A festive savory pie, this Italian pizza dates back to the 1500’s, a culinary tradition in the Northern area of Italy customarily served at Easter. Although the fillings for this rustic, yet elegant Italian pizza pie vary with what is available in one’s pantry or refrigerator, traditional fillings are ham, prosciutto, salami and a selection of various cheeses which may include mozzarella, provolone or both. Greens such as swiss chard, spinach or herbs as well as tomatoes can also be used as fillings. Let your imagination be your guide and create your own version of pizza rustica. Served warm or at room temperature, pizza rustica is a perfect dish for parties or picnics. A bottle of good Chianti and a green salad is all you need for a complete meal. Recipe adapted from Carol Field’s Italy in Small Bites.
A sturdy dough easily made in a food processor. Refrigerate dough 1-2 hours and up to 1 day.
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons ice cold water, if needed
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times to combine. Scatter the cold pieces of butter over the top of the flour, pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, pour the eggs down the feed tube and process until a dough forms. Add water, if needed. Remove to a lightly floured surface, then divide dough into 2 pieces, one twice as large as the other. Flatten to a 1/2-inch-thick discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile prepare the filling.
6 ounces mozzarella, cubed
5 ounces cooked ham, cut thick and cubed
5 ounces salami, cut thick and cubed
5 ounces sheep’s-milk cheese, cubed (I used additional mozzarella)
5 ounces good ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
For glaze-1 egg white, beaten
In a large bowl, mix together the mozzarella , ham, salami and sheep’s-milk cheese (or additional mozzarella). In a separate bowl, press the ricotta through a sieve, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.. Add this to the cheese and salami mixture, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and seasonings.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece to form a 13-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Lay this inside a well-greased 9-inch springform pan, ensuring that some of the dough drapes over the edges. Spread the filling over the dough. Roll out the second smaller piece of dough to form a 9-1/2-inch circle. Cover the filling with the dough and pinch the edges of the two layers together to seal. Prick the surface with a fork and brush the beaten egg white over the surface.
Bake until top is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Remove to a serving plate. Serves 8.
This is my contribution to Black and White Wednesday #88 hosted by Sreevalli of Ammaji Recipes. Several years running now, Black and White Wednesday, A Weekly Culinary Event was created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Susan handed the baton to Cinzia, who authors CindyStar Blog. Rules and host line-up can be found on Cinzia’s blog.
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