Joanne Bellezza-Loughlin Recipe

Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Chena)

By Joanne Bellezza-Loughlin Joannebl

Recipe Rating:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Cooking Method:

Joanne's Story

Pizza Chena (made with Italian meats, cheeses, and eggs) is a staple on every Italian Easter dinner table. My mom or an aunt would make it every year. I never appreciated it as a child but I love it now. Everyone has their own recipe and everyone thinks theirs is the best. So I collected recipes from relatives and friends and took the best of all their recipes to come up with my own. Now mine is the best!!! LOL

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Yes, this is EVEN better the second day! Terrific for your holiday brunches...


ok, i cannot tell a lie...i used pillsbury all ready pie crust to save time. but by all means feel free to make your own.
packet of active dry yeast
1 Tbsp
1 tsp
2 c
warm water
5-6 c
2 Tbsp
olive oil
1/2 lb
sweet italian sausage (or hot if you prefer) removed from the casing
eggs, beaten
eggs, hard boiled and chopped
1 lb
ricotta cheese
1/3 lb
fresh mozzarella cut into bite size pieces
1/4 c
grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/4 lb
priscuitto (or american ham if you prefer), sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 lb
genoa salami, sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 lb
pepperoni, sliced and cut into 1 inch pieces
parsely flakes and pepper to taste (you can add a little salt, to taste but remember the meats are salty so don't add too much salt)
egg yolk for egg wash

Directions Step-By-Step

If making the dough.......
In a large bowl, dissolve in two cups of water, yeast, sugar and salt and gently blend. After the yeast has disolved, add 5 cups of flour and 2 Tbsp Olive Oil. Blend with a spoon until the dough starts to form and then transfer to a floured surface and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes. (Add additional flour if dough is too sticky.) Place dough in large bowl and coat with a little olive oil. Cover and let rise for 2 hours. After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into two pieces. Roll out each piece and place one piece in a 10 inch spring form pan sprayed with Pam. The dough should hang about an inch over the sides.
Now on to the filling.......
Brown the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
In a large bowl, add the three beaten eggs, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, chopped eggs, meats and seasonings. Mix well.
Pour the filling into the pastry crust - mine filled to about an inch from the top. Cut the top crust to fit the round pan. Place the round crust on top of the filling. Crimp around the edges - I used a fork. Cut two strips of leftover dough to make a cross. Place the dough cross on top of the Pizza Chena. Cut slits in dough to vent.
Beat the egg yolk and brush on top of the Pizza Chena.
TIP: If using All Ready Pie Crust - You will need to roll out the bottom crust to make it large enough to fit in the spring form pan. Spray the pan with Pam and then carefully place the crust in the pan - the sides may hang over just a little.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 75 minutes or until to is golden brown.
NOTE: Pizza Chena is best when made a day or two ahead of time. Let it cool and then store in frig. Bring to room temp before serving!

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Italian
Hashtags: #cheese, #meat, #Pizza, #Chena

You May Also Like:



Sunday at 6:24 PM - Maggie CookingForFun shared this recipe with discussion group: Laugh Out Loud.
Leanne Macias luvs2pardy
May 4, 2014
TY Carolyn for letting us know of the sad news of Joanne's passing. It's unfortunate that we do not know the circumstances of our members/cooks but understandable at the same time. A site like this jus goes to show that altho they mayb gone their memories are still alive not only w/their loved one's but us as well.
On a lighter note. The recipe title def intrigued me. The pic is so beautiful. As 1 person had commented a long time ago, "It's too beautiful to eat!" I can't wait to make this, altho admittedly, it is among a vry long list of recipes that I am in the need to try/make LOL So that said mayb I'll get around to making it for Easter nxt yr, altho I really hope I will get to make it b4 then. God Bless!
Carolyn Warren RonsWifeCksFromScratch
May 1, 2014
@ Lynn Caruso..... If you use a deep dish baker type pan then please remember to grease it lightly and flour lightly before putting in your crust. I would use a solid as opposed to a spray just because you wouldn't want any grease to settle in an area. Good luck and let us know how it works out. Just as a side note.... our recipe contributor Joanne passed away in January. I am sure she would be glad to know that so many people are finding her Pizza Chena as enjoyable as I bet her family did. It is definitely a staple at our Easter table and we only make it once a year.
Barbara Lopez Yukibar
May 1, 2014
Remembering the delicious Rustica Grandma made, I found this and made it for Easter! Can we say the word 'devour' because my family did just that! I did take the shortcut and used the Pillsbury pie crust. Absolutely delish!