.

You can find the traditional ingredients for this dish at Italian stores, such as DiFiore Ravioli Shop in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.