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Pizza and its Cover Story

 
 
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 06:08 pm
In my long craziness in exploration of italian food I've come across pizza with two layers of dough. There is a pizza with its origin in Palermo known in as sfinciuni, and, it seems, in italian as sfincione - the one in Palermo (San Vito) generally having a top and bottom layer of dough, basically a stuffed pizza with certain characteristic ingredients.

Then there's calzone.. which is a folded over circle of dough wrapping the stuffing, thus a 1/2 moon shape.

And a pizza I haven't been able to find online anywhere that I had at Pizzeria Archetto in Rome - called something like pizza vesuviana. It had two full circle layers with a small hole in the middle of the top layer for steam to rise from the stuffing, which involved scrambled eggs, among other things. The shape of the pizza when cooked was reminiscent of a volcanic mountain...



I finally got around to making 'sfinciuni' myself and it turned out great.
I'll give a few recipes and clips from cookbook writers about it in some of the next posts.

On calzone, not only have I not made it, I've never even ordered it...
anyone here tried making it? Got recipes?



Before I gather my wits to type out sfinciuni recipes, I'll post some links ---

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calzone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerotti
(uh, the Marche is not in southern Italy...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stromboli_%28food%29

and a clip from wiki on sfinciuni -
Sicilian pizza, also known as Sfincione (or Sfinciuni in Sicilian language) is a variety of pizza with ingredients incorporated into the dough, instead of just placed on top. This variety of pizza originates from Palermo, Sicily. An authentic recipe does not use mozzarella cheese, often adding small chunks of pecorino cheese and bits of anchovies.*
However, in the United States, a Sicilian pizza is a square pie with dough upwards of an inch thick. This pizza is very popular, especially in the New York area.

*I've run across a variety of ingredients besides those, more on that later.

Do you like calzone? Like it better than pizza, or not?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,440 • Replies: 52
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 06:12 pm
I love calzone, Osso, maybe more than pizza, cuz it's harder to screw up?

No recipes, but had some killer calzones during my Chi-town years. (post Cali period :wink: )

RH
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 07:33 pm
Apologies for typos beforehand - I always goof when typing from books, I mean, even more than usual.



So, here's Marcella Hazan on sfinciuni..
(More Classic Italian Cooking, paperback, 1978, 1984.)

What pizza is to Naples, sfinciuni is to Palermo. Unlike pizza, sfinciuni is made of two layers of dough which completely enclose the stuffing, called conza. There are many different stuffings used, the most celebrated being one with meat created by the nuns of the monastery of San Vito. You will find the nuns' recipe here, along with two other delectable stuffings, one with tomatoes, onions. and anchovies, and anothr with broccoli and ricotta.

I am indebted for these to my good friend Professor Tommaso d'Alba of Palermo, one of those rare scholars of cooking whose practical achievements in the kitchen are equal to their erudition. I have slightly adapted the original recipes to make use of ingredients, particularly the cheeses, commonly available here.

The dough for sfinciuni is identical to that for pizza, except that it is rolled out very much thinner.




yield, 1 round sfinciuni about 10 to 12 inches in diameter

Sfinciuni with Meat and Cheese Stuffing
Sfinciuni di San Vito

The meat-and-cheese-stuffed sfinciuni of the nuns of San Vito recall somewhat the meat-filled beorek of Middle Eastern cooking. Not a surprising kinship, when one takes into account the unerasable marks that Arab domination has left upon Sicily's culture.

Substitutions have had to be made for the cheeses of the original version - Palermo's wonderful primo sale and fresh caciocavallo. I have used a combination of fontina and ricotta to achieve a similar balance of freshness and savoriness. I think it works, but there is no reason why you should not experiment with combinations of your own devising, if you have other ideas.

