SCACCE (focaccia-like stuffed bread)


These scacce were made by one of my cousins, Franca. She lives in Ragusa and these focaccia-like stuffed breads are typical of that region of Sicily (south east and the chief cities are Ragusa, Modica, Noto).

There are many focaccia-like stuffed breads made all over Sicily. They have different names, they may be slightly different in shape and have some variations in the filling. In my previous posts I have written about sfincione di Palermo and impanata (in categories Snacks and Meat), but there are other regional specialties, for example the ‘nfigghiulata, fuazza, pastizzu, ravazzata and scacciata.

Scacce are probably classed as finger food and are usually made in large numbers. In the houses of my Ragusa relatives they are made for Christmas, Easter, birthdays, baptisms (few of those lately) and in fact, on any celebratory occasion.. Although the other cousins and their daughters and my aged aunt can all make scacce well, it is always Franca’s duty; she is deemed the campione (champion) maker.
There are several different fillings for scacce in their household. The ones in the photo are made with slices of fried eggplants, tomato salsa, toasted breadcrumbs, basil, pepper, caciocavallo cheese (use provola/ mozzarella- type cheese) and of course, extra virgin olive oil.

But if she is making one type of filling, she is likely to make other scacce with different fillings and they vary with seasonal ingredients.

Typical fillings are:
• tomato salsa (300g ripe tomatoes, garlic, oil, salt and pepper and reduced, basil, caciocavallo cheese (100g cut into very thin slices),
• caciocavallo cheese , parsley, seasoning and oil,
• young spinach leaves, sprinkled with salt and cut finely, dried grapes (currants), seasoning and a little salsa,
• fresh onion, cut finely, sprinkled with salt and left in a colander for about 30 mins, then squeezed, the onion is mixed with fresh drained ricotta,
• fresh drained ricotta and fresh pork sausage(casing removed) rubbed between the fingers, wild fennel,
• purple or green cauliflower (partly cooked in boiling water), dressed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, chili, caciocavallo cheese, (anchovies are optional).

When I make a scaccia I put the filling on top of the dough in one layer, then roll it up like a strudel, but this is for the novices, the Ragusani do it differently. The dough is folded over, filled again, then folded again. I have difficulties explaining it but I will do my best.

The scaccia is cut into slices once it is baked.

The dough is the same as for making pizza: good quality white flour, yeast (fresh or dry), salt, warm water, and some white wine (this ingredient is not usually added to a pizza and seems typical of the region). Try: 500g/ ¾ cup of liquid/25g yeast.

Combine all ingredients until you have soft dough. Stretch and place fingers through dough and add about ¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Kneed well. Leave it covered for about one hour to rise.

When spreading the filling over the dough, spread the filling thinly.

Roll out the dough into a thin square sheet.
Place ½ of the filling of choice on top of the dough, but leave a border of about 2cm. on the four sides.
Fold two of the opposite borders into the centre. Place the rest of the filling on top of the two folded flaps.
Fold the other two opposite ends into the centre and seal the pastry with beaten egg.( make sure it is well stuck).
Bake the scaccia in a 200 C oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove the scaccia from the oven, let it rest, covered with a tea towel, for about 20 minutes.
Cut the scaccia into slices.

In the photo you will notice bottles of Nero D’Avola (typical Sicilian red wine) and some white mirtilli (these berries are the same species as blueberries, bilberries and cranberries). These are very much appreciated in Sicily.

See recipe:

Sfincione di Palermo 
Scacce and Pizza and a Sicilian Easter.


29 thoughts on “SCACCE (focaccia-like stuffed bread)”

  1. Ciao Marisa, what a wonderful find this blog/site! we have just returned from eastern Sicily- Ortigia, Ragusa & Taormina. Upon recommendation from the gracious lady/owner at our B&B/hotel in Ragusa – we set off to taste the Scaccia – which was thin and totally scrumptuous. We said immediately – oh! to be able to have things like this in Sydney. I had thought it was made of a thin pizza dough and thought i would have a go at making at some time. The other great taste was the penne with sardines, fennel, pinenuts, dusted with breadcrumbs – we ate sitting overlooking the grand view in up high in Taormina. Now I look forward to browsing through this site full of so many goodies. Mille Grazie, Gael, Sydney

  2. Gael,
    so glad to hear that yo enjoyed that part of Sicily.
    You do no mention Modica- I ate one of the best versions of ravioli di ricotta there, made with a strong ragu of pork. These were almost as good as the version that my zia Niluzza makes – ravioli are a specialty of the Ragusa Province.

  3. Hi Marisa – we just stopped in Modica en route to Ragusa – and still embedded to Australian timing – we arrived there when everything was closed!! often a repeat performance!! – except found one little place where we happily sat outside and shared a pizza and a glass of wine in the sun. it was quite good, we enjoyed – but not greatly adventurous and unfortunately we did not get a chance to return. Sadly the worst ‘meal’/ rather snack i ordered was in Noto – again passing through when most things were closing, thinking i had more of a handle on the language and still lusting after more scaccia- ordered something that sounded like -but without truly remembering the name – and a most unappetizing little salad came to our table!Not a real food memory that one.

  4. My Nana made Scacce with Fresh parsely, tomato and fresh, thinly sliced Romano cheese.
    I made it last week without a recipe! It is sooo good. I am American, so I didn’t know I could make it other ways. Thank you for sharing. I can’t remember the Italian (Sicilian) names for other things she made, but I am going to try others, too. I know how to make pasta cas so, I can make most things I try. Thank you, again!

