Stuffed Focaccia with Cauliflower
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
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
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
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.
Serves 8 to
· 2 lb fine semolina
· 2 oz fresh active yeast or
3 envelopes of dry yeast
· 3 tablespoons olive
· ½ teaspoon
· Pinch of
Or buy 2 lb of bread dough
at your local Italian bakery
cauliflower, with the stem removed, separated into flowerets and rinsed
tablespoons olive oil
salted anchovies, rinsed, filleted and chopped
grated mild cheese
young Caciocavallo cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
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.
Over a medium flame, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch
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.
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).
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.
Preheat to 375
degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until light golden brown.
Serve it very hot!
· To the above filling, add black pitted olives and/or
chopped tomato sauce.
· Use broccoli in place of the
· 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.