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

prep:
50 mins
cook:
1 hr 15 mins
additional:
1 hr 25 mins
total:
3 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

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  • 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
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Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2020
Absolutely delicious and so very heavy! Pair well with a garden salad and some red wine. I fed 6 adults and 2 children with one batch! Read More
(3)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/23/2020
too salty with all the salty meats. still a savory mix of ingredients, just watch the sodium level. Read More
20 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/18/2020
Absolutely delicious and so very heavy! Pair well with a garden salad and some red wine. I fed 6 adults and 2 children with one batch! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2020
Absolutely delicious! So savory and flavorful! This is definitely a keeper. Thank you Chef John! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2020
I was shocked at how easy this was to make! The crust was perfect, and the mix of cheese to egg was really good. Even my picky 10 year old really liked this. His suggestion was to add hash browns. But this is a keeper! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/18/2020
We really liked it. Couldn’t find salami but compensated with more of the other meats. It turned out really well. We froze a third of it for later. Hope it thaws okay. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
04/20/2020
This recipe was harder for mr to make than it looked like it was going to be. Clearly Chef John has mad skills and can make anything look easy, but this was my first time making a pie crust. Now, I will say that even though it looked a mess, it tasted incredible! I will make a variation of this recipe again once I get much better at making pie dough, but perhaps I might try it with less meat and put in some pizza vegetables. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2020
This recipe was awesome. My mother has made an "Easter Pie" for years that is very similar to this. With the COVID virus going on this year we didn't get to do that. So when chef John posted this a few days before Easter I knew I had to try it. I had never made my own pie dough before, and while I think I kinda messed up the crust a little, the rest of this recipe was fantastic. Mine didn't fully set in the middle and probably needed some more time. Even with all of these mistakes, it was fantastic. I will be making this again for sure. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/21/2020
Amazingly delicious! I will definitely be making this again! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
04/17/2020
This was pretty good. Chef John says it is more like a savory cheesecake than a quiche, but I don't see the cheesecake similarity. The only thing I'd say about this is that the pepperoni and salami are the dominant flavors and if you use other milder meets, they'll just be filler, because you won't taste them. Overall very good. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/12/2020
The taste is sure to please even the hardest person Read More
Rating: 3 stars
06/23/2020
too salty with all the salty meats. still a savory mix of ingredients, just watch the sodium level. Read More