Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza

The average person will eat 46 slices of pizza each year.

That’s a lot of pizza.

There are many styles of pizza to choose from such as New York-style and Chicago-style, but many people have a special place in their heart for Sicilian pizza. Sicilian pizza is one of the most popular slices that customers enjoy. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try this style, then here is what you’re missing.

What Is Sicilian Pizza?

Sicilian-style pizza comes from the Palermo region of Italy. The authentic version is called “sfincione,” which translates to English as “Thick Sponge.”

The reason for its name is the crust on this pizza, which features a spongy bread base. A meatless sauce then tops this square pie, with toppings that include anchovies, onions, tomatoes, and herbs.

If you enjoy the traditional Sicilian pizza, then bread crumbs go on top of the ingredients above. You then have the option to grate a hard cheese to finish the flavor profile.

Sicilian-style pizza does not use mozzarella because cow’s milk is not available on the island.

Meatless versions are served during the December holiday season, on Good Friday, and as a favorite meal throughout the year.

What Makes Sicilian-Style Pizza Different?

Sicilian pizza is closer to focaccia than a traditional Neapolitan pie. When this option migrated to the United States, it developed more of a square or rectangular shape because of the baking pans used to support the spongy crust.

This pizza style offers a thicker crust than you’ll find with most other options. If you are familiar with the “pan-style” option from franchised pizzerias in the United States, then the amount of dough is similar.

The difference between Sicilian-style pizza and a pan-style option is the lack of a bordered crust. Your sauce goes right to the edge of the spongy bread, as do the ingredients that you choose to have on the pie.

You can still find round pizzas baked in Sicily that follow the traditional recipe, often with more sauce and cheese when compared to the other styles. If you visit Sortino or Solarino, then you can find a stuffed version of the Sicilian-style pizza as well.

The pizzas that you can find in the province of Messina are closer to a calzone, with endive and toma cheese featured prominently in the recipes.

Sicilian pizza must have a crust that is at least one-inch thick to qualify for this description in the United States. You’ll find it served most often in the northeast, with Rhode Island, Massachusetts,

Why People Love Sicilian-Style Pizza

Sicilian-style pizza is a favorite variety to choose because the ingredients fall into the Mediterranean dietary group. It provides a balance of complex and simple carbohydrates, non-saturated fats, and proteins in combination with the understanding that you’re having a one-course meal.

That is just one reason why people love a pizza inspired by Sicily. Here are some of the other reasons why you might want to try it today.

1. The crust is porous and light.

Although the crust on a Sicilian-style pizza is much thicker than other versions, it isn’t dense or tough to chew. This design gives you the proper balance with the bread, sauce, and toppings. As the pie bakes in the oven, some of the sauce works its way into the crust as well to provide flavorful bites.

2. The rectangular shape can eliminate outer crust pieces.

Because the Sicilian pizza bakes in a rectangular pan, you’ll cut this pie horizontally and lengthwise to create square pieces instead of the standard triangles. That means you can get pieces which don’t have an outer crust, eliminating the sometimes hard and crunchy final bites that you receive with other varieties.

3. There are rarely a massive amount of toppings used.

Although you can make a Sicilian-style pizza with whatever toppings you prefer, the traditional approach only uses a lot of sauce, plenty of herbs, and your favorite hard cheese. That means you can enjoy a couple of slices with this option without worrying about the number of calories you’re consuming with the meal.

4. It offers much more sauce than the traditional pizza.

A Sicilian pizza uses much more tomato sauce as its foundation when compared to most other varieties that are made today. Most recipes use so much that it is not unusual for the cheese to be overtaken by it. Some versions call for the sauce to go on top of the cheese so that it won’t bake into the dough.

5. The Sicilian pizza is part of the Slow Food movement.

The effort to moderate consumption and reduces fast eating practices originated in Sicily. You are using authentic ingredients with the traditional approach, including making the sauce from scratch. The herbs come from a local garden, while the cheese would come from a sheep or goat farm in the area. It is a way to remove preservatives and processing from your diet without sacrificing flavor.

6. You’ll get a crisp, golden-brown crust.

When you bake a Sicilian-style pizza in the pan, the traditional approach is to coat the bottom of the tray with olive oil. This step will create a “frying” effect on the dough that supports the toppings and sauce, giving you a nice crunch to enjoy when the baking process finishes. Even if some of the liquid from the top seeps into the bread below, you’ll still get a firm, crisp finish instead of something soggy.

7. It can use any hard-style cheese.

The traditional approach to this pizza variety uses ground Pecorino Romano cheese. Now that there are more cows on the island, you’ll find modern recipes that use canestrato or caciocavallo. If you want to try a recipe with a unique flavor profile, then add piacentinu to your pie because it will add hints of black pepper and saffron.

Are You Ready to Try Sicilian Pizza?

If you are going to be eating almost 50 slices of pizza during the year, then you will want to make sure that each one is as healthy and flavorful as possible. Choosing a Sicilian-style pizza can help you to accomplish that goal.

When you embrace this pizza version, then you can enjoy some of the benefits that come from eating with a Mediterranean perspective. These slices are high in fiber, folic acid, and several antioxidants, including Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

You will also get to enjoy foods that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids while reducing the amount of saturated fat you consume.

If you follow the principles of a Sicilian-style pizza recipe throughout the rest of your nutritional profile, then it is possible to reduce blood pressure levels, lower your LDL cholesterol numbers, and enjoy flavorful foods every day.

Now is the perfect time to try a Sicilian pizza if you have not done so already. Order one from a local pizzeria or make one in your kitchen today to discover all of the reasons why you will fall in love with this style.

PS – You may also enjoy the Sicilian pizza’s cousin: Detroit-style.