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Name of Event

The festival of Santa Rosalia in Palermo, Sicily

Cuisine From



Focaccia with onions,anchovies, tomatoes & cheese topping.


Yield 4
Preparation time Dough - 60 mins + 24 hours resting. Focaccia - 30 mins
Cooking time 30-40 mins.
Main Ingredient Dough, tomatoes.


Ingredients for a rectangular baking dish sized (4 hungry people):

For the dressing

  • 700 grams of onions (I use those red Tropea, most delicate, but you can also use the white ones, more pungent)
  • 500 grams of peeled tomatoes into chunks
  • 150 grams of cheese not too seasoned
  • 15 salted anchovies (if using the smaller anchovies in oil add an extra 2-3)
  • oregano to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • 6 tbs of grated stale bread

For the dough

  • 300 grms of manitoba  or 00 flour
  • 150 grms of semolina
  • 10 grms of salt
  • 20 grms of lard
  • 2 grms of yeast
  • 300 mls of natural (non sparkling) mineral water at room temperature

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For the dough

Prepare the dough a day in advance: put the water in a large bowl and dissolve the yeast carefully. Then combine the two types of flour, lard and finally the salt. Knead until dough is smooth and soft and is slightly sticky. Form a loaf and place in bowl: cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to rise for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, remove the dough from the refrigerator, deflate working it for a minute or two with your hands and let it rise for an hour at room temperature. Then on some well oiled baking sheet stretch out the dough, which will rise again 30 minutes.

For the dressing

Peel the onions and slice thinly. Desalt the  anchovies, remove the bones and chop 12. Place in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and onions and cook them slowly over low heat and, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, covering if necessary. Then add the anchovies and brown, Finally, add the tomatoes and season with salt (use caution because the anchovies are still very salty). Cook on a low heat until the sauce is not very thick, add the oregano and set aside.

Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, oregano and just as much oil until the mixture is soft and grainy.

Grate the cheese not too thinly and coarsely chop the remaining anchovies..

For the Focaccia

Preheat the oven to 220 C static.

Cover the dough  with the sauce prepared earlier, arrange over the cheese, the chopped anchovies and sprinkle with plenty of grated bread. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 25 minutes.

The dough will grow and become soft. I advise you not to eat too hot sfincione, it is much better  slightly warm. the flavors blend and balance and discover.

If there any leftovers, the sfincione  is also great cold the next day.


This recipe has been provided with the kind permission of Sicilian creative in the kitchen. Please visit their site for an extensive selection of authentic recipes from Sicily.