Rustic Pizza

PizzaRusticaBakedTableVertbfLOGood morning! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and it is a truly lovely day here on the edge o’ the prairie! We’re getting a slightly later-than-planned start on our day of exploring Milwaukee with Rich’s mom, so I thought I’d get this out there now.

I found this recipe rummaging through the book that came with our Cuisinart stand mixer. I had most of the meats called for sitting in the fridge or the freezer, and the cheeses too, for that matter; so this kind of qualifies as an ‘emergency’ raid the pantry recipe. You do need to dedicate some time – mostly passive – for chilling the dough (an hour) and baking and resting (75 minutes plus an additional 20) – but I think you’ll find it worthwhile. This sucker is also, shall I say?, RICH – so one nine inch pie would easily make a dinner for six or so with salad and wine.

BONUS – this crust recipe is out of this world! I may switch out my quiche dough with it next time brunch calls.

•4 cups flour
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 tsp kosher salt – I used coarse sea salt
•1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
•1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
•4 large eggs

•1/2 tablespoon olive oil
•8 oz Italian sausage, sweet or hot, casings removed
•10 oz fresh spinach
•2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
•15-oz container ricotta cheese
•2 large eggs
•3 large egg yolks
•16 oz mozzarella, shredded
•3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
•4 oz prosciutto, chopped
•2 oz soppressata, pepperoni or hard salami, chopped

PizzaRusticaDoughEmptybfLO PizzaRusticaFilledbfLO PizzaRusticaBakedbfLOEgg Wash:
•1 large egg plus 1 tbsp of water beaten together

NOTE: these instructions were written for our Cuisinart stand mixer, so I will note that ‘power level two’ is on a scale of one through twelve.

For the Dough:
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the mixing bowl. Insert the flat mixing paddle. Turn to speed 2 for about 20 seconds to aerate dry ingredients. Add the butter and continue on speed 2 for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and mix for 30 seconds on the same speed. The butter and olive oil should be well incorporated into the dry ingredients. Add the eggs one at a time. Be sure to incorporate each egg before adding the next. After adding the last egg, mix on speed 3 until the dough comes together as a mass, about 30 to 40 seconds. If the mixture appears slightly dry, add water one tablespoon (15 ml) at a time on speed 2 until the mixture resembles a soft dough. Gather the dough ball and cut in half, forming each half into a disc shape. Wrap each disc and place in refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the Filling:
Place olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces. Add the spinach and garlic and PizzaRusticaBakedTablebfLO PizzaRusticaBakedCutbfLOsauté for an additional minute or two, until the spinach is wilted and the garlic is fragrant. Reserve.

Add the ricotta to the mixing bowl. Insert the flat mixing paddle. Mix on speed 2. Add eggs and yolks one at a time. Stir in remaining ingredients including the reserved sausage and spinach mixture until all are incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll one dough disc to a round about 16 inches. Carefully transfer to a 9-inch springform pan, trimming the dough so that a 1-inch overhang remains

NOTE: I didn’t have enough dough to get this overhang, which worked out fine, since the filling didn’t totally fill the pan; I ran the base dough up to the edge of the pan, added the filling, place the top dough over it and folded the sides down.

Pour the filling into prepared pan. Roll out second dough disc to a round and place over filling. Cut the top dough to match the existing overhang. Pinch edges together and then crimp to create a decorative edge. Brush the top well with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 70 to 75 minutes.

Let stand about 15 to 20 minutes. Release the pan sides, transfer to a cutting board or platter. Cut into pieces and serve.

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