Pizza Rustica (also called Pizza Chena)
(Makes one 11 x 14-inch pie)
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 large eggs, beaten
About 1-1/2 cups ice water
8 ounces boiled ham, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces mortadella, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces salami, in 1/4 inch dice
8 ounces soppressata, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces provolone, in 1/4-inch dice
8 ounces mozzarella, in 1/4 inch dice
3 cups ricotta
2 ounces grated pecorino Romano
8 large eggs, beaten
1 large egg beaten, for brushing crust
To make the dough:
In a large bowl, combine the 6 cups of flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the beaten eggs. Add the ice water, a little at a time until you can form the mixture into a cohesive dough. You may not need to add all of the water. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead into a large smooth ball, about 2-3 minutes. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set it aside for about 1 hour or as you prepare the filling.
To make the filling:
In a large bowl, combine the meats, cheeses, and eggs. Add some black pepper, just to taste.
Heat the oven to 350⁰ F.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, about 2/3 for the bottom crust and 1/3 for the top crust. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough into a rectangle to line the bottom and sides of a glass baking dish (approximately 11 x 14-inch), with some overhang. Add the filling, lightly smoothing it so that it is even. Moisten the edge of the dough with a little water.
Roll out the remaining dough to cover the top of the dish with a little overhand. Trim the excess dough around the outer edge of the dish. Use your fingers to seal the top and bottom pieces of dough and then crimp the border. Use any excess dough to create a cross on top, if you desire. Use a fork to poke several sets of holes across the top. Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush the top and edges with the beaten egg. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 30 - 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Pizza Chena is typically eaten at room temperature but it can also be enjoyed warm, just a short time out of the oven.
Step by Step Photos - Making a Pizza Rustica - (Pizza Chena)
Preparing the Dough
Lining the Baking Dish with the Dough
Adding the Filling to the Baking Dish
Ready to Go into the Oven
Pizza Rustica (Pizza Chena) Baked
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This savory Italian Easter Pie goes by a few different names, two of them being Pizza Rustica or Pizza Chena. It is a large two-crusted pie that is packed with Italian deli meats, cheese and eggs. It's a delicious dish with a beautiful presentation that will impress everyone.
Every Italian family has their own recipe and everyone thinks that theirs is the best. For that reason, we have two Pizza Chena recipes on our website. This recipe has a rich crust made with butter and eggs and has ricotta cheese included in the filling. The second Pizza Chena recipe has a similar filling without the ricotta cheese and the crust is a yeast-risen bread dough.
They are very similar in flavor but you get to choose which you prefer.