Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rianata and tabisca: delicious local Sicilian focaccias

Rianata Trapanese
Have you ever heard of the names "RIANATA TRAPANESE" or "TABISCA SACCENSE"? And what about the "FUATA NISSENA"? Do not worry. They are not bad words... ha ha ha.

These are the names of three typical local focaccias who have very similar basic ingredients, although they originally come from three different Sicilian provinces.

Many times I talked about the sfincione palermitano, but now from Palermo we are going to move east, south and centre. The Rianata infact is a Sicilian word that means something with a lot of oregano and is from Trapani, the tabisca is made in Sciacca and in the whole Agrigentino land, while the fuata (again another Sicilian word which means focaccia) comes from the town of Caltanissetta.

Ingredients & Preparation for one pizza rianata

 For the dough

25 gr fresh brewer's yeast

- 500 gr strong flour 

- a pinch of salt

- half a cup of lukewarm water 

- 1 tbspoon extra virgin olive oil

Let's start by melting the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of salt. Once is all melted pour the water into the flour and start kneading. Add the oil of olive and if the result is still a bit hard just add 2 more tablespoons of water.

Knead the dough properly until is smooth and elastic. Make a ball of it and place it in a large bowl to rise for at least one hour. Make sure you keep it in a repaired place away from drafts and cover it with a kitchen cloth or an old blanket.

For the seasoning

-  400 gr ripe tomatoes 

- 6 anchovies filletts 

3 or 4 cloves of garlic 

- 80 gr grated pecorino

- dried oregano and thyme

(as much as you like)

- 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

- salt & pepper

Put the kettle on to warm up some water. Once the water boils cover the tomatoes with it and leave it for about 10 minutes. It will help peel the tomatoes skin very easily.

Once you have peeled them all, cut them into pieces and season them, adding the other ingredients: salt & pepper, olive oil, grated pecorino, plus the anchovies fillets and the garlic both crashed into tiny little  pieces. 

Finally add abundant oregano and thyme and the seasoning is ready.

Switch the oven at a temperature of 200°. If 60 or 90 minutes have passed is definitely time to roll out the dough. Place some oven paper on the base of your oven tray, than shape the dough as you prefer: either rounded, oval or squared. 

As soon as the oven reaches the right temperature season the dough with the tomatoes mix and place it to cook in the oven for at least half an hour. You can check after 20 minutes, but make sure you also check the bottom of the focaccia to see if it's cooked. 

The cooking time can vary according to your own oven, so I would say keep checking every 10 minutes until you see that the dough is perfectly cooked and is golden brown. Add few more drops of olive oil and serve hot. Everyone will love the genuineness and simplicity of this dish as well as the tasty flavours too. 

It is also perfect for vegeterians or for people who can't eat dairies (in that case just leave out the pecorino.)