According to my Google research, Pizza Rustica is an Italian-American dish that is also known as Carnival Pie, Easter Pie, or Pizzagaina. Although Rose first ate it at a Christmas dinner, it's more often served either just before or just after Lent, which is why it's stuffed with meats and cheeses. So you can eat it now, and again around Easter, or any other time when you feel like going for broke. I don't think there's any way to make this a diet dish.
In my searches, I found no other recipes that featured this herbed pasta frolla, which is a basic Italian
sweet pastry dough. It's this buttery, sweet/savory dough, even more than the salami and cheese, that makes this dish so memorable. I ran out of dried thyme (which means that the jar has probably been around for a decade or two), but fortunately, I had fresh thyme in my refrigerator.
I splurged, and went to a very good (and expensive) Italian deli for the meat and cheeses. The ricotta was rich, creamy, and not at all watery, so the strainer step turned out not to be necessary.
The mozzarella was delicious--not the gummy, elastic cheese-like thing that you usually find in grocery stores.
And the soprasatta was peppery and robust, although quite salty. I almost regretted salting the ricotta mixture, but at least I did it with a light hand.
Some of the recipes I saw also had additional cured sausage, such as pepperoni, and ham or Italian sausage. Oh, and Pizza Rustica is also sometimes known as Ham Pie. I expect that's only when it has ham in it. Somehow Ham Pie doesn't sound as appetizing as Pizza Rustica.
I thought I was going to have to find the page that tells you how to make a lattice topping, but then I saw that Rose said you could also just place them on top of the pie without overlapping. If there's a shortcut given, I'm probably going to take it. Oops, I just saw that I was supposed to place the strips at a 45-degree angle. That's fine, though, because it's supposed to be rustic.
The egg glaze imparts a wonderful shine and color. I always think I'm being very thorough in my glazing, but baking always reveals the bare spots. Rustic, I keep repeating to myself. It's supposed to be rustic. As in, "The rustic Italian nonna was carrying her grandchildren around while she was trying to cook for the whole family. And her cataracts were acting up again."
But look at this picture. It looks pretty delectable, doesn't it? I don't think that the Italian nonna (or the German-American grandmother who's trying to channel her) has anything to apologize for.