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Cook the Book: Sicilian Pizza

When discussing pizza most people automatically assume that Sicilian-style means a square pie with thick, chewy dough. The traditional pizzas of Sicily are square, but this is where the similarities with their U.S. counterparts end. Sicilian pizza, or sfincione, is not a saucy, cheesy pie—it's a thick dough topped with slowly cooked onions and tomatoes, lots of melted anchovies and plenty of oregano.

For our first seafood dish from La Cucina I've chosen this Sicilian Pizza recipe. It's a great one for entertaining since it can be served warm or at room temperature, as a cocktail-hour snack or an impromptu lunch for guests. An added bonus is that most of the ingredients are already sitting in the pantry.

I made this Sicilian pizza for a Sunday night holiday party, my thought being that it was simple enough to put together, easy to transport, and big enough to feed a crowd.

I mixed up the dough and left it to proof beside the oven. The dough rose to double its size in a little less than an hour, thanks to the heat from the cookies I had baking in the oven. I slowly cooked the onions and tomatoes while the dough was rising, and this drawn-out cooking caramelized them to the point of being sweet enough that it seemed as though I added sugar. Being an anchovy enthusiast, I added many more than the six mentioned in the recipe, layered with a slight dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano. On went the tomato-onion mixture, a little more cheese, and a healthy dose of oregano.

I baked the pizza until the onions on top just began to char, cooled it to a temperature that was cool enough to transport, and made my way to the party. The pizza was a perfect party snack, cut into bite-sized pieces. It was chewy, salty, and had that savory quality that only anchovies can bring to the table.

Win La Cucina

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of La Cucina to give away this week.

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