Italian Easter traditions...ravioli, anyone?

 Ravioli al sugo.

Ravioli al sugo.

There are so many wonderful traditions in Italy associated with the Easter holiday. There are many famous processions all throughout Italy that re-enact the Catholic tradition of the Via Crucis, or way of the cross. Different towns have them on different days, starting with the Thursday before Easter through the Saturday. Then on Easer Sunday friends and families gather together to enjoy some traditional Easter specialties. Most Easter meals revolve around some kind of lamb dish, although there are many variations depending on the region.

In my family, the Easter meal has always traditionally started with homemade ravioli. But these are no ordinary ravioli. The tradition from our hometown is to serve both sweet and savory ravioli as a first course. The savory ravioli are regular ricotta-filled ravioli. The sweet ravioli have something added to the ricotta to make them, well, sweet. Both types are then served with tomato sauce and grated cheese on top. Everyone in my family has their own specific ratio of sweet-to-savory ravioli that they like. Personally, I’m all about the sweet, with only a couple of the savory just to taste them.

I will not be sharing any recipes this week, as the sweet ravioli in particular are a time-honored family secret! But I can tell you one thing for sure…they’re amazingly delicious!

So as with so many other times of year, Easter is yet another fantastic time to visit Italy, both for its cultural traditions as well as its culinary ones. Maybe next year you could plan an Italian Easter trip and experience all of these wonderful traditions for yourself!

In the meantime...Buona Pasqua!