Ingredients for roughly 6 people, for a 30 x 40 cm baking tin:6 small zucchini8-10 squash blossoms1 average size onion5-6 fresh basil leaves2 sprigs of parsley4 eggs200 g plain flour150 g cornmeal flour½ glass water10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
This is a typical recipe from the beautiful Tuscan seaside town, in the Versilia area. The unusual name, Scarpaccia (= old shoe) doesn’t suggest anything good, but in reality it’s a sort of flat, crispy omelette with a vegetable “filling”. A simple, tasty, rustic dish that’s perfect for an outdoor lunch or cut into small pieces as an appetizer.
Clean the squash blossoms by twisting the “base” to detach it (the pistil should come away too, but if it doesn’t, remember to remove it). Wash them delicately, pat them dry with kitchen paper and cut them into strips. Now move on to the zucchini: wash them, cut the ends off and then slice them thinly. Clean the onion, cut it into thin slices and put it in a bowl with the pieces of squash blossoms and zucchini, the basil ripped up by hand and the finely chopped parsley. Mix all the ingredients together. Break the eggs into another bowl, season with salt and a pinch of pepper, then add the two types of flour. Add the water, a little at a time, stirring until you obtain a creamy batter. Pour it over the other ingredients and stir so that everything mixes together well. Grease the bottom of a shallow baking tin (according to the traditional recipe, it should be made of iron) with plenty of olive oil. Tip the vegetable and batter mixture into it and level it out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven, at 200 °C, for roughly 40 minutes until a nice golden crust has formed. The secret of “Scarpaccia” is that it should be thin and crisp, so use a baking tin that’s large compared to the amount of vegetable and batter mixture.
The dish owes its name to the fact that it’s said to resemble the sole of an old shoe, but it’s not really true!