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Pizza Rustica (Italian Easter Pie)

Pizza rustica with a slice being removed.

This Pizza Rustica recipe has a creamy ricotta filling studded with Italian deli meat and cheese all baked inside of a crumbly Italian pastry. Typically served on Easter, but not exclusively, this Savory Ricotta Pie is sure to be the star of the show at any meal.

Ingredients

Savory Pasta Frolla:

  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (226 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 large eggs

Ricotta Filling:

  • 32 ounces (905 grams) whole-milk ricotta, strained if very watery (see notes)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup diced hard provolone cheese
  • 1-½ cups diced italian deli meats (ham, salami, soppressata)
  • egg wash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF
  2. Add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until well combined.
  3. Add in the butter and pulse 5-7 times, or until the butter is broken down into tiny pebbles.
  4. With the motor running, add in the water and eggs and let the dough process until it forms together into a cohesive ball around the blade, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer the dough to a work surface dusted with flour. Divide the dough into two pieces, about 2/3 and 1/3 each.
  6. Roll out the larger piece of the dough to a rough 15″ circle and place inside of a 9″ springform pan, letting a little of the pastry hang over the edge of the pan.
  7. Roll out the other piece of the dough to a rough 10-inch circle. Place the pie dough on a flat surface (such as a sheet pan) that can fit in your refrigerator. Cover, and transfer the pie dough to the refrigerator to chill.
  8. Meanwhile, make the filling: Add the (strained) ricotta and the eggs to a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Fold in the mozzarella, provolone, and deli meats.
  9. Transfer the filling to the springform pan and smooth it over.
  10. Remove the rolled-out top crust from the refrigerator. Score the top crust with the fork in a lattice pattern by evenly pressing and dragging the fork on the pastry. You want to get a good score on it, but make sure not to cut through the pastry.
  11. Transfer the top crust pastry on top of the ricotta filling. Crimp the edge of the dough together to seal the pie. Cut off any excess.
  12. Whisk together an egg with a bit of water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash on the top crust. Cut a few small slits in the top of the pie directly along the lines left by the fork.
  13. Bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet in the middle part of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden and shiny and the filling has set and puffed up throughout.
  14. Let cool for at last 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Notes

This pie requires a 9" springform pan. Alternatively a 9.5 or 10" pie plate will also work, though you might not be able to fit all the filling.

Use whatever deli meats you like for this pie. You can also use cooked Italian sausage as well.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your ricotta needs to be strained if you’ve never baked with it before. A good rule of thumb is that unless you are buying a local or higher-end brand you likely should strain it. I like Calabro brand, and find that it does not need to be strained. If you aren't sure, you can go ahead and strain it anyways. To strain ricotta, place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Line the fine mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth. An alternative to this is to use a nut milk bag if you have one of those. Place the ricotta in the cheesecloth and smooth the ricotta over to get a flat surface. Transfer the ricotta to the refrigerator to strain for about 8 hours or overnight. Discard any liquid left at the bottom of the bowl. Then the ricotta is ready to use.

Keywords: Pizza Rustica, Italian Easter Pie