Home Cooking


Cazzatelle (or Cozatel, family's savory version) and Italian Ricotta Pie


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Cazzatelle (or Cozatel, family's savory version) and Italian Ricotta Pie

Seamus Mitwurst | Mar 9, 2006 07:00 PM

In a discussion on the general topics board I promised Chas that I would post my family's Cazzatelle recipe. We have a recipe for calzone, so it isn't a version of that. It's got a name that sounds similar to Sicilian cazzatelle but it's savory rather than sweet. (We pronounce it "cozateel" but then pronounce ricotta as "rigut" and mozzarella as "muzadel" so our pronunciation gives me very little help with the spelling.) If anyone has a similar recipe or help with spelling, I would love to hear it.

Cozatel (my family's spelling)

1# coarsely ground pork butt
1/2# ricotta
2 eggs
mozzarella (slices from a block)
grating cheese (my family uses pecorino romano, almost exclusively)
pepper and salt
pizza dough

Grind pork and fry. Drain fat. Cool and mix with ricotta, eggs, grating cheese, parsley, pepper and salt. Take a piece of dough and roll into a round. Place a piece of mozzarella on the dough and over this place a serving spoon of pork mixture, then another piece of mozzarella. Fold in half and seal. Fry in hot oil until both sides are golden brown. Drain and keep warm in the oven.

That's it. Pretty simple, but delightful. This seemed to be a spring meal, probably Easter. Which led us to the my family's Easter pie. We sometimes has a pizza rustica that was heavy on the ricotta and the salami, but we had something we called Italian Ricotta Pie. As a child I called it Barbasol pie due to the similarity in the smell to barbasol deodorant. Sounds gross, but Barbasol had a sweet spice smell and I liked it. Chas suggested a Pizza Grana, but since it is made without grain, I guess it would be called a Pastiera. Maybe. I guess. The pastry seems a little less sweet than a pasta friola. More of a pastry crust, less of a shortbread.

Italian Ricotta Pie (Pastiera?)
3 cups (1-1/2 pounds) Ricotta Cheese
1/ cup sifted all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. grated orange rind
2 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon finely chopped citron (I am usually a lot more generous and
double it)

Combine the first eight ingredients and mix well. Beat eggs until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar with a rotary or an electric beater at medium speed, beating the mixture for two minutes. Fold into cheese mixture.
Roll half the Pastry to 1/8 inch and 1" larger than a fluted 9" pie pan. Fit into the pan leaving 1/2 inch of pastry hanging around the rim of the pan. Fill with the cheese mixture.

Roll the remaining pastry to 1/8 thickness and cut into strips 1/2 inch wide (I use my rolling cutter that makes it have a zig-zag edge). Place over the filling in a criss cross fashion (you don't have to weave them). Trim strips, turn over edge and flute. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours or till filling is firm and crust is brown.

2 cups flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1-2 Tablespoons water

Sift the first three ingredients together, cut the shortening in with a pastry blender till a fine crumb consistency. Add egg yolks and only enough water to form a firm dough. I mix the yolks with 1 Tbsp and then add more if I need it. Mix only until the ingredients are blended.

Don't you love regional variations and immigrant variations?

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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