"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.)
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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Squeeze spinach of as much liquid as possible (if using frozen).
- Heat oil in medium skillet and add garlic and spinach. Saute briefly.
- Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
- 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.
- Sprinkle half the spinach on the bottom of the dough.
- Sprinkle 1/2 the Fontina over the spinach.
- Then half of the roasted red peppers over the Fontina and half of the meat mixture over the red peppers.
- 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.