The stuffing

3 tablespoons olive oil for the stuffing, plus an additional tablespoon later for the sfinciuni
1/2 cup of onion sliced very thin
1/2 pound ground lean beef (this cookbook was printed before the advent of 7% fat ground beef. I'm sure 20% would be fine/Osso)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup unsmoked cooked ham, chopped rather coarse, or 1/2 cup chopped mild salami, not spiced, garlicky, or smoked
1/2 cup fontina cheese diced very fine
1/4 cup ricotta
2 tablespoons plain unflavored bread crumbs, lightly toasted

(For the dough, pizza dough recipes are readily available online - and I think some of the recipes I'll add have dough recipes included. I happen to make mine in large batches and freeze, so can't give you numbers. I'd say the amount for a regular big doughy pizza would be enough for two thin sfinciuni doughs. Osso)


1. Put 3 tablespoon olive oil and the sliced onion in a saute pan, and turn on the heat to medium high.
2. When the onion becomes colored a deep, dark gold (which happens fairly fast once it happens, says osso), add the ground beef, salt, and pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, and cook it, stirring frequently, until it loses completely its raw red color.
3. Add the wine, turn the heat down a little bit, and continue cooking until all the liquid has boiled away. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool completely.
4. Turn on the oven to 400 degrees, with the baking stone or tiles in place on the uppermost rack. (I use a cookie pan since I've moved and left my baking stone, osso).
5. Add the ham or salami, the fontina, and the ricotta to the bowl. Mix thoroughly with a fork until all the ingredients have become smoothly amalgamated.
6. Divide the dough in half and place one half on a lightly floured paddle or sheet of cardboard. Roll it out into a circular sheet about 10 or 12 inches in diameter. (I made mine sort of rectangular, like my breadboard.)
7. On th bottom sheet of dough, sprinkle half the bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of olive oil, stopping about 1/2 inch short of the edge. Over this spread the stuffing, again stopping short of the edge. Top with the remaining bread crumbs and olive oil.
8. On a pastry board or other work surface, roll out the remaining half of the dough into a circular sheet large enough to cover the first. Place over the stuffing, covering the other sheet. Pinch the two edges together to form a tight seal.
9. Brush the top with a pastry brush moistened in water.
10. Slide from the paddle onto the preheated baking stone or tiles. (Me, I put some stone ground corn meal down first...) Bake for 25 minutes.
Allow to rest for at least 30 to 40 minutes before cutting into pie shaped wedges and serving. This long rest is required to allow the flavors of the smoking-hot meat stuffing to settle and develop.




(That's not the one I made - I did the tomato/onion/anchovy one. Not a long wait at the end, and delicious. Will type that next.)
0 Replies
 
Wy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 07:41 pm
A friend of mine from Noo Yawk insists there's no sauce in a calzone. When you order one out here in Seattle, tho, it's exactly like a folded-over pizza, sauce and all. Anybody know for sure how a "real" calzone's made?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 07:54 pm
Not me... so far they seem to be mostly an ital-american thing, but not entirely. Trying to remember, did the wiki link say they were from Apulia? (no brain here, just a lot of curiosity).

I haven't looked up calzone recipes, busy as I am sfinciuni-ing. - found that in some of my cookbooks, and oddly, so far, no calzone recipes, but I haven't looked at them all.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 09:54 pm
Sfinciuni with Tomato, Onion, and Anchovy Stuffing
Sfinciuni con la Conza di Pomodoro e Cipolla

The Stuffing -
1 pound fresh, ripe plum tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped, and thoroughly drained
2 cups onion, sliced very thin
1/2 cup olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 flat anchovy fillets, chopped very fine
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup plain, unflavored bread crumbs, lightly toasted

1. If using fresh tomatoes, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil, then put in the tomatoes. Drain after 3 to 4 minutes. As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, pee; them, open them, scoop out the seeds, and cut them into lengthwise strips no more than 1/2 inch wide. Set Aside. If using canned tomatoes, begin with the next step.

2. Put the onion and 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium saute pan, and turn on the heat to medium. Cook the onion until it becomes colored a light gold.

