Friday, April 6, 2012
Tuesdays with Dorie - Pizza Rustica and Homemade Ricotta
I wasn't sure I was going to like this "pizza", which is really a ricotta-filled pie. I knew I'd never had anything like it before and I've never been a big fan of the ricotta available in most grocery stores, so I went all Martha Stewart and made my own ricotta using David Lebovitz's recipe. A gallon of fresh goat milk (thanks to my sister and her goats), some yogurt, cream, vinegar and salt, a few minutes over the heat, a quick drain through some cheese cloth et voila! ricotta. This recipe yielded a creamy ricotta, not at all grainy like the commercially produced stuff. In retrospect I think I drained it a little too well. However, the consistency was fine and produced a nice creamy filling with a nutty flavor.
I wasn't convinced, after reading the recipe, that I was going to like a sweet crust with a savory filling so I decided not to mess around and add a lot of extras, but instead let the other cheeses and the prosciutto stand out. I don't have a 9" pie pan, so I used an 8" tart pan instead and it worked fine. I had a small amount of dough and filling left over so I made a little calzone for sampling right out of the oven (I'll spare you the picture; it was ugly, but it tasted great!).
The jury was out on this one for a while. I didn't really like it hot. But some things just get better with age (or so they keep telling me!). The next day, I gave it a second chance and reheated to just over room temperature, it was great! My tasters liked it too.
Lessons learned: Always give a second chance to something you don't like right away. The prosciutto got lost in all that cheese and didn't really stand out, so I'd leave it out next time. Veggie add-ins like chard, spinach, mushrooms, and/or sun-dried tomatoes would definitely perk up the filling which was a little bland. The sweet crust was okay, but I think a savory crust with some herbs added...maybe fresh oregano or basil, would kick up the flavor and add some real interest.
You can find the recipe on the host blogs Capitol Region Dining and The Place They Call Home. Check out what all the other TWD bakers did with this recipe here. Go to the LYL: Pizza Rustica post and follow the links.