About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Sfinciuni | Main | Mantovana-Olive Oil Bread »

Broccoli and Ricotta Sfinciuni

And here it is . . . my last recipe to make as a part of this blogging activity.

I wonder if that is why I was a tad later than normal - trying to savour the experience for as long as I could. It is my pattern to have things made months in advance of my posting date. This I baked today. In fact, Paul is down doing the dishes while I try and finish the post prior to the clock rolling over to Sunday.

I made the mistake of calling this dish a conza. It is not. The conza is the filling; the dish is a sfinciuni - a stuffed pizza from Sicily. Marcella's dough is easy to make (I followed the food processor directions) and it came together perfectly. The result was a light and crispy dough that was solid enough for this heavy topping.

The filling is simple - essentially sautéed garlic and broccoli.

Once the dough has risen and the filling cooled you're good to go, as they say.

The dough is split in half and rolled into two rounds. On top of one you sprinkle bread crumbs. Spread fresh ricotta on top of the crumbs. Layer the broccoli/garlic mixture on top of the ricotta, and then sprinkle it all with parmigiano. A quick sprinkle of more bread crumbs and a drizzle of olive oil and you're ready to place the second round of dough on top.

The two rounds of dough are sealed - ensure that none of the wonderful filling can escape while baking. The entire thing brushed with water and into a 400 degree oven it goes for 30 minutes.

Once baked, let it sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

The result was an amazing addition to our dinner tonight. All we needed was a nice salad on the side, a glass of vino, and we were happy guys!

And there you have it kids . . . we're done . . . done like an amazing dinner inspired by the genius of Marcella Hazan. Lots of wonderful food, some not so wonderful because of our personal food issues and NOT the lyrical directions in 'Essentials', but all in all a brilliant journey through some of the most inspired and well-written recipes I've experienced in my 30 + years of cooking.

When I started this journey I pledged to be honest. I'd rave about what I loved and what I didn't love as well. If things worked I'd talk about that and if they didn't I'd wonder what I had done to cause the issues. I think I've been true to this. Happily we loved most everything! *smile*

I know that there were a couple of times when Marcella was frustrated with my analysis but in the end it was more important for me to be honest. I had no desire to be a cheerleader - the world is too full of cheerleaders. Honesty is a rare thing indeed in my humble opinion.

Grazie per l'ispirazione, il cibo fantastico, le sfide, e le memorie.


Comments (4)


Well done Jerry. Your posts were entertaining and informative. I enjoyed reading them.


Jerry, you've been a source of joy and laughter over the past year and many months. I applaud your honesty and simply adore your style of writing.

grazie mille for all of your cooking skills, your photos and summaries of recipes.


Congratulations Jerry, you have done a wonderful job. I shall miss your posts, but I will still read your personal blog everyday!

This dish looks fantastic!

Marcella Hazan:

Congratulations, Jerry! I am grateful for your conscientious and skilled execution of so many recipes, some of which were evidently alien to your sensibilities. I am grateful too for your literate posts, to which you have evidently dedicated thought and time.I was never frustrated by your analysis. I am a rationalist, I don't have a problem dealing with analysis. We all have foods we can't bring ourselves to like. My husband has his celebrated aversion to fowl. Deborah doesn't like raisins. Irene eggs. I'd rather not have to taste cinnamon, cilantro, fennel seeds, and oysters. These, Jerry, are personal issues, not food issues. No food that is part of a genuine culinary tradition should be made the object of contempt or held up to ridicule.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 28, 2011 8:09 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Sfinciuni.

The next post in this blog is Mantovana-Olive Oil Bread.

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