Calzone di cipolla alla pugliese
(Puglian Onion Pie)
We love this traditional Apulian dish. Calzone di cipolla, or Puglian onion pie, is one of the signature dishes of the cuisine of Puglia. Zia Silvia, the eldest sister of our dad Michele and Zio Franco made this pie her specialty. We’ve been eating this dish all our lives and until now, Zia Silvia has kept her recipe a secret!
Since onions are the ‘star of the show’, the choice of onion mayl affect the end result so chose carefully. In Puglia, the most favoured choices are cipolle rosse di Acquaviva delle Fonti, a very sweet red onion but I’ve made it with the large onions from the local greengrocer and it was still delicious!
For the filling:
2kg large onions, sliced from top to bottom
Terre di san vito extra virgin olive olive oil
Salt and pepper
A handful of pitted black or green olives (or more if you like them!)The traditional recipe uses black olives
6-10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 teaspoons Ricotta Forte (a strong ricotta cheese – not the usual ricotta!) If you cannot get hold of this, replace with grated pecorino cheese.
100g grated Pecorino cheese
100g coppa/pancetta thinly sliced (not the raw cubes of pancetta – the one that is a salami)
Pizza dough. If using shop bought, buy 2 discs (one for the top, one for the base)
Preparing the dish:
(If making your own pizza dough, do this now so it has time to prove)
Clean and slice the onions
Bring to the boil a saucepan of water with a good pinch of salt added
Once the water comes to the boil, add your sliced onions and cook for around 30 min or until your onions are cooked
Drain the onions
In a frying pan, add about 2 tablespoons of tdsv extra virgin olive oil, the drained onions and the halved tomatoes and cook on a medium heat until all the water from the tomatoes and onions has evaporated – the onions should be golden
Leave mixture to cool
Add the ricotta forte and pecorino to the cooled mixture
Assembling the pie:
Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the base of your baking tin (pie dish approx. 23cm depending on how much pizza dough you have made!)Use one disc of your shop bought pizza dough or 2/3 of your home made dough rolled out to fit the base and sides of your chosen baking dish
Add the cooled onion mixture
Add a your olives
Finely slice your pancetta/coppa and layer over the olives and onions
Add a swirl of TDSV extra virgin olive oil over the filling
Seal your pie with the dough lid
Make sure the edges are sealed then make a hole in the centre of the pie with your finger or with a knife (Zia Lucia always uses her finger!)
Prick the pie with a fork so the top has the small fork indentations
Mix 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with 2 tablespoons of water together until it becomes an emulsion
Sprinkle/brush the oil/water emulsion over the top of the pie
Place your pie in a pre-heated oven (180° C, 375°) for approx. 40-60 minutes or until golden
Allow the pie to cool before serving. You can eat it warm (not hot) but, to my taste, the pie is much better at room temperature—and it tastes even better the day after you make it – if you can wait that long!
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito Mosi rose wine.