Stuffed Focaccia with Cauliflower 

Schiacciata Catanese - Scacciata

 

The scacciata is a homemade specialty, baked exclusively in Catania.
The classic scacciata is down-to-earth bread, stuffed with anchovies, a fresh cheese and sautéed bastardu, purple cauliflower.
  

This baked specialty, made with u bastardu can be imitated but never duplicated since this variety of purple cauliflower is different from other bunches of the same color that grow all over the world. This cauliflower, which grows only at the foot of Mount Etna,  has a different taste due to the chemical composition of the soil mixed with the ashes of the volcano, the climatic conditions and the water from the melting snow. 

Scacciata

This purple cauliflower, u bastardu, is only in season from autumn throughout the winter. Its delicate and sweet taste and its aroma can be enjoyed during the winter holiday season, when in Catania, every family bakes the scacciate.

In the United States, when buying the cauliflower, choose either the purple or green.

  

  cavolfiore catanese

Serves 8 to 10 

Ingredients:  

 

For the Dough 

·       2 lb fine semolina flour  

·       2 oz fresh active yeast or 3 envelopes of dry yeast 

·       3 tablespoons olive oil 

·       ½ teaspoon sugar 

·       Pinch of salt 

Or buy 2 lb of bread dough at your local Italian bakery  

 

For the Filling   

·        1 cauliflower, with the stem removed, separated into flowerets and rinsed 

·        3 tablespoons olive oil 

·        5 scallions, minced 

·        10 salted anchovies, rinsed, filleted and chopped 

·        ½ teaspoon oregano 

·        2 oz grated mild cheese 

·        ¼ lb young Caciocavallo cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes 

·        Salt and pepper 

Preparation  

 

The Dough
In a bowl, mix ½ cup of warm water with the yeast. Add the sugar and ½ cup of the flour and mix until it is well blended and a soft dough is formed. Should it be too dry, add some water; if it is too watery, add flour. Set aside, covered, in a warm place. After 45 minutes to 1 hour, combine risen dough with remaining flour, add some lukewarm water, the oil and a pinch of salt and knead to obtain an elastic dough, similar to the bread dough. Make a ball, cut across the top to allow it to rise, cover and put in a warm place until it almost doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.
 

 

The Filling
Over a medium flame, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan.
 

ScallionsCawliflowersAnchoives

 

Add minced scallions and cauliflower florets and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

 Remove from flame. Add salt and pepper to taste, oregano, anchovies and the grated cheese and set aside. 

  The Making
When dough is ready, split into 2 pieces. Briefly knead each piece and roll it to cover a greased pan (13 x 9 x 2 inches). 

Stretching Dough

 

Spoon the cauliflower filling over it and add the cubed cheese, making sure to leave the edges free of filling. 

Knead the other piece of dough and, before rolling it, moisten the edge of the scacciata. Place on top of the dough with the filling and pinch to make sure it is sealed firmly.

Cut 2 or 3 slits on top to allow the vapor to escape.

  

The Baking
Preheat to 375 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until light golden brown.  

 

Serve it very hot! 

  

 

scaccia

 

Variations   

·       To the above filling, add black pitted olives and/or chopped tomato sauce. 

·       Use broccoli in place of the cauliflower. 

·       Another filling can be made with 1 lb sausage without the casing and 1 lb chopped beef sautéed with minced scallions, cheese, olives and herbs. 

·       A sweet version is made, using a filling of ricotta cream made with 1½ lb ricotta, ¼ lb sugar, 1 tablespoon chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon of candied diced fruits, 3 drops of vanilla, pinch of cinnamon and zest of ½ orange. Garnish with confectionary sugar.

Caciocavallo