Authentic Pizza Rustica

Have you ever heard of Italian Easter pie? Also known as pizza rustica, this savory dish is packed with the perfect combo of meats and cheeses, all in a buttery, flaky crust. Sure, it’s traditionally eaten at Easter, but we’ll be making this recipe all year long. Find more authentic, Nonna approved recipes in Cooking with Nonna, available now!


Nonna Romana Sciddurlo’s Pizza Rustica


Nonna Romana’s pizza rustica, also known as pizza chiena (stuffed pizza), quickly became one of the most popular recipes on Cooking with Nonna. This rich, decadent recipe is the perfect mix of cheeses and meats baked together in a flaky pastry dough that Italians usually serve to break the Lenten fast for the Easter holidays.


3¹⁄³ cups (400 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and the pan
Dash salt
1 cup (2 sticks, or 240 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for greasing
2 eggs plus 1 egg for egg wash
¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water


¼ pound (113 g) prosciutto, cut into
½-inch (13 mm) cubes
¼ pound (113 g) sopressata, cut into
½-inch (13 mm) cubes
¼ pound (113 g) mortadella, cut into
½-inch (13 mm) cubes
4 ounces (227 g) fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch (13 mm) cubes
4 ounces (227 g) sharp provolone, cut into ½-inch (13 mm) cubes
¼ cup (30 g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
3 eggs
16 ounces (454 g) basket cheese, cut into ½-inch (13 mm) cubes
Black pepper, to taste

  1. To make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, salt, and butter. Start on low speed first and then switch to high speed and mix until all the flour is incorporated.
  2. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Add the milk and mix until a ball of dough forms. (If the dough seems a bit dry, add another tablespoon, or 15 ml, of milk.) Continue to mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes, oruntil the dough is supple.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
  4. To make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the prosciutto, sopressata, mortadella, mozzarella, provolone, and Pecorino Romano and mix well
  5. .Add the 3 eggs and mix well, making sure the eggs evenly coat everything.
  6. Add the basket cheese and mix gently so as not to break it apart too much. Season with fresh black pepper. Set aside.
  7. To assemble the pizza rustica: Preheat the oven to 350oF (175oC). Butter and flour a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan.
  8. Take two-thirds of the crust dough and put it on a floured work surface. Wrap the other third of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Roll it out to a ¼-inch (6 mm) thick circle at least 16 inches (41 cm) in diameter. You want this crust to come up the sides of the springform pan and hang over.
  9. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and unfurl it over the pan and up the sides. Leave some excess dough hanging over the sides.
  10. Add the filling and spread it evenly. With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough from around the border of the pan.
  11. Add the scraps to the remaining one-third of dough and roll it out to a ¼-inch (6 mm) thick circle. With a ravioli cutter, cut 1½-inch (4 cm) strips to create the lattice top.
  12. Beat the remaining 1 egg in a small bowl with the tablespoon (15 ml) of water and brush the lattice with the egg wash.
  13. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the center is set and the crust is nicely colored. Cool completely before serving.

Nonna Romana Says:
You can replace all the meats and some of the cheeses with any that you prefer, but do not replace the sharp provolone. It is the cheese that makes the difference.

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For Rossella Rago, creator and host of Cooking with Nonna TV, Italian cooking was never just about the amazing food or Sunday dinner. It was also about family, community, and tradition. Rossella grew up cooking with her Nonna Romana every Sunday and on holidays, learning the traditional recipes of the Italian region of Puglia, like focaccia, braciole, zucchine alla poverella, and pizza rustica. And in her popular web TV series, Rossella invites Italian-American grandmothers (the unsung heroes of the culinary world) to cook with her, learning the classic dishes and flavors of each region of Italy and sharing them with eager fans all over the world.

Now you can take a culinary journey through Italy with Rossella and her debut cookbook, Cooking with Nonna, featuring over 100 classic Italian recipes, along with advice and stories from 25 beloved Italian grandmothers. Learn to make fresh homemade pasta, handcrafted Spaghetti with Meatballs, and decadent Four-Cheese Lasagna that will have everyone coming back for seconds! With easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and mouthwatering photos, Cooking with Nonna covers appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, meats, breads, cookies, and desserts, and features favorites such as Sicilian Rice Balls, Fried Calamari, Stuffed Artichokes, Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Veal Stew in a Polenta Bowl, Struffoli, Ricotta Cookies, and more! So if you are ready to bring back Sunday dinner and learn how to make Italian food just like nonna, then look no further!