Move over, Easter Bunny! We’re celebrating Easter with more than just hardboiled eggs and recipe after recipe of sweet treats! That’s right, we want the house to smell of bread baking in the oven, of juicy ham and salami warming beneath a layer of doughy crust, and of provolone cheese melting each delicious indulgent flavor into one indulgent bite. What is this Easter delicacy we’re dreaming of?
Pizzagaina of course! Pronounced “pizza jay-nah”, this Italian Easter ham pie, has graced the dinner table in traditional Italian homes for generations. Be bold and give this recipe a try! Our Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pizza Dough Ball takes all the intimidation out of it so what you’re left with is a new favorite Easter tradition … Wholly approved!
2 Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free Pizza Dough Balls (16 oz. total)
13 large eggs
2 pounds of a variety of your choice of Italian deli meat (such as genoa salami, mortadella, capicolla, pepperoni or ham)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound fresh ricotta or Italian basket cheese
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 pound provolone cheese, thinly sliced
One 10″ by 3″ round springform pan
Prepare the filling:
Make four hardboiled eggs by placing 4 uncooked eggs in a small saucepan and covering with tap water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute, then turn off heat, cover pot, and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain out the hot water and replace with cold water, letting the eggs cool for 5 minutes. Peel, slice and set aside.
Prepare the meat by dicing into 1/2-1″ size pieces. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk 8 large eggs until frothy. Whisk in the black pepper and the ricotta or basket cheese until well combined. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently stir in all of the cut meat pieces, mixing until all are evenly distributed. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and grease the inside of your springform pan with olive oil or nonstick baking spray.
Once the dough has thawed, sprinkle some flour on a clean workspace, and transfer the dough to the floured surface. Cut the dough in half, setting one half aside. Shape into a ball, and then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large round (about 11 or 12 inches in diameter). If the dough keeps shrinking back, let it rest for a few minutes before trying it again.
Gently fit the rolled out dough over and into the prepared springform pan, tucking it into all sides. The dough should overhang about 1 to 2 inches around the top.
Use a large spoon to pour in about 1/3 of the egg and meat filling, spreading it evenly. Top with about 1/3 of the sliced eggs and 1/3 of the sliced mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Continue in this order until all the filling, eggs, and cheese have been added (or until the filling reaches the top if you’re using a smaller pan).
Grab the second half of the dough and place on the floured work surface, and roll out a second 10-12″ round. Lift this dough round over the filled pan and cover it entirely. The dough should overhang about 1″ on all sides. Use a knife or kitchen shears to trim off anything longer than 1″, and then pinch together the top and bottom pieces of dough well until sealed, then roll up evenly around the pan to create a rim.
Whisk the final egg in a small bowl along with a 1/4 cup of water. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the entire pie.
Bake in your preheated 350 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes before releasing the spring and removing the outside ring. Transfer to a serving plate and let cool completely. Can be enjoyed the same day, or chilled up to 2 nights in the fridge before serving cold or at room temperature.