Delicious italian Easter treats


25 March 2024
Written by
Lucrezia Worthington

to share with your loved ones this Sunday


What better way to end a four course meal than with another three courses of dessert? you know in Italy we have a thing for gathering around the table for hours, chatting, eating and drinking? there’s nothing that brings families closer together than celebratory occasions, in which we get to discuss the things you’re not meant to mention around the dinner table. Jokes aside, we love to respect tradition therefore most regions have their classic sweet and savoury dishes – but what certainly never ceases to appear is the Colomba and Easter Eggs. So in this article, we have narrowed down a few of our favourite delicious goodies to bring to the table and share with your loved ones.

Luca Pezzetta

Chocolate, almond and hazelnut colomba. Courtesy Slevin

This season Luca Pezzetta has initiated his production of limited edition artisanal colomba, made with meticulous attention to flavour, ingredients and tradition. Pezzetta’s traditional colomba is crafted with a three-phase dough process and undergoes a 36-hour leavening period; You’ll taste a delicious citrus kick from the orange zest and Sicilian citrus jam blends with almonds, wildflower honey, and Bourbon vanilla. This year, the pastry chef has created a second version with chocolate, almonds and hazelnuts.

Pasticceria Martesana

One of Milan’s favourites, opened in 1966 by pastry chef Vincenzo Santoro, has released an exciting new easter egg for this season: A chocolatey caramel shell blended with toasted peanuts and salt flakes – the perfect blend of sweet, salt and crunch. Then of course, the traditional colomba which requires 48 hours of preparation, from kneading the dough to leavening, baking and resting. To make this so soft and fragrant is the sourdough, one of the oldest in Milan, which boasts over 50 years of longevity. There is also a fruity variation where the dough of the colomba is enriched with semi-candied berries, dark chocolate chips, and raspberry jam. Finally, coming back this season is the colomba version of the ‘Panetùn de l’Enzo’ in which dark chocolate meets apricot as an ode to the much loved Austrian classic: the Sacher cake. WEBSITE

Olivieri 1882

Courtesy Olivieri 1882

Nicola Olivieri is the owner and Pastry Chef of the Olivieri 1882 family business in Arzignano (in the Veneto region), a company that has been active for almost 140 years and is now multi-award-winning for the production of excellent leavened products: from pastries to pizza, bread and of course the festivity classics (panettone/colomba). Each Colomba is worked by hand and takes over four days to complete (that’s 72 hours of natural rising!) – so it goes without saying that its soft, fluffy texture is a result of passion, research and a lot of elbow grease (not literally of course!). There’s the classic colomba, which remains a favourite among many, as well as fun combinations such as lemon and vanilla, salted caramel and apricot, white chocolate and berries – but 2024 brings on a new flavour: candied lemon and wild strawberries covered with an almond-enriched icing. WEBSITE

Romanengo

Romanengo, the historic confectionary shop founded in Genoa in 1780, returns with some great classics this easter. From milk and dark chocolate eggs to the soft colomba enhanced with candied mandarins; cinnamon-flavored sugar eggs, containing a plethora of sweet delights inside; the typical ‘quaresimali’ biscuits, including canestrellini, mostaccioli, and marzipans, made only with almonds and sugar; the splendid boxes containing an assortment of Romanengo’s most representative specialties, including chocolate eggs and almond paste eggs, ‘quaresimali’ sweets, and signature products such as candied clementines, confetti, and rose, violet, and mint fondants encased in dark chocolate. Beware, this box can cause serious arguments around the table. WEBSITE

the ‘Quaresimali’ courtesy Romanengo
A Romanengo box, courtesy Gaia Menchicchi

Ciacco

Stefano Guizzetti making his colomba

For over ten years, Stefano Guizzetti has been making artisanal ice cream in his two italian outlets: Parma and Milan – but on occasions, creates exquisite doughs that follow strict rules in terms of quality ingredients. These are sought out and discovered by Stefano among small producers from all over Italy. Ciacco’s colombe feature a double dough with organic Italian flour, sourdough, honey from the Parma valleys, churned fresh cream butter and organic egg yolks, the latter two ingredients coming from a small producer in Cuneo. The classic is a must, with Sicilian candied oranges by Corrado Assenza and a crunchy topping with almonds from Avola. There’s a Raspberry and Pistachio variant for those who seek a little more ‘umph’, with a crunchy pistachio glaze, where the raspberry is semi-candied and the delicate Bronte pistachio cream by Ciacco is piped into the dough. Lastly, there’s an Apricot and Chocolate colomba with sweet candied apricots and chocolate chips, which, like the topping, are made of 60% dark chocolate. WEBSITE

Dolcemascolo

As every year, Matteo Dolcemascolo presents his own delicious Easter products from the most traditional, such as Colomba and Casatiello, to the more contemporary ones, such as marbled chocolate eggs. The classic award-winning artisanal Colomba, also available in chocolate, forest fruit, chocolate and pear, chocolate and raspberry, and pistachio variants, is made with stone-ground flour, butter, natural vanilla, and candied orange, thanks to a process of cold leavening and slow fermentation of the sourdough. Easter cakes such as pastiera and casatiello and pure chocolate eggs are also available, handmade and marbled according to high pastry techniques. WEBSITE

