Pizza Sfincione Trapani Style with Oregano
The province of Trapani is famous for producing a large variety of breads and
baked food products. The quality and consistency of the bread changes like the scenic views of the area
surrounding Trapani. One of
the most famous is black bread, u pani
niuru, made in Castelvetrano. It is a round bread with a hard dark brown crust and a golden inside,
the muddica. It has a pleasant,
lingering fragrance of the olive wood used in the baking and an aromatic quality provided by the wheat, a
variety called Timilia, which grows in this region.
Another baked typical delicacy
made in Trapani is the
rianata, also called pasta rianata, which means “dough with
oregano”. Some people call it pizza oreganata, but it has no similarity to Neapolitan pizza.
This oval-shaped baked flatbread, covered with local
produce, is known for its powerful flavor, strong taste, the vibrant colors of the ingredients and the lightness
and softness of the dough. This hearty food is a descendant of the pani cunzatu, stuffed bread, which is a
sandwich filled with diced tomato, local pecorino cheese, olive oil, salt and oregano, usually placed in this
order. It is particularly tasty when made with hot bread just out of the oven.
The rianata, although similar, is a
completely different creation. In fact, it is covered with diced tomato, local pecorino cheese, olive oil,
oregano but with the addition of garlic and salted anchovies. When baking, it blends all the ingredients to
give off a unique, tantalizing and flavorful aroma and a strong, inimitable taste. As is customary in
the province of Trapani, the ingredients must be diced using a
knife; blending or mechanical chopping of the tomato will make it too watery to make rianata.
1 lb durum wheat flour (4 cups unsifted)
½ oz yeast or 1 envelope dried yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
About 2 cups of hot water
· 1 lb tomatoes
· 3 cloves red
· 3 salted anchovies, rinsed and
· 2 oz pecorino
· 3 tablespoons olive
· 1 teaspoon oregano
· Crushed pepper
· Salt and pepper to
1 cup of warm water in a bowl. Stir in the yeast, oil, sugar and salt. Add half of the flour and blend well. Set
the mixture aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Put remaining flour on a flat surface, form a well and place the mixture
in it. Add ½ cup of warm water. Start to blend the flour from the inside of the well, and keep incorporating the
flour into the mixture, adding a little more water, if needed, to moisten the
should be soft and very malleable. Should it became too watery, add more flour.
your hands, bring all the flour together to form a ball. Fold and press with the palms of your hands; if dough
is sticky, add more flour. When dough forms a single mass, set aside. Clean your hands and working surface and
Dust the working surface with
flour and knead dough by pushing it down firmly towards the center. Then turn dough 90 degrees and press down
again. Keep kneading until dough is elastic and has a silky consistency, about 5 minutes.
a ball and cut across the top to facilitate the leavening process. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 2
hours or until dough doubles in size.
Wash the tomatoes, plunge them into boiling water for a minute and, when
you are able to handle them, remove the skin. Or, using a pot fork, place tomatoes (one at a time) on top of lit
burner until skin is slightly toasted. When you are able to handle them, remove the
them in half and eliminate as much of the seeds as possible. Then dice into small pieces, add a few pinches of
salt and set on the side in a small bowl.
Chop the red garlic and dice the pecorino cheese, keeping each ingredient separated
Crush and mix anchovies in a dish with 3 tablespoons of oil, and set aside
Dust the working surface with flour, place dough in the center and, with a
rolling pin or by pressing with your hands, flatten it to about ½-inch thickness, giving it the characteristic oval
Place dough in an oiled pan
dusted with flour.
Set oven to 475 degrees.
Set aside, covered, in a
warm place, until dough rises, about 15 minutes.
Press dough down and stretch it if necessary. Then drizzle or use a brush to coat the surface of the dough
completely with the oil and anchovy mixture.
Cover with diced tomatoes and sprinkle the top with garlic, pecorino cheese, oregano, crushed pepper (optional) and
a few pinches of black pepper.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes
until edges of rianata are light brown.