Friday, April 29, 2011

Pizza Rustica

Lilies and poinsettias. Easter/Christmas. Winter/Spring. And those are my days. As I search for the Mediterranean in Minnesota, I find spring and winter trading barbs. This winter will not go gently into the good night. But spring is getting more demanding.

"You may snow," declares spring. "But you will be melted within the hour."

Our dinners remain a combination of thin-asparagus-pea-shoots-spring and hearty grains. And for a chilly eve, Pizza Rustica welcomes home the spring-chilled family. Packed with vegetables and yes - some fatty meats - this was our traditional night-before Easter meal and just plain - "make it and hope for leftovers for the week." (Fat chance.)



PIZZA RUSTICA - adapted from my mother and Giadi Di Laurentiis

I lightened it - but it's still rich. It's what you want after hiking the hills or weeding the maple tree forest that has taken over the garden. It's what you want when your spirit has a taste for creamy, tangy, spicy, chewy and supple. It's definitely what you want after you scrapped the last 30 pages of your play that you spent a month churning out. Because in the end - it wasn't very good.



PIZZA RUSTICA INGREDIENTS

  • 1-16 oz package frozen spinach (or save yourself the headache of endlessly draining and saute 1 bag of spinach in smallest amount of olive oil possible until wilted)

  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic

  • salt and pepper top taste

  • 15 oz container whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 1/3 cup freshly-shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano + 2 tablespoons for finishing

  • 3 large egg yolks (make an egg-white omelette the next day)

  • Favorite pastry dough (use frozen if you wish)

  • 2 cups shredded Fontina cheese (can use mozzarella)

  • 6 ounces prosciutto - coarsely chopped

  • 6 ounces thin salami - coarsely chopped

  • (can also add pepperoni if desired)

  • 3 roasted red peppers (or 1 small jar drained), chopped a wee bit

  • 1 large egg, beaten

*NOTE: I don't measure - the amounts are guidelines. Put in more meat, less cheese, more roasted peppers - find your balance and adjust to your tastes. And when the oregano bush springs back to like - I certainly will be incorporating those leaves into the ricotta - or use my basil... or thyme.




  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Squeeze spinach of as much liquid as possible (if using frozen).

  3. Heat oil in medium skillet and add garlic and spinach. Saute briefly.

  4. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

  5. Blend ricotta, the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the eggs yolks in a medium bowl until smooth. Roll out dough to 1 17-inch round. Transfer dough to a springform pan. (there will be extra dough spilling over.

  6. Sprinkle half the spinach on the bottom of the dough.

  7. Sprinkle 1/2 the Fontina over the spinach.

  8. Then half of the roasted red peppers over the Fontina and half of the meat mixture over the red peppers.

  9. Then half of the ricotta mixture over the meats and repeat. Roll out 2nd dough into a 14-inch round. Place dough over filling. Press to seal with bottom dough (that was overlapping) . Don't let dough press against the sides of the springform pan. Brush top with beaten egg and sprinkle the last 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano on the dough. Bake for about one hour (if dough becomes browned too quickly, cover with tin foil). Let rest 20-30 minutes. Serve hot, warm and it's grand even cold for a picnic.


It works for winter, spring, picnics by the fire, cabins in the mountains, in the hills, by the beach - it just works. And it soothes the soul in the computer room that just deleted half of her play and is now not sure how the story ends.

60 comments:

Bradley said...

I was stumped what to make for a few friends that are coming over on Sunday, but now you have solved my dilemma. This looks delicious! As to your lost play, it may not seem like it now, but it's probably the best thing that ever happened. My computer consumed an entire play about a year ago and I was so devastated that I didn't write a word for six whole months. Then I decided to give the idea another go and it turned out to be better than it was before. Perhaps my strongest writing yet. Here's hoping you can get back on the horse far sooner than I did and also for a successful (and filthy rich!) pizza on Sunday.

Mari said...

I love the Easter/Christmas flowers!! Lovely lilies :)

As for the pizza rustica, it is a must do. It looks delicious, Claudia.

have a blessed weekend :)

Jeannie said...

I hate it when I didn't safe my work and the power tripped so I know how you felt....that pizza looks very capable of picking up anyone's mood!:D

Beth said...

I am so sorry to hear about your play. There's nothing more devastating than losing some of the writing you've worked so hard on. Here's hoping that your rewrite is even better.

Mister Meatball said...

I will pass this along to Aunt Anna.

Rosemary said...

Of all the things Italian that I've not yet made, this one tops the list. I know it wouldn't be difficult, and I know I would love it. So you've inspired me to delay no more! (And I hope you can find a way to recover your play.)