Dolcemascolo. Courtesy Vincenzo Pollidoro

Giraudi

Giacomo and Davide

Easter is around the corner, and, like every year, artisans Giacomo and Davide Boidi from the Giraudi chocolate shop in Castellazzo Bormida have come up with dedicated proposals. Limited editions, packaging, and above all, new recipes that combine tradition with innovation. Starting from the Giraudi Limited Edition ‘Lunare’, a velvety dark chocolate egg is enriched with toasted hazelnuts covered in praline cream; the ‘Nido d’ape’ is a hand-decorated egg reminiscent of flower petals, with two small chocolate bees nestled inside a hexagonal niche resembling a honeycomb cell. There’s also a dried fruit chocolate egg where candied lemon, almonds, and Sicilian pistachios are hand-set into the dark chocolate coating or a pistachio version where these Sicilian nuts cover two layers of milk chocolate. For the white chocolate lovers, Giraudi proposes this pistachio and, for those who can’t decide theres both a double layer in which a dark shell hides a layer of soft hazelnut praline with toasted hazelnut granules or the ‘C’era un… uovo’ with two different halves of chocolate: milk and dark. WEBSITE

Galup

Since 1922, Piedmont-based Galup has been delivering high quality sweet foods, including the annual panettoni and colombe made with a meticulous selection of ingredients. The Galup colomba, incredibly soft and delicately flavoured, was born from Pietro Ferrua’s idea to lighten the dough and add his famous glaze, made with the Tonda Gentile Trilobata hazelnut, a true excellence of the Piedmont region. A must for Easter, this sweet treat is wrapped in colourful illustrations, creating hype from the very beginning. Among the new offerings this spring, the Rainbow line has been created to narrate the world of carefree sweetness for which Galup has always been a spokesperson. An invitation to recall childhood memories and the pleasure of sharing festive moments with loved ones. Inside is the traditional colomba, made with fresh orange peel candied fruits, topped with hazelnut glaze, and enriched with whole almonds and sugar granules. In addition, you can choose a sweeter version made with forest fruits and yogurt or pear and chocolate. If you’re not a candied fruit lover don’t worry, Galup also offers the Colomba Paradiso, enhanced with citrusy notes of orange in the dough. WEBSITE

Galup. Courtesy Liquirizia Studio
Galup. Courtesy Liquirizia Studio

Le Levain

Le Levain

Le Levain was opened by Giuseppe Solfrizzi, a pastry chef who has worked closely with Alain Ducasse, Massimo Spigaroli and in various important pastry shops in Barcelona and Lyon. His spot in Trastevere has become the ultimate address known to gourmands and, coming to easter, the culinary proposal excels in guilty pleasures. The artisanal Colomba from Le Levain is made with sourdough, handmade candied oranges, French butter, and a glaze of sugar granules and bitter almonds. The sourdough, along with Bourbon vanilla and Amalfi Coast citrus fruits, allows for a fragrant and aromatic dough that undergoes 32 hours of leavening. There’s the traditional pastiera, enhanced with handmade candied oranges, orange blossoms, cinnamon and sheep’s ricotta from Sicily whereas the Easter eggs, signed Giuseppe Solfrizzi. come in two varieties: Dark chocolate orange and white chocolate with pistachio, as well as smaller eggs in multiple flavours including hazelnut, peanuts and nougat. WEBSITE

Sal de Riso

Salvatore De Riso started as a child helping his father in what used to be their small family pastry shop. Today this pastry shop in Minori is a must for anyone on the Amalfi Coast: a large, ultra-modern laboratory. It’s only natural that given the pastry chef’s heritage, alongside the eggs and colombe, the pastiera is worth tasting. A a sweet and aromatic pie, typically made with ricotta cheese, cooked wheat, eggs and flavoured with orange blossom. This filling is then encased in flaky, vanilla scented shortcrust pastry enhanced with candied fruits. WEBSITE

Pastiera Napoletana

Bonus entry: have you ever tried the Scarcella Pugliese?

A pastry deeply rooted in Apulian tradition, shaped into various symbolic forms like birds, hearts, or baskets, each carrying significance related to Easter. Made with a rich dough, it’s flavoured with lemon zest or liqueur, and adorned with colourful sprinkles or hard-boiled eggs. The best ones are homemade but you can taste the one by Domingo Schingaro at Borgo Egnazia.

Credits Borgo Egnazia
Credits Borgo Egnazia

Villa d’Este

One of Lake Como’s most glamorous hotels has presented their version of colomba and it is no short of excellence. Traditional, of course, with a slow leavening process, and no frills nor frocks; simple raw ingredients that, with their high quality, enhance each bite. Inside the soft bake you’ll find candied citrus fruits and, on top, almonds blended with a sweet glaze. WEBSITE

Courtesy Villa d’Este


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