Traditional Italian Easter Pie with a delicious cheesy and meaty ricotta filling is perfect for your Easter menu or any occasion. Pizza Rustica is an easy to make and crowd pleasing meal that everyone will love.
This Italian Easter Pie is traditional served for Easter, however one bite and you’ll be making it year round. Filled with ham, salami, prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, this savory Easter pie is sure to your new favorite tradition.
This cheesy and meaty savory pie is also called “Pizza Rustica” and can be found in many cafes around Italy. While traditionally served at Easter, this pie is far from typical holiday fare.
This pizza rustica is similar to all of the delicious flavors you find in pizza, minus the sauce. If you’ve never tried it before, it is definitely something you should make.
So be sure to read along and see how easy and fast this recipe comes together. Served with a simple green salad or my Italian Tomato Onion Salad, and it could be a go to recipe for any day of the week.
Italian Easter Pie
Italian Easter Pie, also known as Pizza Rustica, is quite literally a version of pizza that Italians eat at Easter. The roots of this dish can be traced back to Naples, where after 40 days of fasting from dairy and eggs from lent, this was the perfect treat to indulge in.
While this “stuffed pizza” has different variations, it is always made with a pie crust that’s filled with ricotta cheese, eggs, and cured meats.
You could make this Pizza Rustica in a traditional pie dish, or fill it high by baking it in a springform pan. You could also adorn it with a lattice topping, or just simply cover it with pie crust.
Italian Easter Recipes
Be sure to check out some of these delicious recipes to add to your Italian Easter menu:
How to Make Pizza Rustica | Italian Easter Pie
Italian Easter Pie, or Pizza Rustica, is made by baking a meaty ricotta filling into a savory pie crust. You can bake this in a springform pan or a deep pie dish. Make the crust a day in advance and roll out and bake before serving.
Step 1: Make the Pie Crust
If you are intimidated to make your own pie crust, don’t be! This pie crust recipe is truly fool proof and can be made entirely in your food processor.
Firstly, add the flour, salt, cold cubed butter, olive oil, and egg into a food processor. You could also do this by hand with a pastry cutter if necessary.
Next, place the lid on the food processor and pulse until a fine crumb forms.
Place the lid with the feeder tube on the food processor. With the machine running, add in 4 tablespoons of ice water. Continue processing just until the pie crust comes together and forms a ball.
Move the pie crust onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk shape. Wrap the crust tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least and hour or overnight.
Step 2: Make the Italian Easter Pie Filling
This cheesy and creamy filling is simple to put together and allows for substitutions. The Pizza Rustica filling is simple: ricotta cheese, cured meats, eggs, and shredded cheese. Feel free to use the cheeses you love and whatever meats you have on hand.
The main meat used in this recipe is cubed ham. I like to use boneless half ham, the same ham I use in my Slow Cooker Ham recipe. This type of ham is fairly easy to find year round. However, you can always substitute sliced deli ham here.
This recipe also uses diced prosciutto and salami. Just slice up the deli meats if you can’t find larger chunks of the meats. You could also use, or substitute with mortadella, capicola, or cooked Italian sausage.
Should I drain the ricotta cheese?
You should drain the ricotta cheese ahead of time if you happen to have a watery cheese. This often happens with homemade ricotta cheese. However, most of the store-bought versions are already drained, and you can simply pour off any water that is on top.
Combine all of the filling ingredients
Once you have all of your meats diced, putting together the filling is simple. Just stir together the ricotta, beaten eggs, meats, and cheeses in a large bowl.
Be sure to stir the mixture well so that all of the ingredients are combined. Set aside while you prepare the crust for the Italian Easter Pie.
Step 3: Roll out the Pie Crust, Fill, and Bake
Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for about five minutes. Lightly dust the rolling pin and surface with flour. Spray your springform or pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Set aside one-third of the crust for the topping and roll out the remaining pie crust into a circle. Don’t worry if your crust isn’t perfect, you can always do patchwork when you transfer it to the pan.
Use your rolling pin to carefully transfer the pie crust to the springform pan. Gently press the dough, without pulling it, into the corners of the pan.
Use a knife to cut off any overhang of the pie crust in the pan. Use leftover dough to fill in any cracks or holes in the pie crust.
Pour the ricotta filling into the pie crust pan. Then, use a rubber spatula to gently press the ricotta into the pan and remove any air bubbles.
Roll out the remaining pie crust into a circular shape. Then, place the crust over top of the ricotta filling and use a knife to cut off any excess crust. Roll the crust on the sides of the pan down over the top crust.
Brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg. Then, score the center of the pie with an “X” shape to allow steam to escape.
Bake at high then lower the temperature
Lastly, place the Pizza Rustica in a preheated 425 degree oven. Put in the pie and then immediately lower the temperate to 350 degrees. Bake for about 75 minutes, or until top is golden brown in color.
Remove the pie from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for five minutes, before removing the collar from the springform pan. Let sit for an additional ten minutes before slicing and serving.
I hope you love this recipe for Italian Easter Pie! Serve this delicious dish anytime of the year; it’s always a crowd pleaser. Be sure to comment below if you try it. Enjoy!
Italian Easter Pie | Pizza Rustica
For the Pie Crust
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cold butter, cubed (one stick)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about a cup)
- 2 ounces shredded parmesan (about ¼ cup)
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 6 ounces ham, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 ounces salami, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2 ounces prosciutto, chopped (about ½ a cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
For Brushing the Crust
- 1 large egg, beaten
For the Pie Crust
- In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine the flour, cold cubed butter, olive oil, egg, and salt. Pulse just until the mixture is combined; it should resemble coarse sand. With the food processor running, pour 4 tablespoons of cold water in and mix until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap. Dump the dough on to the plastic wrap and press together into a disk shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
For the Filling
- In a large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients, and mix until combined. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Divide the dough into two pieces: two-thirds for the bottom crust and one-third for the top crust. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough into a circular shape. Carefully place the dough in a greased springform pan and line the insides and bottom with it. You can use any scrap pieces to fill in the gaps in the pan.
- Pour the ricotta filling into the crust. Use a spatula to smooth and even it out.
- Roll out the remaining pie crust into a circle. Place it over top of the ricotta filling. Trim any excess overhang and use the side crust to roll over the top crust of the pie. Brush the pie with a beaten egg and make a small "x" shape in the middle of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Place the pie on the middle rack of the preheated oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for about 75 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for five minutes before removing the collar; let sit for another 10 minutes before slicing and serving.