Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Pita Rustica



I love country food! It's warm, welcoming and super enjoyable. This definitely is a go-to recipe every time I am in a baking mood and it's always a hit. I've heard it being called pizza rustica, rustic pie, country pie, Easter ham pie..., but the first time I had it was called pita rustica and I am choosing to stick to that name :-)

Serves 4

Ingredients and process:

Dough:

- 1 package (2tsp) active dry yeast
- 300ml warm water (not hot)
- 2tsp salt
- 1tsp sugar
- 375g plain flour
- 2tbs vegetable oil

- In a bowl, add the yeast, salt, sugar and water. Let it sit for 5min to activate.
- Add the flour and oil and start kneading. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle some more flour on it and keep kneading till it's smooth and no longer sticky.
- Put it in a clean, oiled bowl, brush it with vegetable oil and put a kitchen towel over it. Place it in a warm area and let it rise for an hour.

Filling:

- 1 egg
- 1kg fresh Ricotta cheese, left at room temperature
- 1 ball of fresh Mozzarella cheese, chopped
- 100g sharp Cheddar cheese, chopped
- 300g Chorizo sausage (any other sausage or salami works)
- a good pinch of salt
- generous amount of black pepper

- Prepare the filling while waiting for the dough to rise. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and set aside. Feel free to change the ingredient amounts according to taste. Some people prefer more cheese, some more meat.

Assembly:

- Preheat your oven to 175 C degrees. Brush a spring form pan or any baking dish with some olive oil.
- Using a rolling pin, stretch the dough and lay it in the pan making sure the ends are hanging out. Spoon the filling in.
- Cut the dough pieces that are hanging out of the dish. Put them together, stretch this piece of dough with a rolling pin and cut into strips. Put the strips on top of the pie (lattice pattern style) and brush with olive oil. You might have a little more dough leftover, I made some bread sticks :-)
- Bake on the lower rack for 1h, let it cool for a few hours and enjoy!