Easter Pie Recipe: Pizza Piena

by Melody Kettle

Hot From The Kettle reader, Mario DiBiase, just sent over his mother's recipe for Italian Pizza Piena. There's a great story behind the recipe, too!

First my mother would start off by going to all the Italian delis in the neighborhood and collect the heels (ends) of assorted cold cuts - salami, prosciutto, copacola, mortadela and prusciutto cotta (ham) and D E M A N D a discount for these left over cuts that "nessuno se catta" as she said. This is a medley of meets and I've found everyone uses something different, for Mom it was what ever she got on sale or was available. These are the ones that I thought made the best pie. I've had it made from just hot and sweet dried sausage too.

Here's my families recipe - enjoy:

Makes a half sheet sized pie

Dough -
3c flour
1 cup olive oil
2 lg eggs
water as needed
1 tbs salt

in mixer on slow speed mix flour, salt and eggs - slowly drizzling oil then slowly add water until a stiff dough is made.

Roll out to a 3/16 thick sheet, wrap around rolling pin and roll over baking dish. Tuck in to cover inside of dish. trim and reserve trimmings for lattice top.

1 doz eggs
1/2 c grated parmigiana
1 tsp fresh course ground pepper
1 prima salata cheese ( kind of like a hard mozzarella sold in backets, use fontina if you cant find it or what we call slicing provolone - it's not very sharp)
1/2 qt ricotta- drained in a cheese cloth over night
1 heel of each salami, prosciutto, copacola, mortadela and prusciutto cotta (ham) cut into 1/2 cubes ( some people use slices - I would get 1/4 pound of each )

whisk eggs, with grated cheese and pepper
pour off 1/3 into the pie crust, flake the ricotta into the mixture in the pie crust,
throw in 1/2 of the meats, layer cheese then top with another 1/3 egg, repeat ricotta, meat, cheese layer then top off with the remaining egg (this should come to within 1/2 inch of the top of the pie dish.) roll out remaining dough to 3/16" thick, cut into ribbons and lace over the top and pinch to lower crust to seal.

*The filling will rise so if the pie is filled too close to the top I suggest a placing a sheet pan or foil under the pie while baking