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    Pizza Rustica Recipe

    Published March 29, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This classic Pizza Rustica Recipe is jam-packed with ham, salami, eggs, and three Italian cheeses, baked in a pastry crust until golden brown for the perfect Easter dish. There are such simple, incredible flavors in this easy-to-make Italian specialty.

    We eat a lot of different Italian dishes at home because I’m Italian. I love the rich flavors every dish offers and how simple they are to prepare. If you’re looking to dry out some of these recipes, you must try my Arrabbiata Sauce or Gnocchi.

    pizza rustica slice


     

    Pizza Rustica

    Pizza Rustica is a decadent Italian stuffed deep-dish pizza with eggs, cheeses, and cured meats that are then baked in a flaky pastry crust. There can be many variations regarding the cheeses and cured meats used, depending on who is making them and where they are being made. It is more like an encrusted quiche than a pizza since it uses pastry dough instead of pizza dough.

    This is also known as an Easter pie, as it is meant to celebrate both Easter and the end of Lent. It’s usually served at room temperature as an appetizer or for brunch. This recipe is said to go back to the 1600s, and when Italian immigrants started to come to the US in the 19th century, it was one of the many recipes brought with them.

    Depending on where in Italy this dish is located, it can be known by many names, such as pizza chiena, pizzachino, pizza gain, pizzagaina, pizza ripiena, or ham pizza.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    pizza rustica ingredients
    • Flour — I used 00 flour, which I got from my local grocery store. However, you can easily substitute bread or all-purpose flour.
    • Eggs – Chilled large eggs are what you need for this recipe. 
    • Fat – I used a combination of lard and unsalted butter, but you can also use lard or butter alone. I always use unsalted butter to control the sodium content.
    • Water – Plain tap water is used for the pastry dough.
    • Cheese — The classic cheeses are ricotta, scamorza, and Pecorino Romano. However, scamorza can be challenging to find. The best replacement would be smoked provolone or smoked mozzarella. I had trouble finding either, so I went with provolone, Pecorino Romano, and ricotta.
    • Cured Meats – I used a combination of ham and Napoli salami. Other options include pepperoni, pancetta, prosciutto, capicola, mortadella, or any type of salami. You can use any combination of these.
    • Seasonings – coarse salt and pepper are used in the batter of this pizza rustica.

    How to Make Pizza Rustica from Scratch

    In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, lard, and butter.

    butter and flour in a food processor

    Next, add 1 egg at a time until combined.

    adding an egg to a food processor

    Slowly drizzle in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the dough comes together.

    dough in a food processor

    Transfer the dough onto a clean surface dusted with flour and mold it together to form a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator.

    kneading dough

    Whisk together the eggs in a large bowl.

    whisking eggs

    Next, fold in the ricotta, provolone, Pecorino Romano, ham, salami, salt, and pepper until combined.

    mixing eggs with cheese

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and cut 1/3 off, and set it to the side.

    eggs and cured meats

    Roll it out until it is about 1/8” to ¼” thick.

    cutting dough

    Transfer the dough to the springform pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

    rolling out dough

    Form the dough to the bottom and sides of the pan.

    forming dough to a spring form pan

    Pour in the egg, cheese, and meat mixture and flatten it out.

    adding ham and eggs to a pan of dough

    Return to the clean surface, lightly dust the remaining 1/3 piece of dough, and roll it out until it is about 1/8” to ¼” thick and large enough to cover the top of the pan.

    rolling out dough with a pin

    Trim off excess dough right to the top of the pan. You can freeze or chill and reuse the cutoff dough in any pie recipe.

    cutting dough

    Pinch the top and sides of the dough together and then gently roll it over towards the center of the pie. It will only go over about ½.”

    pinching dough

    Brush the top of the dough with 1 beaten large egg. You will not use all of it, you just need enough to cover it.

    brushing dough with eggs

    Bake in a preheated oven at 375° on a middle rack for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and cooked throughout.

    adding a spring form pan to a sheet tray

    Rest the pizza rustica at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes.

    baked pizza rustica

    Slice and serve.

    pizza rustica pie with a slicd removed

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: For freshness, you can make this up to 1 day ahead of time.

