Italian Easter Pie, also known as Pizza Rustica or Torta Pasqualina, is a double-crusted savory pie that is traditionally served during Easter celebrations. This savory pie is made with a buttery and flaky crust that’s filled with a delicious assortment of Italian cheeses, meats, and eggs.
My traditional Italian Easter Pie makes a hearty and satisfying meal that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends any time of the year, not just Easter.
The origins of Pizza Rustica can be traced back to the Italian region of Campania, where it was originally served as a breakfast dish to celebrate the end of lent. Over time, Pizza Rustica became a popular dish throughout Italy and eventually made its way to the United States as a staple of Italian-American Cuisine.
These days you’re more likely to find Italian Easter Pie served as a lunch or a brunch item. But honestly, this delicious meat and cheese pie can be served any time of day, warm or at room temperature.
You can’t make an Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Rustica) without cheese! Cheese is one of the stars of this savory Easter pie. Creamy ricotta cheese, Romano or parmesan cheese, and mozzarella are combined to make this delicious cheese pie.
Add in sweet Italian sausage and your choice of Italian meats to make this classic Torta Pasqualina. And you have to break a few eggs to make this delicious pie.
Ingredients to make Italian Easter Pie
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Italian Easter Pie, aka Pizza Rustica. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What meats can I use to make Pizza Rustica?
I love making this savory pie with sweet Italian sausage and Genoa salami, but you can use any of your favorite salami, hot capicola, pepperoni, ham, and plain ground pork instead of sausage. It’s entirely up to you to craft this dish to your taste preference.
How to make Pie Crust for Italian Easter Pie
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse the dry ingredients twice to mix them together.
- Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients.
- Pulse until the mixture has pea-sized pieces from incorporating the butter.
- Add the eggs to the mixture.
- Pulse to combine.
- Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time to the mixture.
- Pulse until the dough comes together.
- Divide the dough into two pieces, one-third (for the top of the pie), and two-thirds (for the pie crust).
- Form both pieces of dough into discs and wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled for 1-2 hours.
*The dough can be made ahead of time; it might just need to warm up a little before rolling it out.
How to make filling for Pizza Rustica
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat, then add the sausage meat to the pan. Break up the sausage with a spoon or wire whisk.
- Cook the sausage until it has been browned and completely cooked (5 -6 minutes).
- Add the garlic and spinach to the pan and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted (2-3 minutes).
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool..
- Add the ricotta, eggs, shredded mozzarella, and Romano cheese to a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk ricotta until well blended.
- Add the cooled sausage mixture and chopped salami to the cheese mixture.
- Stir until well combined.
- Taste and season as needed with salt and black pepper.
- Place the mixture in the refrigerator until needed.
How to assemble Italian Easter Pie
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- Grease a 9″ springform pan.
- Place the larger dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the larger piece of dough into a 17″ circle.
- Transfer the rolled dough to the prepared springform pan, letting the excess hang over the sides of the pan.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pan with the bottom crust.
- Place the small dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the smaller piece of dough into a 12″ circle.
- Place the smaller rolled crust on top of the filling.
- Trim the overhang to one inch, then pinch the crusts together and crimp to seal.
- Cut four slits in the center of the pie so the steam can escape.
- Whisk one lightly beaten egg with one tablespoon of water to make the egg wash.
- Brush the top crust with the egg wash.
Place the finished pie on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 75-80 minutes until golden brown.
Remove the Pizza Rustica from the oven and transfer pie to a wire rack for 15-20 minutes to cool before removing it from the spring form pan.
There is a little work involved in making this Italian Easter Pie, but after one bite, I know you’ll look at it as a labor of love. It’s the perfect dish to celebrate Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day, or just to treat your family to something special.
Italian Easter Pie, also known as “Pizza Rustica” or “Torta Pasqualina,” is a traditional Italian savory pie that is typically enjoyed during the Easter season. It is made with a buttery, flaky crust and filled with a mixture of Italian cheeses, Italian meats, and eggs.
In Naples and parts of Southern Italy, the dish is known as pizza rustica, pizza ripiena, or pizza chiena. The different spellings and names come from the different dialects of the Italian language, but they all mean the same thing, “stuffed pizza.”
Italian Easter Pie can be served warm or room temperature and makes a great addition to any Easter brunch or dinner. Some people also enjoy eating Italian Easter Pie as a snack or light meal throughout the week.
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