Pizza rustica is made in many regions of Italy using specialty ingredients.
Butera’s recipe comes from her parents, Aldo and Rosa Butera, from Lamezia in Italy’s Calabria region. It is different from a deeper-dish version made in other areas of Italy that is topped by a crust, like a pie.
Although the Fragoni is not officially on the menu, it is sold as a take ’n’ bake dish. Many customers eat it on Good Friday, with the eggs providing protein in place of meat, or with soppressata (dry salami) at other times of year.
“My parents’ generation are happy we’re carrying on their traditions,” she says.
- 500 g flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 250 ml container ricotta
- Chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add anything else you like to the filling: hot salami, anchovies, sundried tomatoes, etc.
- For a sweet version, add sugar or raisins
- Dough: In a food processor or by hand mix liquids into dry ingredients. Add a little bit of water if dough is too dry. Knead it in to a nice soft ball. Wrap it in plastic. Let it rise in a warm place for at least one hour. Then knead and open it with a rolling pin to desired size and filling.
- Place filling in the middle of the opened dough and pinch the edges to form a little enclosure. Some people make mini closed-up versions like calzones (baked, not fried).
- Cook at 350 F until the egg and crust is golden (about 15 to 20 minutes).
Two eight-inch pizzas
Sofia Butera is the owner of Il Sorriso Pizzeria & Cafe, a 44-seat restaurant located near the tourist mecca of Niagara Falls, Ont. Butera opened Il Sorriso (the smile) in 2010 five minutes’ walk from the Falls.