3. Add the tomatoes, salt, 2 or three grindings of pepper, and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the oil and tomatoes separate, about 7 minutes. (I used canned, and cooked them 7 minutes anyway.)

4. Add the chopped anchovies, stir well, and turn off the heat.

5. Add the oregano, stir well, and set aside to cool completely.

6. Preheat the baking stone or the tiles on the uppermost rack of the oven for at least 30 minutes, the thermostat set at 400 degrees.

7 - 11, same as last recipe, adding the remaining olive oil over the stuffing.

11. Slide the sfinciumi from the paddle onto the stone (again, I put down some coarse corn meal first). Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough becomes pale gold.

12. Cut into serving portions and allow to settle for a few minutes before eating.

Note: when the sfinciuni is stuffed and sealed, place it immediately in the oven, otherwise the stuffing will make the dough soggy.



Next up, the recipe with broccoli and ricotta stuffing....
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 10:00 pm
The most amazing calzone I've ever had was from a place a couple of blocks from l'k and dag's home. Freshly made mozza, and spinach, itty bitty hint of sauce.

I should get Set to come and post about the Sicilian stuffed pizza our next-door neighbour got him for a treat after Set ran him to a bunch of medical appointments. The one I had a few hours after it was fresh was still extraordinary - but Set's fresh one was apparently beyond beyond.

I think the key to the amazing stuffed pizza was the freshness of the ricotta. Joe's got a source for fresh ricotta - I want to know the secret handshake to get some for myself.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 10:08 pm
ehBeth wrote:

I think the key to the amazing stuffed pizza was the freshness of the ricotta. Joe's got a source for fresh ricotta - I want to know the secret handshake to get some for myself.


Homemade ricotta and mozzarella are very easy to make. You can get the details here:

30 Minute Mozzarella

This place also sell a kit with everything other than the milk to make cheeses. One kit makes about 30 batches of cheese. If you use organic milk, it's cheaper than buying organic cheese and tastes even better.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Feb, 2008 10:14 pm
ehBeth wrote:
The most amazing calzone I've ever had was from a place a couple of blocks from l'k and dag's home. Freshly made mozza, and spinach, itty bitty hint of sauce.

I should get Set to come and post about the Sicilian stuffed pizza our next-door neighbour got him for a treat after Set ran him to a bunch of medical appointments. The one I had a few hours after it was fresh was still extraordinary - but Set's fresh one was apparently beyond beyond.

I think the key to the amazing stuffed pizza was the freshness of the ricotta. Joe's got a source for fresh ricotta - I want to know the secret handshake to get some for myself.




Oh, I want to hear about that too...

They used to have fresh ricotta at the so called international market in Santa Monica, so-called because it was mostly italian. Kara gave a recipe at some point for making your own, but it probably depends on the deliciousness of what you start with...

We were only in Venice (It.) a short time, and blew our chances for a good dinner by buying a spinach torta in a bread store... and having no room left at dinner time. That involved a crust and spinach and ricotta too. (More to look up..)
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2008 12:39 pm
I've made calzones although I do not have an official recipe. Basically I decide what I want in my calzone - I 've make ham and cheese and italian peppers. I roll out the dough, then I put ham slices across the bottom, then cheese slices, and then sprinkle different peppers (I usually buy a jar of pepper varieties in the italian section of the super market), I roll the layer over; then a little on the over lap I put the same items, roll and continue until the end - I use a little water to help seal in all ends. I have also used meatballs, mozzarella cheese and sauce - pretty much what ever you feel like.

I have also had this incredible stuffed pizza at this dive bar that is incredible. It is basically a pizza that they fill in one side, then fold over the dough and bake. It is fantastic - haven't tried to make it myself though.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Feb, 2008 12:50 pm
I missed Green Witch's post last night, looking forward to making my own ricotta and mozzarella now. Wait, where's my water buffalo?

