Recipe: Pizza Rustica, an Easter Breakfast Favorite


Welcome back to part two of my Italian traditions for Easter breakfast. If you missed the first one, it was a recipe for Easter Egg Bread that was posted earlier.

My Mom found this original meat pie recipe in a newspaper, sometime in the early 70's and she decided to try it. It turned out to be a big hit in my family. The pie is very rich and very salty, so I definitely tend to shop for lower salt meats and cheeses. The pie is very forgiving in the way of ingredients, so if you don't have some of the ingredients just add more of another. I tend to use egg whites instead of the whole egg and trust me, whatever you do no one will notice, so feel free to be creative.

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Pizza Rustica (Rustic Pie)

Pie Crust (Use a 9 ½ inch pie plate)
2 cups Flour
2/3 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. shortening
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup ice cold water

2 hard boiled eggs chopped
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese diced
1 lb. fresh ricotta cheese
2 raw eggs
1 Tbs. grated Romano cheese
3/4 lb. fresh Italian sausage (Remove skin and brown in a fry pan)
4 oz. Italian salami diced
2 oz. boiled ham diced
The following 2 ingredients are very expensive, so what I do is increase the ingredients above, to take the place of them.
1/2 lb. dried Italian sweet sausage diced (Sopressata)
1/4 lb. Proscuitto chopped

Pie Crust
Blend dry ingredients with shortening.

Then add cold water and 1 egg. Mix with a spoon until it forms a ball.

Split into 2 parts and roll out for a 9 1/2 inch pie pan. Leave about a half inch overhang for the bottom crust.

Combine ricotta cheese and eggs. Add the cooked and cooled sausage meat and all the diced meats, the cheese and hard boiled eggs. Mix well. Put into the pie crust and then cover with the top crust. Bring the overhang from the bottom crust up and kind of twist it over the top crust's edge. (See photo)

Cut about 5 slits into the top crust, sprinkle with a little water to moisten and place into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 325 degrees for the final 45 minutes. For a golden brown crust, brush with beaten egg, the final 15 minutes before it is done. Repeat. "¨Remove from the oven and let cool.

Serve on Easter morning, either alone or with traditional Easter Egg Bread.

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