No Italian Easter celebration would be complete without pizza rustica, an Italian meat pie made with different cheeses and meats sandwiched between two pizza crusts. Can you think of anything more decadent to celebrate Easter with?
What's inside an Italian meat pie?
Traditional fillings may include ricotta cheese, basket cheese (a type of strained Italian cheese similar to ricotta but firmer), mozzarella, parmesan cheese, provolone, and a blend of Italian cured meats such as soppressata, capicola, prosciutto, and ham.
This Italian meat pie recipe yields 10 portions and is usually prepared the Friday before Easter.
2 (1lb) balls of pizza dough
2 lbs fresh ricotta cheese
1 lb shredded mozzarella
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup diced ham
1 cup diced prosciutto
1 1/2 cup diced salami
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Crack the eggs and place them in a large mixing bowl. Beat well. Add the cheeses and mix together with a spatula until blended. Add the meats and mix again. Set aside.
3. Dust a work surface with a bit of flour. Roll out one ball of pizza dough into a very large round (as if you were making a pizza). Dust off excess flour and place dough over the springform pan. Do not stretch the dough! Instead, gently place it inside and use your fingers to cover the bottom and sides of the pan (you'll have excess pizza dough overlapping from the top - this is OK).
4. Roll out the second ball of pizza in the same manner described above.
5. Pour the cheese mixture inside and top with pizza dough. Press the sides together to seal the dough. Trim off excess dough and cut three slits on the top to allow steam to escape.
6. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil so the crust browns nicely. Bake at for about an hour and 15 minutes.
Important note: Make sure the pizza rusticais completely cooled before removing from the pan (which may take 2-3 hours).
Refrigerate and enjoy the next day, preferably Easter Sunday.
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