The Story of the Di Bruno Bros. Easter Pie

For the last 15 years, we have been making this rustic holiday dish. This classic Italian Easter recipe has been passed down through our Di Bruno Bros. associate family for generations.

Ham Pie Scrapbook Page 1

What is this magical Easter pie?

Filled to the brim with a plethora of meats, eggs, and cheese, Easter Pie (also known as Ham Pie or Pizza Rustica) is truly a celebratory dish that stands in contrast to the  more modest meals traditionally consumed during the previous 40 days of Lent. It’s enjoyed as an appetizer, morning or late-night snack for the whole week leading up to Easter Sunday!

Why is it so special?

Johnny Zancolli, our senior retail leader, has graciously shared his mother’s holiday recipe for what is also known as “Pizza Rustica.” Mama Zancolli, as we like to call her, hails from Abruzzo, Italy, just like Danny and Joe Di Bruno.

“It’s one of Mama Zancolli’s best creations and family traditions, that we hope will carry on and on in our family,” said Johnny.

“Every year, about two weeks before Easter Sunday, we start to prepare the Easter Ham Pie. Like you see in the pictures, everybody is responsible for prepping and picks an ingredient to work on. My two brothers, Alfonso & Franco, my sister, Assunta, my nephew AJ, and Mom & Dad all help in creating this Easter tradition. This year, we are also getting help from the newest generation in our house, my nephews Giovanni, Michael, and my niece, Sofia,” said Johnny.

Ham Pie Scrapbook Page 2

Where did it come from?

Johnny’s mother learned how to make this Easter-time treat in Torino di Sangro, an Abruzzi village bordering the Adriatic Sea.

Where can I get it?

Our very own Executive Chef James Liuzza has been following Johnny’s mom’s original recipe for years. You can find them in any of our shops starting on 3/23!


How do I make it?



How much?

Basket Cheese

1 lb.

Hard Boiled Eggs, Peeled


Fresh Ricotta

2 lb.

Italian Parsley, chopped

2 tsp.

Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

¼ lb.

Large Eggs, reserve 1



1 lb.

Sweet Soppressata


Ground Black Pepper

½ tsp.


1 tsp.

Another prosciutto that you fancy!

¼ lb.


8” Pie Shells, Unbaked


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F . Dice the meats and the hard boiled eggs, and grate the Parmigiano. With a wooden spoon, mix in the raw eggs (except for one), Ricotta, Basket Cheese, herbs and spices to make your pie filling.
  2. Fill each pie shell. Cut the top crust into lattice pieces and place over the topping, pressing into the bottom crust around the edges, and trim any excess. Brush the lattice with raw beaten egg.
  3. Bake for 60-70 minutes until set and lightly browned. Allow the pie to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Angela Corbisiero Love

It was so great to see this recipe and the history. My grandmother, who’s parents came from Campania, made this, and I make it now, but mine is much smaller. She used to use 18 eggs and baked hers in a 20″ wide round pan that was 4″ deep (we have a large family). My recipe is almost the same as yours. Thank you for sharing this special treat.


Our family does the Easter pies also but we have both sweet and savory. My grandmother did one with rice or just the hard boiled eggs. Also one with more of the harder cheeses like parmaigiano. Thanks for sharing!!!

RonaldoVincenzo P. Bozzi

As a long time family friend, I have been fortune enough to have eaten this many times over the year’s, and I can say that it is absolutely delicious, and never disappoints!

David de la Cruz Blázquez

Hello Di Bruno’s family !!
I am David from Madrid Spain , Phonzee’s friend… to read that story was really interesting and make me feel more European … we share old traditions in our both countries …
Now my challenge will be to bake that delicious pie one of these days”” Gracie Mille famiglia and happy holidays, Davide.

Marie Cabauatan Franco

I have been looking for a store, bakery or person(s) that would make the ham pie with the crust. Yay I finally found one. Do I have to put in a request for one or can I just come to your CC store and one up there. Please let me know. Thank you.

Di Bruno Bros.

Hi Marie! Just to be safe, you could call one of our stores to make a reservation. Here are our locations and contact information:

Please note that our Rittenhouse Store’s prepared foods and charcuterie phones are temporarily out of order. Please dial the cheese cave, and they will forward you to a prepared foods associate if you ask for assistance there. Have a great day!


Holy Toledo basket cheese
All the old time Neapolitan men we grew up with in Brooklyn made bsdketncheese from goats milk. Honestly it is soo very good. I make it once in a while st my California home. We eat it the next day with breakfast making wedge slices and dipping it in our bees honey.

Lucille Torcivia Ward

Our Easter Pie is called La Pizza Gaina! Similarly made but a bit different. More meat, including Genoa salami, chunks of Provolone cheese along with the basket and ricotta cheese, 11 eggs in the pie and one in a savory crust. Also we can not eat the pie till Easter morning. My grandmother would get holy water at Mass on Easter and then bless the pie before anyone could eat it. We don’t bless it anymore. The pie weighs so much and is so DELICIOUS! I wish I could post a photo! Mangia!!! Enjoy and God bless!


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