Rustic Piezza for the Intolerant
I wasn’t going to make this week’s TWD recipe. It’s Pizza Rustica and the original recipe has a whole pound of ricotta cheese in the filling. I love ricotta cheese, but it does not love me. In fact, while I can usually have a tiny bit of dairy without getting sick, even a lick of ricotta can make me sick for a couple of days and no amount of lactaid can help me with that.
However, I really meant it when I committed myself to making every single recipe in this book, so I set out to make a version of this pizza that I could eat and enjoy, I hoped. I briefly considered making the original recipe and just not eating it, but what’s the fun of that?
It starts with finding some ready alternatives to ricotta. For this version, I settled on a combination of fresh goat cheese, regular goat cheese, a goat gouda, and pecorino romano. (In case you didn’t know, goat milk and sheep’s milk are naturally lactose free.)
I originally hoped to find some sheep’s milk ricotta, but I ran out of time to run around town looking for it. I also used some really thick cut bacon in place of the proscuitto, not because I don’t like prosciutto, but because we had a lot of leftover bacon in the house.
Instead of the mixing method described in the book, I just threw everything into the bowl of my stand mixer and let it do all the work. I tasted the filling and it was, um, goat-ey. That’s great if you like goat cheese, which I do, but my kids do not.
The dough for the crust came together easily and balled up in the food processor, just as described in the recipe. There were some comments about the dough being too sweet, so I left out some of the sugar and used 4 Tablespoons instead of 1/3 cup. I had no troubles rolling it out and putting together the lattice crust. Here it is all done and ready to go into the oven.
I used the leftover dough to make some strips to put around the edge of the pie. I have been doing this for awhile and I like the look of it. Also, it uses up dough, meaning there is less waste, and I like the extra thick crust.
The piezza (this is what the boys called it–a pizza that looks like a pie, get it?) came out nice and puffy, just like the recipe said it would. I did have to bake it for an extra 20 minutes to get that affect, though. Hmm…I think I may have to check my oven temperature. Anyway, I thought it looked great, smelled great, and also tasted great!
The goat cheese mellowed out with the baking and I liked the contrast between the sweet crust and salty filling. We thought it would taste really good with some asparagus in it, so I blanched some to have on the side for lunch today. It was pretty yummy and it didn’t make my stomach hurt, so I am happy. Plus, the boys won’t eat it, so that means more for me!
If you think you might want to give this recipe a try, you can find links here for the recipe and to see how other piezzas came out.