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Pizza rustica – Italian ham and egg pie

Pizza rustica – Italian ham and egg pie

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Pizza rustica, also known as pizza chiena, is an Easter recipe popular across the southern Italian regions of Campania, Puglia and Basilicata. Despite the name, you'll notice it's not so much a pizza but more a cross between a quiche and a pie. An egg-based filling of several Italian cheeses and cured meats is surrounded by a pizza dough crust (or pastry, depending on the region). Our version here hails from Basilicata and uses a lovely flaky shortcrust pastry. Traditionally the pie is prepared on Good Friday so it has time to cool, ready to be eaten over the Easter weekend.

Ingredients

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  • For the pastry

  • 450g of flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 225g of butter, chilled and cubed, plus an extra knob for greasing the pie dish
  • 3 eggs
  • salt
  • 60ml of whole milk, (you may not need it all)
  • For the filling

  • 250g of ricotta
  • 50g of pecorino
  • 150g of buffalo mozzarella, torn into small pieces
  • 60g of ham, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 60g of prosciutto, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 8 eggs, whisked
  • salt
  • pepper
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Method

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1
Place the flour and salt in a food processor with the butter and pulse to a rubble. Add the eggs and carry on mixing until the dough comes together. Tip out onto a floured surface and very lightly knead until it forms a solid ball – be careful not to overwork. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes
2
Cut off around one-third of the dough and put to one side (this is for the lid). Roll out the remaining dough on a floured surface to around 3mm thick
3
Grease a 20cm ovenproof dish with butter then dust with flour. Carefully line the dish with the rolled out pastry then place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness on a sheet of greaseproof paper and rest on a flat surface in the fridge
4
Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together (but leave a little of the whisked eggs for glazing). Season with salt and pepper
5
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
6
Pour the mix into the rested, lined pastry dish, then carefully place the top of the pie lid over and trim the pastry. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal and run a small knife around the edge again to achieve a nice neat finish. Use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the pie with the leftover egg and pierce two small holes in the centre of the lid to let the steam escape
7
Bake for 40–45 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown
8
Leave the pie to cool – you can either eat it warm or allow it to cool fully
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