We are excited to bring you this post in time for your Easter celebration.
This week we challenged ourselves to shop at our local Farm Boy store, here in Brantford, Ontario, to buy all the produce and meat we needed to prepare a beautiful traditional Italian Easter Sunday meal for 6-8 people all for $100.00! We are happy to report that we met our challenge!
Farm Boy loved our idea and sponsored this post by providing us with a $100.00 gift card to purchase the ingredients. Our shopping trip was quite enjoyable. We loved the vast selection of fresh meat and produce as well as unique food products from local suppliers. Even the leg of lamb we prepared was Canadian sourced which is awesome!
The ‘Farm Boy Way’ of ‘farm to table’ really resonates with us. It is great to know that we can shop for fresh and often local produce at affordable prices right here at home. One thing you will notice when you shop Farm Boy is that their customer service is top-notch. All of the staff were friendly and courteous, asked if we needed any help and were willing to accomodate any requests like custom cutting a leg of lamb they had on special into chops. Oh and did we mention, they did not know we were Nonna’s Way shopping for this post?
Easter is an important religious holiday for many Italians as it celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. Easter marks the end of the Lenten season, a period of 40 days of abstinence, fasting, prayer and penance. As you can imagine the celebrations that take place on Easter Sunday are a sight to behold. Traditional foods at Easter are lamb, eggs baked into Easter bread, Colomba di Pasqua (Italian Easter cake) and of course don’t forget the beautifully decorated chocolate Easter eggs! At our place, Nonna is preparing all of our favorite baked goods like sweet taralli, ricotta cake, and struffoli!
Typically, our festive meals will start with pasta, soup or in some households, both! For our featured Easter menu we chose to start the meal with stracciatella, the Italian version of egg drop soup. We used a Rachel Ray prepared chicken broth that we purchased at Farm Boy and we must say it was very good. However, if you have time to make your own broth see our post on how to make Nonna’s homemade brodo here .
Next, we chose to cook the leg of lamb that the Farm Boy butcher cut into ¾” chops for us and prepared several side dishes to accompany it including:
- Roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary
- Beet salad
- Green beans with almonds and garlic
- Fennel and blood orange salad
For dessert, we purchased ricotta to make our favorite ricotta cake which we will enjoy with a nice cup of espresso. See the link to our recipe here. It is a super easy and delicious cheesecake!
The recipes for the lamb and stracciatella are included at the bottom of this post. We would love to hear about your family’s Easter traditions, favourite foods, and what you think about our recipes.
Thank you to Nonna Anna Polidori for helping us out with the lamb recipe.
Buona Pasqua a tutti!
Italian Stracciatella Soup
- 2 liters chicken broth
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (this will depend on the saltiness of the broth)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
- Add the parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper to the eggs and beat together.
- Once the chicken stock has come to a rolling boil add the egg mixture.
- Allow the egg to coagulate at the surface then lightly mix with a whisk.
- Do this for 3 minutes, whisking everytime the eggs come together at the surface.
- Serve and sprinkle with chopped parsley and more grated parmesan.
Italian Roasted Lamb Chops
- 5 pounds (2.25kg) fresh lamb chops (we used a leg cut into 3/4 inch chops)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 large cloves chopped garlic
- 3 sprigs freshly chopped rosemary
- 3-4 bay leaves chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for the bottom of the roasting pan
- Wash and dry the lamb chops.
- In a large, shallow bowl, mix the canola oil, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, salt, granulated garlic, black pepper, and allspice and mix well to combine.
- Dip each lamb chop into the marinade and transfer to a deep platter or bowl. It is ok to place the chops one on top of the other for this step.
- Pour any remaining marinade over the lamb chops.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight, flipping the lamb chops from top to bottom periodically.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Prepare a large deep pan (lasagna tray works great) by drizzling the olive oil over the bottom surface.
- Place the marinated chops onto the pan so that they do not overlap.
- Pour the marinade over the lamb chops.
- Cover with tin foil.
- Place in the oven (in between the bottom and middle racks) for 30 minutes or until sizzling.
- Lower the heat to 350F and continue to roast for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the tin foil and continue to cook for about another 45 minutes or until the chops are very tender when tested with a fork.
- You can wet the tops of the chops with the cooking juices periodically.
- Optional: Replace the salt in the marinade with 'seasoning salt', add 1/4 tsp cajun seasoning and 1 tsp roasted red pepper and garlic seasoning to the marinade for additional flavour.
- Once the tin foil is removed, check often to ensure that you have nice colour without drying them out or burning them.
- The marinade oil will look translucent in the pan when the lamb is done.