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Pastiera napoletana decorated with fresh oranges, lemon and white flowers

Pastiera Napoletana

Pastiera Napoletana is a traditional Italian Easter pie filled with ricotta, cooked wheat berries, and beautiful citrus flavors. It's bound to be a hit on your Easter table! 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 467 kcal


For the dough

  • 1 1/3 cup Tenderflake lard
  • 2 1/2 + 3 tbsp cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • water

For the filling

  • 1 cup grano cotto (cooked wheat berries)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Prepare the dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients with a hand pastry blender until small crumbs form.
  2. Prepare your wet ingredients by beating the egg, adding the vinegar to it, then pouring this mixture into a measuring cup. Add water until wet ingredients equals a half cup.

  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and work with your hands until a ball of dough forms. Set the dough aside.

Prepare the filling

  1. In a saucepan, add the grano cotto, butter and milk. Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil, and stir continuously until a cream-like consistency is reached, about 20 minutes. Let the grano cotto mixture cool.

  2. In a bowl, mix ricotta, sugar and eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest with a wooden spoon until ingredients are fully incorporated.

  3. Mix the grano cotto and ricotta mixtures together.

To finish the Pastiera

  1. Place dough on a flat, floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough out. Add more flour if the dough is feeling a little moist. The thickness of the dough should be about 1/2 cm. 

  2. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and cut off any edges that hang off the pie dish. 

  3. Spoon in the filling. Feel free to make a lattice design with the extra dough or leave plain and decorate with fruit after baked.

  4. Bake for 80 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit, or until pastiera is golden on the edges. 

  5. Sprinkle with icing sugar

Recipe Notes

  • A traditional pastiera is topped with a lattice. You can for certain top this pastiera with a lattice, or if you want a less traditional look/feel, you can omit the lattice and top it with fresh fruit as shown instead. 
  • When mixing the ricotta mixture together,  instead of mixing manually, you can use a hand mixer or stand mixer. Just be sure to fold in the grano cotto mixture by hand (with a wooden spoon). 
  • You may have extra pie dough left, especially if you omit the lattice on the top of the pastiera
  • This recipe was made in a 9.5 inch Pyrex glass pie dish, so the filling amounts are suited to a dish of this size. 
Nutrition Facts
Pastiera Napoletana
Amount Per Serving
Calories 467 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 147mg49%
Sodium 449mg20%
Potassium 139mg4%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 960IU19%
Calcium 132mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.