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Lisa’s Easter Pizza Rustica (the Original Deep Dish Pie!)

Lisa‘s memories of her Nana making Pizza Rustica are vivid. The whole Franco and Caponigri family would wait with bated breath for Nana to place this hearty dish in the center of the table. Rich and creamy, it is filled with prosciutto, sausage and eggs cooked in a delicious crust. After being guests at Lisa‘s Easter table, some people make this dish all year round! Lisa likes to call this the original deep dish pizza. Watch Lisa make it on the Lisa’s Italian Kitchen YouTube channel here.

Lisa’s Easter Pizza Rustica Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 oz hot Italian sauce, casings removed

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 (12-oz) bunches of fresh spinach, stemmed, coarsely chopped (about 1 cups) or 1 (10-oz) package frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed and drained

1 (15-oz) container whole milk ricotta

12 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano

4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped

4 large eggs, beaten to blend

For the pastry dough: 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces; 1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces; 1 teaspoon salt; 3 large eggs, beaten to blend, 2-4 tablespoons ice water

Lisa’s Easter Pizza Rustica Directions:

To make the pastry dough: Blend the flour, the butter, and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in the eggs. With the machine running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, with 1 piece twice as large as the second piece. Flatten the dough pieces into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.

Pizza Rustica

To make the filling and the whole pie: Position the rack on the bottom of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausages into pieces, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Pizza Rustica

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and the juices evaporate, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Squeeze the spinach to drain as much liquid as possible. Into a large bowl, add eggs and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, the spinach, and the Prosciutto to the mixture and stir to combine.

Roll out a larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 17 inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan.

Pizza Rustica

Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then crimp the dough edges decoratively.

Pizza Rustica

Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the top. Bake on the bottom shelf until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes. Release the pan sides and transfer the pizza to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Pizza Rustica

About the Author
Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit www.lisacaponigri.com to learn more about Lisa!

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