A Friend’s Childhood Memory of Pizza
This pizza recipe is adapted our friend Laura. She grew up in an Italian household so I am thrilled she sent me her grandmother’s recipe. Here is what she says,
“This was my grandmother’s recipe and it was her mother’s, and probably older than that. What makes it an Easter dish is that you were not able to eat meat on Good Friday and the following Saturday morning, so at noon they would celebrate with this meat pie.”
Rather than a traditional crust-on-the-bottom pizza, Pizza Rustica is a savory two-crust pie. It is generally made with a rich pastry dough which is rolled and fitted into and up the sides of a straight-sided pan. Then, the fillings are added. Some recipes for Pizza Rustica call for a ricotta custard as well as meats, cheeses and vegetables. Some omit the custard. There seem to be as many variations of Pizza Rustica as there are cooks in Italy.
Often, Pizza Rustica is served as part of the Easter meal. The addition of meat signaled the end of Lenten fasting.
This recipe calls for frozen or fresh bread dough. Where I live, I can buy pizza dough from my local pizza parlor. If you would like to try the pastry dough version, the recipe follows. Whether you make your own dough or start with ready-made, Pizza Rustica makes a hearty and impressive presentation. Serve it with a light salad and a nice glass of Italian red wine, and enjoy your meal.