It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything-not quite sure why. I’ve been meaning to post about my love for Italy and I just haven’t gotten around to it. Needless to say Italy is on my mind every single day and baking this for Easter lunch is my tribute to the birthplace of my grandparents.
Making this torta is a tradition in our house and it just doesn’t seem like Easter without it. As a college student my grandmother would pack me a piece to go and I would eat it on the train ride back to school. There are certainly variations on this recipe, some with a lot more cheese and meat than the version that I make. Mine is an approximation of what my grandmother made. Served right out of the oven or at room temperature, this classic southern Italian pie is a family favorite. I’ve even been known to sneak a piece out of the fridge!
Pizza Rustica Alla Napoletana
Pasta Frolla (Crust)
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl of food processor and pulse to mix. Evenly distribute butter over mixture and pulse until very finely powdered, about 10 times. Add eggs and continue to pulse until dough forms ball.
Remove dough and press into disc. Wrap and chill. Dough may be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen. If frozen defrost in refrigerator overnight.
1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 pound shredded prosciuitto
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 egg beaten with dash salt (for egg wash)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place ricotta in mixing bowl and stir in eggs, 1 at a time to make a smooth mixture. Stir in pepper, cheeses, prosciutto and parsley.
Butter 9 inch springform pan. Cut off 1/3 of dough and roll into a disc and set aside. Roll remaining dough into large disc (about 14 inches) and ease into prepared pan. Spoon in ricotta mixture and spread evenly. Top with smaller piece of dough and fold down edge (of dough in pan) to seal. Brush with egg wash. Make 4 small slits in top of dough.
Bake on bottom rack set on lowest level for about 45 minutes until filling is set and top is golden. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Makes about 10 servings.
April 14, 2020 at 12:02 am
I have missed your posts . That pie was also part of our Easter tradition but we used ham .
April 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm
Millie-thank you for still reading my posts! I hope to get back to some regular posting-I certainly have done a lot of cooking recently.
April 14, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Hi Janie, Your post sent me researching Pizza Rustica alla Napoletana for a recipe in Italian. I’m always curious to find the origins of traditional dishes. I got to Pizza Chiena (apparently Neapolitan for ‘piena’ meaning ‘full’). All the recipes I found used pizza dough for the crust, but the fillings were similar to your grandmother’s. I guess every Neapolitan has made pizza dough a million times. They all said that every family had its own recipe for the filling. One woman scandalously said she didn’t like her grandmother’s recipe and had modified it to something she liked.Thanks for inspiring me to do the research. Hope I’m in Campania one year so I can taste it. Erica
April 14, 2020 at 9:45 pm
Erica-I’m glad I spurred you on. The filling for mine tastes like my grandmother’s but I think her crust was different. She also made what we called “pizzachiena” but that was more like a focaccia stuffed with cheese-I loved this and have tried to replicate it. I was never sure what cheese to use.
April 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Wow, that looks really good Janie! Lots of good memories in making this pie💓
April 14, 2020 at 9:41 pm
Lisa-you are right -so many wonderful family memories. I was lucky to grow up near my grandparents and get to eat at their house once a week!
April 14, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Is this grandma’s recipe?
April 14, 2020 at 9:39 pm
Hi Christina-no it’s not grandma’s recipe-I found this years ago in the LA Times. I think the filling is pretty close to hers-not the crust. I really like this crust cause it has some sugar in it and it’s perfect with the cheese and salty prosciutto. I’m not sure I remember what her crust was like-do you now? I also loved her focaccia like bread with the cheese filling-didn’t she call it something like “Pizzachiena”?
April 15, 2020 at 4:56 pm
The Easter torte looks delicious. I hope you and your husband are doing well during this pandemic. I am mostly home when I’m not walking my boxer.
It’s so nice to be on your mail list. Someday I would like to join you on one of your Italy trips. The accommodations look wonderful.
Take care, Jeri
April 15, 2020 at 9:27 pm
Hi Jeri-loved seeing your name here today! We are good despite all of this. You should absolutely come to Italy with me some time. It’s so wonderful and we have so much fun, not to mention the food and wine! Hopping to still be going in September but who knows. Keep in touch.
April 15, 2020 at 6:14 pm
Looks yummy! Stay safe, Cristina
April 15, 2020 at 9:22 pm
Cristina-so nice to hear from you. Just yesterday I was thinking of you and whether you have plans for Puglia this year. I remember passing your town on the train last year. I am still hoping that I will be in Calitri again in the fall. Loved your last post.
April 15, 2020 at 10:12 pm
I was going to go at my usual time mid July to mid August, but had not booked yet. I think the chances of being able to go in August are slim. I am also supposed to go in October for the Assoc of Italian Canadian writers conference bin Torino. Hopefully that is still a go and I will stay longer than planned. Maybe I’ll see you in Orsara! There is a big festa on November 1st. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we will both be able to go! Ciao and stay safe, Cristina