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Apr 07

Easter pizza piena

The great thing about Easter being so late this year is it’s giving me plenty of time to make all sorts of Easter recipes!

This one would be perfect for an Easter breakfast or brunch. Or just to snack on while the kids look for their eggs.

I had never actually heard of “Easter pizza piena” before I found this recipe. Apparently it’s pretty traditional, and is also known as Italian Easter Pie or just Easter Pie.

The inside is similar to a quiche, with eggs, cheese and meat. Different recipes use different types of cheeses, meats and some even call for hard-cooked eggs. I used crumbly sweet Italian sausage and ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Feel free to substitute ham or a dried sausage. A vegetable such as spinach or broccoli would probably also make a tasty addition.

There are also different ways to make the crust. I saw one recipe that made it look more like a calzone.

The only tough part about this particular recipe was the crust. Not so much the making of it, but the rolling it out and making it look pretty. It was probably only tough for me because my lack of attention to detail. Or lack of care, actually.

The lattice strips probably would have been prettier if I had measured them out and used a straight edge to cut them. And my edges were really thick and uneven. But oh well! It still tasted delicious.

Oh, I also ran out of eggs, so I couldn’t do an egg wash on the crust. That would have added a bit of shininess.

Recipe: Easter Pizza Piena

Adapted from marthastewart.com

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
  • 7 ounces sweet Italian sausage, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fresh unsalted mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening and butter until combined.
  2. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs; stir until just combined. Slowly stir in water until a dough begins to form. Turn dough out onto work surface and knead slightly until dough is smooth. Form dough into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap each with plastic wrap. Let dough stand at least 20 minutes before rolling out.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out larger disk of dough into an 1/8-inch thick rectangle about 19 by 15 inches. Fit into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish leaving a 1-inch overhang; set aside.
  3. Roll out second smaller disk of dough to about 1/8 inch thick and cut four 15-by-1-inch strips; set aside. Cut remaining dough into three 11-by-1-inch strips; set aside.
  4. Place eggs and ricotta in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix until well combined. Add sausage, Parmesan, mozzarella, pepper and parsley; continue mixing until well combined. Pour mixture over dough in baking dish.
  5. With the long end of the baking dish facing you, place the three 11-inch strips of dough vertically over the top of the filling, spacing evenly apart. Starting in the middle, weave one of the 15-inch strips over and under the vertical strips (folding back every other vertical strip makes this easier). Continue weaving the remaining three 15-inch strips until lattice is complete. Fold over the overhanging pieces of dough and press with a fork to seal.
  6. Brush dough with egg yolk and transfer to oven. Bake until golden brown, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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