MHz Choice Logo eyebrow 150x150

Watch Party

Sicilian Sausage-Stuffed Folded Pizzas

Written by Linda SarrisPhotos by Alberta Cuccia

EDITOR'S NOTE: What's better than watching a riveting drama with great friends? Watching a riveting drama with great friends while having some delicious food and drink! Invite some friends over to watch MHz Choice and enjoy these scrumptious recipes crafted by Chef Linda Sarris! ~ J.C.

Scaccia Siciliana

Sicilian Folded Pizzas Stuffed with Sausage + Bitter Greens

italian party scaccia 15 1540x1027
Sicilian Sausage-Stuffed Folded Pizzas

Notes from the Chef:

Hand-held foods are the best. Easily eaten on-the-go wrapped in nothing but a napkin, or taken with you on a picnic or road trip. These stuffed flat breads are known as “scacce”. For the most part, they can only be found in the southeastern Sicilian provinces of Ragusa and Siracusa. The beauty of this recipe is the freeform nature; the uglier the better, “più brutto, più buono” as they say. You can fold them individually or as one large one wrapped like a present, by tucking in each side before nestling the finished scacce onto a baking tray with the open edges on the bottom.

Traditionally these folded pizzas are stuffed with tomato sauce and cheese, eggplant and caciocavallo, and in the small Baroque town of Modica, the dough is folded and sliced before being baked in spiral rosettes filled with ricotta and marjoram. Another great option, commonly used here in Sicily is boiled cauliflower or broccoli with anchovies, onions and pitted olives. The recipe for scaccia dough uses lievito di birra — a cube of beer yeast, found in the grocery store refrigerated section, that can quickly help breads and doughs rise. The fillings can be totally up to you, using up some leftover salami, cooked vegetables or bits of cheese you might have in your fridge.

For our winter menu, I am using sautéed bitter red chicory greens with ground pork sausage meat and sliced red onion. Everything goes into the bundle raw and the meat will keep the scaccia juicy inside. My favorite part is when the inside layers of dough turn almost into a soft lasagna layer of pasta and the thin outer layers get crispy like a calzone. In fact, it’s really just a fancier Italian version of a “Hot Pocket”. This would be great with ground lamb and smoked scamorza cheese too. The possibilities are endless!

Scaccia Dough Ingredients:
1/2 cube of fresh compressed beer yeast (about 12g)
2c. durum wheat flour like Sicilian tumminia or russello
2c. AP white flour
4T extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt
approximately 2c. warm water

Printer friendly version

Filling Ingredients:
1 large red onion, sliced
1.5 lb. pork sausage meat, removed from the casings
red chicory, sautéed
sea salt and black pepper to taste
3/4c. extra virgin olive oil

Start with the scaccia dough because it will need time to rest and rise. In a large mixing bowl, combine the two types of flour with a hefty pinch of flakey sea salt. If you want to use only AP flour, the amount of water might need to be adjusted but it will work fine. Make a small well in the center of the bowl and add the broken up pieces of beer yeast and the olive oil. Slowly begin adding the warm water and with one hand, start stirring the water and yeast to allow it to melt down into the liquid. Incorporate a little bit of flour at a time until it comes together like a ball of pasta dough. It should not be sticky at all but more of an even and smooth homogenous dough. Knead it slightly in the bowl to form a smooth ball, then cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the dough rest and rise at room temperature for at least 20 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, you can prep the filling. As you’ve seen there can be plenty of variations for the filling of a Sicilian scaccia. It’s a great way to use up whatever you might have left in the fridge. We will be using red chicory or any other bitter green leafy green like escarole, radicchio, broccoli rabe, or mustard greens. Wash the veggies very well then quickly sauté with a drizzle of olive oil to wilt them down so they are easier to work with. The sausage meat can be taken from the casings or you can order sausage meat from your butcher without having to go through this step. The red onion can be left raw since it will cook inside of the scaccia slice into half moons or dice it into small pieces; whatever you prefer.

On a flour dusted surface, divide the scaccia dough into two pieces. With a rolling pin, start stretching and thinly rolling out the dough as much as possible. Without ripping it or breaking any small holes in the dough, roll it out in either a large rectangle or a circular shape with a rolling pin until you can almost see through the dough. Dust off any of the additional flour from the surface and coat the entire piece with a drizzle of olive oil. Spread it out with your hands or with a pastry brush to evenly cover the whole surface of the dough. In the center of the scaccia, add half of the filling in one long vertical row. Sprinkle the layer with some salt and pepper making sure to evenly spread out the meat, greens and onions throughout the filling. Carefully fold the side edges of the dough over the filling to make a small package. Turn it 90-degrees, add a little more olive oil to this top layer, then fold it over the other two sides to seal completely.

On a baking paper-lined sheet tray, place the scaccia with the folded edges tucked underneath. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough and the filling so you have two mega pizza pockets. They can bake together on the same tray. Once again, finish the top of the dough with a brushing of olive oil. Bake at 375F for 20-35 minutes until it puffs up slightly and the dough becomes a toasted golden brown color. Let it cool at least 15 minutes before cutting into the scaccia.

Pair this recipe with:

Murder, betrayal, office politics, temptation… it’s all in a day’s work for Detective Salvo Montalbano. Filmed in the ancient, sun-washed Sicilian city of Ragusa Ibla, the series is based on the international best-selling mystery novels by Andrea Camilleri and stars Luca Zingaretti

Italian Watch Party Recipes

About the Chef
Linda Sarris is a food/wine travel consultant and private chef based in Palermo, Sicily. From her sun-lit kitchen studio above the 1,000 year-old Ballarò food market, Linda works as a freelance writer, social media manager, and culinary communications consultant while still traveling regularly for private chef work with clients in the fashion and music industries. Under her brand, @thecheekychef, she is self-publishing a Sicilian food and wine ‘zine and curates a series of Mediterranean culinary/lifestyle retreats and travel experiences. Her first book will be published in 2022 with Hachette Book Group.