I think making calzone is going to be next on my list, Linkat, yours sounds good to me..
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 04:05 pm
The third Marcella Hazan sfinciuni recipe - and then I'm off to another source.


Sfinciuni with Broccoli and Ricotta Stuffing
Sfinciuni con la Conza di Broccoli e Ricotta

The stuffing:

1 medium bunch of broccoli, about a pound
1/4 cup olive oil for cooking plus 2 tablespoons for later seasoning
2 tablespoons plain unflavored bread crumbs, lightly toasted
salt
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
3/4 cup ricotta

1. Cut off 1/2 inch of the tough butt end of the broccoli stalks. Pare away the dark green skin on the stalks and the larger stems.
2. Bring about 3 quarts salted water to a boil, and put in the broccoli.
Cook for about 5 to seven minutes after the water returns to a boil, depending on the thickness and freshness of the broccoli. It should be quite firm and crunchy, because it will undergo additional cooking later.
3. Drain the broccoli, and chop into pieces no bigger than 1 inch.
4. Put the garlic and 1/4 cup oil in a medium saute pan. and turn on the heat to medium. Saute the garlic until it becomes colored gold.
5. Add the chopped broccoli, and sprinkle liberally with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
6. Turn the oven on to 400. with baking stone or tiles on uppermost rack.
7. Roll dough...
8. On the bottom half of the dough, sprinkle half the toasted bread crumbs. Spread the ricotta over the bread crumbs. Cover the ricotta with the cooled sauteed broccoli, and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs. Pour the 2 tablespoons olive oil over the stuffing.
9. Cover and seal (see recipes above). Brush with water.
10. Slide sfinciuni onto the hot stone or tiles. Bake for 25 minutes, then cut into individual portions, and allow to rest et least 10 minutes before serving.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 05:11 pm
Ive always wondered about the differences between a calzone and a stromboli.

Both are stuffed , folded over pizza dough

Both contain various ingredients within a cheese "l hot ava" matrix

Both are lava hot and can cauterize the roof of your mouth right out

Ive had a STromboli al Carbonara which is sort of a light garlicky alfredo , except its thick cheese based , and within are hunks of bacon and ham.


I am now, really hungry for a CAlzone or stromboli, and Im about 120 miles too far north of the really good ones served at the Miltonian Pizzaria e' Ristorante, in Milton Delaware (An Eastern SHore Victorian town that has a SLOW TURTLE CROSSING on its main street , and they do ticket).
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 05:26 pm
I never heard of a Stromboli until I looked at the wikipedia link. That looks more like a long than, say, half a pie. The one you describe sounds good and I'm hungry...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 05:28 pm
The cauterizing effect may be why these last recipes say 'wait a bit' - I had thought that was for flavors melding..
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 05:32 pm
The FARMERCLAN's PIZZA LAW #1

Since pizza is essentially a comfort food and not a basic food group, it should bear no ingredients that can otherwise be confused with the term "healthy" (veggies other than onion, garlic, basil, mushrooms, and sometimes, peppers are pussy ingredients and should be avoided)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 07:41 pm
I meant log, not long.


Ever had an onion pizza? mmmmmm (I know, you did mention them.)

I don't like artichoke hearts all that much. Ok in small doses, say as an hordeurve. Love a pizza with good mozzarella, basil, and sliced thin green garden tomatoes... semplice.
well, I'm weird.


I'm still typing away on other recipes. Yawn....
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 08:02 pm
Craziest good pizza I ever had, I got in Nawlins.

It was shrimp and fresh garlic, but I could only eat it at night, cuz it was way powerful breath makin'....

Really tasty, I think it had mushrooms, too, but they were of no consequence.

I feel like Osso, but am unworthy. (she rambles much better)

RH
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 08:04 pm
I ramble well until I spiral into cloud formations, or sleep, whichever comes first.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2008 08:05 pm
shrimp, crabmeat, and minnows are all good on a pizza.
0 Replies
 
 

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