Easter pie is not often served here in America during Easter. However it is a popular dish in Italy. What is Easter pie? The pie can either be savory or sweet but tradition dictates it to be more on the savory side. Easter is preceded by Lent, a period marked by fasting, particularly abstaining from meat on Fridays. Come Easter Sunday it is time to splurge and indulge. This pie is rich and creamy with chockful of meat. Easter pie is a quiche-like savory pie filled with eggs, cheese, and meat. Whether sweet or savory, ricotta cheese is used to bind all the ingredients together. The sweet dessert version sometimes consist of wheat grain to signify “rebirth” and it is just as delicious. Easter pie is known by many names in Italy, depending which section of Italy in question. Its been called a pastiera, pizza rustica, or even pizza piena (stuffed pizza). The pie filling also varies from region to region. Some use macaroni, pork and cheese, others use a variety of ham, salamis, cheeses and even spinach in the filling. Easter pie is a hearty dish. It makes a great lunch with a nice crisp salad and a glass of wine.

This is my version of the pie. Usually the crust is made of dough; however, I thought I would make it a little easier and flakier by substituting the crust for phyllo dough instead. If you prefer a dough crust, make your favorite double crust recipe and stuff it with the filling below.

Italian Easter Pie

3 large eggs

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 pound ricotta cheese

8 ounces mozzarella cheese

¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese

4 ounces dry sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 ounces salami, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

10 phyllo dough sheets, thawed if frozen

1 stick butter


Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, sugar and Pecorino Romano cheese. Gradually stir in ricotta until well combined. Add the meats and mozzarella cheese and stir until well blended.

Lightly butter a 10-inch round by 2-inch high cake pan. Lay 1 phyllo sheet over the bottom and up the sides of the cake pan, allowing the phyllo to hang over the sides. Brush the phyllo with the melted butter. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough, laying it in the opposite direction as the first phyllo sheet. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo sheets, alternating after each layer and buttering each sheet. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dish. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the top of the filling to enclose it completely. Brush completely with melted butter.Bake the pie until the phyllo is golden brown and the filling is set, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely.