Easter in Italy is one of the most welcome holidays of the year. It's a hopeful holiday: Lent is over and spring is about to arrive, bringing with it many favorite fruits and vegetables that we haven't seen during the long winter season.
Traditionally, breakfast on Easter morning is a simple affair consisting of hardboiled eggs that have been blessed, a slice of Easter bread and a glass of vin santo-just enough to keep you going until the lunchtime feast, pranzo di Pasqua.
Many of my Florentine friends follow the old dictate, Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi (‘Christmas with your own family, Easter with whomever you like'), and organize an Easter feast for friends, with everyone bringing something to the party.
Here's an Easter menu that takes advantage of the first spring vegetables and the traditional choice of lamb as a main dish. A bonus is the recipe for crescia di Pasqua, the famous Easter bread of my family's Italian origins, Le Marche. Make it once and it will become an Easter tradition for you, too!
Aperitivo di Baccelli
Fresh baccelli beans
Salt and pepper
Pecorino cheese, diced finely