November 29, 2008

Sicilian Saturdays

I had so much fun in Sicily this October that I want to keep it in my heart and in my stomach!

With the tours, we stay in 5 star hotels being spoiled. When I am on my own, I prefer a little B&B run by locals. I was very lucky in Palermo to find a small one run by a young couple of artists near the Capo Market, Agave B&B . Massimo and Evelin were gracious and informative, filling my mornings at breakfast with information on the area and their insights on life in Palermo today. They have started a blog now on life in Palermo to give you a "taste" with recipes. If you would like to experience the market with them, but don't want to stay in a B&B they can arrange a lovely 4 star hotel nearby also.

Next time I go with my groups, that is where we will stay!
(update: The B&B is closed) they moved closer to the sea.

My other visits to Palermo, I toured the Ballaro' market and the Vucceria and somehow only saw the clothing part of the Capo market.

What a mistake!
Entrance to Capo Market- food section

All over Palermo, you see small carts painted white with slabs of thick foccaccia.
Light as a feather, but rich in flavor, this Sfincione is a street food no one should miss.
Easy to recreate at home, bread dough is covered with a homemade tomato sauce, cheese and origano before baking.
Sprinkle with salt and serve!
It was also one of our favorites at the fabulous buffet we were served at Florio, Marsala with our tasting.

This is the Sfincione we had at the Florio tasting.
This is really easy to make- I hope you try some for your next party.
You can even use a pre-made bread dough, but it is so easy to make bread.

I made mine a little thinner, using 2 smaller trays, so I could have more.

1 bread recipe1 tomato sauce recipegrated cheese, they use caciocavallo, a provolone like cheeseoreganobreadcrumbs
Bread recipe5 cups flour
2 cups warm water ( amount of water depends on flour used, a bread flour will absorb more than an all-purpose flour)
Mix the dry yeast into the flour in a large bowl with the sugar and salt.
Add the warm water, not boiling or you will kill the yeast.
Mix well in the bowl and when it forms a ball, take out and knead on table.
Place back in bowl and cover and let rise in a warm spot for at least an hour until doubled in size.
While you are waiting make the tomato sauce.
Tomato sauce1 white onion, chopped
Saute the onion in olive oil with some water.
Let cook for 20 minutes, crushing the tomatoes.
Making the sfincione
Making the sfincione
Grease a 9x12 pan
Lightly roll out the dough into a rectangle and place into the pan.
Sprinkle sprinkle the grated cheese on the bread and spoon the tomato sauce on top, spreading it with the back of the spoon.
Bake in a preheated oven at 450 for 20 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve with a sprinkling of salt on top!

( optional: oil packed anchovies)

1 package dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

1 can tomatoes
salt and pepper

When the onion is cooked, add the can of tomatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 450

The dough should be a wet dough, giving it lightness.
You may need to lightly flour the outside to roll out.
I grease my hands with olive oil to press the dough into the pan, old trick!
(If you want to add the anchovies, break them apart and place on the dough, pushing in, to make them stick.)

Sprinkle oregano on tomato sauce and top with breadcrumbs.


  1. Sfincione is one of my favorite foods. I love it from the stalls in Borgo Vecchio or the bakeries around the Capo Market in Palermo. Thankfully, I know longer have to hop a plane to Sicily for it. There's a Sicilian rosticceria in Rome called Bacciamo le Mani. They have panelle and pane ca meusa too.

  2. I can almost be in Palermo with the same time to get to Rome!!! ha ha

    Lucky you!

    I am overdue for a day trip to Rome!

  3. Thank you so much, Judy for the recipe. I adored trying it with you.

  4. Lucy let me know if it works in your oven!!!

  5. Hey, no anchovies? ;) Still looks great!

  6. Michelle, good call!
    I did actually put anchovies, but found them overpowering and liked the ones I had in Marsala and Palermo that were made without.

    and I LOVE anchovies!

  7. JohnFromAus3:24 AM


    Looks like great recipe for me to try. And I will put in anchovies as i love them.

    We have frozen tomato sauce from our garden cooking tomatoes. They are never as red as the tinned ones but I love to use our home grown tomatos and oregano.

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