Sfincione (Sicilian Style Pizza)

Serves 4


Made with Crushed Tomatoes


For the Dough:

1 tablespoon dry active yeast

¼ cup fine semolina

2 cups 00 flour or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sfincione toppings:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing pan and drizzling

1 Spanish onion, sliced

1 jar Crushed Tomatoes

Sea salt and black pepper

Pinch of sugar (optional)

1 cup fine bread crumbs (or adjust to your preference)

1 cup grated Pecorino cheese or Caciocavallo cheese

8 anchovy fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces, optional

Dried oregano, preferably wild

Photo by Mangia Bedda

Photo by Mangia Bedda


Make the dough: In a mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, put 1 cup lukewarm water and yeast. Add semolina and stir to make a thin paste. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, until bubbly.

Add flour, salt and oil, and mix until dough becomes a rough mass. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Dust with flour as needed, but don’t add much: This is meant to be a soft dough. Put kneaded dough in a resealable plastic bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably longer, up to 24 hours.

Prepare the sauce: Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, and raise heat to high. Simmer briskly until all the water has evaporated and onions are soft. Add Crushed Tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then turn off heat. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and add a pinch of sugar. Allow mixture to cool, then stir in bread crumbs, grated Pecorino cheese and anchovies (if using). Let mixture rest for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Remove dough from refrigerator and press down to deflate. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough to a small rectangle.

Transfer dough to oiled baking sheet, and, using the palms of your hands, stretch dough to the edges. If dough is rebellious and resists, let it rest for a few minutes, then stretch again. (It may take 2 or 3 attempts.) Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel, and set in a warm place to rise. After 30 minutes or so, dough should have doubled in thickness.

Spoon the topping evenly over the dough, then use a spatula or the back of the spoon to spread the topping smoothly over entire surface, leaving a half-inch border. Drizzle surface with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes on the oven’s center rack, until golden brown. Check the underside to make sure it is crisp, and bake for a few more minutes if necessary. (Tent top with foil if top has browned too quickly.)

Remove from pan to a cutting board. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and a large pinch of wild oregano. Cut into 8 square slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NOTE : This pizza keeps well for several days in the fridge. Or, freeze it to last longer. Sfincione makes for FANTASTIC left overs!