Pizza Rustica

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Leave it to the Italians to come up with a dish as decadent and lavish as pizza rustica to break the Lenten fast. I am not trying to be flippant here; nor am I disparaging my people. This is culinary praise of high order.

Pizza rustica, you see, is no ordinary pizza; that is, it has next to nothing in common with the tomato sauce- and cheese-topped disk that the word ‘pizza’ usually conjures (and which I like very much). Pizza rustica is about six times as high and brimming with a rich filling of cheeses and diced cured meats, all enclosed in a flaky golden pastry crust…

For my recipe (well, my mother’s really) and more on this Italian Easter specialty, head over to my guest post on the Chronicle Books blog. Here’s the best part: My generous publisher, Chronicle Books, is giving away THREE copies of my book Big Night In, in which the pizza rustica recipe appears (along with lots of other great Italian party food recipes). All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on the Chronicle Books blog. Buona fortuna e Buona Pasqua (Good luck and Happy Easter)!


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10 Responses to Pizza Rustica

  1. LiztheChef April 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    You have outdone yourself with this crust – Happy Easter and on to your guest post…

    • Domenica April 22, 2011 at 12:10 am #

      Thank you, Liz. All credit goes to my Mom, who taught me how to make this crust. It’s exceptional. I use it for all sorts of savory tortes (there’s a swiss chard & escarole torte in Big Night In that is a favorite). Cheers & thanks for your comment.

  2. janie April 26, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Love your torta! I make my grandmother’s which has a little less meat in it, but it’s still delicious.

    • Domenica April 27, 2011 at 1:32 am #

      Thank you, Janie. BTW, I am enjoying your dispatches from Arezzo!

  3. katherina April 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    thank you for having such a wonderful dish posted online. My boyfriend has told me about it and i have never heard of rustica pizza before last week. It is his favorite dish of all time, his mom used to make it special for him.. Now that I have found it he is happy and I’m greatful.. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Enjoy your holiday.. and Thank You again.
    Katerina DM

    • Domenica April 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Thank you, Katerina. It makes me happy to hear this and I hope you’ll find more recipes on this site that you can try on your boyfriend! Cheers, D

  4. Leonardo April 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    In my family,we did things different.We would make this,and have Christmas Eve,after midnight.Dont know why,cannot explain it.We call it a pizzagane(slang spelling).It must be the Sicilian way of calling it.I like your site,and will be returning often.Buona Pasqua ,Domenica! CIAO!

    • Domenica April 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      Benvenuto! Welcome, Leonardo. I am glad you found my site. I hope you take some time to browse through it for more Italian recipes. I have an idea where the term ‘pizza gane’ comes from. Pizza rustica is also known as “pizza ripiena”, which means “stuffed pizza” ~ especially in parts of southern Italy, including Sicily. The slang for the word stuffed–ripiena–is ‘chiena’. Over time here in the US, I think it just morphed into ‘pizza gane’. How’s that for an Italian lesson? Cheers and Buona Pasqua.

  5. Sebastian Tine' April 4, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    My mother made a ricotta pie that looks like the pizza chena but is a dessert pie, sweet and deliziosa. We always called it “cassata”. However, when I find recipes for Sicilian cassata, it is more of a cake than a pie. Does this sound familiar to anyone? My parents were both from prov di Siracusa.

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