“I thought you said we were having pizza.” My husband cast a rather dubious look at his plate.
“It is. It’s Pizza Rustica.”
“I’m not sure. I think it’s kind of like an Italian quiche.”
“Hmmm.” He sniffed at his fork. Took a bite. And eventually went back for seconds.
That’s all you need to know.
For any history buffs out there, Pizza Rustica (sometimes also called Easter pie) is a savory Italian pie typically served at, you guessed it, Easter. If you’re not into history, it’s a sweet pie dough filled with a mixture of cured meats, cheese, cheese and more cheese. Oh, and there are a couple of eggs holding all that cheesy goodness together.
All I can say is, if you’re going to break your Lenten fast, this is the way to do it. I found some recipes that call for up to six different types of cheese and almost as many cured meats to be added to the mix. I guess this is the reason Italy was the “Eat” portion of Eat, Pray, Love.
The most surprising thing about this dish is the sweetness of the dough. As my husband remarked, it’s like eating “scrambled eggs wrapped inside a sugar cookie.” Don’t let that description put you off. The taste experience is a little like drinking a nuanced glass of wine. The first thing you notice is the light flavor of the ricotta. Then the proscuitto leaps out to provide a wonderful salty depth. And as you finish the bite, you’re left with the sweet finish from the dough. (Alright, pretentious metaphor over.)
Like the Irish Soda Bread recipe I’m kind of amazed at how good this was for only using a few simple ingredients. I was worried it would be a bit bland because of the lack of herbs or seasonings, but didn’t find that to be the case at all. Of course, when you’ve got that much cheese, how can you really go wrong?
If you’re looking for something a little different this Easter, try this. It would be a delightful addition for brunch. With that nice glass of wine, of course. 🙂