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Don't mistake this as a calzone. (Photo: Alberto Peroli.)

I doubt there is an Italian or Italian-American family that doesn’t have at least one version of a traditional pizza rustica recipe they dust off for a special occasion. I grew up with several variations of these savory pies, served as part of the antipasto course for Christmas and Easter. My great-grandmother made her pizza rustica with salami, prosciutto and ham. My grandmother followed the same recipe, except she used only pepperoni. My mother took up my grandmother’s recipe and we called it “pepperoni pie.”

Here I’m reverting to Big Nonna’s recipe. In any case, if it’s Christmas or Easter in one of our households, you know somebody is baking a pizza rustica that will make everybody happy. It’s rich, filling, delicious and very hard to put down. Beware of overeating! (I know from experience.)