Scacciata catanese – Sicilian cheese pie


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.




  • 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
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
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
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 5 and grease a 26cmx35cm rectangular baking tin
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
Spread the cauliflower and black olives over the pastry and season with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Finish with the cheese
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
Once cooked, allow the pastry to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve
First published in 2015
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