Grandma’s Homemade Italian Easter Pie
Being married to an Italian guy has taught me a lot about vocabulary. For instance, it’s not ricotta, it’s “rigot.” Also, it’s not capicola, it’s “gabagool.” You say Prosciutto? Nope, he says, “pro-shoot.” Hmmm…🤷🏻♀️ Regardless of the difference in our pronunciations, I do have to agree that I’ve always been excited about an Italian meal. Whether it’s a slice of pizza that you fold to eat or the amazing bread that you dip into a homemade sauce or seasoned oil, you can count me in!
Growing up, my husband lived in Long Island, New York and resided just a few doors down from his grandmother. Being the baby of the family, he and his mom would often go to his grandmother’s house after his siblings went to school. There were a lot of fond memories there, and what he really enjoyed were the meals that his grandmother would make. She would stand in front of her white stove and just a few feet away, her 13-inch black-and-white television played a “story” (soap opera) or game show while she made enough food for an army. The sauce was always homemade, the bread was fresh from the deli, the salad had the perfect amount of vinegar and oil, and the meatballs were always perfection. Or, she would make lasagna, fried chicken cutlets, stuffed squid, antipasto…it was always delicious.
When my husband was young, he remembered the big meals with all the aunts and uncles. Much later, when he returned from an overseas military tour and stayed with her while his parents lived in Florida, it was a simple egg over-easy on toasted bread that he enjoyed, washed down with ice-cold water from a refrigerated glass container that had probably been around for decades. It didn’t matter how old he was, he always loved his grandma and her cooking.
One of the meals that my husband recalled was an Easter Pie. Naturally, I assumed it was some type of dessert, but was astonished when he said it was actually an egg “pie” filled with meat. Whaaat?! Now, this was just strange to me. Pies should be filled with apples, or rhubarb, or made of pumpkin or even a chocolate mousse. But egg?! Meat?! 🤔 (I later discovered there is a sweet version of this pie as well).
This is a meal that is quite satisfying and definitely filling, yet light – it could be thought of like a quiche of some sort, but better. It’s thick, yet creamy from the “rigot,” and cheesy from the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. The salami adds the perfect amount of saltiness and the crust is just what it needs to make it a pie.
I made the crust with phyllo sheets, a request from my husband because of its lighter texture, but it could certainly be made with any type of pie crust. The salami I had was thin-sliced, but I actually recommend having it cut in small chunks…maybe a 1/4-inch thick. You can also use pepperoni or ham. Some recipes call for cooked rice in it as well, but we preferred it without. Believe me, it will be so tasty that you will be speaking your own version of Italian too! Mangia!
- 3 Large Eggs
- 15oz Whole Milk Ricotta
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/4 lb Salami
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 Phyllo Sheets
- Melted Butter, Olive Oil or Spray Oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, ricotta, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese until it is smooth.
- Fold in the salami, then add salt and paper to taste.
- Lightly grease a pie dish with the melted butter, olive oil or spray oil.
- Follow the instructions on the phyllo sheet box and unfold each thawed sheet and layer. Apply butter, olive oil or spray oil in between each sheet. There should be excess phyllo that will fall over the edges.
- Pour the egg mixture into the center of the layered phyllo sheets and spread out evenly.
- Carefully fold the excess phyllo sheets toward the middle of the batter, creating a partial crust on top.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the egg mixture is firm and the phyllo is golden brown.