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Pastiera (Italian Wheat Berry Pie)

This is a traditional Easter dish served in Naples. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and citrus season. Most versions call for a special pie crust and fancy lattice work on top. This recipe is simplified to use a pre-made crust and forgo the lattice work. To simplify even further, try the Cuccia recipe in our online recipe archive.


  • 1/2 cup wheat berries (about 1 cup cooked berries)
  • Zest from 2 oranges
  • 1 pound ricotta, put through a sieve
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flower water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied orange peel (optional)
  • 1 pie shell, defrosted, if frozen


Soak wheat berries overnight and drain. Place in a large sauce pan, cover in water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until tender. Drain cooked berries and set aside to cool. Mix the ricotta and sugar together. Stir in the eggs one at a time, then add the zest, orange flower water and orange peel. Stir in the cooled wheat kernels. Pour mixture into pie shell and sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, until filling is set.

Submitted by Sara Jones, Tucson CSA