Scacciata agli Spinaci (Sicilian Spinach Pie)
The scacciata (or schiacciata) is a savoury pie typical of Catania and Sicily in general. Each city, or even family, has its different versions, and the filling often changes based on what’s in season.
My favourite is this one. I recently discovered it at a bakery near my parent’s home, and had to recreate it.
Some people like to sauté the spinach in olive oil and garlic. But I prefer to add them to the dough still uncooked, as they will quickly get cooked in the oven and also retain more of their nutritional properties.
Ingredients (for 4)
For the dough:
350 g durum wheat flour (fine semolina)
150 g “00” flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
30ml extra virgin olive oil
12g brewer’s yeast
300 ml lukewarm water
For the filling:
3 cloves garlic
80g baked black olives, pitted
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of chilli flakes
Salt to taste
Sieve the 2 flours and the salt.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
Add the yeasted water to the flour in batches, while kneading to incorporate.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface, add the oil and knead energetically for at least 10 minutes until you obtain a smooth dough.
Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to proof for 2 hours, until doubled in volume.
Divide the dough in 2 equal parts and, using a rolling pin, roll each into a disc of 2-3mm thickness. You can also make it thicker if you like a spongier dough. I like mine crispy.
Chop the spinach finely and place in a large bowl. add all the other ingredients, all finely chopped, and seasoning and start massaging the leaves with your hands. You’ll notice they’ll shrink in volume pretty quickly and become darker.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a round baking tray and place one disc of dough so that the edges come slightly out of the tray. Fill the dough with the spinach and top with the second disc. Seal the edges with a fork or by pinching them together.
Brush the surface with more olive oil and stab it with a fork to let the steam escape during baking.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top and bottom are crispy and golden brown. Enjoy!
Word of the Day
(to eat, pronounced man·già·re)