Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Pizza Rustica alla Napoletana

This most typical savory pie is served for Carnevale (the day before Ash Wednesday) and then again for Easter. Though many recipes for pizza rustica specify that the dried sausage, mozzarella and other filling ingredients be layered, in the Neapolitan version, they are diced and added to the ricotta filling, making the resulting pie easier to cut into wedges. Note that the dough is sweet—this is the traditional way of preparing it. If the combination is not appealing, leave out the sugar—but the dough may be slightly dry and need to be moistened with a bit more water.

Makes one 12-inch pie

Pasta Frolla

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs, beaten


2 pounds ricotta
6 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 pound mozzarella, coarsely grated
1/2 pound sweet dried sausage, peeled and diced
1/2 pound prosciutto, shredded
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Egg Wash

1 egg
1 pinch salt

One 12-inch straight-sided cake pan well buttered

  1. For the Pasta Frolla, combine dry ingredients in bowl of food processor and pulse several times to mix. Cut butter into 8 pieces and distribute evenly over dry ingredients in work bowl. Pulse until very finely powdered. Add eggs and continue to pulse until dough forms a ball that revolves on blade. Remove dough, press into a disk, wrap and chill.
  2. For the Filling, place ricotta in a mixing bowl and stir in eggs one at a time; stir in remaining filling ingredients in order.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the lower third. Divide the Pasta Frolla into 2 pieces. Roll 1 of the pieces thinly to line a 12-inch straight-sided cake pan. Pour in filling and smooth top. Roll the remaining dough to a 12-inch square and cut into 1-inch strips. For egg wash, whisk egg and salt together. Paint dough strips with egg wash. Arrange six strips on filling. Arrange remaining strips at a 45-degree angle to the first ones to make a lattice. Press strips at rim of pan to adhere and trim away excess dough even with top of pan.
  4. Bake until the filling is set and the dough is baked through, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack. To unmold, place a platter on top and invert, removing pan. Replace pan with another platter and invert again, removing top platter. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.