Pizza Chiena, the unique Italian ancestor of the American dish “pizzagaina” or “pizzagain,” is a traditional savory Easter pie that originated in Campania. This dish was historically made with a bread crust stuffed with cured meats, cheese, and eggs, making it a hearty and flavorful deal with to have a good time the top of Lent.
The right way to Make Pizza Chiena: The Unique “Pizzagaina” Italian Easter Pie Recipe
It was a easy and frugal dish however, like so many “poor” recipes from Italy, it’s astoundingly scrumptious. On this article, we’ll briefly discover the historical past of Pizza Chiena, the variations between it and pizzagaina, and share an genuine recipe so that you could make this scrumptious Easter pie at house.
The Historical past of Pizza Chiena
Pizza Chiena, which is a part of a broader class often known as “pizza rustica” or rustic pizza, is a standard Italian dish that originated in Avellino, Campania. The title means “stuffed pizza” in Neapolitan dialect. When Italian immigrants got here to the US, the pronunciation turned blurred till the dish got here to be referred to as “pizzagaina.”
Pizza Chiena was usually eaten on the Saturday after Good Friday (Easter Vigil) to have a good time the top of Lent. The dish was initially created as a approach to make use of up leftover substances after the fasting interval of Lent. Consequently, it was historically stuffed with no matter substances had been available in the course of the Easter season, together with cured meats, cheese, and loads of eggs.
Pizza Chiena vs. Pizzagaina
Whereas the unique Pizza Chiena and the fashionable pizzagaina share many similarities, there are a number of key variations between the 2 dishes.
Firstly, Pizza Chiena historically doesn’t have a flaky pie crust, whereas Pizzagaina does. The crust of Pizza Chiena is made with a easy bread dough that features lard, which makes it firmer and fewer prone to soak up an excessive amount of liquid from the filling. Pizzagaina, however, is often made with a pie crust that’s much like a quiche or a savory tart.
One other distinction between the 2 dishes is the kind of cheese used within the filling. Pizza Chiena usually features a collection of agency cheeses, whereas Pizzagaina usually consists of ricotta as nicely.
Filling the Pizza Chiena
What Can I Put Inside a Pizza Chiena?
Pizza Chiena was all the time supposed to be a leftover “fridge cleaner,” so you’ll be able to usually embrace no matter sorts of cured meats and cheeses you may have available or want. Traditional filling substances embrace salame, mortadella, prosciutto crudo, prosciutto cotto (ham), capicollo, cured pancetta, provolone, primo sale, smoked scamorza, Parmigiano Reggiano and pecorino romano.
The one actual “rule” you must keep on with is to keep away from watery cheeses as they may destroy the pie. It is a time to avoid recent mozzarella!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video the place we make Pizza Chiena right here:
PIZZA CHIENA RECIPE
Makes: One 9-inch pie
Prepare dinner Time: 4-5 hours, largely unattended. Greatest made the day earlier than serving.
For this recipe, you have to:
4 1/8 cup (500g) bread flour (even higher if you’ll find a high-protein flour)
1 3/4 tsp (7g) yeast
5 tbsp (70g) lard
1 1/2 tbsp (20g) olive oil, plus further for greasing the pan
~ 3/4 cup (200ml) water, adjusted as wanted
2 tsp (10g) salt, plus a pinch further for the eggs
~ 9 oz. (250g) combined cured meat, chopped
~ 13 oz. (365g) combined agency cheeses, chopped
8 giant eggs
Recent black pepper
~ 5 oz. (150g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano and/or Pecorino Romano cheese, or to style
Semolina flour for dusting (optionally available, you’ll be able to substitute bread flour if vital)
9-inch springform pan, or comparable (you must have sufficient dough to go slightly bigger)
Paring knife or kitchen shears
Combine the flour and yeast in a big mixing bowl. By hand, combine within the lard and olive oil till each are comparatively evenly distributed into the flour. Add half of the water, and proceed to combine till a tough, damaged dough begins to type, then combine within the salt.
Proceed so as to add slightly little bit of water at a time till a agency dough solidifies. Relying on the circumstances, you could want kind of water than what we’ve listed, so alter as vital. Switch the dough to a clear work floor and knead for 10-Quarter-hour. If it sticks, mud it with extra flour as vital.
Kind the dough right into a ball, cowl it with the blending bowl, and let it relaxation for 10-Quarter-hour in order that the gluten can calm down. Knead the dough just a bit bit extra—it needs to be a lot smoother now. Place the dough ball again into the blending bowl, cowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or till it doubles in dimension.
When the dough is sort of prepared, preheat an oven to 370 levels F (190 C).
In a big bowl, combine collectively the chopped meat and chopped cheeses collectively. Individually, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour the eggs into the meat/cheese and blend all along with a spatula.
Subsequent, add sufficient grated cheese to soak up and thicken the surplus liquid from the eggs. It’s possible you’ll want kind of than the quantity listed above, so be at liberty to regulate. The ultimate combination needs to be fairly thick and never too liquid.
Reduce 1/3 of the completed dough off and put aside for later. Mud a piece floor with semolina flour and roll the rest out into an enormous circle with a rolling pin. If the dough sticks, mud it with flour as vital. The dough sheet needs to be giant sufficient to drape right into a 9-inch springform pan with loads of overhang. Achieve this, and gently press the dough into the pan to fill all of the corners and canopy the perimeters. With a fork, poke loads of holes into the underside.
Fill the pie with the meat, cheese and egg combination. See some egg residue left within the bowl? Don’t throw it away! And don’t fear if the filling doesn’t fully fill the pan as much as the rim. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the combo in order that the highest is flat.
Roll the 1/3 portion of the dough you put aside till it’s giant sufficient to cowl the highest. Drape it over the pie, and trim the perimeters so that they line up with the rim of the pan. Likewise, trim the perimeters of the underside crust in order that they only barely overhang. Roll the underside crust edges inward to seal the highest shut. In case you like, you’ll be able to press a fork into the crust across the rim to additional shut the pie.
Poke a number of holes together with your fork into the highest of the pie. Now, keep in mind the egg left over in your bowl? Use your hand to evenly unfold that over your entire floor of the pie. This can assist create a lovely, golden crust.
Bake the pie for 50-60 minutes on the underside rack of the oven, or till the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool fully earlier than eradicating the springform mould.
Pizza chiena is finest served chilly the next day. Historically it was saved for a number of days at room temperature, however be at liberty to refrigerate if that makes you extra comfy.
You could be excited about trying out our Torta Pasqualina recipe, one other savory Easter pie. On the lookout for one thing candy? In our opinion, Easter is not Easter and not using a good Pastiera!