Scacciata catanese – Sicilian cheese pie

Cheese and pastry is always hard to resist and Antonella’s delicious Sicilian cheese pie is no exception. Antonella sandwiches a moreish mixture of cauliflower, olives and provolone cheese between two sheets of pastry, then bakes the pie in the oven until the crust is golden and the cheese molten.

First published in 2015
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Sicily has a long and important tradition of gastronomy. For a Sicilian like me, food is an essential part in the daily life. Our food is a rich blend of all the culinary traditions of the people that lived on the island throughout history: Arabs, Normans, Greeks, French, Spanish. Even when we talk about the Christmas food, every city has their own tradition.

The Scacciata is the Catania’s traditional Christmas Eve dish. Originally this cheesy pie was a poor dish, but when the Prince of Moncada offered it during Christmas Eve, it became famous.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

  • 700g of semolina
  • 10g of fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 400ml of water, lukewarm
  • 1 cauliflower, florets only, finely sliced
  • 100g of black olives
  • 400g of provalone cheese, cut into cubes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

Method

1
Dissolve the yeast in 300ml of water. Sift the flour into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the extra virgin olive oil, salt and water. Stir with a wooden spoon until you form a rough dough, adding the rest of the water as you go
2
Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and rest for a couple of hours, until the dough doubles in size
3
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 5 and grease a 26cmx35cm rectangular baking tin
4
Divide the dough into 2 and roll 1 piece into a thin rectangle. Transfer the rolled dough to the baking tin, then use wet hands to mould the dough to the tin
5
Spread the cauliflower and black olives over the pastry and season with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Finish with the cheese
6
Roll the second piece of dough in the same way and place on top of the cheese filling. Seal all the edges, brush with extra virgin olive oil and cooks for 25 minutes
7
Once cooked, allow the pastry to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve

Discover more about this region's cuisine:

Having previously worked in tourism, Antonella la Macchia decided to turn her passion for food into her career, and is now a food blogger, personal chef and cooking teacher based in Tuscany.

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