Rustic pie (Pizza rustica)
The cooling racks in Italian bakeries and pastry shops are filled with Pizza rustica around Easter and Christmas. Angela's mother prefers a homemade pasta crust. For convenience, Angela finds frozen puff pastry is a delicious time saver. Baked pies can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen up to two months.
1 (17-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
3 cups ricotta cheese
2 large whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten, separately
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
7 ounces mortadella, cut 1/2 thick and cubed
5 ounces lean prosciutto, cut 1/2 thick and cubed
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-inch spring form pan with one sheet of the puff pastry dough so it comes up the sides by 2 inches. Trim excess dough and reserve. Refrigerate pan. Cut remaining sheet of dough into 9-inch circle for the top layer. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate.
2 Using a large bowl, combine ricotta, 2 whole eggs, white pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese until combined. Add mortadella and prosciutto, mixing together well. Pour filling in prepared pan. Place chopped hard boiled eggs in an even layer on top.
3 Fold the edge of puff pastry over filling. Cover the top with remaining puff pastry sheet pressing firmly, sealing the edges together. Use any leftover pieces of dough for a decorative design on top, if desired. Brush the top with beaten egg yolk. Using a fork, poke holes in the top of the pastry, allowing the steam to escape.
4 Bake for 75 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. If pastry cooks too quickly, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top. Cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 704 calories, 60% calories from fat, 47 g fat, 19 g saturated fat, 205 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates, 42 g protein, 1988 mg sodium, 1 g fiberMark Randall / Sun Sentinel