I have always been a huge fan of holidays, even though I have to work most of them, I especially enjoy food holidays and Easter will forever bring back some of my very distinct food memories!
My grandparents were always fixtures in the kitchen, preparing some sort of amazing meal. At Easter, for some reason the prep always started earlier than normal, and now I understand the amount of plan that went into a Food Holiday!
To anyone, and everyone who has ever had homemade Pizza Giana, you know where I am going with this! This delicious pie, full of eggs, cheeses, Italian cold cuts and has a firm crust, is traditionally served at Easter in Italian households as a way to ‘break Lent’ and celebrate the Easter bunny making his way to the Dinner Table ( Literally..if you know what I am talking about)!! Pizza Giana isn’t just a pie that is eaten at home, Nonna made like 30 of them to bring to all the family and friends around!
Pizza Giana, also known as Pizza Piena, Pizza Rustica and Pizza Chiena is one of those Italian specialties that every family made their own way, and became a Symbol of Easter. Some actually found a hand written recipe from an old family member, and others were more fortunate to actually make them with their family. My Nonna and Nonno would start prepping early, in the morning slicing all the cheeses and Italian cold cuts a certain way, cracking cases of eggs and of course yelling at each other about each step of the way and which one wasn’t cutting something correctly.
Then it came to making the pizza dough for the crust. There were no dough machines in the basement, just Nonna and Nonno working the dough for hours by hand! I still am amazed, by the time and energy they would spend preparing the perfect Pizza Giana.
Yet, it seemed that the most important part of making the Pizza Giana was cooking them. Both kitchens, in the house were in full swing with ovens cranking all day, and it was usually Nonno who supervised the oven. God for bid someone tried to touch the oven while the Pizza Giana was cooking, you may have your life threatened!
Well here is one of my favorite recipes and again, there is no right or wrong way of making this I just recommend calling over some friends, opening lots of wine and make a party out of it! Boun Appetito!