Friday, 16 October 2015

Perfect Pumpkin Pizza Pockets

Scacce alla Zucca con Pomodorini, Olive & Scamorza Affumicata
"Scacce" with Pumpkin, Cherry Tomato, Olive & Smoked Scamorza

You know me and my creations by now... Same old thing every time and yet never the same thing twice! Don't hate me for cooking like a typical Italian! Because, let's face it- that's what Italian cooking is all about... Using the same ingredients and methods and doing it over and over and over again in a slightly different way each time.

So yes, of course I have made "scacce" before, probably in the same way that you have all made sandwiches before... You know? But you can put a different filling or a different spread or dressing on your sandwich, or use a different bread and have something different each time... Same thing applies here too!


"Scacce", pronounced "ska- chay", which is the plural form of the word "scaccia" which is pronounced "sca-chee-ah", are effectively, little pizza parcels, that are squashed-down flat, or "scacciate".

You can basically put any filling in them that you like, usually tomato sauce and cheese, or vegetables... But they are practical, hand-held snacks that are well loved all over Sicily.

And as with a sandwich... You don't have to go and bake a loaf of bread each time you want one... You don't have to go and make a fresh batch of pizza dough either. Yep, just grab a roll of they're-made stuff, improvise a little... And have fun!


I decided to use the last of my little Hokkaido pumpkin for my filling, along with cherry tomatoes, green olives, fresh basil, a little spring onion, some fresh basil and some lovely, smoked Scamorza cheese. I seasoned with salt, pepper and dried rosemary and was finished with the whole thing in just 40 minutes or so.


Perfect party food or even great to prepare in advance and take to work... Or on a picnic... these are a versatile and fun idea! And one of my favorite kinds of snack!

Whilst your oven is getting nice and hot and ready for baking, grate your pumpkin coarsely and pop it into a dry frying pan, with the chopped tomato and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir-fry them together with no added fat, just keep the pumpkin moving as it begins to give off its own moisture and to cook in its own juices.


Once everything is soft-ish, turn off the heat and allow to cool with the lid on, so that it softens further in the residual heat and steam.


In the meantime, slice up the cherry tomatoes and olives and grate the cheese coarsely.

Next, cut your pizza dough into squares of around 6", stretch it out to be a little bit larger (and thinner!) and lay out a little of each ingredient. Season with a good sprinkle of dried rosemary, a little more salt and pepper and get ready to get folding!


First, fold each of the sides over and at the same time, also stretch the dough a little in length... Don't worry!, it won't break!


Now fold your little parcel shut... First from below upwards, and then fold the top over, downwards to seal everything in. Once you have done that, roll your parcel over and get yourself a nice, sharp knife ready...


Turn your parcel upside-down and make a few cuts into the dough... Both to make these look more attractive, but also of course, to allow moisture to escape during baking and to ensure a good result!

Bake at the highest setting, for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.


See how transparent the dough is and how it has soaked up all of the moisture from the pumpkin and to turn a lovely golden brown!


These are just about as simple and yet pretty as can be!


And let's face it... These are a bit more fun than a regular pizza, right?!? 

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