This Italian Scaccia (Scaccia Ragusana) is not likely to win any beauty contests, but it definitely delicious. In fact, it might be said, that the uglier the Scaccia, the better it is :) This Scaccia recipe uses all semolina flour, for wonderful flavour and texture.
Why you’ll love this Italian Scaccia
Scaccia Ragusana is a cross between pasta and pizza. The outside, as you can easily see, bakes up crisp and charred, like a pizza, while the inside has soft pasta-like layers with tomato sauce and cheese. Either way, you just know it’s going to be delicious!
Scaccia is also endlessly customizable. Enjoy it simply with just great tomatoes and cheese, or layer in some Italian cured meats or some browned sausage, for a meatier version.
While it may look complicated, Scaccia is not difficult to make. And the results are more than worth the bit of extra time to make.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Semolina Flour – Look for semolina flour in Italian grocers. It’s usually sold in small bags and it’s more powdery than the fine-cornmeal type of semolina. If you can’t find it, you can use regular semolina or a mixture of semolina and all purpose flour instead. I would hold back a bit of the flour and add as needed, to get a smooth dough, to avoid an overly dry dough.
Yeast – you can use either Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast for this scaccia.
- As noted above, Scaccia are endlessly customizable. Much like pizza or lasagna, you can use a variety of cheese, meat or vegetables/greens, if you like. One thing to bear in mind though is the folding process that you are going to have to pull off. Obviously, you won’t really want anything too chunky or heavy, or that might becomes quite cumbersome.
- As noted in the recipe, be sure your tomato sauce is very well seasoned with salt and pepper, so your finished dish is, as the dough has very little salt and makes up a large part of the dish.
- I think most of the folding process is fairly easy to follow, except the very last fold. To clarify, just before the last fold, you will have an oblong rectangle that is 4 or 5 inches wide and 18-inches-ish long. So in order for it to fit in your pan, you need to take the far end and fold it back and over so it meets the closest edge to you, making a 4-inch wide x 9-inch long piece.
- Finally, once you get to that point, the process of transferring to your prepared loaf pan is a little tricky as you have a lot of sauce in there. I find two spatulas underneath at either end and a really quick more works best. Don’t worry if it looks like a hot mess in the pan. Remember, the uglier it is, the better it is :)
Get the Recipe: Italian Scaccia (Lasagna Loaf)
- 1/4 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. (130 ml) lukewarm water
- 2 cups (336 g) semolina flour
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- all-purpose flour, for dusting counter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes, with juice
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped, loosely packed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, yeast and lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the semolina flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the 1⁄2 teaspoon salt until the dough comes together. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. (Dough will start out very dry and crumbly, but keep working it and it will come together as a smooth, moist dough). Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (Dough is very slow rising, as there is very little yeast in it, so be patient).
- Meanwhile, pour the tomatoes and their juice into a blender and purée until smooth. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Pour the tomatoes into the saucepan along with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the basil, and season liberally with salt and pepper. (When seasoning, bear in mind that the dough has little salt, so be sure that the sauce is well seasoned, so the finished dish is).
- Heat the oven to 450° Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a 1/16-inch-thick, 25-by-18-inch rectangle, and position the rectangle so that a long side is nearest to you. This process will take quite a bit of rolling. If dough seems to be shrinking back after rolling, allow to rest a few minutes, then start rolling again. You will eventually get there (or close). If dough seems so thin it is ripping, stop rolling and proceed.
- (I found it handy to lightly mark my dough in 5-inch increments, so I had a visual reminder of where the fifths of the dough was, when spreading the sauce).
- Spread half of the tomato sauce over the middle three-fifths of the rectangle (ie: leaving the left and right 5-inches bare).. Fold the two plain sides of the dough over the sauced center, so their edges overlap slightly in the middle of the rectangle. (Your dough piece is now roughly 15-inches wide by 18-inches long.)
- Spread the remaining sauce over the left two-thirds of the dough and sprinkle the sauce. Fold the righthand, plain (un-sauced third) over the sauce, then fold the lefthand side of dough over, like completing the tri-fold of a letter. (Your dough piece is now roughly 5-inches wide and 18-inches long). Take the far open end of the dough and fold it back towards you to meet the open end closest to you. (Your dough piece is now roughly 5-inches wide by 9-inches long.)
