Yield: Serves 6 as a light supper and 8 to 12 as an antipasto or first course.
This 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.
This isnÃt a typical pizza rustica. Then again, little of PugliaÃs vegetable cooking is typical; thereÃs always an original twist that coaxes out more flavor. In this doubled 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 thereÃs more — a play of sweet and savory, a little vinegar in the onions, along with olives and currants. The Ã¬pizzaÃ® 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 degree 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.
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose unbleached flour (organic preferred)
- 1 cup (5 ounces) cake flour, (organic preferred)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions (totaling 2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 drained canned tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup black Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped medium fine
- 1 generous tablespoon currants or raisins, soaked in hot water
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1. Make pastry by blending the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl or food processor. Thoroughly work in butter and oil by running processor a few seconds until mixture looks like coarse meal. By hand, work in with finger tips. Sprinkle water over the pastry and blend in with a few pulses of the machine, or by tossing with a fork. Blend only until dough is moistened and is in small clumps.
- 2. Shape into 2 round patties, wrap in plastic, and chill 30 minutes to 24 hours. Lightly oil a 14 to 16-inch pizza pan or a large rectangular cookie sheet. Roll out pastry, half at a time, on a floured surface to a 14 to 16-inch round, or a 12-inch by 14- to 15-inch rectangle. It will be a little less than 1/8-inch thick. Place first piece on the pan. Cover with 2 overlapping pieces of foil and top with the second sheet of pastry. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or more.
- 3. SautÃˆ filling by heating the 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high. Quickly sautÃˆ onion to golden brown, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Cool.
- 4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, setting a rack as low as possible. Stir vinegar into onions and taste for seasoning. Lift the pastry sheet on foil to the side. Spread onions over the bottom pastry leaving a 1-1/2 to 2-inch border. Sprinkle with the olives, drained raisins, and the cheese.
- 5. Brush beaten egg around the filling. Top with the second sheet of pastry, sealing edges together. Trim pastry to an even border, roll up and crimp. Brush tart with the beaten egg, then pierce all over with a fork. Bake 1 hour, or until browned and crisp. Serve warm or reheated, cut into small diamonds (about 1 inch), or wedges as a light supper.
- Prosciutto and Cheese Pizza Rustica: Halve the amount of onions. SautÃ© them in 1 tablespoon olive oil, seasoning to taste. Add 1 large clove garlic, minced, during the last minute of cooking. Cool and stir in 1 cup ricotta, 1 large egg, 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, 1 generous tablespoon capers, and 6 slices (3 ounces) Prosciutto di Parma, cut into small squares. Fill the pie with this mixture and bake as directed above.