Rating: 4.5 stars
22 Ratings
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Some people describe pizza rustica as an Italian meat-filled quiche, but I think this traditional Easter recipe is way closer to a savory cheesecake filled with a massive amount of goodness. The light, flaky crust holds together an embarrassment of riches--sausage, smoked ham, salami, and pepperoni, plus ricotta, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano cheeses. It's definitely not like pizza! Note: To be sure you have enough dough for the crust, you might want to double the dough recipe!

Recipe Summary

50 mins
1 hr 15 mins
1 hr 25 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Crust:
For the Filling:
For the Egg Wash:


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine flour, salt, butter, and olive oil for the crust in a large bowl. Blend butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture, pour egg into the well, and mix with a fork until egg is mixed in, about 1 minute. Add cold water and mix briefly with a fork. Switch to mixing with your hands and press mixture into a ball. If it seems dry, sprinkle in some more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough comes together.

  • Transfer dough to a work surface and press into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 1 hour.

  • While the dough is resting, combine drained ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, black pepper, beaten eggs, cooked Italian sausage, smoked ham, salami, and pepperoni for the filling. Mix thoroughly until extremely well combined; don't worry about overmixing. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Rub a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil and dust with flour.

  • Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut off 1/3 of the dough and set aside for the top crust. Roll out the remaining dough for the bottom crust, using only as much flour as needed, into a 15-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared pan. Tuck the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, being careful not to stretch it. Remove any excess dough, dampen it with water, and use it to fill in where needed.

  • Transfer filling into the pan, press firmly into the edges to ensure there are no air pockets, and smooth out the top.

  • Roll remaining dough into a circle that's slightly wider than the pan. Roll dough onto the rolling pin and transfer to the pan. Position the top crust properly and press to seal it with the side edges.

  • Mix egg and water for egg wash together in a small bowl.

  • Brush egg wash on top of dough to moisten entire surface. Trim off excess dough if desired. Fold the side dough down from the pan edges onto the top crust and crimp edges with your fingertips until fully sealed. Brush once more with egg wash.

  • Place in the center of the preheated oven, and immediately reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake until top crust is a beautiful golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the ring and let cool another 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Chef's Notes:

If you don't have a pastry blender, you can use your fingertips to blend the butter and flour together.

Make this with whatever combination of cheese you want, like Parmesan, provolone, or Fontina. Use either sweet or spicy Italian sausage, and try other meats like coppa, prosciutto, or gabagool.

You could cook this in other large baking dishes, but a 9-inch springform pan is the best choice.

Double the dough recipe if you want to be sure you have enough to work with.

Nutrition Facts

767 calories; protein 40.1g; carbohydrates 35.9g; fat 50.8g; cholesterol 332.2mg; sodium 1816.7mg. Full Nutrition