What I like most about this simple pie is that I can make it ahead and freeze, which enables me to use the seasonal broccoli rabe and have it even when it's out of season. It's a pie made with a very simple dough. It is then filled with julienned raw broccoli rabe and ricotta and covered with dough again. On top you add little pieces of lard (if you can find Lardo di Colonnata it's the best). Serve it for a light dinner, hot, warm or cold. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Savoury Pie Crust
all purpose flour - sifted
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Broccoli Rabe Filling
broccoli rabe washed and cut in julienne
Parmesan cheese grated
very fresh ricotta
lard in slices, Lardo di Colonnata is the best choice or streaked bacon
Pie Crust: In a stand mixer adapted with the hook attachment, beat the sifted flour, the water and the olive oil for about 10 minutes until elastic and shinny. Cover with plastic film and allow to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. In reality, this dough is like a bread dough, so it will be quite elastic.
Meanwhile, wash the broccoli rabe, pat dry with a kitchen towel. Put the leaves one on top of the other, roll forming a long cigar and julienne them thinly. Put in a colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
Put the ricotta in a colander over a bowl and let drain for 30 minutes to remove all the excess water.
After 30 minutes, squeeze the broccoli rabe with your hands, removing as much water as possible.
Lightly beat the 2 eggs. Put the ricotta in a bowl and beat with a fork so you get a smooth paste. Add the eggs and parmesan and mix well. Add the julienned broccoli rabe, a dash of freshly ground pepper and mix very well until well blended.
Line a 12 inch diameter round baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil it with olive oil.
Divide the pie dough in 2 parts, one slightly bigger then the other. Roll out both doughs until quite thin. Transfer the biggest dough to the pie baking sheet. Add the ricotta broccoli mixture in the midle leaving 1 1/2 inch of dough with no filling. Cover with the smaller dough.
Close the pie by rolling the sides, bottom over top squeezing together (see image). With a pair of scissors make little incisions on the top dough to allow the steam to come out.
Pre-heat the oven to 350º F with rack in he middle position.
Cut the lard in small pieces and sprinkle them on top (or streaked bacon if you can't find lard).
Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve hot, at room temperature or even cold.
If you are going to freeze it, stop at step 8 and freeze wrapped in plastic film. Defrost in fridge for about 2 hours and proceed from step 9 onwards.