Like so many classic dishes, there are many variations of the classic pie that differ from family to family. Some use wheatberries, some use rice, one person in a comment section said they use farro (via Food52). Some have candied fruit and some don’t. Some use different pie crusts or shells. Some incorporate pastry cream in addition to ricotta. Traditionally, you begin cooking the wheat on Maundy Thursday. You prepare the pastry and filling on Good Friday and bake the dish itself on Saturday. Then you serve it on Easter Sunday (and enjoy leftovers on Easter Monday!).
Nonna Box also states that there are many legends behind the history of this iconic dessert. One speaks about the wives of fishermen who “left baskets with ricotta, candied fruit, wheat, eggs, and orange flowers as offering to the sea” to ensure their husbands would return safely. Another theory says that the “siren Partenope … emerged from the waters of the Gulf lying between Posillipo and Mount Vesuvius to greet the locals” each spring, and she would be given particular gifts to celebrate her welcome. You guessed it: wheat, ricotta, eggs, orange blossoms, etc.