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.