Pizza Rustica, also called Italian Easter Pie, is a savory, cheesy, meat and veggie pie with a slightly sweet and super easy, buttery crust.
FOR THE FILLING:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage – hot or sweet
- 1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 generous cup (about 1/4 lb) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces roasted red peppers (from a jar), drained and chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
FOR THE CRUST:
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 8 pieces
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet set over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula as you stir. Cook until there is no visible pink inside the sausage. Scoop the sausage into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the remaining filling ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover, and set aside while you let the sausage cool and make the crust.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. (If you don’t have a glass pie plate and are using a metal one, heat the oven to 375 degrees.)
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse 2 or 3 times just to blend the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- With the machine running, add the eggs. Continue to process until a ball of dough begins to form on the blade. Remove the dough from the machine and knead it for about 1 minute, until the dough is smooth.
- Divide the dough into two pieces, with one piece approximately twice as large as the other. Cover the smaller portion of dough with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Set the larger portion of dough on a clean work surface that’s been dusted with a bit of flour. Use your hands to flatten the dough into a disk, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Use a spatula to loosen the dough from your work surface, and transfer it to a pie plate, pressing it gently against the bottom and up the sides of the plate. If the dough tears, just press it back together. Trim the excess dough so that only about 1/2-inch of excess is hanging over the rim of the plate.
- Add the scraps of dough to the remaining portion of dough, kneading it all together to combine, and place it on your floured work surface. Use your hands to pat it into a rectangle, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 10-inch circle. Using a pizza or pastry cutter, or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8 strips that are approximately 1 & 1/2 inches wide.
- Stir the sausage into the rest of the filling ingredients and scoop all the filling into the pastry lined pie plate. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the top of the filling into an even layer.
- Lay 4 strips of dough across the top of the pie, spacing them evenly. Weave the remaining 4 strips of dough under and over the first 4 strips, laying them perpendicular to create a lattice pattern. Trim excess dough.
- To crimp the edge of the dough: With one hand on the inside of the edge and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your other hand to form a U or a V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
- Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is firm and slightly puffed. Set the pie on a wire rack and let cool to room temperature (or nearly room temperature) before serving. *You can speed up the cooling process a bit by placing the pie in the refrigerator.
- Category: Savory pastry
- Cuisine: Italian