|Pizza Rustica filled with ricotta, mozzarella and pesto|
For years I put off making Pizza Rustica, avoiding what I thought was a high maintenance ordeal. I’m not sure where I got that idea because this was one of the easiet pies I’ve ever made, savory or sweet.
I know you’re thinking this doesn’t look like pizza, but this deep-dish, lattice-topped pie is Neapolitan in origin. The fillings might include all cheese, or a combination of meats, or vegetables such as spinach and chard. For my vegetarian household, I omitted the recipe’s proscuitto, and added more mozzarella. I also spread a layer of spinach-basil pesto between the filling.
The pastry crust is pasta frolla — an Italian tradition that calls for flour, butter, sugar and egg. It was a joy to work with — yes, I meant to use that word. Not touchy and overly sensitive. Amiable.
While you might think a savory filling would not work with this slightly sweet crust, trust me, the combination is very tasty. And I think the time is right for such a flavor contrast, what with the popularity of sweet-salty partnerships cropping up in the blogosphere and elsewhere.
I will definitely make this recipe again, experimenting with fillings. I can’t wait to use the pasta frolla in a pie of summer fruit.
This Baking with Julia recipe is from pastry chef and author Nick Malgieri. The recipe is hosted by Emily of Capital Region Dining and Raelynn of The Place They Call Home so go on over there and see how to make your own. Click right here to see the works of 300-some participating Tuesdays with Dorie bakers.