Sfincione—Sicily’s Christmas Pizza

With holiday plans cancelled, travel suspended, and everyone stuck at home with the same people, pets, and dwindling stash of toilet paper every day, we figured there’s never been a better time to import some Christmas cheer. We’re counting down 12 international holiday traditions that you can incorporate this year to make Christmas 2020 memorable for more pleasant reasons than the global pandemic.

I already need very little excuse to eat pizza, so when I heard that Sicilians have an extra savory pizza for Christmas, I knew we had to try it out. On the First Day of Imported Christmas, we made sfincione.

We have since heard that sfinicione isn’t so much a Christmas recipe as an anytime Sicilian dish. Having tasted it, we really don’t blame people for eating it year-round. The anchovy and onion sauce is full of flavor, the crust is soft and airy while the breadcrumbs add crunch, and it has that cheesy pull that makes pizza the indisputable best food ever.

We used Chef John’s recipe to make our sfinicione and it turned out great.

We added extra anchovies because we didn’t want to leave only two or three in the bottle. I also recommend watching the video to see the dough consistency. I added too much flour when just following the written recipe. The crust was still delicious, but not quite as light and airy as it would otherwise have been.

We used mozzarella, provolone, and Pecorino Romano for our cheese mixture, but you could really use anything. The sauce is the star of the show. I struggled to wait until the pizza cooled before trying it, because, I mean, look at it:

Unlike some pizza (looking at you, Little Caesars), sfincione is just as delicious hot, warm, and cold. I imagine it would be a great Christmas dish to munch on throughout the morning as you try on new socks or start on the stack of books from Jolabokaflod.

Twelve Days of Imported Christmas

  1. The First Day: Sfincione—Sicily’s Christmas Pizza
  2. The Second Day: Pavuchky—Ukraine’s 8-Legged Decorators
  3. The Third Day: Chicken Bones—New Brunswick’s Crunchy Christmas Treat
  4. The Fourth Day: Advent Wreath—Germany’s Candlelit Countdown
  5. The Fifth Day: Julbord—Sweden’s Christmas Feast
  6. The Sixth Day: Mince Pies—England’s Medieval Advent Treat

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