Escarole and smoked mozzarella pie

Gennaro Contaldo cooks a gutsy pie with a relative of the endive; also eaten cold, its an ideal dish for sunny outdoor snacking
By Gennaro Contaldo
Escarole and smoked mozzarella pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour resting
  • Effort: easy


For the dough

  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 700 ml lukewarm water
  • 800 g '00' flour, (or strong flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 200 g semolina
  • 20 g salt
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the filling

  • 1.5 kg escarole (a member of the chicory, family) washed and sliced into small strips
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 50 g drained capers
  • 100 g black olives, stones removed
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 40 g raisins
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 150 g mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • 1-2 large handful mixed leaves, to serve


1. For the bread dough: dissolve the yeast in a bowl of the lukewarm water. On a clean work surface or in a large bowl, mix together the flour, semolina and salt and pour in the dissolved yeast liquid.

2. Mix well until the mixture forms a soft, but not sticky, dough. Lightly flour a clean work surface and knead the dough well for about five minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

3. Place the dough on clean tea towel, brush the top with water to prevent drying out, then cover with another clean tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

4. After this first rising, place the dough on a lightly floured, clean work surface and add the olive oil and black pepper to it. Knead together for about five minutes. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with a cloth and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise again.

5. For the filling: bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to boil, then add the escarole strips and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until just tender. Remove with slotted spoon and drain away any excess water. Set aside.

6. In a frying pan, heat 90ml of the olive oil and add the garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes. Add the blanched escarole and stir fry for 4-5 minutes, then remove the garlic cloves. Add the capers, olives, pine kernels and raisins to the pan and cook over a medium heat for ten minutes.

7. Remove from the heat and add the anchovy fillets and smoked mozzarella. Taste the mixture before adding salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.

8. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 8.

9. To assemble the pie, divide the risen bread dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Take the larger piece and roll out to a roughly round shape (4mm thick) on a clean floured work surface. Use to line a cake tin and prick the base all over with a fork.

10. Spoon the filling into the lined cake tin and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Roll the other piece of dough to the same thickness and drape over the cake tin to form a lid. Seal the edges, trim off any excess dough and prick the lid all over with a fork.

11. Bake the pie in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the dough is golden-brown and crisp all over. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

12. To serve, slice the pie into thick wedges and place onto serving plates.

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