Have you ever heard of Scaccia Ragusana? Yeah, me neither – not until I took a Sicilian cooking class, that is. Now that I know about it and, more importantly, know how easy it is to make, I must ask: WHY THE HELL HAVE THE SICILIANS BEEN KEEPING IT FROM THE REST OF US FOR SO LONG?! When you discover the magic of the Scaccia, you too will understand my frustration.
Scaccia Ragusana [skAH-chah ra-gOO-sanah] is a traditional Sicilian cheese and tomato pie… well, it’s more of a roulade than a pie. It starts with a quick yeast-less dough that gets rolled out as thin as possible. A simple tomato-basil sauce and grated cheese are spread on the surface and the dough is folded three times, getting a new coating of sauce and cheese each time. The end result is a rustic-looking roulade with a crunchy outside and a soft, saucy inside. Fresh basil and garlic are the aromatics responsible for its intense flavor.
Traditional Scaccia Ragusana is made with Caciocavallo Ragusano cheese, which may be hard to find. If so, Pecorino Romano or freshly grated Parmesan make fine substitutes.
The pie puffs up quite a bit while baking but deflates as you cut into it. Scaccia Ragusana is best eaten warm out of the oven, and I would know since I greedily ate half of it as soon as this photo shoot was over…
Scaccia Ragusana is a traditional, rustic Sicilian tomato and cheese pie.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 ounces basil, torn
- Freshly ground black pepper
- About 1 cup grated Caciocavallo Ragusano, Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Whisk the flours together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil and rub the flour and oil together with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse peas.
- Start adding the water, about 2 tablespoons at first, and start kneading. Continue gradually adding water and kneading until the dough is soft, smooth and no longer sticky. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until thickened and reduced a bit, about 10 minutes. Stir in the basil. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
- Cover a large work surface with a large sheet of parchment paper, sprinkle with a bit of flour to prevent sticking, and transfer the dough to the surface. Cover the dough with a second piece of parchment and roll into a large thin rectangle. Spread a thin layer of sauce all over the dough and lightly sprinkle with the cheese. Fold the left and right sides of the dough to meet in the middle and top with another thin layer of sauce and cheese. Then fold the top and bottom edges to meet in the center and top with more sauce and cheese. Lastly, fold the pie over into a roulade and transfer the pie with the bottom piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. (Save the remaining sauce for dipping.)
- Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 400ºF and bake until the dough is cooked and lightly charred, about 50 minutes more. Cool before slicing.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 253
Keywords: scaccia, ragusana, sicilian, tomato pie