In 1893 Don Augustin Banchero arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina from Genoa, Italy and opened one of the country’s first pizzerias. The Banchero family, who now have four branches, claim to have invented the fugazza con queso, and this cheese and onion pizza, has since practically become part of the Argentinian staple diet. Fugazzetta is a variation of the popular Argentinian treat, and is very similar to Italian-style.
What makes it different? Well, fugazzetta is a double crusted version of fugazza, stuffed with cheese and topped with the same sweet onions and slices of green olives. Fugazzetta de verdura has all of this plus a layer of sautéed spinach and vegetables. Fugazetta is more than a century-old Argentine pizza and it has actually been listed as a food of ‘patrimonial value’ by the Argentine Parliament.
The fugazetta reminds me of the pissaladière , a savory caramelized onion tart with black olives, that originated from Nice in Southern France, taking its name from pissala, a pungent anchovy paste that gives the flatbread its distinctive flavor. May I will make that one day and post the results.
Traditionally topped with a copious amount of provolone cheese, finely shredded raw onions, green olives, and dusted with a bit of oregano and red pepper flakes, fugazetta is a wondrous creation, that is completely vegetarian.
Serves 8 to 10
*For the Pizza dough:
1 teaspoons Rapid-Rising Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 to 2 cups flour
1/2 Tablespoon coarse salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Extra olive oil, for Brushing the crust
*(Or a good-quality store-bought crust.)
For the Toppings:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Vidalia onions, halved, thinly sliced
4 cups shredded Provolone Cheese (or Mozzarella)
3/4 cup Green Spanish Manzanilla olives, sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 1 tablespoons of warm water and add it to the mixture. Pour in the olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn’t form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/4-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onions, and cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes until the onions are deep brown and caramelized. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then cook for another few minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the dough. Brush the crust with a bit of olive oil, then Scatter the provolone cheese, caramelized onions, olives, oregano and red pepper flakes over he surface of the dough. Bake on the bottom rack for 10 to 15 minutes.