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.
 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 it...at least not for this particular recipe.  
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese only please.   You won't be disappointed.

(Egg noodle ham savoury casserole)
' Pastiera Salata Napoletana di Pasqua
con Prosciutto Cotto '

make ahead...serves 8-10


(American / Metric measures)

.  ~ 3 lbs. (1.5 kg) smoked, boneless ham
    NOTE: 'Virginia style' ham is the best

PASTIERA (egg noodle torte):
. 1 pkg. (500g) dried, large egg noodles 'Tagliatelle'
. 12 xLarge eggs (take out when starting recipe)
. 3 tsps. (15ml) sea salt
. 2 cups (180g) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated, packed
. 2 cups (160g) ham, cubed small

1. Slice a portion off one end of the ham to make the amount needed for the cubed pieces.  Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
2. Place the remaining ham in a large
 6 quart (5.6 Litre) deep saucepan.  Cover the ham with filtered water, making sure it barely touches the surface of the ham (about 14 cups / 3.5 Litres).  Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Then, immediately lower the heat to LOW-MEDIUM and let the ham cook for 1 hour with the lid on.  
3. Afterwards, close the heat and remove the ham from the liquid and set it aside to cool.  Add the egg noodles into the pot with the hot liquid.  Cover the pot for 15 minutes while the noodles soften.  Then, loosen the noodles and cover the pot again for a last 5 minutes.  Important:  use a ladle to remove 3 cups (750ml) of liquid from the pot and discard.  Toss in the cubed ham together with the egg noodles.
4. Meanwhile…Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4.  Position the rack in the center of the oven.  Prepare a lightly oiled rectangle 9 inch x 13 inch  (23x33cm) oven-proof dish placed onto a large baking pan on standby. 
5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs very well.  Add in the salt and cheese.   Mix to combine.  Then, pour
the egg mix into the prepared noodles.  Toss and stir a few times.  Afterwards, pour the whole mix into the prepared ovenproof dish.  
. BAKE for 1:35 hours or until the surface is nicely golden brown.  
. Once the 'Pastiera' is taken out of the oven, let it reach room temperature (about 4 hours) before covering loosely with a plastic wrap to then place it into the fridge overnight to properly set. 
. Serving:  About 30 minutes before serving, slice the 'Pastiera' into thick pieces.    NOTE: Refrigerate leftovers up to 1 week.  Do not freeze!


Here's the recipe IF making both the...
Pastiera and Sweet baked ham at the same time. 

Simply use the remaining HAM as is:
The remaining cooked piece of ham can be left natural. 
Once covered and  refrigerated, it can be sliced and served as is or…

with a mustard, honey and Maple syrup sauce on the side.   


Sweet baked ham

a make ahead recipe
serves 8-10

Printer version

(American / Metric measures)

. cooked ham from the 'Pastiera' recipe

Marinade sauce:
. 2 cups (500ml) frozen orange concentrate, thawed
. 1 cup (250ml) water
. 1/2 cup (120ml) pure Maple syrup
. 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, packed
. 3 Tbsps. (45ml) Dijon mustard

1. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients.
2. Then, place the ham into a medium oven-proof dish and pour the sauce over it.
3. Cover the ham tightly with an aluminium foil (shiny side on the ham). 
4. BAKE it for about 60 minutes. 
5. 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 the ham to the desired thickness.

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 for...you 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 recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.