Three Finger Pizzagaina

The Pizzagaina is a classic Italian meat pie that is usually made around Easter time. The meat we use in this recipe is traditionally cold cut, or lunch meats; most of you probably know them as luncheon meats. The end result is a sinful hybrid between a calzone and a pizza. When I was just a small boy I always referred to this amazing meat pie as “le tre dita”, which means “the three fingers”, because the pie was stacked “three fingers” high with delicious meats and cheeses. Every Easter I would just flash “three fingers” to my mom and she would smile and nod that she hadn’t forgotten to add the Pizzagaina on her todo list for Easter celebrations.

Though this recipe is a specialty for Easter, I do not hesitate to make this for any event throughout the year. Got a birthday party to cook for? No problem! Super Bowl party to prep-for? No worries! Pizzagaina to the rescue.

 

Let’s get started!

The first thing we will need to make is the Pizzagaina’s dough, and just like part of the name implies, we will be making a pizza dough. If you do not feel like going the extra mile and making the pizza dough yourself, feel free to use already prepared dough you find at your local grocer.  I have searched long and hard for the best pizza dough throughout the years, I’ve Googled, I’ve Binged and back in the day I’ve Altavista’d for that perfect recipe, I’ve asked friends and neighbours, but to no avail they all lacked that classic take-out pizza dough taste. That is until recently I’ve discovered the best pizza dough recipe out there. This recipe is a classic New York thin crust style that is cold risen for 3 days in your fridge.  As I mentioned earlier you can always use store bought ready made dough, but I urge you to at least once in your lifetime make it from scratch. You will definitely taste the difference. If you follow the recipe split the final product into two equal balls, put them in a closed oiled container and put it in the fridge for 3 days.

 

Pizzagaina Pizza Dough

Pizzagaina Pizza Dough Ready to Cold Rise for 3 Days

 

The next step is to get the meats and cheeses ready for the Pizzagaina, we are using cold cuts, or lunchean meats. The traditional Italian meats that we use are Mortadella (preferrably San Daniele), mild Capicollo and Salami (preferrably Genoa) cheese-wise we are using Provolone and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

 

Lunchean Meats Cold Cuts for Pizzagaina

Mouth Water Mountain of Meat and Cheese

 

Once your pizza dough is ready, it is time to roll it out, if you made the dough yourself take it out about 1 hour before you are ready to prep this baby up. One ball of dough will be for the bottom of the Pizzagaina and the other ball for the top. Take one ball of dough and push into into a plate of floor, lay it on a clean, floured surface and begin working it, try not to use a rolling pin, but rather use your hands to pull the dough till it can cover a a 15.25 inch x 10.25 inch x 0.75 inch cookie sheet. Before placing the sheet of dough on the cookie sheet, “flour” the cookie sheet with fine corn meal so the dough will not stick. Make sure the dough extends a bit over the cookie sheet as you will use this overlap to crimp the top layer near the end.

Once you have the first layer of dough on the cookie sheet you can start layering the meat and cheese. Start the first layer with the Mortadella, followed by a layer of Capicollo, another layer of Mortadella, after that a layer of Provolone, followed by a layer of  grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, on top of that layer on the Salami.  Once the layering is complete, grate some more Parmigiano-Reggiano on top of it all.

Layering the Cold Cuts and Cheese for Pizzagaina

Layering the Cold Cuts and Cheese for Pizzagaina

 

Layering the Cold Cuts and Cheese for Pizzagaina

Top Layering of the Cold Cuts and Cheese for Pizzagaina

 

In a small bowl break two eggs and beat them lightly with a fork, pour the beaten eggs over the meat and cheese. On top of all this lay on the second sheet of dough that you will prepare as you did the first one. Crimp the bottom and top layers of dough with your fingers until they are nicely sealed together. If you have extra dough you can make a small decorative ball like you see below, if there is no extra, no problem.

With a pair of scissors cut small holes onto the top layer of dough, so steam can escape during the baking process. Break one more egg into the small bowl, beat with a fork and egg-wash the top of the Pizzagaina. Bake at 350F for about 45minutes or until top and bottom of the Pizzagaina is golden

Golden Pizzagaina Goodness

Golden Pizzagaina Goodness

 

Pizzagaina Too Good to Resist!

Pizzagaina Too Good to Resist!

 

Three Finger Pizzagaina

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Three Finger Pizzagaina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Mortadella San Danielle thinly sliced
  • 1 lb Mild Capicolle thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb Salami Genoa thinly sliced
  • 1 lb Provolone thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 Dough recipe
  • 3 Eggs
  • Corn Meal

Instructions

  • Take one ball of dough and push into into a plate of floor, lay it on a clean, floured surface and begin working it, try not to use a rolling pin, but rather use your hands to pull the dough till it can cover a a 15.25 inch x 10.25 inch x 0.75 inch cookie sheet.
  • Layer the meat and cheese. Start the first layer with the Mortadella, followed by a layer of Capicollo, another layer of Mortadella, after that a layer of Provolone, followed by a layer of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, on top of that layer on the Salami. Once the layering is complete, grate some more Parmigiano-Reggiano on top of it all.
  • In a small bowl break two eggs and beat them lightly with a fork, pour the beaten eggs over the meat and cheese. On top of all this lay on the second sheet of dough that you will prepare as you did the first one. Crimp the bottom and top layers of dough with your fingers until they are nicely sealed together.
  • With a pair of scissors cut small holes onto the top layer of dough, so steam can escape during the baking process. Break one more egg into the small bowl, beat with a fork and egg-wash the top of the Pizzagaina.
  • Bake at 350F for about 45minutes or until top and bottom of the Pizzagaina is golden.
http://suicideeats.com/three-finger-pizzagaina/

 

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