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Pizza di scarola Napoletana

By September 15, 2022June 27th, 2024No Comments

As summer makes way for fall and winter, I look forward to cooler temperatures and comfort food. Pizza di scarola Napoletana (escarole stuffed pizza) is a beloved Neapolitan dish. Escarole, olives, capers, pine nuts, anchovies and sometimes raisins fill the pizza dough or a brisée base.

pizza di scarola

It is traditionally made and devoured on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in the region of Campania when escarole is in season. Escarole is a hearty leafy green from the chicory family. It is a popular ingredient in Italian recipes including the region of Campania. An incentive to cook a bunch? It requires little prep before cooking. The leaves are sautéed or braised and used in dishes like escarole soup, as a side dish, and is the star ingredient in pizza di scarola.


This homemade rustic pizza bursts with flavor. The soft, pillowy golden crust absorbs the sweet escarole, buttery pine nuts and olives. Anchovies melt into the mixture and leave a hint of the sea. My mouth is watering.

For a little taste of Campania here is my version of escarole stuffed pizza. Make this dish at home or during our cooking at Casa Mia in Sorrento experience. Buon appetite!

Ingredients for the dough

5 cups flour
1 cube yeast
1 1/4 cups water
3 – 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. salt
grated pecorino cheese to taste
2/3 cup milk

the scarola filling for pizza

Ingredients of the filling

2 large heads escarole
Gaeta olives (to taste – approximately 3/4 cup)
Capers (to taste – approximately 1/2 cup)
Anchovy fillets preserved in olive oil or salt (to taste – 3 or 4 fillets)
2 garlic cloves minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Pine nuts (to taste – approximately 1/4 cup)
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

Start making the dough

Pile the flour in a mound on a marble or wooden surface. Make a well in the center of the mound. Dissolve the brewer’s yeast in tepid water as instructed on the packet. Pour the yeast mixture, extra virgin olive oil, water, milk and salt into the well. Knead until smooth and elastic adding pecorino cheese to taste to the mixture. Place in a floured bowl. Cover with a cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. While the dough is rising make the filling.

For the filling

Clean the escarole. Cook it in a bit of salted water over low heat. Once cooked set the escarole aside to drain.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and anchovy fillets. Stir and mash the anchovies until they melt into a paste. Add the olives and the capers. Stir well. Add the pine nuts and the escarole. Salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and mix well.

ingredients for pizza di scarola

Let the filling cool while you roll out the dough. Grease a baking pan with olive oil. I use a medium size square pizza pan. Divide the dough in two sections. Use a bit more dough for the base of the pizza letting it hang over the sides of the well oiled pizza pan. Roll out the bottom half of the dough in the shape of the pan. Add the filling, covering the bottom dough evenly. Top with the remaining dough. Seal the edges by pinching the dough together with your fingers or press together with the tines of a fork. In a pinch use pre-made dough. Cover and set aside in a warm place for an hour. Bake in the oven at 400°F for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cold as an appetizer or main.

pizza di scarola

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