    How to Store: You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container. Pizza rustica does not freeze well and is not recommended because so much moisture will be lost in the thawing and re-cooking process.

    How to Reheat: While this is commonly served at room temperature, to reheat it, place your desired portion onto a pan, cover it with foil, and bake it at 350° for 5- 6 minutes or until warm. 

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • When using mozzarella, it should be a low-moisture mozzarella instead of fresh so it melts better.
    • If you can find a sheep’s milk or buffalo ricotta cheese, I highly recommend it.
    • Parmigiano Reggiano is a great substitute to Pecorino Romano.
    • If you are using whole milk ricotta in the US, it is wise to drain it in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes first.
    • Feel free to cut in the butter by hand using a pastry knife or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.
    • The eggs internally will be around 160° when fully cooked.

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    Pizza Rustica Recipe

    5 from 2 votes
    This Pizza Rustica Recipe is jam-packed with cured meats, eggs, and cheese, baked in a pastry crust until brown for the perfect Easter dish.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 1 hour
    Cook Time: 1 hour

    Ingredients 

    For the Dough:

    • 3 cups 00 flour
    • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
    • ½ cup cold unsalted butter
    • ½ cup cold lard
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water

    For the Filling:

    • 8 large eggs
    • 1 pound ricotta, drained
    • 8 ounces provolone, cut into small cubes
    • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    • 8 ounces ham, cut into small cubes
    • 8 ounces Napoli salami, cut into small cubes
    • coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, lard, and butter until it becomes like a meal.
    • Next, add 1 egg at a time until combined.
    • While on high speed, slowly drizzle in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water just until the dough comes together.
    • Transfer the dough onto a clean surface dusted with flour and mold it together to form a disk. Cover in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    • In the meantime, whisk together the eggs in a large bowl.
    • Next, fold in the ricotta, provolone, Pecorino Romano, ham, salami, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Set it aside.
    • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it on a clean surface dusted with flour, cut 1/3 of it off, and set it to the side.
    • For the larger size, roll it out until it is about 1/8” to ¼” thick and large enough to cover a 9” x 2” spring form pan including going up the sides of the pan.
    • Transfer the dough to the springform pan sprayed with non-stick spray. You can also an optional parchment paper round to the pan.
    • Form the dough to the bottom and sides of the pan. There will probably be about 1” to 2” hanging over the sides.
    • Pour in the egg, cheese, and meat mixture and flatten it out using a rubber spatula.
    • Return to the clean surface lightly dust the remaining 1/3 piece of dough and roll it out until it is about 1/8” to ¼” thick and large enough to cover the top of the pan.
    • Trip off excess dough right to the top of the pan. You can freeze or chill the cut-off dough and reuse it in any pie recipe.
    • Pinch the top and sides of the dough together and then gently roll it over towards the center of the pie. It will only go over about ½” but I just wanted to give directions on where to roll it.
    • Brush the top of the dough with 1 beaten large egg. You will not use all of it, you just need enough to cover it.
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 375° on a middle rack for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and cooked throughout. Rest the pizza rustica at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: For freshness, you can make this up to 1 day ahead of time.
    How to Store: You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container. Pizza rustica does not freeze well and is not recommended because so much moisture will be lost in the thawing and re-cooking process.
    How to Reheat: While this is commonly served at room temperature, to reheat it, place your desired portion onto a pan, cover it with foil, and bake it at 350° for 5- 6 minutes or until warm. 
    When using mozzarella, it should be a low-moisture mozzarella instead of fresh so it melts better.
    If you can find a sheep’s milk or buffalo ricotta cheese, I highly recommend it.
    Parmigiano Reggiano is a great substitute to Pecorino Romano.
    If you are using whole milk ricotta in the US, it is wise to drain it in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes first.
    Feel free to cut in the butter by hand using a pastry knife or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment.
    The eggs internally will be around 160° when fully cooked.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 860kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 40gFat: 60gSaturated Fat: 33gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 306mgSodium: 1675mgPotassium: 408mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1471IUCalcium: 506mgIron: 4mg
    Course: Appetizer, brunch
    Cuisine: Italian