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Pizza Rustica

This afternoon we got to go visit with our friends Zack and Risa, who had a precious baby boy earlier this month, Noble. I figured they could use a good home cooked meal, so I cooked them this Italian dish that I'd describe as comfort food, delicious, and super filling :) I added a little salami since I had some on hand. This is great for a group as well! Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 (12-ounce) bunches fresh spinach, stemmed, coarsely chopped (about 12 cups), or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed and drained

1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped (I used 3 oz since I also used salami)

3 slices of hard salami, coarsely chopped

4 large egg yolks, beaten to blend

2 pie crusts (or your own pastry dough)

1 large egg, beaten to blend

Directions: Position the rack on the bottom of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and saute until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and the juices evaporate, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

NOTE: If using frozen spinach, you could skip this step.

Cool to room temperature. Squeeze the spinach to drain as much liquid as possible. Into a large bowl, add egg yolks and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, the spinach and prosciutto to the mixture and stir to combine.

Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 17-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan.

Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then crimp the dough edges decoratively. Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top.

Bake on the bottom shelf until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes. Release the pan sides and transfer the pizza to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

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