have never before shared this recipe, which has been in my family
for a hundred years. My mother used to make many of these pies
for Easter. Our entire apartment was filled with the smells of
pastry, cheese, and Italian meats. She never wrote down the recipe.
Over the years, I figured out how to make my mother's recipe.
This recipe is traditionally made with basket cheese, a fresh
cheese that is still available in some Italian-American neighborhoods
during the holidays. Fresh mozzarella, packed in water, has a
similar texture and mild flavor, and can be used instead.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings as an appetizer
For the crust: Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in the
bowl of a food processor. Add the butter, water and egg and
pulse until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap the dough
in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Roll the dough out on a floured counter into a 12-inch circle.
Line a 9-inch pan with the dough and trim the excess so that
the dough is flush with the rim of the pan. Cut the trimmed
dough (re-rolling if necessary) into 4- to 5-inch-long strips
that are about 1 inch wide. These strips of dough will be used
to decorate the filled pie. Refrigerate the crust and dough
strips until ready to fill the pie. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Beat the ricotta in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until it
is smooth. Stir in the mozzarella and then the meats. Next stir
in the eggs and then the Parmesan cheese. Add pepper to taste.
Scrape the filling into the prepared crust. Arrange several
dough strips in a spoke pattern over the filling so that the
strips meet in the center of the pie. Use about 6 strips to
cover the top of the pie, leaving some of the filling peeking
Bake until the dough starts to brown around the edges, 30 to
35 minutes. Cover the dough around the rim of the pan with aluminum
foil. Brush the dough strips with the beaten egg yolk. Return
the pie to the oven and continue to bake until the top is golden
brown, about 30 minutes more. Let the pie cool for about 1 hour.
Serve warm or wrap the pie in plastic and refrigerate it for
several days. (Bring the pie to room temperature before serving.)
Cut the pie into wedges.