Made in a round pan similar to an American bundt pan, the shape is said to symbolize the crown of thorns.
The recipe dates to at least the 1600s and they say, the Napoletani that is, that it is not Casatiello without sugna (or strutto in Italian) – pork fat/lard.
Served as part of the antipasti on Easter day, it tastes even better the next day, Pasquetta – Easter Monday.
For the dough
- 1 kg flour plus extra for rolling the dough
- 1 cake (.6 oz) fresh yeast or one package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- Warm water
- Salt and pepper
- About 4 tbsp of lard for the dough plus more for coating the dough
For the filling
- 1/2 kg assorted salumi and cheese
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
Pour flour onto a work surface.
Mix in salt and a very generous amount of pepper.
Add yeast (if you are using active dry yeast you will need to dissolve it in about 1/2 cup warm water first).
Add water a little bit at a time, working it in until a soft dough begins to form.
Add the lard and work it completely into the dough.
Continue working the dough, adding water as needed until the dough is just slightly damp and very elastic.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 1 hr.
Meanwhile chop the salumi and cheese.
Boil and chop the eggs and add them to the salumi mixture.
After the dough has risen one hour, flour the work surface and roll it out into a large rectangular form.
Spread the salumi mixture across the length of the dough starting near the bottom of the dough.
Roll the dough up like a cigar, pinch the edges and coat them with lard.
Bring the ends together to form a circular shape.
Grease the Casatiello pan with lard, work the dough into the pan and generously coat the top of the dough with lard.
Cover and let rise an hour.
Bake at 160º C for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.