Italian Easter Ham and Cheese Pie – ‘Shadone’

martin cross By martin cross, 28th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Recipes>Italian

Easter has always been an important celebration in Italy. This opulent dish is just one of many, with which the Italians celebrate the end of Lent and the Resurrection of Christ. Have your Lipitor at the ready!

A dish to celebrate Easter

Easter has always been the most important of the Christian festivals. Christmas is a time of giving presents and celebrating Christ’s birth but Easter marks Christ’s gift to all mankind and, coming immediately after the fasting period of Lent, it was celebrated in the past with a feast of every food given up during Lent. This opulent Italian Easter pie -, Shadone – is no exception, being filled with eggs and cheese and ham, to be washed down with plenty of wine to flush out the arteries.

Traditionally, Shadone is baked in a special tart pastry made with butter and egg but a normal 9” deep pastry shell will serve as well. An idea of the scale of the celebrations can be gathered from the fact that in the traditional recipe for Shadone the quantities are three times those shown below, producing three pies in one batch.

But whatever way you take your eggs this Easter, have a safe and enjoyable holiday. Happy Easter!

Ingredients for Italian Easter pie – Shadone

For the pastry

1 1/3 cups (6.5 oz / 185 g) of plain flour
1/2 tbsp salt
½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp of granulated sugar
2 tbsp (1 oz / 30 g) of butter
1 large egg
cold water, to bind

OR an unbaked deep 9” (22 cm) pastry shell

For the filling

5 large eggs
5 oz (150g) of chopped ham
4 oz (110 g) of English or Canadian Cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz (110 g) of Mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz (110 g) of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Dash of salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ tsp of garlic powder
¾ tsp of dried parsley
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

How to make Italian Easter pie – Shadone

The pastry

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and then stir in the sugar.
Dice the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Beat the egg into the mixture, combining it well.
Add just enough water to bring the mixture together as a dough.
Roll out the dough until it is large enough to line a greased 9” (22 cm) pie dish.

Or use an unbaked deep 9” (22 cm) pastry shell (defrosted, if frozen) and sprinkle 1 tsp of granulated sugar over the interior of the crust. Leave on one side until the filling is ready.

The filling

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl then mix in the ham and the 3 grated cheeses.
Stir in the parsley and season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper before pouring the mixture into the pastry shell crust.
Bake in the center of the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 40 minutes until the top is golden and the mixture has set (a knife or skewer inserted into the center of the pie emerges clean.
Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley (if desired), cut into wedges and serve immediately.


Grated Parmesan can be substituted, if Pecorino or Romano cheese is not available.


Cheese, Christian Festival, Easter Dish, Easter Sunday, Egg, Ham, Italian Cuisine, Meal, Quiche, Shadone

Meet the author

author avatar martin cross
I am a technical translator and writer, a former chef and marketeer, currently disabled. I write articles on food,, travel, politics, religion and technology among other topics.

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