It’s Easter (well, close enough), and it’s time to make those once-a-year special dishes. Today I made Pizza Rustica – a savory pie made with ricotta and other Italian cheeses, ham, sausages, and salami. This recipe for Pizza Rustica reflects our tastes in Italian meats. A more traditional recipe includes hard-boiled eggs. Some of these pies are made with pizza dough, giving it a completely different texture. Any combination of meats like capocolla, speck ham, hot Italian sausage, dry salame, pepperoni, or Serrano ham will do just fine in this recipe. Sharp provolone and parmigiana-reggiano are also good choices.
Pizza Rustica can be served warm (see above) or cold (see below). If served warm, the insides will be rich and gooey like ricotta oozing out of a freshly baked calzone. If served chilled, the filling will be firm like cheesecake. We hover in the kitchen waiting for the pie to cool enough to remove it from the pan. Then, it’s a free-for-all.
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup chilled vegetable shortening
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 pounds whole-milk ricotta
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, chopped
- 3 ounces soppresatta with hot pepper, chopped
- 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
- 3 ounces cooked ham, chopped
- 3 ounces dried sausage or pepperoni with hot pepper, chopped
- 2 sweet Italian sausage links, cooked and chopped
- 1 egg, plus 1 tablespoon water
- Combine flour, salt, butter, and shortening in the bowl of food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in eggs and pulse until a soft ball forms. If dough is too dry, add ice water a tablespoon at a time until dough is moist. Roll dough in ball. Pinch off about a third; roll each into ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- In large mixing bowl, beat ricotta, Romano or parmigiana, eggs, pepper, and parsley until blended. Stir in chopped meats and mozzarella.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the large dough so that it fits in a 9 x 3-inch springform pan. Fit dough in pan, pushing against sides and bottom to smooth out folds. Add filling to prepared pan. Roll out remaining dough into 10-inch circle. Cut dough in ½-inch strips and lay across top of filling, about ½-inch apart. Rotate pan and lay dough crisscross across pan. Pinch dough edges together. Whisk together water and egg; brush on top to seal.
- Bake pie until golden brown and filling is set and heated through, about 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. If serving warm, let pie set for about 20 minutes before slicing. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
I shared this recipe at these awesome parties.