In an Italian kitchen come Easter time you will see foods such Pizzagaina, a type of ham and cheese pie; Ricotta Pie, a sweet Italian dessert highlighting citron; and Pastiera di Pepperoni not to be confused with a sweet Pastiera or Ricotta Pie depending on the region of Italy the cook hales. Confused yet? No worries, just belive me when I say all of these dishes are delicious and such a treat. My cousin’s girlfriend Jeanine, makes Pastiera di Pepperoni often, not just for Easter. It is a great dish to bring for gatherings as it can be served warm or at room temperature. This is also very kid-friendly! You can make it without the meat, or try a variation of other Italian meats such a salami or browned Italian sausage. Want veggies in there too? I haven’t seen them in Pastiera, but there are no Pastiera Polizia in the US of A, so go for it.
Jeanine bakes her Pastiera in a 9×13 inch dish which is great to slice up for a crowd. I made it that way for my college friends who were in town over Spring Break. This time I baked the Pastiera up in 8 ounce wide-mouth mason jars for lunches on the go. These freeze very well.
Pastiera de Pepperoni- from Jeanine
3 cups Barilla’s Cut Spaghetti or broken spaghetti
2 pounds ricotta
1 package (6 ounces) Sliced Pepperoni
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 pinches black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, boil spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile mix eggs through black pepper. Drain pasta and fold into the ricotta mixture. Divide among 12 greased 8 ounce-mason jars or spread into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Serves 12.