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Mildred's Pizza Rustica: A Rich Easter Treat


Aiana kindly writes:

Are you ready? It's a tradition. It goes by many names but it's definitely an Easter Tradition. It's called Pizza Rustica,Pizza gain, Meat pie. It's contents differs from Family to Family . While it has spilled over into other Regions, It originated in Naples. This is my mother Mildred's Recipe.

Makes two nine-inch pies.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 2 9-inch Pizze Rustiche


  • One pound (450 g) of Prosciutto,slice a little thicker, then slice lengthwise into 3/4 inch strops. Dice the strips.
  • One pound (450 g) of sopresatte. Dice like the Prosciutto.
  • 2 lbs (900 g) of ricotta
  • 1 pound (450 g) of basket cheese, cubed - Basket cheese is only available at Easter time. If you can't find it use soft mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 18 large eggs (whisk the eggs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  • A Neapolitan version includes dry sausage (very optional)
  • Rather than make the dough for the top and bottom of the pie buy the deep pie crusts frozen.


In a large mixing Bowl add the meat cheeses eggs salt and pepper.Add the parmesan and mix all the ingredients together.Add the mix to two deep pie crusts. Cover the crusts with another layer of pie crust.Flute the edges. puncture the top crust with fork holes to release the pressure. Brush egg wash over the crust.

Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees (175 C) for an hour until the crusts turn golden brown. Test with a thermometer. (170 degree (85 C) internal temperature needed).

Serve at room temperature or a little cool. Slices can be a main meal or as an appetizer.The pizza Rustica is usually made 1 or 2 days before easter.When wrapped it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.

My note:
Mildred's recipe draws on the traditions of the Southern poor, and in particular the custom of making rich Easter breads, dishes those unable to afford the ingredients necessary for what an aristocrat might have enjoyed could cobble together from flour, cheese, and cold cuts (See Dino Coltro's recollections of the diet of the Italian poor before the War). Dishes all the more precious, because they only came once a year.

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