Pizza Piena (Easter Pie) family recipe by Kenny Palazzolo

Is it Pizzagaina, pizza piena or pizza rustica? Easter pie has many names, but no matter what you call it, it’s delizioso! What is it? Pizza piena translates to “stuffed pizza.” It’s a savory pie with layers filled with eggs, cheese and meat of your choice. Kenny Palazzolo shares his Great-grandmother’s recipe with us. Join our Facebook group and you’ll find more recipes and swap stories of our heritage!

It all starts with the crust. This recipe is for a 13×9″ top and bottom crust. If you want to make a 9″ pie, cut the crust ingredients in half.

Crust ingredients

5 Cups all purpose flour

2 tsp salt

12 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups shortening

1 cup ice water

Filling ingredients

4 lbs whole milk ricotta

10 large eggs

1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

1 cup grated parmigiano cheese

2 cups fresh mozzarella (small cubes)

1 1/2 lbs prosciutto (thin sliced)

Kenny uses a hand pastry blender for the crust. He blends it for about 10 minutes until it is the size of little balls of peas. Add ice water a little at a time until it gets doughy. Refrigerate for several hours.

Make the filling by mixing the ricotta, eggs and cheeses. Refrigerate.

Take the pastry from the refrigerator. Cut in 60/40 split. 60% will be for the bottom and 40% for the top crust.

Flour your surface. Begin rolling out dough. Continue adding flour as needed so dough doesn’t stick. Flour the pan. Pick up crust and lay in 13×9″ pan.

Spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture in the pan.

Layer prosciutto. Add another layer of ricotta mixture. Repeat.

Roll out remaining dough for the top crust. Add crust to pan. Poke air slits/holes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours. Let cool down before serving.

Follow Kenny’s video here for the whole process:

Mangia! What meats do you add to your pizza piena?

Angela DiCicco, The Italian Grandmama

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