June 26, 2012


Scarpaccia Viareggina

I am so happy that I discovered this recipe at the beginning of the summer season. Zucchini is definitely coming into its own and this dish is the perfect starter to any meal or a tasty light lunch served with a green salad. I’m sort of surprised that I haven’t tried this before now. It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks-Italy In Small Bites by Carol Field who is also the author of another of my go to cookbooks-The Italian Baker. Th recipe originally comes from the towns of Viareggio and Camaiore on the coast of Tuscany.

I followed the recipe exactly as it was written and we loved it. It was even delicious a day later warmed up as leftovers. This savory tart is very light and yet creamy with just the right amount of zucchini. I happened to have zucchini blossoms out in my garden and so I threw them in too. I don’t want to sound repetitive, but I loved this and will probably make it again this week. Give it a go! You won’t be disappointed.

Scarpaccia Viareggina Savory Zucchini Tart

8 ounces young zucchini, finely sliced
1 medium-size white onion, finely diced
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/3 cups milk or water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg [optional]
8 ounces zucchini blossoms, roughly sliced [optional]
abundant freshly ground pepper

Salt the zucchini and onions, and leave them to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Sift the flour and sea salt together. Whisk in the milk or water, then 1/4 cup of the olive oil, to make a batter that is quite liquid. Whisk in the egg, if you are using it. Stir in the zucchini, the flowers if you are using them, and the onions.

Use two 10- or 11-inch metal pie pans. Pour two tablespoons of the remaining oil in each pan, rubbing a little on the sides to prevent the scarpaccia from sticking. Divide the batter between the two pans, pouring it into a depth no greater than 1/4 inch. Smooth the top to prevent the zucchini slices from protruding from the batter. Grind a substantial amount of pepper over each one.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 425 F. and continue baking for 8 to 15 minutes, until deep golden. Grate more pepper over the top, cut in wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.

11 thoughts on “Scarpaccia Viareggina

  1. Looks scrumptious – and seems quite similar to a fritatta…is it?

  2. I’m amazed scarpaccia has made it into a cookbook. Gabriella, one of the cooking teachers for my tour clients, teaches it. She’s from Capezzano Pianore, midway between Viareggio on the coast and Camaiore about 10 km inland. She makes the Camaiore version, which is the one in your book. The one from Viareggio has sugar in it and is sweet! Can’t imagine it, but I suppose I should try it one day. Gabriella’s grandmother’s version has no eggs (so not like a frittata) and no milk, and the onions are thinly sliced, not chopped. Gabriella puts the zucchini and their flowers and the onion in a bowl and adds oil, salt and pepper. She then sprinkles alternately with flour and water until the consistency is ‘right’. Taste again for seasoning. Lots of black pepper is Gabriella’s view too. The literal meaning of the word is interesting too: ‘scarpe’ means shoe and the ‘-accia’ ending lends an unpleasant connotation to the shoe, so maybe it means a ‘worn out shoe’. However, as you said, Janie, it tastes delicious, a it’s always useful to have another recipe for prolific zucchini plants in the garden.

  3. We will have to try this soon, since the zucchini is so abundant they are practically giving it away at the local Publix supermarket this week. Great excuse for more cooking, right? LOL!

  4. Wow this looks delicious! Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Does it lose much without the squash blossoms?

  5. I love that this recipe has no eggs. And thanks Heather for the background. A delicious dish tastes even better when you know the story! Grazie Janie!

  6. Janine-you are probably eating delicious things like this every single day in Umbria-I’m jealous, but happy for you.

  7. will have to make that after my trip to the farmers market tis week!! yum thanks janie

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