Italian Easter Pie, or pizza rustica, made with eggs and cured meats, is a typical Italian Easter creation. Made with pizza dough or bread dough, filled with beaten eggs, cheese, and cured Italian sausage and other cured meats, it’s a fabulous dish that will have everyone raving!
Originally published on April 11, 2014.
You’re going to love this Italian Easter pie recipe!
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If you were raised in an Italian household, you probably know about pizza rustica, or pizza chiena, as it is traditionally made and served during Easter.
What is Italian Easter Pie?
Italian Easter pie is made with lots of eggs, cheese and cured meat and baked inside a pizza dough crust. My family’s area of Italy calls this traditional Italian Easter bread, “canescione”. It is also called “pizza chiena” in other areas, meaning filled pizza. Italians often call similar dishes by different names, depending on where they are located in Italy, like the many other names for frappe.
Now, most of you won’t have home cured Italian sausages on hand, I often don’t either, but my mother had made some, and this is how we decided to use them. Instead of using cured Italian sausage, you can use bacon or pancetta, which are both perfect in the egg mixture.
Can I Make Traditional Italian Easter Pie Ahead of Easter?
Absolutely, pizza rustica keeps really well for a few days, and is in fact often taken on a picnic the day after Easter, known as Pasquetta (little Easter).
Can I Freeze Italian Easter Pie?
No, I wouldn’t advise freezing this pie as it is full of eggs and the texture just won’t be the same afterwards (as in rubbery).
If you’re going to make an Italian Easter pie, you should also make an Italian Easter cake!
Easter Pie in Toronto.
A few years ago, we spent Easter with my family in Toronto, and my Zia Francesca made this Italian Easter pie. You can see the chunks of cheese in hers because it’s readily available to her.
My nonna made this with fresh cheese, so if you want to add it, use chunks of a soft, fresh cheese like queso fresco, unless you’re lucky enough to be able to buy fresh Italian cheese (or make it yourself).
You may also enjoy these Italian treats: individual Italian Easter bread rings.
They make awesome Easter table decorations!
This is what my aunt’s pizza rustica looked like after baking, so just know you can make it in any shape you like as long as the pan or tray isn’t too deep.
Like more filling and less bread?
Just add more eggs, cheese, and cured meat.
Did you know you can make your own colomba di Pasqua (Easter dove bread)?
Now back to the savory option; here is how my family makes this delicious filled traditional Italian Easter pie.
Pizza Rustica ~
Traditional Italian Easter Pie with Eggs
A family recipe by my Nonna Chiarina serves 8
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
Preheat oven to 475º F (250º C)
Flatten ⅔ of the dough for the bottom, and place in an oiled pie dish (let some overhang).
Make the Filling for the Easter Pie – Pizza Rustica.
Beat the eggs, water, salt, pepper, then add the sausage, bacon or pancetta. Also add the soft cheese, if you’re using it (I didn’t have it this time).
Lastly, add the chopped parsley.
Partially cook this mixture in a non-stick frying pan, you can actually cook it a little more than I did, as it makes it easier to work with.
Pour the mixture into the lined pie dish.
Ready for the top.
Complete the Easter Pie and Get it Ready for the Oven.
Flatten the pizza dough for the top using only your hands.
Wet the edge of the bottom pie dough with water.
Then place the lid on top, pressing slightly to seal. If you have someone nearby, get another pair of hands to help, so that the dough doesn’t fall into the egg mixture.
Cut off the extra dough with a sharp knife.
Pour some olive oil on top and brush it over the top.
Make a slit in the center of the pie.
Bake the Italian Easter Pie.
Bake on a lower shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes or until it is a deep, golden brown.
Allow to cool slightly, or completely before cutting. I prefer mine warm, but it is still perfectly delicious when cold, too, making it perfect for serving when you have company and want to have things made ahead of time.
Feel free to add some hot pepper to the egg mixture if you like a little spiciness, and keep any leftover pizza rustica in the fridge.
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- pizza dough (see link in instructions below for the recipe)
- 9 eggs
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 tsp Kosher or sea salt
- black pepper
- 1 cup (8 oz) cured Italian sausages (not fresh), bacon or pancetta pieces (measurement is not critical)
- ¾ cup (6 oz) fresh cheese (optional)
- 1/2 cup (1 oz) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- extra virgin olive oil for pie dish and to brush on top of dough
- Preheat oven to 475º F (250º C)
- THIS IS THE PIZZA DOUGH RECIPE. Shape and flatten by hand ⅔ of the dough for the bottom, and place in an oiled pie dish (let some overhang). The dough is easier to work with if you form two balls and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Beat the eggs, water, salt, pepper. Then add the sausage, bacon or pancetta, fresh cheese (if using), Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese, and parsley, Partially cook this mixture in a non-stick frying pan, you can actually cook it a bit more than I did, as it makes it easier to work with. Pour the mixture into the lined pie dish.
- Flatten out the pizza dough for the top. Wet the edge of the bottom pie dough with water, then place the lid on top, pressing slightly to seal. Try to get another pair of hands to help, so that the dough doesn't fall into the egg mixture.
- Cut off the extra dough with a sharp knife.
- Pour some olive oil on top and brush it over the top.
- Make a slit in the center of the pie and bake for about 30 minutes or until it is a deep, golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly, or completely before cutting. I prefer mine warm, but it is still perfectly delicious when cold, too, making it perfect for serving when you have company and want to have things made ahead of time.
- The red you see in the slice is a bit of cayenne pepper from the sausages. Feel free to add some hot pepper to the egg mixture if you like a little spiciness.
The dough is easier to work with if you form two balls (⅔ and 1/3 pieces), and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 224mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
the “lone fig” on my tree.
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