The Pizzagaina Masters of Connecticut
I used to love waking up on Easter morning to the smell of the avalanche of food that my grandma was making for our Easter lunch and dinner. The three items that I looked most forward to were the hard-boiled eggs, and my grandmother's lasagna and pizzagaina.
We all know what lasagna is, but have you ever had Pizzagaina? You might know it by one of its other names: Pizza Rustica, Pizza Piena, Pizza Ripiena, Pizza Chiena, or, the good ol' Italian Easter Pie. Pizzagaina is a filled or stuffed pizza. The main ingredients are cubed ham, prosciutto, prosciuttini, capicola, salami, pepperoni, mootz, ricotta, farmer's cheese, parmesan, and eggs, all baked into a pizza dough. It's basically a supersized calzone, baked on Good Friday, to be enjoyed as a reward on Easter Sunday, celebrating the end of the Lenten fast.
Where can you get a great pizzagaina for Easter 2022? I suggest you order one from D'Amelio's Italian Eatery at 718 Highland Ave in Waterbury (203-755-0261). I just spoke with my old friend Gianni D'Amelio, and he assured me that Mama D'Amelio and his staff are gearing up to put in their hard work and love on a fantastic assortment of Easter specialties: Pizzagaina, Rice Pie, Sweet Ricotta Pie, Sweet Wheat Pie, and a beautiful assortment of D'Amelio's incredible stuffed breads.
If you can't make it to Highland Ave, here's a couple of local places that are offering up pizzagaina for Easter 2022 pre-order: The first is John's Cafe at 693 Main St. S. in Woodbury. John's just put up a social media post yesterday with a call to action to pre-order your pizzagaina.
And my friends that live in Fairfield County swear that you should check out Jennie's Pizzeria at 380 Monroe Turnpike in Monroe, where Jennie's Famous Pizzagaine is the first item listed on the Easter Specials.
I love that there are still food items that some haven't heard of, and keeping old traditions going for the next generation. I hope you start your own Pizzagaina tradition this year after reading this. Enjoy.