Easter Wishes: My List of Easter Recipes

Easter week is here once again and I’m sure that many of you, like myself, are preparing to bake the traditional Easter breads and pies. It’s a time of year that I look forward to and take pride in being able to carry on my family’s traditions. Over the past few years, I have shared on this blog many of my family’s traditional recipes. In fact, as I was preparing to write this week’s post, I realized that I have run out of family recipes to share with you. Instead of searching out and sharing a recipe that I am not familiar with, I thought it would be best to simply share all of the links to my previous Easter posts, in case you are looking for a last minute idea for your Easter week family gatherings. Below are a list of all Easter-related links, most of which are from my family’s table, along with a few delicious dishes that were submitted by my friend Emma Caparelli Loerky.

I do, however, have one new item to share with you. My good friend Joe was gracious enough to allow me to share a photo of his Great-Grandmother, Giuseppina Benincasa, flipping her Easter fritatta. This photo was taken at her house on Tulip Street, in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. Everything about this classic photo sums up the love and dedication that so many Italians and Italian-Americans bring to the kitchen, especially during this special time of year. As soon as I first saw this photo, I knew that every one of my readers would enjoy it. Thanks, Joe, for allowing me to share it.

Happy Easter to you and yours!


Giuseppina Benincasa flipping the Easter Fritatta.

Please click on the links below for previous Easter recipes.



Easter Ham Pie




Easter Rice Pie




Mascarpone Cheese Cannoli




Easter Strata




Easter Cheese Bread




Taralli Dolci di Pasqua (Easter Ring Cookies)




Italian Love Cake




Honey Fig Gorgonzola and Prosciutto Crostata




Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs



Single Serve Italian Tuna Burger

March 19, 2013 Entrees, Menu No Comments

Looking for a new way to jazz up a plain old can of tuna? Mayonnaise-based salads, grilled melts and boxed ‘helpers’ just not cutting it for you anymore? Using one 5-oz can of oil-based tuna and some fresh chopped peppers and onions, you can put together a quick single-serving tuna burger. I put this recipe together one night recently, and within 10 minutes, I was chomping down on a delicious new variation on a classic sandwich! Normally, I would prefer to use canned tuna in water. For this recipe, I went with Cento canned tuna (tonno) in oil. The oil – even after straining the excess from the can – helps keep the ingredients packed together, so there is no need for an egg for binding. Cento brand has a distinct, flavorful taste that I enjoy, but you can use any brand of oil-based tuna. I’m not sure at this time if these burgers would hold up well on an open flame…but I’ll be sure to let you know as the weather gets warmer!



Single Serve Italian Tuna Burger

1 5-oz can oil-based tuna
2 tbspn chopped red bell pepper
1 tbspn chopped onion
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbspn olive oil
1 tbspn butter
crumbled feta for topping

Strain and discard excess oil from tuna can. Mix tuna, peppers, onion, and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Shape the mixture into a tight ball, then gently flatten to a burger shape. Try not to overwork it, otherwise the burger will fall apart.

Heat oil and butter in a frying pan. Cook the burger 3-5 minutes on each side, carefully flipping. The combination of butter and oil will help keep the burger from falling apart. Serve on a toasted bun topped with crumbled feta.


Lemon Parmesan Crusted Flounder

March 8, 2013 Entrees No Comments

Here’s a recipe that with just one additional ingredient – the mighty lemon – you can turn a traditional crusted flounder into a zesty, flavor-filled dish. It is also perfect for this Lenten season. I always enjoy adding a bit of lemon to my seafood. By simply adding the zest and juice of one lemon to the batter and breading, you get the flavor baked right into the fish. Simple and easy!





Lemon Parmesan Crusted Flounder

4-6 flounder fillets (you can also use tilapia or cod)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
zest and juice of 1 lemon
dash of salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly beat egg and lemon juice in a bowl (you can add just a bit of water to make the egg batter last). In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Dip the fillets into the egg batter, then pat them into the breadcrumb mixture until evenly coated. Place the fillets on a lightly sprayed 9×13 glass dish. Bake for 15 minutes until flaky.


Baked Pepper Shooters

March 1, 2013 Appetizer, Menu 1 Comment

When putting together this recipe, I used two of the most popular stuffed pepper appetizers – cherry pepper shooters and jalapeno poppers – as my influence. Cherry pepper shooters, which are cherry peppers stuffed with sharp provolone and prosciutto and soaked in olive oil, are found in many delis and Italian specialty shops. They’re just as much a part of my family’s weekend meals nowadays as a crusty loaf of Italian bread and a nice bowl of pasta and meatballs. Jalapeno poppers, which are like the wild and crazy cousin to the more sophisticated shooter, are breaded and fried jalapeno peppers stuffed with either cream cheese or cheddar cheese, and are often staples on the appetizer menu at bars, restaurants and fast food joints.

My version is served up warm and breadcrumbs are involved, as is prosciutto (which you can leave out if you wish). I chose to use mini sweet peppers, which you can find bagged in the produce section of your grocery store. The sweet peppers come in multiple colors (green, red, yellow and orange), which make for a nice presentation. You can use jalapenos if you’re looking for more heat. Instead of using a cheese that turns all gooey and greasy, I used a tomato-basil feta, which added a slight creamy texture and tangy taste that complimented the pepper. I also opted for baking instead of frying, which of course is a healthier option. Come summer time, you can bet that I’ll be grilling these up on the open flames!

Baked Pepper Shooters

1 12-oz package mini sweet peppers (you can substitute jalapenos for more heat)
1 6-oz container crumbled feta cheese (plain or seasoned, your choice)
4 slices of prosciutto or ham, torn into small pieces
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350˚. Slice the peppers length-wise, remove seeds (there won’t be many seeds in the mini sweets). Stuff the peppers with the crumbled feta, then top with a piece of prosciutto or ham. Lightly drizzle the peppers with olive oil, then add a light dusting of breadcrumbs on top. Place the peppers on a sprayed baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, plate and serve immediately.




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