Gluten-free Zucchini Pie

Gluten-free Zucchini Pie

A few months ago I received the great honor to be invited to join a Facebook group of Italian women living all over the world, which was born from the desire to keep Italian cuisine alive when far from home. There I met wonderful women from Japan to Australia, who come from all parts of Italy. I truly enjoy seeing their creations and looking into their lives abroad. They have incredible stories to tell, like Greta, who now lives in Texas, and whose husband’s great great grandmother was the head baker for Princess Sissi of Austria. We ask each other questions, share moments of pride, and we laugh, a lot. There is camaraderie and kindness, and a lot of support. The love for our food and our traditions brings us together, even if we are scattered all over the globe.

Many of these women have created a name for themselves in the culinary world. Rosa Mariotti, for example, is a food blogger at and works as a Culinary Instructor at the University of Hawai Maui College and kitchen Manager at Bethel School District. She also is on Instagram @Molto.ono She mentioned recently her connection to the chef Nick Malgieri and how much she respects him. That caught my attention so, you know me, I went to our local library and loaned as many cookbooks from him as I found. Be prepared to see many of his recipes here in the future!

This Zucchini pie from Genova – as Nick Malgieri originally introduced it – has plenty of zucchini, arborio rice, onion, garlic, basil, eggs and parmesan cheese, and it’s enclosed in a melt-in-your-mouth olive oil crust. The gluten-free crust tends to crumble when you work it, but it’s worth the extra work. This pie is absolutely delicious, and brings a little bit of Italy into your kitchen.


Gluten-free Zucchini Pie

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Difficulty: Medium




  • For the olive oil crust
  • 390 g 390 Simona’s Flour Mix – 2 1/2 cups

  • 1 teaspoon 1 salt

  • 1 teaspoon 1 granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 baking powder

  • 120 g 120 olive oil – 1/2 cup

  • 3 large 3 eggs

  • For the zucchini filling
  • 2 1/2 lb 2 1/2 zucchini

  • 1 teaspoon 1 salt

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 arborio or long grain rice

  • 3 Tablespoons 3 olive oil

  • 1 medium 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 60 g 60 Parmesan cheese, finely grated – 1 cup

  • 4 large 4 eggs

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

  • salt salt as needed

  • pepper pepper as needed


  • For the olive oil crust
  • Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse several times to mix. Add the oil, eggs and water and pulse until the dough forms a ball. Form the dough into a cylinder and chill in plastic wrap while preparing the filling.
  • For the filling
  • Rinse the zucchini and cut away the ends. Shred the zucchini on the shredding disk of a food processor or grate on a box grater. Put the shredded zucchini in a medium bowl and toss with the salt. Transfer to a colander and set over a bowl. The salt will extract the excess of water. Let the zucchini stand for about 15 minutes, while you are cooking the rice.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Salt the waler lightly and stir in the rice. Return the rice to a boil and lower the heat. Cook until it is fully tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and cool the rice.
  • Squeeze the zucchini a handful at a time to rid it of excess water. Put the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is wilted and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, pressing down to make sure that most of the remaining moisture has evaporated. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Scrape the cooked mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the cooled rice. Stir in the cheese and the eggs, one at a time. Taste the filling for seasoning and add and pepper as needed. Lastly add the fresh basil.
  • Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Unwrap the chilled dough and cut into 2 pieces, one slightly bigger than the other. Place it between plastic wrap and roll it out to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. The crust is very friable and one you turn it onto the pan it easily breaks. Use all the pieces to repair cracks and create an uniform look.
  • Spread the filling over the dough. Repeat the previous steps with the second piece of dough and place on top of the filling, making sure that the edges meet the edges of the bottom layer, pressing lightly with your fingertips. There will be some leftover dough, you can use it, as I did, to create some decorations.
  • Use a sharp knife to create a few vent holes on the top. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Let is cool on a cooling rack before unfolding. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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