In Naples it is known as "pastiera," and is made with ricotta
cheese and whole grains of wheat to symbolize rebirth. It is also known
as "pizza piena," (stuffed pie), and in Italian-American dialect,
"pizza gain." "Pizza Rustica" is still another term
and refers to the savory and rustic aspects of the pie. Italian meat pie is called a "pizzachino" which means pie of meat or meat pie in Italian.
Sicilians make a pie made from macaroni,
pork, cheese and eggs. Calabrians favor ham, sausage, hard cooked eggs,
mozzarella and ricotta. In Liguria, where it's referred to as "pasqualina,"
it's made from spinach, ricotta, cheese and eggs. In central Italy,
from Umbria to Marches, the Easter Pie is more of a bread than a pie
and is known as "torta di pasqua" or "pizza di pasqua."
You can certainly adjust the types
and amounts of cheese and meat of a recipe to suit your taste. I would
stick with soft or semi-soft cheeses since they will melt and bake better.
Although you could add a finishing touch of some finely grated Romano
or Parmesan for extra flavor. Other meat options include pepperoni,
sopressa, pancetta, and sausage. Some people also prefer hard cooked
eggs to the beaten or a mixture thereof. It really doesn't matter. Every
variation tastes great. You can even use store-bought, pre-made pie
crusts like my mother. To this day I'm still trying to get her to make
her own dough, even though her store-bought crust didn't taste that
bad. Easter pie is so good, even a touch of modern convenience can't
detract from it.