Pizza Rustica

*This Pizza Rustica Is Traditionally Eaten The Night Before Easter Sunday.

2 tbsp. olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage (casings removed)
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
1/3 lb. ham (chopped)
4 large egg yolks (beaten)
1 large egg (beaten)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Pastry Dough Recipe:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening (cut into pieces)
1 tsp. sea salt
3 large eggs (beaten)
2 to 4 tbsp. ice water
Blend the flour, the butter, the shortening and salt in a food processor until the mixture is coarse. Blend in the eggs. With the machine running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, with 1 piece twice as large as the second piece. Flatten the dough pieces into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and saute until golden brown, breaking the sausage into pieces, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
3. In large bowl, add egg yolks and beat lightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Add the sausage, fresh parsley, ham and prosciutto to the mixture and stir well.
4. Roll out larger piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 18-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the dough overhang to 1 inch.
5. Add the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan.
6. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round.
7. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then crimp the dough edges.
8. You can cut the extra overhanging dough into strips and put on top of pie. (see photo)
9. Brush the beaten 1 large egg over the entire pastry top. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven until the crust is golden brown. (about 1 hour)
Let cool for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.




Penne With Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

1 lb. of your favorite pasta
1 lb. broccoli rabe
1 lb. sweet sausage (sliced)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
olive oil
salt and pepper
grated cheese
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1. In a skillet, put 2tbs. of olive oil. Add sliced sausage. Drizzle a little more olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes. Set to the side.
2. In a pot of boiling water, throw in broccoli rabe. Cook for 5 minutes and drain well.
3. Set up a pot of water. When water begins to boil, throw in pasta. Depending on the pasta you are using, do a taste test before it’s done.
4. In a skilet, put 2 tbs. of olive oil. Add garlic. Once garlic browns, add broccoli rabe. Drizzle a lttle olive oil and salt and pepper. After 5 minutes, add sausage. Stir together. If you decide to add white wine, add it now. Cook for additional 3 minutes on a low simmer.
5. Drain pasta well. Add sausage and broccoli rabe on top. Sprinkle your favorite grated cheese on top. Serve warm. Serves 4 people.

Cooking With Mr. C.’s Homemade Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pizza



2 tsp.  olive oil

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, (chopped)

1 tsp. garlic (minced)

1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 10-12 oz.) (cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup prepared tomato sauce

2 cups fresh shredded mozzarella cheese

Pizza Dough (Premade)


  1. On a large board, put a tbsp. of flour.  Spread it out. Roll out pizza dough. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. (Note: It doesn’t have to be round shaped. Whatever works for you.) Brush a drop of olive oil on a baking/pizza pan. Put dough on pan.
  2. In a small skillet put 2 tsp. of olive oil. Add sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes, until cooked and browned. Stir frequently. (set to the side)
  3. In a pot of boiling water, put broccoli rabe. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain well. Get all excess water out.
  4. Put tomato sauce on pizza dough. Scatter mozzarella on top. Put sausage, mince garlic and broccoli rabe on top. (see photo)
  5. Sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Drizzle a little olive oil on top
  7. In a preheated oven of 400 degrees, bake pizza for about 20-22 minutes. *It depends on your oven. I checked it very often after the first 15 minutes. You want the dough cooked and crispy, but you don’t want it to burn on the bottom.

Penne Sausage and Peppers



1 lb. pasta (your choice of pasta)

1 lb. sweet or hot sausage (sliced into pieces) see photo

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 green bell pepper sliced

1 yellow bell pepper sliced

1/2 cup asparagus (cut into pieces)

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil (chopped)

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper


1. Cook pasta to your desired taste and drain well.

2. In a large skillet put 2 tbs. olive oil. Cook sausage pieces for about 10 minutes. Remove and put to the side.

3. In the same pan, add another tbsp. of olive oil. Cook peppers and asparagus. (about 5 minutes) Add a little extra olive oil if needed.

4. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper. Add  cooked sausages and sun dried tomatoes to the pan.

5. Cook on a high heat (keep stirring) for 3 minutes and pour over pasta.

*Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Shrimp and Sausage Over Asparagus




2 lbs. sweet sausage (sliced)

1 lb. medium shrimp (shell removed and cleaned)

1 lb. asparagus ( tough ends trimmed)

1 (12 oz. can) crushed tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt


1. In a deep pot, boil asparagus. Boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well and keep warm.

2. In a large skillet, add 3 tbs. of olive oil. Cook sausages for about 10 minutes. Since they are  sliced, they should cook quickly. Pork should be well cooked.

3. When sausage is cooked, add shrimp to the same skillet. Turn shrimp while cooking.

4. After 4 minutes, add crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Add sea salt and stir.

5. Let simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes.

6. Place asparagus on a plate and top with sausage and shrimp.

Serve hot.


Sausage and Zucchini




1 lb. sweet sausage (or hot) (sliced into bite size pieces)

3 zucchinis (cut into bite size pieces)

3 cloves of garlic (chopped)

olive oil

sea salt and pepper


1. In a large skillet add 3 tbs. of olive oil. Add garlic and let brown. Add zucchini. Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Stir. Cook for about 7-10 minutes until zucchini is tender. Remove from skillet.

2. In another skillet, add 1 tbs. of olive oil. Cook sausage for about 10 minutes. Sausage should be well cooked. Add zucchini and mix well. Add an additional tsp. of salt if needed.  Stir together. Cook for an additional 2 minutes and serve.

Serve hot.


Penne With Chicken and Sausage


1 lb. pasta (rigatoni suggested)

2 thick chicken breasts (cut into thin pieces)

1/2 lb. sweet sausage (cut into thin slices)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

4 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. fresh parsley (chopped0

1 tsp. sea salt

parmesan cheese (to sprinkle over pasta)


1. In a large skillet add garlic and 2 tbs. of olive oil. Brown for a minute and add chicken. Turn chicken frequently. Chicken should be browned on each side and white in the middle. (about 5-6 minutes) Put chicken to the side.

2. Boil water and cook pasta for about 10 minutes (desired taste)

3. While pasta is cooking, add 2 more tbs of olive oil to a pan. Add sausage. Cook on both sides for about 4 minutes each. When sausage is done, add chicken, salt and parsley to the pan. Stir together. 

4. Drain pasta when done.

5. Put chicken and sausage on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.