Angie's Recipes said...

I have never had pizza rustica before...creamy, spicy, tangy and chewy :-)) Who say we can't have it all?! I love it.

Claudia said...

Thanks all for kind comments - as to the play - I should have been more specific. I deleted the last 30 pages on purpose! Better to find out now that it didn't work as opposed to opening night!

Choices said...

All I can say is Yum!
Smiles.

Pegasuslegend said...

How dissappointed for you on the play. Even though that door closed something will come along with such great talent as yours the rewrite will be a masterpiece I am sure!... good things you found out now!~ Anyone would love this Rustica Pizza looks fabulous, I could eat this for breakfast right now!

alwayswinner786 said...

Lovely lilies! Very delicious recipe from your Mom and your Pizza Rustica looks very delicious and I think for now my home is the best picnic spot to relish this awesome pizza!

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Your pizza really looks rustica! Better than the Pizza pie I saw in Chicago. This will be a sure hit at home when I make it! Thanks for reviving it. Ciao!!!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm sorry about the news of your play. It must have been difficult to delete thirty pages. Ouch. This pizza sounds just the perfect thing to wash away the blues, which I would have if I had had to delete pages. As you said though, better now than later. I'm sure you made the right decision.
Sam

thefrugalflambe said...

Wow- thank God for smart women and their impeccable cooking! This looks incredible!

Mary said...

Your pizza rustica looks and sounds delicious. I'm sorry about the play. However, when things don't read right or true its best we discard before others do. The rewrite will be perfect. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

ARLENE said...

I consider your pizza rustica healthy! I've only ever stuffed mine with all those deliciously fatty meats. I will definitely add at least some spinach to the next one. It is drool worthy.

Angela said...

I've always heard of it, but didn't really know what it was. Looks even better than what I have imagined.

tasteofbeirut said...

A wonderful and hearty dish to be sure, but one I would gladly devour on a cold day after a long hike in the woods! Traditions are kept alive here, and that is so good!

That Girl said...

It's interesting, the combinations you chose are examined of disparity, but they also posses remarkable similarities.

FOODESSA said...

Although unfortunate that your play wasn't up to your expectations...this rustica pizza comfort certainly could not disappoint. The pairing of Ricotta and Fontina is one of my favourites. Grazie.

Here's hoping that Spring picks up its pace for you Claudia ;o)

Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
Claudia

Island Vittles said...

Oooh...stuffed pizza! Beautiful food like this is at least some consolation to having to rework the ending of your latest play -- sorry to hear that, but I have no doubt the final product will be better for your decision!

I can`t wait to make up my own Pizza Rustica when we get home (only 1 day left here in the UK...sigh) Theresa

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

If you said pizza rustica with salami, prosciutto, ricotta and spinach I'm in!

This pizza it seems a little delicious cake - wonderful mix of flavors :)

All the best,

Gera

Anna C said...

Claudia, on the rare occasion my mom would make her pizza stuffed with rapini, but never with all the delicious ingredients found in your pizza rustica. It really makes for a complete meal. Looks amazing!

Miri Leigh said...

This pizza looks amazing! Great for any family gathering! And I hope you get your play back :)

SKIP TO MALOU said...

Im sorry about the play but this pizza rustica is like a hug of comfort.
I have guests coming from the Philippines over the weekend, (so for sure I will be cooking something other than Filipino food) This will be a good recipe to try. I will let you then how it turns out.
Happy Sunday Claudia..

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

looks so good new to me

Velva said...

Although I know you are ready for the real Spring to arrive, you have to admit that the winter/spring combination in food is delightful.

I think this pizza rustica is beautiful.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love your healthier version of Pizza Rustica, Claudia! It 's a perfect dinner all in one.

Re-write is always hard but as someone stated before it often leads to an even better story/play. Good luck -- and may the new ending be the best one ever!

Torviewtoronto said...

this looks like a flavourful meal haven't had this combination
we too are having some unsure weather yesterday was nice today isn't hope tomorrow will be better :)
regards

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Claudia this looks so good ... just when I'm telling myself that I need to increase the salads and reduce all the rest... I think I will try this with less meats and more peppers. Sorry to hear you scrapping 30 pages from your play ... not that I understand how it was not that good because you are such an incredible writer!

The Mom Chef said...

Oh Claudia! Your melancholy spirit and discouragement come straight through the computer at me. This screams of comfort food that you needed so, so badly.

I'm so sorry to hear that you had to throw out the ending, but it just means that the next version will be all that much better. Plus, it enabled you to share this amazing dish. Many thanks for your generosity!

