Monday, January 28, 2013

Pizza Rustica

When I woke up this Saturday morning I spied a thick layer of snow behind our bedroom window. It was really beautiful. So we made an upside-down snowman (we looked at YouTube for how to make one). It's the only thing I find fun in this cold winter. Then this morning, all the snow is gone; just disappeared overnight, just like it was never there. It's really amazing, the snow came and went so quietly. 

I know Pizza rustica from Nigella Lawson's book.

She wrote: "Pizza rustica is not a pizza in the way that we've come to understand it, though anyone who's spent time in Italy might well have come across it. The word pizza simply means pie, and this term denotes a deep, pastry-encased creation."

But looking at the ingredients, I decided it's too rich and too expensive.  So I changed the filling,  added cabbage and bell pepper to it. To make it more healthy and light.

For the pastry:
  • 250 gram(s) Plain flour (preferably Italian 00)
  • 125 gram(s) unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1cm cubes)
  • 2 egg yolk(s)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) water (iced)
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt (heaped teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) caster sugar
  • 1 22cm springform tin 
For the filling:
  • 50 gram(s) luganega (skinned, or mild pure pork sausage)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 250 gram(s) ricotta cheese(homemade)
  • 125 gram(s) Mozzarella (crumbled)
  • 50 gram(s) Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
  • half cabbage(chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper(chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper(chopped)
  • 1 clove(s) garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 2 pinch of chilli powder (or crushed dried red chillies)
  • 100 gram(s) Prosciutto (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 egg(s) (lightly beaten)
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) dried breadcrumbs (heaped tablespoon)


1.         Stir together the yolks, water and salt in a cup, tip the flour and butter into the bowl of the processor, add the sugar and pulse to combine: you want a soft crumbly mass. Bind with the egg yolks, water and salt, and when it looks like it's on the verge of coming together, tip the pastry out and wodge it together with your hands.
2.         Divide into two discs, one somewhat larger than the other, and put both into the fridge to rest wrapped in clingfilm.
3.         Preheat the oven to 200ºC, put in a baking sheet, and get on with the filling. Fry the sausage in the oil for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool. Fry cabbage and bell pepper to soft add salt and pepper to taste,transfer it to a bowl and let it cool.At which time, add all the other ingredients except the breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly.
4.         Roll out the larger disc of pastry to cover the bottom and sides of the tin, leaving a few centimetres overhang. Sprinkle the bottom of the now pastry-lined tin with breadcrumbs, and then fill with the mixture waiting in its bowl. Roll out the smaller disc to make the lid, place it on top of the filled pie, turn over the edges of the overhang to form a border and press down with the tines of a fork.
5.         Just before baking, glaze the pie by brushing over the milky, salty egg, stab it here and there with the prongs of a fork to make steam holes, and place it on the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Give it 10 minutes at this temperature, then turn it down to 180ºC and bake for a further 45 minutes.
6.         Leave the pie to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving it, but it's at its best after about 25. It's still wonderful at room temperature.

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