Casatiello, rich homemade salty Easter – Italian Cuisine

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It's right. It is from the earth that he has stuffed a 'simple' bakery product among the World Heritage Sites that comes from the Casatiello. Rich, simple, greedy, festive. In two words, a true heritage. In two others, a resurrection of the senses: Easter.

173083Flour, fats, cheeses and cured meats. And eggs, of course. In plain sight in this crown to exhibit and above all to share and sbafare on festive occasions (choose the delicious eggs, I recommend!). Eggs perched on top of the dough, whether it is salty, or in its sweet version. In any case, the casatiello is the traditional one donut rustic of the tradition Neapolitan Easter.

Like the pastiera, the Easter boast of Neapolitan patisseries, the casatiello was originally born to be consumed during the Easter lunch. In reality the tradition varies: for some it is typical of Holy Saturday; nowadays it is kneaded and also found in other periods of the year. But given its fantastically transportable format (without even needing to be heated) it has become a must for the picnic outside of Easter Monday (here's how to organize it in a few easy steps).

173077Let's start with a little history of tradition. First of all, where does the name come from? From the cheese, probably, which abounds in the dough. Shape? Well, it's very typical of the Easter symbolism: can represent the crown of thorns (which then becomes a crown of light …) but at the same time its annular aspect is a call to the cyclical nature of the resurrection. Each egg (man?) Is caged in his cross, or two strips of dough in the shape of a cross from which it will be released on Easter. When – without wishing to be blasphemous – in this case it will ascend to the mouth: in filling our senses with this culinary delight, it is beautiful to recall also to the mind and heart the deeper meaning of this cooking preparation, since the real food nurtures something more that the body …

And we come to the substance. Here we deal mainly with the salty version, which is usually used accompanied by cold cuts and cheeses, and in particular soppressata and salted ricotta – next to broad beans, in perfect tasting time!

173080Recipe it's here. A prescription. Of course, because then the beauty is that, as good rustic preparation which is, everyone fires a little his version, which certainly depends on the family tradition but also on the availability of ingredients and the inspiration of the moment. For example: the salami par excellence with which it is enriched is the prized and popular Naples salami (coarse grain, lean pork and veal and hard fat of pancetta or bacon). Do you have Milan salami? Use that one! There are those who put the greaves. You want to know what the Neapolitan chef par excellence puts us, Antonino Cannavacciuolo? Salami and smoked pancetta, and pecorino, parmesan, spicy provolone and smoked scamorza with regard to the cheeses.

Vegetarian version very possible and delicious. Simply eliminate the cured meats in favor of the cheeses (one smoked always gives good taste) and replace lard or lard with a different fat – many use the oil extra virgin, but friability and taste vary depending on the fat used – which can also be a mix: try your combination!

Furthermore: while in the traditional casatiello and the enriching ingredients are mixed rigorously together with farina & c., many now perform the preparation strudel type, in order for it to be a heavy hand (literally! So much so that in Naples it is said: "Yes, indeed, nu casatiello!" to someone who can hardly swallow a concept …). Here too, a mix of the two versions can be optimal.

173074And speaking of versions: the casatiello also exists sweet. Along with flour, eggs, sugar, fats – here at pork is better to prefer butter, there is a crucial ingredient is the orange flower water.

And we close our excursion on the Casatiello with a debut. So he began to recite the website dedicated to him: "Easter, Jesus is risen. Everything is beautiful, even if it eats "or casatiello".

Carola Traverso Saibante
April 2019

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