What is Pizza Rustica?
Pizza Rustica is a delicious Italian Easter pie loaded with eggs, ricotta, salami, and cheese and baked in a flaky, buttery pie crust. This Sicilian Easter pie recipe produces a wonderfully unique, flavorful, and visually stunning pie.
Pizza Rustica is a rustic Italian pie popular during Easter in southern Italy. Easter pie is baked on Good Friday and eaten on Easter Sunday to commemorate the end of Lent. It’s usually perfect at room temperature.
The Different Sicilian Easter Pie Variations
There are several types of Easter pies, including Torte Pasqualina, which has 33 layers of crust (one for each year that Christ lived) and has greens, ham, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs as fillings.
One is a meat and cheese variant known as Pizza Giana (Giana means “God is gracious” in Italian). There are a variety of names for this sort of meat and cheese, depending on where you come from. There are also some Easter dessert pies available.
Our Easter pie, Pizza Giana, is rich, dense, savory, and fabulous! It has Italian meats and cheeses that are all readily available at your local store. You can make a pattern on the crust (you can do it across) or leave it plain. It’s entirely up to you!
Pizza Rustica is an Italian Easter pie that has nothing to do with pizza, despite its name. In nature, it’s more like a quiche, but with different meats and cheeses. The enriched pie crust with eggs, cheese, meats, and spinach fillings is traditionally served on Good Friday to mark the conclusion of Lent.
You can use any cured meats or even cooked vegetables to fill. It’s also a fantastic main course for an Easter brunch! We added eggs to make our basic pie crust sturdy enough to keep all delectable fillings together. This also adds richness and flakiness to the crust, resulting in the most delicate crust ever!
It’s also relatively easy to work with and rolls out wonderfully! It’s a crust we’d like to use more regularly because it elevates any dish with a crust. It’s considerably easier to slice and serve with a springform pan because you can easily remove the edges. Because this is a tall dish, you’ll need a pan with enough depth to hold it all!
You might also be interested in:
- Ricotta Pie recipe from Italy
- Bread for Easter in Italy (Pane di Pasqua)
- Beef Braciole from Grandma Gennaco
- Tomato Sauce from Italy
Sicilian Easter Food Traditions
In Italy, Easter (Pasqua in Italian) is a festive occasion. It has religious significance, but it’s also associated with the arrival of Spring.
Because Italy is a Catholic country, religious Easter celebrations may occur before and after the Easter weekend. In addition, Sicily has many rituals, traditions, processions, and religious events in various island regions in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.
Pasquetta is the name given to Easter Monday (small Easter). Since it is Spring, it is a popular time to explore the countryside and eat food outside, either with a picnic or by visiting a neighboring country restaurant and dining al fresco in the Spring sunshine (once again to celebrate the season).
Here are some of Sicily’s traditional Easter dishes:
- Easter in Sicily: A Sicilian Feast
- Easter in Sicily: Pasqua in Sicily
- Cassata and other “sweet stuff” (sweet things in Italian)
- Cassata is (It is perfect for an Australian Christmas)
- Easter Sicilian Cassata and Marzipan (Food and Culture in Sicily, La Trobe University)
- Cassata Deconstructed is a postmodernist reinterpretation of Sicilian Cassata.
- Sicilian Easter Specialities
- Pasta Di Mandrola (Mandorla Pasta) (Marzipan, the traditional recipe)
In Sicily, no religious or secular festival is complete without exceptional food, especially Easter. Despite the proverb “Christmas with your family, Easter with whoever you want,” Easter is typically a time to be with family and friends.
It is a fantastic gourmet experience influenced by the various stories and customs buried in the island’s culture, as with all the best Sicilian celebrations.
Easter Sunday lunch is a leisurely affair, and the best advice is to go hungry! Most Sicilians’ Easter Sunday lunch meal includes lamb with Sicilian Easter bread, often served with potatoes and vegetables and preceded by a pasta dish like lasagne or baked anelletti. In addition, lamb is a delicious filling in ‘mpanata (lamb pie).
Some of the most delicate green veggies are at their peak now that Spring is well and truly here. Spring specialties are fresh peas, fava beans, artichokes, immature green beans, spinach, and asparagus. In addition, a traditional Sicilian cassata, a sponge cake filled with sweetened ricotta cream, marzipan, and a rich topping of candied fruits, is generally served with Easter brunch.
