Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Pizza Piena

photo from MarthaStewart.com

I saw this on Martha Stewart, not sure why it's called pizza because it's more like a quiche. It's really good because it's packed with cheese. On the show they had a special dough for the crust, but we didn't like it. Next time I'll make it with a plain pie crust. I couldn't find dry Italian sweet sausage, I've never seen it, so I just cooked and crumbled a little less than half a pound of the raw stuff, which we like anyway. This makes a 9 x 13 casserole, or if you halve it, a square pan works well. Make sure you let it sit for a little while before you eat it, so it can settle and not burn your mouth. We were in a hurry to get to church...

Easter Pizza Piena
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
  • 7 ounces sweet Italian dry sausage, very finely chopped (or cooked sweet Italian sausage)
  • 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
  • Pie crust dough or Pizza Piena Dough
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten

  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, or 55 minutes for a square pan if using only half the recipe. Serve warm.

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