Easter is a a holy day. According to Italian traditions, Easter menu is composed by dishes recalling someway the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For example, ancient Romans, Greeks, Persians… they all already used to give out eggs as symbols of spring, fertility and rebirth. As per the eggs with surprises inside, they date back to 1885, when an exquisite jewelled Easter egg with surprise was created for the Russian Imperial Court. Yes, I’m talking about the first Fabergé egg! So, on your table eggs can’t miss, bot hen’s and chocolate’s.
Lamb and kid, sweet and unarmed creatures, symbolize Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Today, thanks to animal-rights movement, more and more people choose to replace them with different meats, or even with puppets representing them.
Same story as regards bunnies, another symbol of fertility and spring (that’s also their mating season).
Colomba (dove) is the most symbolic of Easter desserts, as doves represent peace, since early Christian art, from the simile of the Holy Spirit. Just look at Noah’s dove, in the Bible! So, you should really include it among your desserts.
As I’ve already told, every feast has its own regional specialities. So here you have the Easter menu we use to eat at my house (according to Neapolitan traditions).
We use to start with classic fellata (from fella, meaning slice), a dish with cold cuts and cheeses, sometimes with some hard-boiled eggs too. We serve it with artichokes pie and casatiello, a savory bundt cake very rich in cold cuts and cheeses.
As regards first courses, we can choose. We prepare wedding soup as first course, a typical soup of meat (almost always pork, or else hen or beef as well) and vegetables (usually chicory, escarole, borage and Savoy cabbage). And we also prepare some baked pasta.
Let’s see the second course: lamb with green peas and cheese, or baked kid with new potatoes, or even barbecue. Of course, accompanied by roasted or deep-fried artichokes, and potatoes with green peas.
In the end, colomba and chocolate Easter eggs can’t miss, together with the typical Easter desserts of Campania: pastiera and pizza con la crema.