I just made and distributed mine. And these are savory pies. Not sweet.
Italian tradition is for each family to make these. And today was the day
to make them. They are best made before Easter so the flavors can blend. A
recipe makes a ton of pies, of course depending on the size that you make.
Each family has their own recipe. Some have a bottom crust. Some have a
bottom and top. Husband's family does not use a crust. They mix in acini
di pepe (tiny bits of pasta) and I think it helps a bit in terms of
heaviness but I'm sure you could leave this out if you want low carb.
Basically it is a mix of Italian meats and cheeses with chopped, hard boiled
eggs and then mixed together with a mixture of ricotta and raw egg. Then
baked. The Bove recipe uses cooked Italian sausage as well as other meats
such as salami and ham. But really any kind of Italian meats and cheeses
Now the tradition part is that they fast on Easter. And to break the fast,
the pies are eaten. Each person eats just a tiny sliver as they are very
rich. People then go around and visit friends and relatives throughout the
day who will have their family's pies available. They will then serve you a
sliver and give you a pie to take home. This is why the recipe makes so
many. I saw a picture of my husband's cousin's pies. He made full size
ones and enough to cover a large dining table. Wow! He must have a lot of
friends! My former SIL took a pic of hers too. Hers looked more cheesy
than meaty and she had only three.
I made one large one and three small ones. Dollar Tree has nice foil pans
that are the perfect size. Smaller than a typical pie but larger than a
tart. Since I am not actually Italian and I don't plan to go anywhere on
Easter, I took mine today to the other family members. Actually didn't
really have room for them in my fridge.
I don't actually like these things. Too heavy and greasy for me. But most
people do seem to like them. Here are a couple of recipes if you want to
make them. You don't really need to follow the recipe but it helps to have
a bake time and approx. amounts of what to put in. I think most people tend
to use what they have or can find easily. I bought one of those packages of
Italian meats at Costco and added some cubed ham and the cooked sausage.
Also bought 1/2 pound of mortadella. My cheeses were Romano, Mozzarella,
Provolone and of course the Ricotta. The Bove recipe also calls for white
pepper. No other seasonings. It's a lot of chopping but other than that,
easy to do.
Here are the recipes. Remember that you can omit the crust and they will be
fine. Oh and they are served cold or at least room temp. Never warm.
Unless you are a Bove male and then you'll be hovering around the kitchen
waiting for them to come out of the oven. Heh.
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