Create a Wood-Fired Oven Italian Extravaganza This Easter

If you’re avoiding the chocolate overload that comes with the Easter holidays, look a little further afield for celebratory food inspiration, easily created at home using one of our Orchard Ovens wood-fired ovens/

Easter in Italy is a time for celebration with friends, family and home-cooked food. Although chocolate is just as popular there as it is here in the UK, the sharing of seasonal foods, cooked by multi-generational families with their traditional wood-fired ovens, is an important part of the festivities.  

Wood-fired oven dishes for Easter

With so many seasonal dishes to try, here we make life a little easier and highlight 5 of our favourites that you could cook up, in a Valoriani wood-fired oven within an outdoor kitchen or bespoke build, or in a ready-to-go Fornino oven.

Italian Wedding Soup

Don’t be fooled by the name, this soup has nothing to do with weddings but it is a popular starter, during celebrations such as Easter, in the Naples region. Minestra Maritata is a combination of dark green vegetables, including spinach, cabbage and kale, meat, such as boiled pork or sausage and beef or chicken broth.

The wedding reference comes from a mis-translation of the Italian language phrase minestra maritata – ‘married soup’.  Follow this simple recipe from allowing the soup to simmer slowly in your wood-fired oven.  For a delicious accompaniment, serve with freshly baked focaccia or casatiello (see below).

Easter Lamb – the wood-fired oven way

Classic holiday food in Italy will certainly include lamb and, if you plan on cooking a traditional roast dinner for Easter Sunday, then this Roast Leg of Lamb with Aubergines and Onions recipe by Jamie Oliver (an Orchard Ovens customer) is authentic and easy to cook, using your Valoriani wood-fired oven. The lamb will cook effortlessly and take on a glorious smokey, chargrilled flavour.

Savoury Bread – cooked in your wood-fired oven

Recipes and dishes vary depending on Italian region, but why not try a few of the most popular? Casatiello, is a leavened savoury bread, originating from Naples and is traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven. Typically prepared on Good Friday, left to rise overnight, baked the next day and eaten on Holy Saturday and Easter Monday. This delicious savoury ring of enriched bread is stuffed with salami, cheese and hard-boiled eggs, finished with a cross of pastry on each. Perfect for sharing over brunch, as an appetiser or as a main dish. Give this simple recipe a try:  

Sweet Bread – with the distinctive wood-fired oven flavour

One of the most well-known Easter treats, partly because of its shape, is the Colomba – a delicious sweet bread, baked in the shape of a dove (which translates to ‘dove’ in Italian.)

The Spruce Eats has a step-by-step recipe which mentions that, traditionally, the bread would be flavoured with an orange-scented extract called, fiori di Sicilia but a combination of vanilla and orange extract works just as well. Flour, eggs, sugar and butter are the basis of the recipe along with the addition of candied peel, topped with pearl sugar and almonds. It’s a great alternative to chocolate, if you are giving gifts to friends and family.

Easter Pie – just as Italians would cook in their wood-fired oven

On Easter Monday, many Italians will be enjoying time outdoors and sharing picnics with friends.  Picnic baskets will be packed with delicious snacks including a Torta Pasqualina – a type of savoury pie made with puff pastry and filled with spinach, ricotta and whole eggs. This will bake beautifully in around 30-35 minutes in a wood-fired oven, and can even be made the day before, as it stores so well. We recommend giving this Delicious Magazine recipe a go.

Why not give us a call to discuss how you could incorporate an artisan-built Valoriani oven into your home and create Easter celebrations to remember – call us on 01772 250000 or email

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