Focaccia Di Recco – Thin Savoury Crust Tart Filled With Melty Fresh Cheese

This lovely flat pie - pizza really means pie and refers to both savoury and sweet pies in addition to the iconic Neapolitan pizza. This focaccia-like stuffed bread is filled with braised bitter greens such as escarole or broccoli rabe, capers, pine nuts and fat fleshy black olives. You might add anchovies, you could also add sultanas. Unlike other focaccia, which are more like pizza, this is unleavened, essentially a flatbread, and it is stuffed, pie-like, with a unique and delicious young cheese known as Stracchino. If you can’t get Stracchino you can use another young, soft and meltable cheese such as Kalari, Bandel, or even a fresh paneer. Gorgonzola mixed with Mascarpone is probably excellent, too.


one large focaccia

Preparation Time

30 - 40 minutes

Resting Time

1 ½ hours

Baking Time

10 - 15 minutes


300g Italian type 00 flour or type 1 whole meal flour
pinch of coarse sea salt, plus as needed for sprinkling on top
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the pan and topping
100 ml cold water
300 g Stracchino cheese, or alternatives mentioned in the head notes.


Combine flour and salt, and make a mound on a working board or counter workspace. Make a well in the middle and add the water and extra virgin olive oil, mixing with a fork to incorporate the liquid into the flour, little by little, as if you were making pasta. When it forms a dough, using your hands, begin to knead it. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth. Wrap in clingfilm, and leave to rest at room temperature, for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 225°C.

Divide the dough evenly into two parts. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface, keeping it as round as possible. You want it to be very thin, almost like filo pastry, but a little thicker makes it easier to handle.

Oil a round pizza pan/tray and place a layer of the dough on it. Add the cheese, leaving a border around the edge so that you can seal it. Cover with the second sheet of dough, and seal the edges by pinching them together, dipping your finger into water and pinching them tightly, to help it stick together better.

Cut small holes in top, for steam to escape; brush top with the oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden.

Serve hot, or at room temperature.