Monday, July 18, 2011

Pizza Rustica

I've been asked by a few people for my recipe for Pizza Rustica. I'm more then happy to share this!

There are as many different ways to make this dish!  Plus, so many different names for it! Some call it Pizza Rustica, Carnival Pie, Easter Pie or Ham Pie.  My house we call it Easter Prosciutto Pie and it's our favorite!  We can't wait for Easter to roll around to make this tradition.  Of course we can make it any time of the year but it wouldn't be so special at Easter if we did!

You can make this pie in one big pan about 12 x 3  or you can do two pans.  This recipe I give you is for one big pan. If you want to make this smaller just cut everything in half!

Here's what my family uses to make this amazing pie. Lets start with the crust of the pie. 

Crust - 

4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
6 tablespoons Olive oil
2 Cups warm water

Mix yeast and warm water together in a bowl.  Let sit for a minute. In another bowl mix remaining ingredients.  After mixing add the yeast and water and mix well.  Let sit 1 ½ hours in a warm and dry area.   

*Now if that sounds too hard or your just not the dough making type of person I have a simple way of fixing that!  You can do one of two things. The first, go to the supermarket and buy three ready made crust in the refrigeration isle from Pillsbury. Works great. The second, sometimes the local pizza place will let you buy uncooked dough from them. If they allow this get two balls of dough and use that. This works just as well!

On to the filling of the pie!!!

1 lb prosciutto
1 lb dry salami
1 lb provolone
20 eggs
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 lb ricotta cheese

When buying the meat and cheese ask the deli to slice them about ½ inch thick.  When making the pie cut the meat and cheese into cubes.  Grab a huge bowl and mix it all together.

*Now here's where the recipe really starts to vary depending on who makes it. What part of Italy they come from and what grandma did when she made it.  In the end it always taste amazing no matter which way you pick to make your pie!   If you don't like prosciutto pick something else. Another meat like a good ham. You don't like provolone pick another cheese. It's as simple as that.  Also, we like to cube the meat and cheese. Others like to buy it at the deli in thin long strips. This is all about the way you like it. 

Now to put it all together!!!

Cut the dough for the crust into two pieces.  Roll it out and line the bottom and sides of the pan. Even try to get it to hang off the edge. Fill the crust with the mixture. Roll out second piece of dough and lay it on top of the filling. It’s looking like a pie now.

Bake it at 375'F for around one hour.  It may need to cook longer. It needs to look firm and cooked. Not runny.  You have to really take a look at it. You don't want to under cook it.  Once it looks done. Take it out and let it rest. Let it cool down before doing anything to it.  Cut it right in the pan or try to pop it out. (like a cake)  You can eat it warm or cold. Either way it great. Keep it in the fridge after you make it.  

*Even the way you fill the pie is done different by some.  Some people like to leave the meat on the side. Pour a little of the rest of the filling into the crust. Layer the meat and then add more mixture and then meat. Repeat until your to the top of your pan.   Also, You don't need to cover the top with the crust.  I like it without. Some like it covered with the dough.   

If your going to make this into two pies then you might need a little extra dough to put top crust on both. You can make them into two pies and do no tops at all. That's up to you.

Dry Salami and Ricotta in the bowl

The rest of the meat mixed in.

There it is in the pan all mixed and cooking away.

This was one pie I made. No crust on top just bottom and up the sides. A little over the top.

This is the second pie I made. No top crust. Just bottom sides and a little on top. This one is cooked a little longer then the one above.

Inside of the cake. You can sort of see here how the meat is all mixed in and not layers.

This isn't a perfect recipe. It's a very old recipe from very old times. It's something you make and get the hang of it after making it a few times.  Next time Easter rolls around start a new tradition in your house by making pizza rustica.  Have family members help out with the cutting and mixing. This can become a great tradition every year for all to get involved with. 

I wish you luck with making this and I hope you enjoy!