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Can I Substitute Hard To Find Ingredients for Pizza Rustica?

Asked by LolaFontaine. Answered on 18th June 2014

Full question

Hi, I'm DETERMINED to make the full-on original Pizza Rustica as opposed to the more appealingly-easy Anglo version, However after much hunting and harassment of my butcher I'm having trouble finding two of the ingredients: the luganega sausage and smoked provolone. So I'm just wondering if there's an acceptable yet more accessible/widely available substitute for these two things, or should I hold out until I can get my hands on the real deal? Thanks, Lauren

Pizza Rustica
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Pizza Rustica
By Nigella
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Our answer

A Pizza Rustica is not a pizza in the way that we would now understand it, but a deep pie made with shortcrust pastry. Nigella has two versions of Pizza Rustica, the more traditional style Pizza Rustica (from Domestic Goddess and on the Nigella website) and a more accessible Pizza Rustica All'Inglese (Domestic Goddess, p89), which uses regular supermarket ingredients.

The original version uses ingredients that are mostly fairly easy to find, but we appreciate that the luganega sausage and the smoked provolone can be more difficult. If you have a good Italian deli in your area they they may be able to help. If you can't find the smoked provolone then scamorza may be a good substitute. Scamorza is smoked mozzarella but it is much firmer than a fresh mozzarella. You should find it in Italian delis or you can buy on-line in the UK from Melbury & Appleton. The luganega sausage is a fairly mild sausage and differs from most Italian sausages in that it does not contain too much fennel. It also tends to be sold as a coil rather than in links. You should be able to use a good quality medium-ground pork sausage that is pure pork (ie without breadcrumbs or rusk added) and just seasoned with salt and pepper. Also the sausages can be bought on-line from The Sausage Shop and Italian Food Express.

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