The last few days revolved for the most part around food. That’s a given when I am in Italy. Fortunately I was neither on a diet, nor am I a vegetarian. Otherwise I’d have had a hard time :)
If I had to summarize the essence of my stay in Saracena, it would be something like this:
The table set up next to the fireplace. The hot coals ready to roast the bread, the homemade sausage, bell peppers and artichokes. The beans cooking inside of a terracotta jar set right next to the fire, getting ready for the following day’s lunch. Homemade pasta in all kind of varieties, ranging from maccheroni to orecchiette. The bottle of wine, the white one to be more precise, which is my favorite. Hearing ‘mangia!‘ (eat!) for the 20th time, while you try to make them understand that you’re about to explode. Talking about what to eat the following day, while still sitting at the table. The smell on the streets of the smoke coming from the chimneys. The very first blossoms of the almond and peach trees. The mountain tops covered with snow. And last but not least, the biggest highlight is always the great hospitality and spending time with my family!
While I was there I could not resist browsing again through my grandparents’ cellar. I found a true jewel! It’s the grinder that you can see in the pictures. While my grandpa was sharing stories from the past, he mentioned that he used to make a rustic pizza back in the days. And the very next day, my aunt made her version of it. Oh, I am really starting to love these broccoli! I feel like I’m making up all those years I avoided eating them.
As soon as got back home I had to make the same one again! And yes, I am pretty satisfied with the result. So tasty! But I need to be honest though, it’ll probably never taste as intense as in the village. Even using my grandpa’s olive oil. No matter which ingredients they cook with, they just taste so different..
- 500 g / 17½ oz all-purpose flour
- 8 g / ½ tbsp fresh yeast or 3g / ½ tsp of dry yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- 400 ml / 13½fl oz water, lukewarm
- 300 g (sprouting) broccoli
- 60 g pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 3 full tbsp provolone, chopped (alternatively mozzarella)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to sprinkle
- salt, pepper, and red pepper
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- In a separate cup mix half of the lukewarm(!) water with the yeast and stir until the yeast has dissolved completely.
- Add the water-yeast mix to the flour and pour in the remaining lukewarm water into the bowl. Start kneading the dough. Add additional water if it’s too dry, or more flour if it’s too sticky.
- As soon as you obtain a smooth ball, sprinkle with some flour.
- Cover up the bowl with a blanket and place in a warm spot.
- Let rise for approx. 1 hour.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
- Add the chopped broccoli and pancetta (or bacon) and sauté for about 10 minutes at medium to high heat.
- Season with salt, pepper, red pepper and oregano.
- Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / 428°F.
- Divide the dough into three equal parts.
- Shape each one of them into a pizza.
- Spread the broccoli mix lengthwise on the center (see pictures). Sprinkle with additional olive oil.
- Fold one side towards the middle, covering half of the filling.
- Repeat the same with the other side.
- Seal the open edges.
- Brush with olive oil.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
- Go for sprouting broccoli, if possible! Unfortunately I couldn't find them here, that's why I used regular broccoli instead.
- You can also replace this filling with spinach and Italian sausage, greens, sliced potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, and much more. Be creative!