Easter is one of those important days during the year when families gather at the dining table to celebrate with a very special menu. Think stuffed pasta, lamb, peas and pan di ramerino, some of the most traditional Tuscan dishes you can find on tables for the Easter feast. These specialties are all made using seasonal ingredients, making them perfect not only for Easter, but also for any springtime lunch with the family!
If you want to offer a full menu (starter, first and second course), you could prepare a quick Pasta Primavera sauce with seasonal vegetables, or even a fake ragù to top your pasta dish (Tuscans tend to stay light on the first course and stuff themselves on the second, main dish). If you have a lot of time to spare, try making classic spinach and ricotta ravioli, with a light vegetable sauce or simply seasoned with butter and sage.
And for a perfect finish to the meal, chow down on some traditional Tuscan sweet rosemary bread, known as pan di ramerino.
Today’s pan di ramerino is slightly different compared to the historic version that was prepared only during Lent, specifically Holy Thursday, which was typically a large loaf – the ones today are similar to small, round panini.
Vendors would sell their loafs after they had been blessed in the church. The bread’s crust was also marked with a cross, a curiosity that served two purposes: in addition to being a clear religious symbol, it also helped the loaf rise!