Last night we to friends’ house to watch the quarter final of Euro2012 with Italy and England. I decided that apart from my tricolore I should also bring some Italian food to keep the spirits high. I wanted to bring something easy to eat at a party and opted for one of our pies which are easy to make, can be eaten cold and are full of flavours. One of these which I really like is the ‘Rustico napoletano’. Only found in Napoli I believe, it’s a pie made with sweet short crust pastry and salty filling, which I really like and seldom eat.
Not the same I used, but this would also be good
As usual, I mix and match recipes and guidelines. The result was, according to the footie fans, very good and a few people have asked me to share the recipe so here we go. I mixed the two flours for variety and it did add an extra crunch but you can just use white flour, as tradition
For the pastry:
350 gr white flour
150gr wholemeal flour
200 gr caster sugar
2 free range eggs
For the filling (this is where I go by taste and eye rather than quantities)
500gr ricotta (better if fresh and buffalo’s but tubs are ok too)
200gr hard cheese, cut in small cubes.
I used mature cheddar as I could not find what you really need which is provolone piccante. In London, I usually order it from Nife isLife but this time I just wasn’t organised enough!
180gr salame napoletano, also cut in cubes. Again, I could only find Spianata Toscana and this worked just as well. Do not use salame like Milanese tho, as this is too finely grain and too fatty. You need darker, harder salame.
2 free range eggs
Grated parmesan and / or pecorino, to taste (I used quite a lot, probably around 80gr)
To make the pastry:
Sift the flour and mix with the cold butter, cut into small pieces. Start mixing with your fingers and then slowly add the eggs and the sugar. Mix quickly (so that the butter doesn’t melt too much) and then place in cling film in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer the better. I actually used my beloved Kmix with the K mixing tool and was super fast. I mixed the sugar with the butter first, then added the eggs at lower speed then finally the flour. Once smooth, I placed in the fridge.
To make the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the ricotta with everything except the eggs. Salt and pepper to taste but bear in mind the salame and the cheese will add saltiness! Once happy, add the eggs one at the time and mix thoroughly. Keep aside.
When ready, heat the over to 180c. Cut the pastry into two leaving one side slightly bigger. This will be your base. I used a metal quiche baking tray but you can also use a ceramic one. With a rolling pin (cold is better) roll the larger pastry piece into a round. I rolled it onto my silicon mat so it was then easy to lift, otherwise it’s too soft and sticky. Once you have made it quite thin (about 4/5mm) place it on the tray. No need to grease or flour it by the way.
Make sure it’s all nicely attached to the sides of the tray and comes all the way, then make little holes on the base with either a fork or a toothpick. Now you can place the filling on the base and event it up. This is not blind baked at all.
Repeat the process with the other piece of pastry making into a disc shape large enough to cover completely the base and be attached to the base’s sides. The pie needs to cook without any filling spilling out and needs to be sealed.
I finally brushes the surface of the pie with some milk, but you can also use an egg yolk if you prefer.
Cook in the over for around 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. It will lift a bit and then even out when cooled.
This pie is delicious with a salad, at picnic, and keeps fresh for a couple of days. It goes down well at a football evening 🙂