The next recipe celebrates the holiday with a colored Easter egg in each small loaf. The bread is egg rich. Both are exclusive to Easter and would not be prepared for any other day.
On most Italian tables, it could not possibly be Easter without Abbacchio Brodettato and Pane Di Pasqua.
The Brodettato is a saute of exceptionally tender lamb in a rich egg and lemon sauce that dates back to the Romans. It shows the affinity of Italy and Greece and even has some Italian-Jewish undertones.
The next recipe celebrates the holiday with a colored Easter egg in each small loaf. The bread is egg rich.
Both are exclusive to Easter and would not be prepared for any other day.
3 pounds lamb, bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
2 ounces diced prosciutto ham or bacon
1/2 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 egg yolks, beaten
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
Heat the oil, and briefly saute prosciutto and onion, and add lamb dusted in flour. Lower heat and cook 15 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.Sprinkle the meat with the wine. Allow to evaporate before adding enough boiling water to cover meat. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Beat egg yolks with herbs and the lemon juice. Heat gently, stirring often. The goal is a velvety sauce with no evidence of cooked eggs. Reduce heat to a bare minimum and pour sauce over the meat. Stir and cool on low for five minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Pane Di Pasqua
1 envelope yeast
1 1/4 cups scalded milk, cooled
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
6 colored Easter eggs
Combine yeast, warm milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Add about half the flour, and beat until smooth. Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.Punch down dough, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each to form a 1-inch thick rope about 14 inches long. Twist pairs into a braid, looping into a circle. Place on a greased baking sheet or on parchment. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour.
Brush each bread with beaten egg wash, and dust with sesame seeds. Decorate each loaf with one or more Easter eggs. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 6 small loaves.