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Friday, March 18, 2011

Pizza Rustica

As you can see in the picture Pizza Rustica or  Pizza Ripiena is not actually a pizza but rather a savory pie usually served at Easter time in Italy. My recipe started out as Marcella Hazan's --my favorite Italian cookbook author--  recipe for Pizza Rutsica but I have made several changes to adapt to my family's tastes as well as baking it in  a spring-form pan because I feel this makes a much better presentation. There are 4-- no make that 5-- reasons I love this recipe so much:
1) It's versatility, replace the meats and/or cheeses or even add vegetables/herbs of your choice!
2) It keeps at room temperature for up to 24 hours--no refrigeration!
3) The filling  can be adapted to be as rich or as economical  you like.
4) It's ease in preparation-especially if you use frozen puff pastry!
5) It is the perfect do ahead meal as you can prepare it the night before and it also packs great for a picnic lunch!
I must also warn you --just as Marcella does in her cookbook-- to not be startled by the sweet crust/savory filling combination as these make for a "sparkling couple of flavors" and that they do.....indeed : )
Marcella's Sweet Egg Pastry Recipe ~or~ 1 package frozen puff pastry set out 15 minutes before using
Marcella's Sweet Egg Pastry Recipe & Directions: 2 cups all purpose flour, dash salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 stick cold butter cut into small pieces, 2 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons ice water (or more, as needed to form a ball of dough)
Mix all the dry with the butter with a fork and then add in wet kneading to form a nice ball, wrap in platsic and refrigerate for atleast 1 hour or up to 5 hours. Or mix all at once in food processor.
Filling Ingredients
2 egg yolks beaten
1 3/4 cups whole milk ricotta
8 ounces Italian salami ground/chopped in food processor
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/3 cup Parmesan grated
1.4 cup grated or diced provolone
good pinch of salt
plenty of fresh ground black pepper
a few scrapes of whole nutmeg
egg wash for topping: 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
8 inch spring form pan or deep pie dish
cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375
Mix all the filling ingredients together until creamy and set aside.
Separate your dough into 3 even  pieces and then combine 2 of them into a ball, roll this out between 2 floured parchment sheets large enough to cover bottom and part of the sides of the pan. Fit into pan bringing the sides up. Pierce the bottom with a fork a few times.Place in freezer while you roll out the second sheet.
Do the same with second piece only make it just barely larger than  the top of the pie pan.
Fill the pie crust with the filling and place the top piece on. Fold and crimp edges and brush with egg wash. Make 4 slits on the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes on top a sheet pan to catch any possible spills. Once it is finished baking you can then  place it under the broiler 1 minute to brown up a bit more.
I like to run a knife along the edges before it cools to loosen up any crust stuck to the edge.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then release the spring form sides only.
Allow to cool off, it must be warm or room temp before cutting into but not hot! This must keep at room temp covered (A cake pedestal with a cover works nicely) and is good for up to 24 hours. If you must refrigerate please allow it to come back up to room temp before serving!
Pizza Rustica Recipe by: Ann Minard
Sweet Egg Pastry Recipe by: Marcella Hazan


Rumana Rawat said...

Looks very interesting:)

Brenda Christmas said...

With salami and provolone in there, it's got to be good!

My Favorite Things said...

That looks so good! I'll have to try it..My mother in law makes an easter cake/pie with ricotta and chocolate for Easter.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

This kind of recipe, which we just call "Easter Pie" has been a family classic forever. My great-grandmother used to make them and for years the recipe languished until I was able to bring it to the light of day again. I love to use multiple meats when I make it: prosciutto, sorpresatta and pepperoni are my favorites, but some folks use even more. I resent all those years we didnt' have it! For a while I used a very good Julia Child recipe, but it's not quite the same as the one your ancestors first put to paper.