This weekend we loaded up the Notafoodiemobile and headed on out to my parents’ house to help out with what has become a family tradition, the making of Pizza Rustica. This Italian holiday specialty is traditionally served on Easter Sunday and symbolizes a way to indulge after the 40 days of Lent that precede it. In our family, the “Easter Meat Pie” is a favorite, and we make enough to feed a small army. I decided that I needed to take the video camera to capture the madness that is the assembly line. It was made even crazier with two toddlers under foot; running every time the mixer was turned on, or trying to climb up our legs wanting to see exactly what everyone was doing.
Like many Italian recipes, this meat pie goes by many different names and variations depending on geography. The version from Naples it is known as “pastiera,” and is made with ricotta cheese and whole grains of wheat to symbolize rebirth. Calabrians usually add hard boiled eggs. Sicilians add pasta to their pies. Some places add spinach, and in other places it’s more of a loaf of bread than a pie. It’s been my experience that when you come across a family that makes them, you’ll never have the same recipe. In fact, even in my extended family we have a few different ways it’s prepared. It’s also been my experience that everyone claims that their family’s version is the best. They are all right, except that my family’s version is obviously the best.
So, I hope you enjoy the video above. The yield this year was around 21 pies, so if you happen to be in my neighborhood over the next week, stop by for the best Easter pie in the world.