- Carefully transfer the pie to the prepared loaf pan (I find two spatulas under each end of the dough handy to lift and move it as quickly as you can). Pierce the top with the tines of a fork (to allow steam to escapand bake until dark brown on the top and lightly charred at the edges, about 1 hour. Immediately invert the pie onto a rack, remove the loaf pan and parchment paper, and let the pie cool in this position for 10 minutes. Invert the pie right-side-up before serving.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
How much cheese do you need? I know another person commented this same question and you said it is the sauce and dough version, but in the directions you mention caciocavallo cheese. Thank you.
Hi Tamara and sorry for the confusion. If you want to add some cheese (caciocavallo, buffalo mozzarella, Parmesan), thinly sliced, shredded or grated ball can be added on top of the sauce as you assemble and fold. You don’t want to use too much or have it too thick or the folding will become cumbersome. Just use your best judgement in terms of an appropriate amount. I’ve used a small ball of fresh mozzarella in the past, so a similar size of caciocavallo should work fine.
Wonderful was the guys response. So, it is a hit for sure. Great Sunday kind of dinner with a side salad. Thanks Jennifer for a really good idea.
So glad to hear! I love this loaf and am long overdue for making it, so you’ve reminded me to get on that :)
How much caciocavallo cheese is used?
Hi Vano, the recipe here is just a straight up dough and tomato sauce version. You could certainly add caciocavallo cheese. It would need to be thin slices scattered on the dough so that you could do the folds reasonably easily.
I love that you used semolina flour here. This is the perfect rustic and mouthwatering loaf!
Thanks Laura! I had actually just re-stocked with semolina flour when I saw this recipe. It was meant to be :)
This looks amazing!
Thanks so much, Jennifer!
This looks insanely delicious…I am also hungry and i love bread and anything with tomatoes
Thanks Avianti :)
Oh my. I think I’ve fallen for this recipe and I can’t get up. This looks SO amazing, and my family will love it too! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Karly :) Enjoy!
Woah- I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before!! It looks totally up my alley. Definitely going to have to give it a try.
It’s definitely worth trying, Sarah! :)
Wow, I’ve never heard of this but I’m extremely intrigued! It sounds wonderful!
Thanks so much, Chris :)
Hi Jennifer, this reminds me of something my mother-in-law would make, she is such a wonderful cook. I sometimes tease her that she can make anything out of a bag of flour. This looks like a very special dish, love the attention you bring to your dishes, beautiful pics.
Thanks so much, Cheri :) It is such a fun and interesting dish. We make it in place of pizza on the weekends, for something different!
I think it’s beautiful, Jennifer! If I could eat bread, pasta and tomatoes every single day, I would, lol. I’ve never seen this dish before but it’s like my dream come true.
I did recently see a sandwich made on a Foodporn where they put all the meat, onions and veggies in the dough and then baked it. Then they sliced it, grilled it and made a BLT with smoked bacon, gorgeous arugula and big gorgeous tomatoes. You are the only one I know that could do justice to that recipe.
I am going to try to make this on my next free Saturday because it must be tried!
Thanks Robyn and it really is one of those dishes that’s really worth trying. It’s so different and of course, delicious :)
Looks delicious to me Jennifer! Who doesn’t like lasagna and pizza?! Need to give this a try for sure!
Thanks Mary Ann. Hope you get a chance to try it :)
Definitely making! Thanks!
Thanks! Enjoy Trina! :)
What a great dish! And I think it is very pretty! Reminds me of stromboli-only better!
Thanks Abbe and yes, it is kind of stromboli-like, only it’s got a whole lot more layers :)
It looks pretty amazing to me, pizza and pasta are two of the only things I can get all three of my kids to eat so I’m sure they’d love this!
Thanks Sara :) And yes, I’m pretty sure this is kid friendly!
What a glorious dish, your photos make it look so beautifully rustic. This is the kind of meal I don’t mind putting in the extra effort for, because then I can simply slice it up for several days afterwards…wish I had this in the fridge right now, I bet the leftovers are heaven!
Thanks Sue and yes, like lasagna, the left-overs are lovely :)
I actually think this loaf looks beautiful, Jennifer! That charred crust is totally making me drool! I’ve never heard of, or had, Scaccia before, and I’m wondering where in the heck this deliciousness has been my whole life?!! Must try this immediately! Pinned! Cheers, friend!
Thanks so much, Cheyanne :) Hope you get a chance to try it. It’s worth it!
What a fascinating recipe! You hooked me in with the cross between pizza and lasagna – how funny that it is supposed to be on the homely side :) Sounds great and I know I would love it! Sharing!
Thanks Tricia. It really is delicious and kind of fun to make, too!