Pizza rustica is like a hybrid between a pastry and a calzone, with an unleavened olive oil pastry-like dough encasing anything your heart desires. In this case, a classic spinach and ricotta filling.
- 400 g “00” flour or plain flour
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 200 g baby spinach
- 2 eggs
- 300 g ricotta
- 25 g (¼ cup) grated parmesan
- 25 g (¼ cup) grated pecorino
- Small handful parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- zest of ½ lemon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 30 min
1. Place the flour, oil and 200 ml water in a bowl and mix until combined. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes or until smooth. Shape into a ball, then return to the bowl, cover and rest for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, for the filling, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large frying pan over medium- high heat until fragrant. Add the spinach, then cover and cook until just wilted. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Place the remaining filling ingredients in a bowl and combine well. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the cooled spinach, coarsely chop, then add to the filling and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
3. Preheat the oven to 220˚C. Oil a 30 cm x 40 cm baking dish. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle about 3 mm-thick (you want to see your fingers through it). Place it onto the oiled dish with the sides overhanging. Place the filling in the middle and spread evenly over the dough. Fold the overhanging pastry over to enclose the filling, then gently pinch the edges together to seal. Brush the pastry with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and the pastry is cooked through.
This savoury pie is lovely hot, but my preference is to serve it warm or at room temperature, with a squeeze of lemon.
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