Pastia (Italian Easter Dish)

Wit Wiz?

If you are from Philadelphia then you know the appropriate way to order a Philly Cheese Steak at Pat’s or my favorite, Geno’s.  If you want cheese on your steak you say “…wit wiz” (which is, of course, the all natural Cheese Wiz).  Around Easter in my family the question is the same, do you want your Pastia with or without ricotta cheese.  It’s hard to believe that I am 100% italian and yet I do not like ricotta cheese all that much.  So needles to say that I am part of the “no cheese” crowd.  After spending the morning making Pastia with my Aunt Peggy, I wondered what if I made pastia with just a little bit of cheese instead or all or nothing?  Here’s what I came up with….

PASTIA:  Some italian families make their pastia sweet adding a bit of vanilla and/or anise.  This recipe is just plain and is great as a meal or snack.  You can usually find someone in our family hunched over the sink with the salt shaker in one hand and a piece of pastia in the other, yum!

  • Beat 10 eggs
  • Add 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese (adjust to taste)
  • Add 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese (adjust to taste – the more ricotta cheese you add, the less egg you need)
  • Add 1 TSP of parsley
  • Add 1/2 TSP of pepper
  • Cook 2 cups of penne and about 1/3 box of spaghetti (separately).  Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
  • Use hands to mix pasta with cheese mixture.
  • Spray loaf pan with Pam.  Use hands to put pasta/cheese mixture into loaf pan evenly distributing the 2 pastas.
    Mixture should be very soupy with liquid almost covering the pasta completely.  If you don’t have enough liquid, you can always beat another egg or two and add it (depends on size of eggs).
  • Sprinkle more parmesan cheese all over the top.
  • Cook on 350 for 1 hour or until knife inserted comes out clean.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • The kids can help measuring and adding all the ingredients
  • This is a good time to talk about traditions or seasonal foods prepared in your family.  What special foods did your mother or grandmother make around each holiday?  How was Easter different when you were little.  Every night when I tuck my daughter into bed, she says “Mom, tell me a story from when you were little.”.  She just can’t get enough. 
  • Happy Easter!

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