Without some local candy, no Easter celebrations in Sicily would be complete. Easter recipes from Sicily: Miniature lambs fashioned of marzipan (cassateddi) or chocolate, as well as colorful marzipan-shaped fruits known as Martorana or Pasta Reale, adorn the windows of cafés and pasticcerie.
Pupu cu l’ova, a traditional presentation of eggs embedded in bread, is another specialty. Another favorite Easter treat is the Colomba Pasquale, an Easter variant of the Christmas panettone. You may find various types of food throughout the island. A traditional Easter cake (Sicilian Easter pie: Cannateddi) gets served at Prizzi celebrations in south Palermo.
Cassatedde is little baked tarts with a pastry foundation filled with ricotta, sugar, egg, cinnamon in Ragusa and Modica, and ravioli-shaped fried pastries elsewhere. Cubbaita, also known as giuggiulena, is a brittle caramelized toffee containing sesame seeds and almonds and an optional dash of cinnamon when cooked in Ragusa is a Sicilian legacy from the Arabs.
Staying in a villa in Sicily over the Easter holiday is a beautiful chance to soak up the atmosphere and experience some of the local cuisines, with festivals and processions taking place in most towns and villages around the island. Here’s where you can learn more about local Easter celebrations and events.
An Italian Easter Pie Recipe
Time to prepare: 6 hours and 30 minutes
Serving size: 8
Prep time: 30 minutes
Nutritional Information (per Serving/Total)
444 calories per serving; 0.02 pounds (9.8 grams) of protein; 0.15 pounds (67.3 grams) of carbs; 0.03 pounds (15 grams) of fat.
- 12 cups chilled butter
- 13 cups sugar (superfine)
- One yolk of an egg
- Two cups flour (all-purpose)
- One cup white rice, uncooked
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 1/3 of a gallon of milk
- 12 tablespoons orange zest, grated
- One tablespoon sugar (white)
- One pound (0.5 kilograms) of ricotta
- Three beaten egg yolks
- 1/3 of a cup of white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- One teaspoon extract de Vanille
- Two tablespoons orange blossom water
- Four beaten egg whites
Bring two cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the rice. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
Fill a small saucepan halfway with boiling water and add the raisins— Cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, drain it, and set aside.
To make the dough, follow these instructions. First, combine flour and 1/3 cup superfine sugar in a medium mixing bowl or food processor. Cut in butter or process until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
You should add one egg yolk. Then, one spoonful at a time, stir in ice water until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Refrigerate for at least two hours after wrapping in plastic wrap.
Combine cooked rice, milk, orange zest, and one tablespoon sugar in a medium pot. Cook, constantly stirring, over low heat until the mixture is creamy and thick. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk three egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in a large mixing basin. Gradually whisk in roughly a cup of the heated rice mixture at a time.
Combine the ricotta cheese, cooked raisins, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Pour in the orange flower water and the vanilla extract. Allow time for the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celcius).
Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch (22.7-centimeter) springform pan with 3/4 of the pastry dough rolled out into an 11-inch (27.9 centimeters) circle. Refrigerate after covering lightly with plastic wrap. Cut strips from the remaining dough by rolling it out 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) around.
You should whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form in a large glass or metal mixing basin. To lighten the batter, fold in 1/3 of the whites, then quickly fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.
Fill the dough-lined pan with the filling. Cross the strips over the filler in a criss-cross pattern. You should seal the strips to the bottom pastry edge.
Bake for an hour, or until golden brown, in a preheated oven. Allow it cool for four hours at room temperature before refrigerating.
Like a Big Pizza Pie
Your search for a traditional Italian Easter Pie recipe (also known as Easter Pizza Rustica) is over. More than 2 pounds (0.91 kilograms) of meat fills this pie, including sweet Italian sausage, salami, hot capicola, smoky ham, and prosciutto. The filling is between the buttery handmade crust and melty pockets of mozzarella cheese.
The addition of roasted red peppers gives this rich Italian Easter pie a lovely, lively flavor. Because the pie must sit for at least three hours after baking before being cut, we recommend making it the day before and then reheating it in the oven before serving.