We're about a month away from Easter, and my thoughts are turning to Pizza Rustica. We managed somehow to make one in Egypt last year (using all our hoarded salami and prosciutto), and despite the mediocre frozen ricotta, it turned out really well.
In today's N.Y. Times, they published the recipe from The Cake Boss, and I was surprised at how similar it is to mine. This recipe makes a huge Pizza Rustica, and mine makes one large one, but with the exception of mine using sausage and his using cooked ham, they are almost identical.
From The NY Times
FOR THE DOUGH:
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound chilled salted butter, cut into large pieces
5 large eggs, beaten
FOR THE FILLING:
12 ounces prosciutto, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces boiled ham, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces pepperoni, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces soppressata, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces mozzarella, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces provolone, in 1/4-inch dice
2 pounds ricotta
4 ounces grated pecorino Romano
10 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg, beaten, for brushing crust.
1. For the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together 6 cups flour and the salt. Using a pastry cutter, large fork, or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs and knead for 1 minute. Add about 1 1/4 cups ice water, a little at a time, to form a cohesive dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it forms a large smooth ball, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. For the filling: Mix the meats, cheeses, the 10 eggs and pepper in a large bowl.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough into two pieces: two-thirds for the bottom crust and one-third for the top. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion of the dough into a rectangle to line the bottom and sides of a 10-by-15-inch glass baking dish, with some overhang. Add the filling and smooth it lightly. Moisten the edges of the dough with a little water.
4. Roll out the remaining dough to cover the top of the dish with some overhang. Trim off excess dough and crimp the edges to seal. Poke several sets of holes across the top with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush top and edges with the beaten egg, then return to the oven until golden brown, another 45 minutes. Let pie cool completely before serving.
Yield: One 10-by-15-inch pie.
My Pizza Rustica
3 lbs Ricotta
1/4 lb provalone
1/2 large mozzarella
3 eggs slightly beaten
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/4 lb pepperoni
1/4 lb prosciutto
1/2 lb Genoa salami
1/2 lb sweet sausage browned in 2 tablespoons white wine, crumbled
Chop all filling ingredients finely, & mix together.
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 lb butter or lard or Crisco cut into cubes, then put in the freezer to get ice cold
Stir flour, salt & sugar together. Work shortening of choice into flour, mix the eggs in and add as much additional ice water as needed so that the dough comes together. Divide pat ¾ of the dough into a flat disc, do the same with the other ¼, wrap in saran and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Use an 8 or 9 inch springform pan, using the larger amount of dough for bottom & sides, ¼ for the top. Fill with the cheese/meat mixture, but don’t pack or compress it, nevertheless making sure that there are no air bubbles without filling over-full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours.
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