5 Star Foodie said...

The pizza looks so good, love all the ingredients here, perfect with Fontina cheese. So sorry about your play :(

girlichef said...

I would be frustrated to no end! But I do think a slice of this would calm my nerves a bit...looks comforting and delicious :D

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Oh Claudia, that pizza looks absolutely amazing.

Kristen said...

I have been wanting to make a pizza rustica for over a year now. You have helped me shoot that project to the top of the list. It's definitely happening in May (notice I am still unable to pin down exactly when....). It sounds so delicious.

Reeni said...

Ouch! 30 pages, Claudia, that has to hurt! I'd be reaching for the pizza and reaching a lot! Looks delectable - I can't believe I've never made this!

Juliana said...

Claudia, sorry to hear about your play...I am sure that you will somehow make it work. The pizza rustica looks awesome, so tasty with all the greens and meats...great meal. Hope you have a nice week :-)

OysterCulture said...

Sounds absolutely delicious, and pretty healthy too, although I am not sure I'd want to go for a run just after eating it.

Kate@Diethood said...

Claudia, this pizza sounds so yummylicious and it looks very inviting...welcoming! I love it! My family would love this...I hope to make it as good as you!

Kim - Liv Life said...

My relatives in Minneapolis have been filling me in on the spring/winter debate. I'm hoping spring wins out soon!
Love the pizza, all my favorite ingredients, prosciutto has long been on my fav list but I haven't really used it of late. I think I have a reason to pick some up at the store!
Did you really delete the last part of the play???!!! Ugh!!! Good luck recreating!!!

sweetlife said...

love your pizza rustica, I have always wanted to try this..why I have not, who knows? thanks for the inspiration, 30 pages..so sorry,but I am sure your creativity will make your next 30 pages even better! good luck

sweetlife

Winelady Cooks said...

Hi Claudia, Your Pizza Rustica looks absolutely delicious. I never, ever imagined to lighten it up using veggies. I've been so stuck in our traditional 'family recipe' it never entered my mind to change it up.

Thanks for sharing your recipe and I'm definitely going to make it. I know my sister and I will love it.

Thanks so much for sharing,
Joanne

myfrenchkitchen said...

This looks like a delicious hearty family pizza...one where all sits areound a rustic farm table with a lot of noise and laughter and happiness!
Ronelle

Catherine said...

Oh how wonderful. Thank you for the memories. It brings back my childhood. It looks and I am sure tastes delish. Good luck on the play. Do not be too hard on yourself! Blessings, Catherine xo

Ellie said...

All I can say is YUM!!! This looks fantastic!! :)

Gina said...

I figured it was your discerning eye that made you want to start anew. Hoping that Spring brings you a breath of fresh air. I've never had Pizza Rustica, I need to change that, it sounds like something I would love.
-Gina-

Gina said...

I figured it was your discerning eye that made you want to start anew. Hoping that Spring brings you a breath of fresh air. I've never had Pizza Rustica, I need to change that, it sounds like something I would love.
-Gina-

Marisa said...

Wow, this pizza rustica is just packed with all things good in the world. Yummmm!

kita said...

This looks like bite after bite of hearty deliciousness. I have never heard of pizza rustica - but I really really want to try it now!

Sandra said...

This sounds and looks very very tasty..love to try it!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Claudia - sorry about your play, good thing you are honest with yourself. Now that pizza does look comforting!
LL

Pegasuslegend said...

Happy Mothers Day!

His Way or Her Way said...

This looks great! I want to make it soon. I am now following you and hope you will visit our blog soon!

Lori

Magic of Spice said...

So sorry about your play...wow after an entire month to. Well hope fully this gorgeous pizza rustica helped :)
Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

natalia said...

Ciao Claudia !Your torta rustica is sublime, I cannot wait to meet you here !! Baci baci

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Hi Claudia, Just a quick note to let you know that there is an award waiting for you on my Parmesan Wrap post: http://www.gourmetfashion.net/2011/05/parmesan-wraps-gourmet-appetizer.html

AMY said...

Hi Claudia!
I'm from Hugo MN and found your blog today. I Love the recipes....they look delicious!
I'm a new follower.
Amy's Life @
www.amyclairejacob.blogspot.com

Barbara GF said...

Your pizza rustica looks delicious, Claudia! And it takes a good writer to know when to let go and start over. :)

Emily Malloy said...

How lovely this is! My mom has a similar recipe that I adore!

Thanks so much for sharing! :) Happy Easter!

Megan said...

Hi Claudia... I just picked my mouth up off the floor. Twice. This is amazing -