From The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Serves 6 as a light supper; 8 to 12 as an antipasto or first course
This isn't a typical pizza rustica. Then again, little of Puglia's vegetable cooking is typical—there's always an original twist that coaxes out more flavor. In this double crusted pie, a tender, melting crust envelopes a filling of browned onion and tomato—two big flavor boosters that could stand on their own. But there's more—a play of sweet and savory—a little vinegar in the onions, along with olives and currants.
The "pizza" is a meal in itself. Have it for supper with a salad, or serve it the way its creator does. On her Puglia farm, Rosalba Ciannamea cuts the pie into dainty, bite-sized diamonds and serves it as antipasto. I like it this way with drinks. To totally confuse etymologists, the Pugliese call double and single-crusted pies pizza rustica, pizza, and even focaccia.
Cook to Cook: This tart recipe is a lot simpler than it looks. Blend pastry up to a day ahead, storing in the refrigerator. Bake the tart several hours ahead of time, warming it in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Insure tender pastry by remembering a simple rule: Whenever pastry is worked (mixed or rolled out), give it a rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
1. Make pastry by blending the flours, baking powder, and salt in a food processor or large bowl. Thoroughly work in butter and oil by running processor a few seconds until mixture looks like coarse meal. Or, by hand, work in with your fingertips. Sprinkle water over the dough and blend in with a few pulses of the machine, or toss with a fork. Blend only until dough is moistened and in small clumps. Shape into 2 round patties, wrap in plastic, and chill 30 minutes to 24 hours.
2. Lightly oil a 14- to 16-inch pizza pan or a large rectangular cookie sheet. Roll out one half of the pastry on a floured surface to a 14- to 16-inch round if using a pizza pan, or a 12 by 14- to 15-inch rectangle if using a cookie sheet. It will be a little less than 1/8-inch thick. Place on the pan and cover with two overlapping pieces of foil. Roll out the remaining pastry and place on top of the first one. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or more.
3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly sauté the onions to golden brown, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 4 to 5 minutes, to very thick. Cool.
4. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400°F. Stir the vinegar into the onions and taste for seasoning. Lift the pastry on the foil off to the side. Spread the onions over the bottom pastry, leaving a 1 1/2- to 2-inch border all around. Sprinkle with the olives, currants or raisins, and cheese.
5. Brush the beaten egg over the border of dough. Top with the second sheet of pastry, sealing the edges. Trim the pastry to an even border, roll it up, and crimp. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and pierce all over with a fork. Bake 1 hour, or until browned and crisp. Serve warm (or rewarmed), cut into small diamonds (about 1 inch) as an antipasto, or larger pieces as a light supper.
When Marvin Gapultos had a craving for adobo but didn’t know how to make it, he decided to learn his family’s recipes. Since then, he has shared the flavors of Filipino food through his Los Angeles-based food truck The Manila Machine, on his blog Burnt Lumpia, and in The Adobo Road Cookbook.