This is a traditional Easter dish and is one of the most famous dishes in Naples. The story of its origin begins with a fairy tale, that the Neapolitans made offerings to mermaid named Partenope to thank her for her beautiful voice. They offered flour and orange blossom water to both symbolise the wealth of the land, the ricotta was offered by the shepherds, the eggs symbolise rebirth, the grain cooked in milk sym-bolises the union between the plant and animal kingdoms, the candied citrus fruit and spices represent foreigners abroad, and the sugar symbolises the sweetness of her voice. The mermaid mixed the offerings together and created pastiera. Some people like to make this dish 2-3 days in advance and leave it in a box to let it the flavour de-velop. This is of course only possible if you live somewhere temperate and dry.
To see step-by-step illustrated instructions, please go to this page:
http://www.livingalifeincolour.com/recipes/pastiera-easter-ricotta-pie/ —woo wei-duan