Italian Easter Pie /Pizza Rustica (Aka "Ham Pie")

Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep 35 mins
Cook 1 hr

There are as many variations of this traditional dish as there are names for it (Pizza Rustica, Carnival Pie, Easter Pie and Ham Pie are just a few.) Some versions include hard boiled eggs in the filling along with the meat and cheeses, this one does not. Here is my family's version which I still make every Easter. The pastry we've always used for the crust is more like a bread dough (yeast risen), however your favorite pie crust recipe may be used as well. **Please note the different pan sizes, pan preparations, baking temperatures and baking times depending on which type of crust you choose to use. The "Prep Time" does not include the 2 hour rising time for the yeast dough crust. Note: The 2nd ingredient for the yeast dough crust should be leaf lard (or butter). Recipezaar will not accept the correction and insists on listing it as "leaves lard".

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Directions for making and using the yeast dough crust: In a cup, mix yeast and warm water together.
  2. Place flour on a pastry board, add leaf lard (or butter), salt, pepper and yeast/water mixture.
  3. Work together well until dough forms, continue working the dough until it is elastic and smooth.
  4. Place dough in a deep dish, cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
  5. When dough has risen, cut into 2 pieces.
  6. Stretch one piece to fit into a greased 9 x 2 1/2-inch round cake pan.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  8. Prepare filling as described below (steps #19 to #22).
  9. After filling the dough lined pan, stretch second piece of dough and place over the filling, pressing the edges closed.
  10. If there is a lot of excess dough left on the edge, carefully trim some, but leave enough to flute the sealed edge.
  11. (I like to brush the crust with a bit of beaten egg before baking, to give it a gloss.) Directions for using a regular pie crust dough: Preheat oven to 400°F.
  12. Prepare pastry and line a 10 inch pie pan.
  13. Prick dough with a fork, and sprinkle with a bit of flour.
  14. Prepare filling as described below (steps #19 to #22).
  15. Pour mixture into pastry lined pie tin and cover with top crust.
  16. Leave about a 1/2 to 3/4-inch overhang.
  17. Fold dough under and back, and flute edge.
  18. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.
  19. Directions for making the Filling: Cut sausage into small pieces (or remove from casings and crumble), place in frying pan and brown lightly in 2 Tablespoons of water.
  20. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, salt and pepper; add eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition.
  21. Add cooked sausage, prosciutto, ham, parsley and grated cheese to ricotta mixture.
  22. Blend well.
  23. Fill dough lined pan with mixture.
  24. Directions for Baking: For Regular Pie Crust: Bake the pie for 15 minutes in preheated (400°) oven, lower oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking for 45-50 minutes more.
  25. Remove from oven and let pie "settle" for about 10 minutes before slicing if you are going to serve it warm; otherwise let pie cool and refrigerate when cooled.
  26. Pie can be served either warm or cold.
  27. Slices can be reheated in the microwave.
  28. For Yeast Dough Crust: Bake the pie in a preheated 375°F oven for 45-50 minutes.
  29. Remove from oven and let pie "settle" for about 10 minutes before slicing if you are going to serve it warm; otherwise let pie cool and refrigerate when cooled.
  30. Pie can be served either warm or cold.
  31. Slices can be reheated in the microwave.
Most Helpful

9/28/2010...OMG is this the third year in a row that I'm using this recipe? Yup, sure is! This is my "go to" Easter Ham Pie recipe.... I want to say thank you so much for posting this recipe, Dee. This meant so much to me and my family. Nearly every Italian family that makes this has their own version of this recipe. Some use pepperoni, some use soprasad (sp?), some have hard boiled eggs, some have pasta… the variations go on forever. Your recipe is almost EXACTLY the same as my Grandmom used to make. The only difference is that we used ‘basket cheese’ which is a drained ricotta in stead of mozzarella, and we used to have Grandpops’ made salami in place of cooked ham. YES this is a long process, but SO WORTH IT! The goal is to be as good as Grandmom’s and this year, WE DID IT! (I’m saying we, because I couldn’t have done it without your recipe) I doubled everything with no problems (even actually a little filling left over) and had to bake a little longer but that may be because the oven is on its way out the door. So THANKS AGAIN for sharing this, delicious, rich, slightly salty wonderful recipe!

CHRISSYG March 28, 2010

I always made this using my mom's recipe which included assorted inported Italian cold cuts and sausages. This year I made Dee's version. I used purchases pizza dough--followed the filling ingredients to a T and baked it all in a 9x 13 for an about a hour. It was so delicious---We all loved it! Thanks Dee!

Richard-NYC April 16, 2006

First generation Italians NEVER put regular ham in anything .I never even ate american style ham till i was fifteen and NEVER on easter. the proper thing to put in the pie is diced 1/4 inch thick pieces of sweet capacola and 1/4 inch thick diced pieces of proccutto and if you like diced pieces of dried sausage - and dont go getting that boars head or hormel stuff - get it all from an Italian deli . never slice the meat always dice it. Also fresh ground pepper is key.

cjpesa April 01, 2015