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posted: 4/18/2012 1:50 PM

Torta di Pasqua — Italian Easter Pie

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Pie crust

2 cups flour

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teaspoon salt

cup (4 tablespoons) butter

cup lard

cup ice water

Filling

2 pounds ricotta cheese (drained)

pound deli ham, cubed

1 pound hot Italian sausage

1 cup grated Romano cheese

2 eggs, slightly beaten

Salt and Pepper to taste

Grease and flour a deep, 9-inch pie plate.

For the crust: Sift together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add water and gather ingredients to form a smooth ball. Do not handle the dough too much. Chill 30 minutes.

While dough chills, empty your ricotta into a colander and drain well.

Cook Italian sausage in boiling water, or fry them until no longer pink. Once cool to the touch, cut into bite-sized cubes and add to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the ham, Romano cheese and drained ricotta. Salt and pepper to taste; if you like it on the spicy side like I do, you can add a little more pepper. Add your slightly beaten eggs and mix well.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Divide dough in half and roll out on a slightly floured surface to fit the in the pie tin. Spoon mixture into prepared pie crust. Cover with remaining dough you prepared for top of pie, leave about to inch overhang. Fold dough over and back and flute ends with fork. Brush with egg glaze.

Bake 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest about 10 minutes before slicing if you are going to serve it warm. You can serve this pie warm or cold.

Serves eight.

Zucchini Stufati

Zucchini Stew

INGREDIENTS

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 clove of garlic chopped

1 28 ounce can of diced Italian tomatoes

1 cup celery leaves chopped

cup fresh parsley chopped

4 fresh basil leaves

3 potatoes cubed

3 small zucchini cubed

Salt and pepper to taste

Another "one pot" healthy meal.

Heat the oil in a medium to large pot. Saute the onion. When almost golden, add the garlic and brown lightly. Add tomatoes, celery leaves, parsley and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the potatoes and 1 cup of water. Cook about 15 minutes before adding the zucchini and seasoning. Cook until tender.

Serves 6

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