Pizza Rustica

4.03.2012


This group, TWD: Tuesdays with Dorie, got me wondering, out loud, why is it that I spend years, literally years, from the moment I bookmark a recipe to the time I actually do it.
The third recipe I´m making is by contributing baker, Nick Malgieri, and it´s Pizza Rustica. I should write it in capital, neon letters. Why? I´ve had this page marked for at least ten years. And I finally made it because it was assigned. I guess when it comes to food procrastination or piling up insane amounts of cookbooks and magazines, I´m your girl.

Back to the food issue here, this recipe has nothing to do with what we know as a traditional pizza. It´s really a pie. A lattice pie. But savory. The filling basically consists of cheeses (ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan, all very Italian mind you), and cured meats, prosciutto in this case, binded together with eggs.


I cringe at the thought of cooking prosciutto. I feel it´s supposed to be eaten raw. Here it´s called raw ham, so you get the idea. A delicacy completely different from cooked ham. But, since I´m trying to follow recipes exactly, prosciutto it was. 
Ricotta is a favorite ingredient for me. I sometimes make my own. You can´t go wrong using it as part of a filling in a tart. This is an excellent combination of sweet dough and salty filling. I added extra salt to the filling, and am glad I did. Will make this pie again. With different fillings which will require, at times, a less sugary dough. Besides, I have to make up for at least ten years of not eating it.

The dough is unusual. It has sugar and also eggs, none of which I normally use in savory doughs. But it hardly surprises me, being an Italian recipe, that it has the ham+cheese+sugar combination. It´s a common thing to sprinkle sugar on top of ham and cheese double crust pies or empanadas, before or after they go into the oven.


When I started rolling it I thought it felt familiar, grainy and with a water residue on top. Then it dawned on me. I´m making a savory pasta frolla! Using a similar dough to the one I used for Pie Day. What are the odds, right? Pretty high, considering it´s a widely used base dough in Italian baking. As it so happens, I make pasta frolla (with quince jam) all the time. And what I learned is that the dough is a bit messy to roll in one piece. It breaks, it sticks and it tears; but is also very forgiving. So it´s wise to fit it into the pie plate in batches and to just press it back together if it tears.

About the lattice. I usually get the feeling that the amount of dough I saved for the strips is not enough. I´m usually wrong. Lattices are also very forgiving, they don´t need to be perfect; unless you´re a perfectionist and I guess you just have to end up forgiving yourself.
I had bookmarked the same recipe in this book (I told you I´m not to be trusted). A bit of a more complex filling, using mortadela, which I think is even weirder than cooking prosciutto. But I´m intrigued to see what the final flavor is. I´ll let you know.
This Tuesday, our hosts are Emily and Raelynn. Go and get the recipe. Now.






29 comments:

  1. I too keep recipes on file for years that I really do intend to bake. Occasionaly, I even get around to it. Your pizza rustica looks like it was worth the wait.

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  2. I totally get what you mean, I tend to bookmark stuf all the time and they just never end up being done hahahaha this group is great to avoid those things happening!!

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  3. I have a folder of recipes that I mean to try someday... Every once in a while, I go in it for a purge/ reality check & we won't even talk about the date stamps on some of them.
    I liked your discourse re: the prosciutto :-)

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  4. I'm with you on the (cooked) prosciutto - doesn't seem right!

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  5. Oh, the neglected recipe file! Mine's huge, and everywhere (in browser bookmarks, in gmail drafts, in google docs, in a binder in my kitchen). I think I'm prone to shiny object syndrome: whatever new thing looks the tastiest and has ingredients I can easily obtain. :)

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    Replies
    1. Technology has only increased the files!

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  6. Beautiful! You should see my 'to-do' stack of recipes... it's ridiculous. :)

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    1. I wonder if we all mark the same kind of recipes...

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  7. Hi Paula...thanks for your kind words!! I am really having a lot of fun with the blog and am so happy to now be a part of TWD. After all, it's how I came to find your blog, which I really like! I agree with you about the prosciutto by the way ; ) I am curious to know how you liked it cooked once the Pizza was done.

    p.s...I love your textiles!

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    1. I liked it a lot once cooked, much to my amazement. Glad you like the textiles, since you have, obviously, such a creative eye. See you around!

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  8. Haha, I have wondered the exact same thing! I have subscribed to Saveur and Lucky Peach and Food & Wine magazines and make it a point - as long as I can find the ingredients to make the recipes that interest me fairly soon after I find them. Otherwise they go on a list thats stuck on the fridge so that when we are stuck for dinner ideas, we consult that first to see if there is something we want to make so that we use more of those bookmarked recipes and the cookbooks we own too : )

    Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

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  9. That's funny! I do the same thing! Well, that's a great reason to belong to this group. I've tried so many things I wouldn't have tried otherwise.

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    1. It´s true, and this group is really great

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  10. It turned out great! I really enjoyed this recipe!

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  11. It's all about deadlines. LOL. Your pizza rustica looks great. :)

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  12. Very nice! Funny that it took you so long to get in & just make it! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  13. Looks delish! Yes, there are many recipes in my 'to do' folder waiting for my attention too. :)

    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/twd-baking-with-julia-pizza-rustica/

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  14. hahaha :) i try to make the recipes I bookmark pretty quickly, either in books or magazines and keep a list on the fridge to access easily when we are short for dinner ideas and such... that way they dont go un-tried or forgotten for too long ... or plan to make a dish or something for a holiday/event :)

    good looking "pizza!"

    Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

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  15. Interesting thought about cooking the prosciutto... I never cook the stuff either, but i never thought of it as getting cooked in this dish; with so much moisture from the cheeses and eggs, I saw it more as being warmed through ;)

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    1. I think you´re absolutely right. I never thought of it being warmed. Probably why I liked it a lot!

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  16. Such a lovely pie! Looks perfectly delicious! I really enjoyed this one, too!!

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  17. Your pizza rustica looks great!
    I can very much relate to what you said, I too have intentions to cook so many things and I keep putting it off! I guess that's why I am drawn to these groups so much!

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  18. I have so many piles and piles of neglected recipes, and it looks like you are in company here. I had the same experience as you with this pie crust. It was rather difficult to work with, and yet, it was very forgiving and the end result was perfectly fine.

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  19. @mireia and @judy @cher - alikes tend to stick together!

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