Cavagnetti, the Ligurian Easter gifts ;)

Easter is coming and the majority of you are preparing some specialities for you and your family. Even during coronavirus pandemic … what is more, we all stay home so you have even more time to prepare something special! I think that cavagnetti, a typical, Ligurian recipe for the Easter period is perfect. They are very easy to prepare and you can have great fun with your kids … I think it is very nice to know more about them!


The name comes from the Ligurian word “cavagna” that means basket. Cavagnetti are similar to small baskets made of pasta, which contain a hard-boiled egg. The egg, as you probably know is Easter’s symbol of the rebirth.


In Liguria, cavagnetti were prepared some days before Easter. Traditionally, the sweet version of the recipe was given as an Easter gift of fiances. In families, cavagnetti were brought to the Church for blessing and after that were donated as a gift to children. Nowadays the recipe is becoming rare and many Ligurians don’t prepare it at all … I think that it is really a pity …


  • 450 g of flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 200 g of butter
  • 1 small spoon of baking powder
  • ½ glass of milk (optional)
  • coloured dragee to decorate

In a bowl, beat 2 whole eggs with the sugar and the butter. In another bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff and add them to the eggs and sugar. Mix them together. In the third bowl, put the flour together with the baking powder and add to them the mixture that you’ve obtained from mixing previous ingredients. Mix everything together. If you notice that the dough is not smooth enough, you can add some milk. Then put a part of the dough and roll it up with a rolling pin until it will be about 1 cm thick. Then use a cup and cut out the disks of about 8 cm. Then place one egg in the centre of each disc. With the rest of the dough roll very thin rolls that you will place on the eggs. Then prepare other rolls and create a kind of braid and place it around the egg. Before putting the braid, moisten the surface of the disc of pasta with water in this way it adheres well. Put cavagnetti in a preheated oven (180°C) and cook them for about 20/30 minutes. Once baked, strew them with coloured baking candies … and voilà! Your cavagnetti are ready!Additional variants

Additional variants

  • You can also colour your eggs. You can use cabbage, spinach or onion. In this way, the eggs become violet, green and red!
  • I described you the sweet version of cavagnetti but exists also a savoury version. The difference consists of preparing dough of these cavagnetti with a mix of flour, butter, eggs, salt and pecorino romano cheese. After baking them, they are served with sliced salami.
  • If you don’t want to prepare the braid (that is quite laborious … I really hated it at the end) you can roll on only one roll and surround with it your eggs. It is much faster and the egg is stable anyway.


Even if this year everything is so strange, I wish you really warm and happy Easter, close to your beloved persons!



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