Originally from Naples, the pastiera Napoletana has become a firm favourite throughout Italy during the Easter period. Like all good recipes, the origins are legendary. Some attribute it to one of the convents in Naples, while others claim that, like the city of Naples itself, it has pagan Greek origins.
Whatever the truth, the ingredients – ricotta cheese, candied peel, orange flower water – perfectly evoke the flavours and scents of spring in the bay of Naples.
The original recipe calls for pre-cooked wheat grains, grano cotto, which are available all over Italy at this time of year. If you can’t find them in your local deli, you can substitute it for Arborio rice, or another kind of risotto rice.