Sicilian pizza

Sicilian pizza

By
From
Sicily
Serves
4-6

Sfincione is a squashy Sicilian deep pizza topped with a delicious oniony tomato sauce. This is lovely on its own and is eaten in Palermo as a snack or with a buffet of antipasti. It is thought that the Sicilians who moved to the US took the idea of this deep-dish-style pizza with them. The topping varies from town to town around the island; sometimes there are no tomatoes, sometimes the pizza is covered in primosale, a young fresh sheep’s cheese, or breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan. The sauce makes more than you need, but it’s so delicious you can eat it stirred into pasta, on cooked fish or on the Quick Ricotta Sfincione. In the photo, the pizza is served with the Focaccia.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dough

Quantity Ingredient
250g ‘00’ flour
7g fresh yeast
3g fast-action dried yeast
1 teaspoon fine salt
225ml tepid water
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the sfincione sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 large onion, cut in half from root to tip and thinly sliced into half-moons
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 4 anchovies in oil, drained
freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
25g parmesan, finely grated

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a mixer with a whisk attachment at a medium speed or an electric whisk for 10 minutes. Use a tablespoon of the oil to thoroughly grease a 23–25 cm round tin and pour in the dough. Pour the remaining oil over the whole surface so that the dough can rise in the tin but won’t dry out. You can spread the dough with your fingers if you dip them in oil first. Leave in a warm place to rise and double in volume. This could take anywhere between 1 –2 hours, depending on the warmth of the room. The slower the rise, the better the flavour and larger the holes in the bread, so it is better not to rush it. You will know the dough is ready when you press an oiled finger into the surface and it returns back to shape slowly.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the onion in the oil over a low heat with the anchovies and a little black pepper until soft and slightly caramelised. This will take up to 15 minutes – you don’t want the onion to take on any colour but you want the sweetness to come through. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and oregano and stir through. Bring to the boil then simmer for 40 minutes over a medium heat to allow the sauce to reduce. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. When the dough is swollen, gently pour over approximately 150g of the sauce. Transfer the bread to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Scatter over the cheese and continue to bake for a further 5–10 minutes or until the sauce has started to brown around the edges and the cheese has melted. Take out of the oven and remove from the tin straight away. Allow to cool on a rack.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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