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May 13, 2008 01:42 PM

Calling all Italians....savory cheese pie for Easter?

My Moms' coworker is asking for a recipe for an Italian pie, served at Easter, filled with savory cheese and seasoned with anyone familiar with this and has a recipe to share? Thank you!

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  1. I don't know the actual name of the pie, but amongst New York Italians, it's called -- and this is a rough estimation -- pizza ghen' (at least amongst those whose pronunciation isn't so affected as to drop the -a off "pizza"). You might try doing a search using that as a reference point.

    6 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Miss G -- I believe that what this person is referring to is Pizza Rustica. In addition to cheese, it is made with various kinds of dried and fresh sausage as well as prosciutto. The more luxurious versions always had more of the meats, which tended to be more expensive than the cheeses, which included ricotta, mozzarella and locatelli romano. If you do a google search for Pizza Rustica you will come up with many recipes. And yes, JungMann, I often did hear it referred to as "Pizza gain" by the old-timers. I haven't heard that phrase in a long, long time!

      1. re: roxlet

        That was the first thing I thought of. So rich and delicious you can eat only a small piece at a time.

        1. re: mamachef

          Oh, yeah? Maybe YOU can only eat a small piece at a time! For me, it's like: "Oh, I'll only have a small piece. OK, maybe just another sliver. Let's even out that cut there. Ummm. That sure is good. Look! A big piece of prosciutto. I'll just take that so it looks better."

          1. re: roxlet

            The trouble is, it's good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or a snack in between. There's no bad time.

            1. re: coll

              You got that right! Only a month or so until I make it!

      2. Pizza Giena? I have heard it called Easter Pie but we ate it whenever we went up to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. It's the best.

        1 Reply
        1. re: southernitalian

          I actually just read an interesting explanation -- pizza gain is an Americanization via southern Italian dialect for Pizza piena -- that is full.

        2. If it's a sweet ricotta and farro pie, it's called Tortiera and is an Easter specialty of the Campania area (the region around Naples). Here's a discussion:

          1 Reply
          1. re: farmersdaughter

            Except she is asking for a savoy pie! We called what you're described grain pie and it was made with wheat. I don't think anyone knew what farro was then -- maybe in Campagna, but not in my Neapolitan mother's family!

          2. You want Pizza Rustica minus the meat ingredients. Google for recipes galore.

            1. MIss G: Much too late for Easter, but I just saw this tread and remembered something I made years ago simply called Savory Easter Pie. It has Swiss chard and artichokes, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs for the filling. Then six small raw eggs are dropped into little wells in the filling before the top crust goes on (it's a double crust, 10" deep dish springform).

              It's a long recipe, so I thought I'd ask if this sounds like what you're looking for before I typed it in. It's from an old Bon Appetit magazine.