Easter Pie: Mom-in-law’s Way

So, Monday after Easter Sunday I ran home and made the other Easter pie, pizza rustica – a dish that I love my mother-in-law for introducing into my life.

Pizza Rustica

I use a refrigerated pie crust and fill it with ricotta and eggs, but also sausage, parsley, black pepper and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. My mother-in-law also adds hard salami, but I use whatever I have around; this is usually pepperoni, but this year I also had some sun dried tomatoes.  A second crust goes on top of the filling and you are good to go.

The photo doesn’t really explain what a wonderfully comforting food this is. Others make it with beautiful lattice crusts and other features that make the pizza bakeshop worthy, but I’m rather pleased with my design.  It didn’t last the week in the refrigerator, so the Other Eater in my household must like it just fine, too.

TWD: I’m out this week

The Creme Brulee that my Tuesdays with Dorie colleagues were making this week didn’t thrill me (I love ordering the dessert when I’m out for a decadent dinner, and I feared that trying to make it myself would ruin that indulgence), but I am preparing for next week’s Caramel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake. Stay tuned.

Instead, I’ll offer you this: if you’re near Wrigley Field celebrating the Cubs’ post-season play, eat at Ian’s Pizza. Tell Gomez that Danny’s sister’s friend sent you for Macaroni and Cheese pizza.

This is Gomez

I was skeptical, too (noodles on crust? why is that good?), but it was soooo worth it.  Sara and I tried the Mac and Cheese, as well as the Vegetable Burrito (again, rice on crust? why?), and both were great.

Mac and Cheese had perfectly cooked pasta with some kind of oozy cheese sauce that didn’t taste as fake as Stadium Nacho Cheese or  the Mac and Cheese that comes in the blue box. It was melty, kind of like real pizza cheese, and yellow (whereas powdered cheese is more orange). I was impressed.

The  Veggie Burrito was very traditional, in that it had all the veggies you’d find in a standard burrito, but also the black beans and the rice, which was oddly satisfying when applied to a pizza crust. Not half as weird as I thought it would be. I’d even order it again.

Actually, next time I think I want to try the Steak and Fries pizza. Rumor has it that Ian’s R&D department is working on a Chicago Style Hot Dog pizza.

I got my mac on

Try This: Union Pizzeria

I’m a sucker for dinner out, no doubt – anyone who brings me a meal I do not need to cook, on a real plate, and does not ask me to wash a dish after said meal, is fine with me. So sure, I guess my standards aren’t too high.

But Union Pizzeria met them all with flying colors. This Evanston restaurant was written up in the May 2008 issue of Chicago Magazine, and the pizza description alone was enough to get my attention. I left the review on the refrigerator for a about a month – a hint to my Roommate that I’d like to go there – but when he failed to get my hint I got more forceful Saturday afternoon (it helped my cause considerably that he had just woken me up from my nap and had exercised less than desirable sleeping habits the night before and was feeling REALLY guilty).

So, we went. The menu is small and slightly vague, so at our waitress’s recommendation we ordered one pizza to share and two small plates to go with it: Pizza Margherita with fresh mozzarella; homemade sausage and peppers, served with the freshest pesto sauce ever; and marinated Italian olives.

The pizza was light and crisp with tomatoes that tasted like they had been picked that very afternoon from a sunny garden. The sausage was good, too, in a sausage way – totally different from the light pizza way. But the olives were a draw: the olives themselves were good, the fennel was god, but the orange zest marinated was a mismatch, I thought. I give them point for an intriguing menu option with a reasonable price tag (for $3, it was an acceptable error) but I didn’t love it. My roommate thought they were good, but the cereal bowl was a few too many olives for one man to eat alone.

“I guess we should have tried the beets,” he said on the way out. Golden roasted beets were the Option B we passed on, and in hindsight should have been Option A. But that misjudgment (as well as the prosciutto pizza) just gives us a reason to go back. And we will go back (I’m talkin’ to you, Roommate!).

Dessert was equally decadent, so ask what they’re serving and save room if it sounds good. I had a polenta pound cake, warm from the pizza oven, with fresh peach compote and whipped cream. Heavenly.

Union Pizzeria, 1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston.