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Pastiera Napoletana is a ricotta pie typically baked for Easter. The filling is made with wheat, ricotta and has a distinctive flavour of the flower orange water and lemon zest.
It is a traditional Eastern dessert for many Southern Italian regions, where ricotta is often used in pastries like in Cannoli Siciliani or Sfogliatelle Napoletane.
If you have Southern Italian descendants, I am sure you are familiar with Pastiera and you might be looking for the recipe.
So here is the recipe, just in time for Easter.
You can find different versions of Pastiera, this one it is my favourite one.
This recipe is from my Uncle’s wife Pina, who makes the best desserts I have ever tasted.
She makes a wide variety of desserts, mostly typical from the South of Italy.
A fresh homemade flavour but never too sweet.
Often pastries from Southern Italian bakeries tend to be way too sweet for me, like for example the Sicilian Cassata or the Marzapane fruits.
This Pastiera recipe has the right balance of sweetness, and I even skip the fruit candies, which I like to replace with dark chocolate chips.
The wheat is specially prepared for this pie and gives the filling a texture similar to rice pudding.
To make this ricotta pie, you need 2 very specific ingredients that you will find only in specialized Italian food shop or on Amazon (affiliate links).
I was very pleased to found out that you can now find on Amazon many typical Italian cooking ingredients.
Even if I live just 1 hour away from the Italian border, it is always handy to have your food delivered to your door.
- Wheat for pastiera (Amazon affiliate link) specifically prepared for this pie which is sold in jars or cans
- Orange flowers water (Amazon affiliate link), which you can use in many other recipes.
Buy a good ricotta cheese and you will have your Southern Italy celebration wherever you are in the world.
Pastiera Ricotta Pie
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
- Mix all the ingredients for the short pastry
- Keep 1/4 of the pastry aside for the top and roll the rest of the pastry to make the base of the pie
- Lay the base of the pie on the pan, make some holes and leave in the fridge until the filling is ready
For the filling
- Boil for 10 minutes the wheat with the sugar, the butter and the milk
- Add all the other ingredients to the filling
- Beat the egg whites until firm
- Gently add the egg whites to the filling mixture
- Pour the filling over the pastry and cover with the crossed stripes of pastry
- Bake in a hot oven at 160C for 1 hour
- Let it cool down completely before serving it