2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose or or a
Round Table Unbleached Pastry Flour
2 tablespoons cold water (2 to 3)
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 small onion chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley dried or fresh
teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 lrgs cloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce (16 ounces)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
teaspoon dried oregano
teaspoon dried basil
cup sliced black olives
pound mozzarella cheese shredded
1 lrg green bell pepper
For Crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the butter (with a fork, pastry blender, your fingers or a mixer) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle vinegar and water, a bit at a time, over flour mixture, stirring until mixture just holds together. Pat and squeeze into a flat disk and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
To Assemble: Divide the crust in two pieces, making one piece just slightly larger than the other. Roll out the smaller piece and fit into a 10" pie pan**. Sprinkle a little milk (about 1 teaspoon) into the crust, and spread it around with your fingers; this helps seal the crust and keeps it from becoming soggy.
Spread half of the ricotta-Parmesan mixture into the crust. Sprinkle on half the mozzarella, then spread with half the sauce, and top with half the green pepper. Repeat layers.
Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand at least 30 minutes before serving (if you don't wait, your filling ingredients will flow like lava as soon as you slice the pie). Store in the refrigerator; serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
*If you wish to skip all this, simply substitute a 16-ounce jar of spaghetti or pizza sauce for the oil, garlic, tomato sauce, sugar and spices.
**You can also use a 10-inch springform pan.
Note: Sliced pepperoni is a nice addition to the filling.
Note: using part-skim mozzarella cheese and part-skim ricotta cheese will lower fat to 36 g.
NOTES : Pizza rustica is a savory, deep-dish pie, native to Italy, which bears little resemblance to the flat pizzas we're used to in this country. The traditional pizza rustica incorporates ham, cheese, eggs and a white sauce in a rich pastry shell. However, there are as many variations on this dish as there are Italian bakers! This version, featuring a buttery crust and vegetable-cheese filling, has been a take-along favorite of ours for some years now. Bake it, enjoy some warm from the oven (not hot; let it cool a bit so the cheeses settle), then refrigerate the remainder to pack on a picnic.