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The "scacciata" is a sort of flattened pizza, typical of Catania, my city.

Omnipresent on the Christmas Eve dinner table, during my childhood this dish was a Saturday family dinner classic. The dough is crunchy outside and soft inside, with a rich and tasty filling... soo good.

A proper scacciata catanese needs the "tuma".

The "tuma", improperly defined as a cheese, it's a step of the maturation of the pecorino, that comes directly from the curd, before the addition of the salt.

The absence of salt makes this product perishable in few days.

Eaten alone the tuma is fresh, with an herbal flavour, not so tasty but suitable for several preparations. In the scacciata, this cheese is the main ingredients, used with anchovy to balance the absence of salt in the cheese.

You can fill the scacciata using different ingredients, I usually use tuma, cauliflower and sausages.

Ingredients:

700 gr. (24 oz) semolina flour – 10 gr.(0.35 oz) fresh yeast – 1 teaspoon of salt – 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil – about 400 ml lukewarm water – 1 florets cauliflower, finely sliced – 100 gr. (3.5 oz) black olives – 400 gr. (14 oz) tuma or provolone, cutted in small cubes – extravirgin olive oil – salt & pepper

 

Dissolve the yeast in 300 ml of water. Put the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the extravirgin olive oil , the salt and the yeast. Stir until you will form a dough, adding the rest of the water, then transfer the dough on a work surface and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Transfer in a bowl, cover with a clingfilm and let it rest for a couple of hours (until the dough will double in size).

Preheat the oven to 200°/392 F

Divide the dough in two parts. Transfer the first part on the oiled tin, using your hands wet with some extravirgin olive oil flat it until you will have a thin layer. Spread on the cauliflower and the black olives. Season with extravirgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Finish with the cheese. Roll the second part of the dough in the same way and put it on the top. Close all the edges, brush with extravirgin olive oil and cooks for about 25/30 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Tips:

  • the semolina, the hard wheat, is the traditional flour used in Sicily. If you have problem to find it, use a strong bread flour.
  • The amount of the water is indicative and can change in order to the weather conditions and the flour's quality: remember to add the rest gradually. Your final dough must be elastic, not sticky but quite soft.
  • You can use other combinations for the filling: cheese + anchovy or cheese + spinach + italian sausages or cheese + spinach+ black olives or cheese+ham