Italian Easter Pie | Pizza Rustica

Italian Easter Pie

pizza rustica

Pizza Rustica

Italian Easter Pie holds a special place in the time-honored food traditions of Easter celebrations for Italians and many non-Italians alike. Year after year, this dish has embraced the heart of Easter,  the holiest of all Christian celebrations. It is simply DELICIOUS!

Italian Easter Pie is known by several other names such as Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Rustica, Pizzachino, and Pizza Piena to name a few.  Each version represents local twists of ingredients and the regional linguistic dialect to identify this holiday dish, depending on the region in Italy.

Regardless of the  different names of  “Pizza Rustica” in Italy, one thing is certain, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter where you go!

This is a classic Italian Easter pie.  It’s absolutely delicious and meant to be a dish, not only to celebrate Easter but also to celebrate the end of Lent, a 40 day religious fast, that takes place just prior to Easter Sunday.  A great part of the fast is giving up meat from one’s diet. Consequently, the meat and the calories of this recipe are very much a part of the complete celebration, especially if you’re trying to stay in tune with the full tradition behind the concept of this recipe.

Pizza Rustica, to simply explain it, is basically an enclosed quiche, packed with some of the most delicious Italian salami, ham, and sausage, mixed together with several Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs The whole thing is then enclosed with a pastry top, festively decorated, egg-washed and baked in a preheated  moderate oven.

Yes, some try to make this without the meats and lean more toward a vegetarian dish, adding: broccoli,cauliflower, spinach, etc., instead of the meats.

I do not suggest trying to turn this into a low-fat, low-calorie dish. Don’t start substituting low-fat cheeses for the  Italian cheeses the recipe calls for, don’t start pulling back on the eggs, just using the egg whites, or omitting the eggs altogether. Then there is really no point in making the dish. Certain things just shouldn’t be made low-calorie and this is definitely one of them.

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