Friday, March 25, 2016

Pizza Rustica

It's Good Friday in the Christian world, and I was off of work.  I had the time today to make a homemade Pizza Rustica, the second of two Easter pies my spouse's family enjoys.

The first, Torta Pasqualina, or Grass Pie, was the subject of my Pi Day post on March 14.

Pizza Rustica is a savory meat and cheese pie. Like Torta Pasqualina, it has many variations.  Some put both sausage and ham into it.  Some will put hard boiled eggs into it.  Some people use a yeast dough for the shell, some a pie crust.  I'll be using a store made pie crust, since I am not noted for my pie crust making abilities.

But, as my regular readers know, I am not much of a cook.  So I enlisted my spouse, the family cook, in what turned out to be a lot more of a project than we had bargained for.

This is the recipe I used for the pie.  Sorry, metric readers, you are on your own today.
Some of the ingredients
This is how it would have worked for anyone who knew what she was doing.

First, ingredient assembly.
1 package (2) store made pie crust - unwrap,  Line a 10 inch pie pan with one crust.  Prick dough with a fork.

Now the filling:
1 1/2 pounds cooked ham, diced
2 lb ricotta cheese (we used part skim)
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
5 farm fresh eggs
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaved parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella. 

Add eggs one at a time.  Beat with a wooden spoon. 

Add the other ingredients and stir well.  Now, pour your mixture into the pie pan and top with the second crust.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes in preheated oven, then lower the temperature to 325 and bake for about

Now, for what really happened.

I made the ricotta cheese mixture, after spouse chopped all the ingredients.

Then, I took the pie crust package out of the fridge and I unrolled the pie crust.  Or, I tried to.  It started to immediately crack and crumble.  I turned to my spouse. "It's all dry!" I cried. "We have to take it back to the store."

Having worked a long day (unlike me), spouse disagreed.  Instead, he read the directions.  "Take package out and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then roll out crust...". So what we ended up doing was putting the box on the stove top, nice and warm from the preheated oven. 

That did the trick...sort of.

Then he looked at the bowl of ricotta cheese mixture I had prepared. He looked at the pie pan. He looked at the bowl of ricotta cheese mixture again. "That's never going to fit in that pie pan", he observed. "There is way too much."

He took out a springform pan and said "This will probably work".

So, after much fumbling and patching of holes, we (and it was "we") got the first pie crust in.  I poured in the mixture.  After more fumbling, got the top crust in.  Brushed it with egg mixture.  Put it in the oven, followed the directions.  The hour of baking ended.

It wasn't anywhere near ready.
So we ended up cooking this a lot more, until the crust was a bit past golden brown.  Right now, it is cooling on the counter.

Some of this will go to my mother in law, and some of it will be tomorrow's supper with a salad.

Hopefully, I'll let you know tomorrow how it turned out.

Are you a good cook?


  1. Your reality sounds a lot like my "real" cooking! Never mind - it sounds delish!

    1. Thank you, Dorothy! Thankfully, my tired spouse was philosophical about the whole thing, maybe because he knows how much his mother loves this pie and she can't just go down to the local bakery any more.

  2. Sorry it didn't go so well. At least next time you'll know what to do? If there is a next time, that is.

  3. It looks delicious. I'm eager to hear how it tastes.

  4. I just found a recipe for this and plan to make it soon. My mother's family is from the area north of Venice and I don't think I have ever eaten this. Guess this is not something they ever ate.

  5. I enjoyed reading about the joint baking venture! I am a good cook, and kept grinning reading your account, knew right off that you would get breaking dough without letting it "rest" right out of the fridge. All in all, you and Gene (using his noggin on the baking pan situation)did a great job. I expect that each bite will be rewarding as well as DELISH!!!!

  6. You certainly are enamored with pizza!

  7. Cooking is all about trial and error. Sounds and looks yummy no matter how it all happened. Happy Easter.

  8. This sounds wonderful! Thx for sharing - I'm going to try this!


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