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Italian Easter Pastiera Recipe

This is a classic Easter dessert recipe eaten in Italy... and is most definitely a tradition worth trying no matter where you're from. This cake is like a cross between custard, cheesecake, and rice pudding-- and it tastes like heaven. Leave a little extra time for prep, as you need to drain the ricotta cheese overnight to keep the cake from getting soggy. This Easter dessert recipe serves about 16 people, though you may have to plan for everyone asking for seconds! Use a real vanilla bean if you can --it's definitely worth it!-- but if you can't, substitute 2 tsp. of high-quality vanilla extract.


4 C. whole milk
¾ C. Italian arborio rice
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean
C. sugar
3 lbs. fresh ricotta, drained (see instructions)
6 lg. eggs
Powdered sugar (for garnish)
Sliced strawberries (optional - for garnish)

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