Easter menu Egg Noodle Ham Pastiera and sweet Ham

A lightly modified Italian Easter menu based on Grandma’s ‘Pastiera’ di Pasqua.
A baked ham came about while my Nonna became more Canadian every passing year.

As a child, I remember our ‘Pasqua’ celebration including lots of chocolates ;o)  
However, later, Easter treat was being hosted at my Nonna’s savoury and sweet spread.  
Alas, many things have changed over the years.  
Our Nonna is here in spirit and of course, our stomachs have become slightly tamed. 


Now, Mom has partially taken over with a little help from me ;o)  
Therefore, the recipes we now prepare have been selected by orderly favourites.  
The two recipes below are certainly on the very top of the list.

I'll get this out there right away...
my 'Nonna' always made her Easter ‘Pastiera Salata’ ...
with homemade egg ‘tagliatelle’.  
Unfortunately, I haven't reached that summit yet.  
Time will surely fix all of this nonsense ;o)  

In the meantime, I've come razor close with a noodle substitution.
 Premium nested, dry egg noodle pasta has come in quite handy indeed.
Honestly, I don't know if my family was just trying to be nice...
but it seems they felt my Nonna's hands behind the blessed servings.  

By the way, I also tried deviating from this recipe once more with strong cheddar cheese.
This turned out to be a BIG mistake...don't do least not for this particular recipe.  
Premium Parmigiano Reggiano cheese only please!   You won't be disappointed.

Egg noodle ham savoury torte
Sweet baked ham 

' Pastiera Salata Napoletana di Pasqua 
con dolce Prosciutto Cotto '

a make ahead recipe
serves 8-10

(American / Metric measures)

.  2 to 3 lbs. (1 to 1.5 kg) smoked, boneless ham (pork shoulder) aka 'Picnic' or 'Toupie'
NOTE: Virginia style ham is the best
PASTIERA (egg noodle torte):
. 1 pkg. (500g) dried egg noodles 'Tagliatelle'
. 12 xLarge eggs
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) sea salt
. 2 cups (200g) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded, packed
. 1-1/4 cups (220g) ham, cubed small (from the cooked ham)
HAM baked with a sweet marinade:
note: use the remaining Ham unit from the 'Pastiera' recipe
. 2 cups (500ml) frozen orange concentrate, thawed
. 1 cup (250ml) water
. 1/2 cup (100ml) pure Maple syrup
. 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, packed
. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) Dijon mustard

(Highly suggested to make these recipes simultaneously)

Ham:  (used to provide a reserved, flavoured ham liquid for the Egg Noodle 'Pastiera'):  
. Place the ham in a large 6 quart (5.6Litre) saucepan.  Cover completely with water just until it surpasses the top of the ham.  Bring it to a boil and then cover the pot while lowering the heat to LOW-MEDIUM for 1 hour.  Remove the ham and set it aside onto a strainer while leaving the flavoured liquid in the pot.
. Remove 2 cups (500ml) of liquid from the pot.  Now, place the egg noodles into that reserved hot liquid.  Cover the pot for 15 minutes while the noodles soften.
. Meanwhile, slice the shortest ends of the ham to then cube the amount needed. Set this aside for the next step.  Reserve the remaining piece of ham for later basting with the sweet marinade  OR leave it natural (my preference) and lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.  Position the rack in the center of the oven.  Prepare a 9x13inch (23x33cm) oven-proof dish placed onto a baking pan on standby.  
. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the salt, cheese and cubed ham.   Mix to combine. Now, pour the egg mix into the egg noodles and combine.  Afterwards, pour the whole mix into the ovenproof dish.  BAKE for 1hr35 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. 
Ham (marinated):   
. Meanwhile, place the ham into another ovenproof dish.  Pour the marinade ingredients over the whole surface and turn it over a few times.
. Once the 'Pastiera' is taken out of the oven, let it reach room temperature before covering loosely with a plastic wrap to then store it into the fridge overnight. 
Ham (marinated)
Only once the 'Pastiera' has been removed from the oven, cover the ham with an aluminum foil and BAKE it for about 60 minutes.  Afterwards, leave it rest in the oven for another 15 minutes before removing.   Once the ham has reached room temperature, place it into the refrigerator overnight as well.

Serving:  About 30 minutes before serving...slice both the 'Pastiera' and ham.    Only refrigerate leftovers...NEVER freeze.

Obviously this was last year's table setting and just a partial Easter menu.  These recipes are actually part of the entrĂ©e.   Several others are served at our table of course ;o)  I can only hope to share many more family recipes in the future.

Have yourselves a heavenly Easter holiday.
Ciao for now and Buona Pasqua ;o)

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new to the'll thank me later.