Sicilian pizza (sfincione) is another traditional Sicilian dish. This time we are talking about Palermo. For people who like food, Palermo is paradise. People really enjoy their food and there are so many great dishes, that it is very hard to choose what to eat! My uncle is from this wonderful city and I have been lucky enough to discover this fantastic world since I was a child. Sfincione is the typical pizza from Palermo. It is thicker than regular pizza and it is a really tasty kind of street food, often sold at small stalls or by street vendors with little carts. I used to eat it whenever we were in town, often at one of the beautiful local markets (like Capo, Vucciria or Ballaro’) while buying fresh fish, fruits and veggies. This is my version… I hope you like it.
For the dough
2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
2 tsp caster sugar
200ml warm water
375g strong white bread flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
For the topping
2 pork sausages, preferably fennel-flavoured, skins removed then crumbled
4 tbsp good-quality tomato sauce
4 tbsp ricotta
6 slices provolone cheese, cubed
2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
drizzle of olive oil
First, make the dough. Mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water. Place the flour and salt in a mixer with a dough hook, or in a bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the liquid and oil. Mix by hand for 10 mins or 5 mins in the mixer, until dough is silky. Tip into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and place somewhere warm for about 40 mins or until doubled in size. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for 2 mins, knocking out any air pockets. The dough should be soft but not too elastic.
Dust a 25 x 16cm baking tray with a little flour and place the dough in the centre. Using the palms of your hands and tips of your fingers, push the dough to the edges of the tray. Leave it for 30 mins to rise. While the dough is rising, fry the sausage in a dry pan until crumbly.
Heat oven to 230°C/210°C fan/gas 8. Spread the tomato sauce over the base, followed by the sausage, ricotta, provolone and dried breadcrumbs. Finally, drizzle with olive oil. Put in the oven for 5 mins, then turn down the heat and cook at 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 for 20-25 mins, until golden brown. Leave sicilian pizza (sfincione) to cool slightly, then cut into 6 chunks and serve.