If you happen by Recco, or other towns nearby on the East Coast of Liguria, you have to taste the famous focaccia di Recco, provided that you like stracchino very much, 'cause in a focaccia di Recco there is more or less the amount of stracchino that you could eat in a year or two.
One of the major drawbacks of the focaccia di Recco is that it's almost impossible to find outside of its area of origin. So, to avoid abstinence from this cheesy focaccia, why don't try to make a home-made version?! And, even before starting to search a fine recipe, it literally fell on me, and would never ignore a clear sign of destiny, especially when it comes to food!
The recipe is very easy to prepare, doesn't require long waiting times (the dough isn't leavened), and it requires only a great amounts of stracchino (the original recipe suggested the use of 1 kg of stracchino for 500 g of flour; both Manuela and I halved -or almost- the doses). Are you ready for it?
FOCACCIA DI RECCO
Ingredients (for a focaccia of 30 cm in diameter)
* 125 g flour
* 12 ml extra-virgin olive oil
* 62 ml lukewarm water
* 125 g stracchino (I used 165 g of crescenza… the supermarket run out of stracchino –what the hell?!!!)
* extra-virgin olive oil (to brush the focaccia)
* salt (to sprinkle the surface)
Put flour, extra virgin olive oil and lukewarm water in a bowl and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough. Let it rest for an hour.
After this time, pre-heat the oven to the maximum (the recipe requires 480° F – 250° C) and divide the dough into two equal parts. Now roll out both parts until you have two very thin (almost transparent) circles of dough: when you have those, cover with one of them a baking pan of 30 cm in diameter (previously oiled or covered with parchment paper). Then spread evenly the stracchino (roughly chopped into pieces) over this dough layer. Then cover the cheese with the second circle of dough, letting it loose on the top: press well with your hands only the sides of your focaccia, to seal the two layers of dough together. Now make some cuts on the surface (pinching it with your fingers or cutting it with a pair of scissors) and then brush the focaccia with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with salt.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown (or, if you prefer, even brown). Remove from the oven and eat while still hot, ie, while the cheese is still creamy.
A note: using the crescenza, the focaccia will be a little more firm ('because this cheese release less water than stracchino), but it will be very good, 'cause the bottom layer is not so watery, this way. One of the drawbacks of the true focaccia di Recco, in fact, is the bottom layer, 'cause the water released by the stracchino soften it, sometimes even too much. However, next time I hope to find stracchino, so I can try to be completely faithful to the Ligurian tradition!