Pizza Bianca Farcita

Pizza Bianca is a type of pizza or bread that you find in every bakery and grocery in Rome. Farcita means filled or stuffed. It is a lot like focaccia, but it isn’t as thick as the focaccia found in Southern Italy or as bready as the focaccia in Liguria. In Rome the consistency of the dough is more like pizza and it is as delicious on its on as it is with some sort of a filling.

In most bars around Rome you can find pizza bianca filled with tons of different things, like prosciutto cotto and mozzarella, prosciutto crudo and figs, bresaola and rucola with shaved parmesan cheese, all delicious.

I will be sure to post a piece on the pizza a taglio in Rome and the pizza farcita.

For lunch the other day we decided to make a variation on the neapolitan pizza di scarola (escarole pie) which is typically made around Christmas as something light to hold you over until the celebratory Christmas Eve dinner. We skipped making the pizza dough ourselves, and only made the scarola, which is stewed with gaeta olives, pines nuts, capers, anchovies and raisins, balancing the sweet and salty in one delicious stewy mess.

By slicing the pizza in half and making a sandwich out of it you can fill it like you would any sandwich, I haven’t tried Turkey and Swiss, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be good.

I’ve also used pizza bianca as the base for appetizers, which is essentially the sandwich cut up into bite sized pieces. The other night for a dinner party I made a spinach frittata that was too thin to serve in pieces on its own, so I figured that it would be even better in some pizza bianca with slices of scamorza, a typical Southern Italian cheese which is delicate enough to not over power the flavor of the frittata.

Frittatas will be another future post.

Scarola

  • 2 heads scarola (almost 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled, left whole
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup pitted gaeta olives
  • 2 tbsp salted capers, thoroughly washed
  • 1 or 2 salted anchovies, washed and filleted
  • 2 tbsp raisins
Cut off the very bottom, the usually dirty root end of the escarole, then separate the leaves and wash them very well. Just shake a few times to remove excess water, Don’t dry. In 2 or 3 batches, cut the leaves into small pieces. Set aside in a colander.
In a wide pan that can be covered, combine the olive oil and garlic. Place over medium-low heat and when the garlic begins to sizzle press it into the oil slightly to release its flavor. When the garlic shows the first signs of coloring, remove the big pieces (or leave them in) and immediately add the escarole. Toss to coat it with oil, cover and let it simmer for 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the pine nuts, olives, capers, anchovies, and raisins and cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the escarole is tender and almost all of its juices have evaporated. I usually let it cook for about an hour, which I learned from watching my husband make scarola, but the cookbooks that I consulted only say 15 minutes, I’ll leave it up to you.
Cool before putting it in the pizza bianca.
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~ by italicious on October 28, 2008.

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