This is my family’s pizza gana recipe! Pizza gana, if you are unfamiliar with it, is an Italian dish made with a combination of eggs, meats, cheese and a little milk.
My family makes pizza gana every Easter. We usually have it for breakfast or with an assortment of appetizers mid-day. It’s my favorite egg casserole, by far.
When I was in college, I would travel home for Easter. Afterwards, my mom sent me back to school with a slab of pizza gana that I would covet and make last as long as I could. I wouldn’t share it with anyone. Not even my best friend.
Selfish, I know. But you would understand if you tasted pizza gana. If you had, you would have fist bumped me.
There are a few ways I’ve seen this eggy dish spelled, this way and pizza gaina! How do you spell it?
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- In this recipe, I use sliced pepperoni because I forgot to tell hubby to buy a roll of pepperoni when he toddled off to the store. If you buy it in roll form (like a sausage), you can cut the pepperoni yourself into thicker slices or little chunks but even pre-sliced pepperoni needs to be cut.
- You can use leftover smoked shoulder or ham for the second meat.
- With this dish, you need to grease your pan really well AND liberally grease the wax paper you line the pan with. Trust me on this.
- The sides of the pizza gana WILL stick to the wax paper somewhat but just peel it away. Don’t stress when the browned sides pull away as it did with mine. That is normal.
- My recipe makes an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan, so if you are serving this to a crowd, double it and use a 13 x 9 inch pan.
How to make Italian pizza gana
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gather the ingredients – eggs, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, milk and pepper. (A)
Grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan liberally with either butter or vegetable shortening. Take wax paper, press it fully into the greased pan and then grease the paper liberally as well.
Cut up the ham or smoked shoulder and the pepperoni. (C)
Get a large mixing bowl, crack in the eggs, add almond milk (or any milk) and pepper and whisk until combined. (D)
Add ham, pepperoni, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. (E)
Take a rubber spatula and mix the ingredients all together. Make sure the ricotta cheese is broken up and smooth in the egg mixture. (F)
Pour the mixture into the greased and lined baking dish. (G) I used a 8 x 8 pan and as you can see, the egg mixture fills the pan to the rim. (H)
Place the baking dish in the oven and set the timer for 1 hour and 5 minutes. I start testing the pizza gana at an hour. I take a clean butter knife and stick it in the middle of the dish. You will know it is done when the knife comes out clean.
It’s all fluffy and puffy.
As it cools, it sinks a little.
Let the pizza gana cool for 10 minutes before you take hold of the wax paper, lift the whole casserole out of your pan and place it onto a wire rack.
My sister Robyn was at my house when I made this. She removed the wax paper for me.
All that is left is to cut some slices and consume those slices. 🙂
Robyn as my hand model.
Mmm! Pizza gana is surprisingly moist. It’s also delicious and fun to eat. It’s similar to quiche, but firmer, with a different taste and mouth feel. And of course, no crust!
I hope you try this egg casserole recipe!
Do you have an Easter tradition? Leave me a comment to tell me what it is as I’d love to know.
Other delicious breakfast ideas
And as always, may all your dishes be delish!
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!
My Family’s Pizza Gana Recipe
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
- black pepper to taste
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella
- 5 ounces pepperoni chopped up in little pieces, just over 1 cup
- 2 cups ham or smoked shoulder (cut up into little chunks)
- Preheat oven 350 F
- Liberally grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and line it with wax paper or parchment paper and grease that liberally as well
- In a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs, add milk and pepper and whisk until combined
- Add ricotta cheese, mozzarella and meats and stir with a spatula until combined
- Pour into greased, lined baking dish, (it will be full) and carefully place in the oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes
- Test pizza gana with a butter knife – it should come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting the pizza gana out by the paper
- Peel paper away from pizza gana, it is okay if the sides come off with the paper, it will just be a thin layer
- Slice in squares
Originally published March 24, 2016.