Basket Cheese : Liuzzi


Liuzzi Basket Cheese-All natural, No preservatives.
Ingredients: pasteurized whole milk, rennet, salt.
If you're Italian, or an Italian-American who grew up celebrating Nonna's Old World food traditions, you are familiar with this smooth, bright-white cheese that comes in white plastic containers.
Delicate in texture (think tofu), it's made with pasteurized cows' milk and rennet, an enzyme that causes milk to become cheese by separating it into the solid curds and liquid whey.
The stuff looks like a cross between fresh mozzarella and ricotta, but has a much milder taste than those semi-soft cousins -- somewhat bland, if we're going to be perfectly honest, with only the faintest flavor of curds.
This luscious pie, stuffed with meats and cheeses, is served by many Italian Catholics at noon on Easter Saturday to mark the end of Lent and break the six-week fast. I used a sweet pastry crust but a regular pie crust works just as well.
Be sure to let the pie cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into slices, or you may have trouble getting it onto a plate in one piece.
Delicious for breakfast the next morning!
Homemade or prepared pastry or regular pie crust for a 2-crust pie
1/2 pound bulk sausage, cooked and drained
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 pound pepperoni, chopped
1/4 pound hard salami, chopped
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped
1 pound fresh basket cheese, drained
1 pound fresh ricotta
4 ounces shredded mozzarella
4 ounces shredded provolone
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Pepper to taste
1.) Place bottom crust into 9-inch pie pan.
2.) Prepare filling: Crumble and cook sausage. Add chopped onions, and cook until soft, about two to three minutes.
3.) Chop the rest of the meats into small pieces.
4.) Drain fresh basket cheese, pat dry with paper towels, and then crumble or slice into bite-size pieces.
5.) Drain any excess moisture from ricotta.
6.) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl (I used my hands). Pour filling into pie crust. (This is a lot of filling and you will have to pack it into pie plate.)
7.) Put on top crust and seal edges. Cut slits in top to let steam escape.
8.) Bake in 350-degree oven for 50 minutes (my pie took about 70 minutes to properly brown).
If you like, brush the top of pie with melted butter, to prevent the pie from overbrowning, loosely cover the edges with aluminum foil, then remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.