Pizza Rustica, A Savory Torte To Celebrate Easter

Learn about the Pizza Rustica, or Italian Easter Pie- a savory torte to celebrate the holiday!

Learn about the Pizza Rustica, or Italian Easter Pie- a savory torte to celebrate the holiday! Photo via: Grace Parisi /

Pizza Rustica, or Easter Pie, is a savory torte that is traditionally served on Easter. While the word “pizza” may fool you, this Easter pie is full of various kinds of cheese including basket cheese, diced cured meats, and eggs in a flaky pastry crust. Easter is just around the corner, so be sure to pre-order your basket cheese from Giolitti Deli soon! Continue reading to learn more about the delicious pizza rustica.

A Brief History

The Italian Easter pie is an Italian-Catholic recipe that is traditionally made the day before Easter and served on the holiday to signify the end of Lent and to break the fast. Millions of Italians and Italian-Americans enjoy the pie on Easter, even if they didn’t actually participate in the fast. The recipes for pizza rustica vary from region to region, but it typically contains the ingredients of spring, including eggs and fresh cheese, and ingredients from the larder, such as meats like prosciutto and salami.

Pizza rustica goes by different names; for example, in and around Naples it is called “pizza rupiena” which means “stuffed pizza,” and dates back to at least the 17th century. When southern Italians immigrated to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they brought their recipes with them. The Italian-American versions of pizza rustica often include American meats such as ham and pepperoni.

Basket Cheese

The Italian Easter pie contains one very special ingredient: basket cheese. This specialty item can usually only be found in stores around the Easter holiday, and you can pre-order your cheese from Giolitti Deli. The soft cheese is very mild in flavor and gets its name as it is made and formed inside of a plastic basket.


A traditional dough for a pizza rustica is made with all-purpose flour, eggs, salt, butter, and milk. The filling requires various types of cheeses including basket cheese, sharp aged provolone, mozzarella, ricotta, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and grated pecorino Romano, as well as meats including prosciutto, soppressata, and mortadella, and eggs.

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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