  5. In Buffalo NY where I worked there was a pizza restaurant which sold a rolled filled bread, but it was spelled scatchia. It had a filling of cheeses, sausage, minced onion and garlic, sliced black olives, with sesame seeds sprinkled on the bread. It was partially sliced and came with a red sauce for dipping. Unfortunately the placed changed owners and no longer carried it. When I decided to do a internet search, I was happy to find your blog! Thank you

  6. Thanks so much for solving a family mystery. My late-father’s mother was from Ragussa, and died when I was a baby. My father and Uncle always talked about her scaccia — our name is Scacciaferro, although my Grandfather’s people was from the Palermo area of Sicily. I tried making the stuffed bread from my father’s memory, but we couldn’t figure out how to fold it. More recently, I was reminiscing with my Uncle, and he was wishing he had the recipe. Now I will send your article to him — he is a good cook. Thanks so much for this wonderful blog.

  7. My family has always made scacce for Christmas (ricotta & sausage, , eggplant & tomato & onions, and spinach & dried figs- this one had a different dough) and I didn’t know anyone outside of our family who had even heard of this dish. I recently discovered (on a website about touring Sicily) that it’s a regional dish from Ragusa. My grandfather was from Vittoria which is in Ragusa & that town is known for its scacce. I’m so glad to discover more info about it here. I’ll be making lots of it tomorrow for our Christmas Eve celebration.

    1. I grew up with scacce but never learned how to make them. I can still hear my mother saying “you’ll be sorry” in sicilian of course.
      Can someone send me exact recipe for dough and filling with eggplant and spinach and olives.
      Than you

      1. You could use the dough recipe for” m’panata the scacce. See post: ‘MPANATA (A LAMB PIE, EASTER TREAT)

  8. I am so excited to come across your blog. My father is from Vittoria also and I have wonderful memories of coming home from school to a kitchen filled with scaccia made by my Nonna who lived with us. She would make a spinach & current filling, another with lots of parsley. My Nonna has passed & unfortunately I never got to write the exact recipes. I have tried to make them but they are definitely nowhere as special as hers. She did fold them in the way you have described.
    She also made wonderful Giuggiulena, again this recipe has been lost. I was wondering if you had a recipe you could share?

    She also made fantastic Giuggiulena & again this recipe has been lost forever. I was wondering if you had a recipe that you would share? I would love to make some for Easter to surprise my dad.

  9. I cannot begin to thank you for sharing your method of filling the scaccia! That s exactly how my grandmother made them, but could not recall the exact final step!!! I am making them today in honor of my wonderful grandparents that are sadly missed by all. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge of these wonderful traditions. I am hoping that my children will carry ths tradition on for many years to come too.

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful, appropriate, and well planned meals to offer your readers. They are great. My dad appreciated everything I put in front of him. I just loved it. Now I serve my husband these little specialities, and the feeling is back again. Never-the-less, there was no one like my Dad, for me. Thanks again, Maria. Have a blessed Easter.

  11. Hi Marisa

    In the second series of “Il Govenote Montalbano” they celebrated a feast to a local saint who’s name escapes me and they cook a kind of focaccia which has anchovies, pecorino cheese amongs other ingredients and the name starts with a C. sorry for being so vague but if you know what I’m talking about, would you be so kind as to share the recipe please. I really liked the way it was described as they ate it on the beach watching fireworks. As a Maltese living in England I get quite homesick as it reminds me of how similar the two countries are. Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Hi Vic. I am fascinated by your query but cannot find anything. I have looked through my Sicilian recipe books and the web and Montalbano novels (although i do not have the one you mentioned) and cannot find anything beginning with C.
      I have found a stuffed pizza from Siracusa, especially popular in Solarino and Sortino, called a pizzolo (Sicilian pizzòlu). Is it definitely a C? In one of my recipe books the only C I found are Pizzette Catanesi called Caviezel. I am guessing that Caviezel is because in the filling there is some Swiss Emmenthal cheese. In Catania there is a Pasticceria Svizzera called Caviezel. Sorry, let me know if you have more information.

      Was it a calzone? The calzone originated in Naples, but this stuffed pizza is now cooked everywhere (just like pizza is eaten all over the world and that also originated in Naples).

      1. I saw the episode last night and was trying to find the recipe too I thought it was ‘cuddririone or maybe cuddririone’??

          1. Thank you…I hope that you enjoyed the challenge.
            What I now find is that Cudduruni “derives from the Sicilian word for a cord, the Cudduruni”.The dough is wrapped around the filling, like a cord.I still have not found a recipe in my books of Sicilian cuisine but I will keep on looking. I also found a site: Il Cudduruni by La Signora dei Fornelli. I can read Italian and I do not know if you can, however I tried the English translation facility and it is good. Well done. What interesting comments to wake up to in Australia.
            La signora dei “fornelli” = La signora of the hot plates/ stove….pretty quirky.

      2. Hi Marisa,

        Sorry I was very very vague, thanks to Chris who replied and got it right Cuddrirone, (that was how the sub titles spelt it), we must have watched the same episode as it was the last story of series 2. Thank you and Chris for solving my riddle, will look on the site you found as I really want to try it out. P.S. thanks for a lovely site and your receipts.

        Regards Vic

  12. Hello, montalbano’s bread snack was cudduruni. Folded focaccia filled with tomato cheese olives and anchovy. It took some finding online .

  13. I LOVE your site. I found this article on scacce very interesting and informative. I cannot wait to make it!


    1. Thank you. I have just returned from Sicily and ate some in Ragusa…. eggplant and tomato, some with ricotta, spring onions and parsley and one I had not tried before with braised green cauliflower and black olives. All good.

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