Sicilian Bread Pie / 'mpanata

The word ‘mpanata (impanata in Italian) appears in a Sicilian lexicon in 1785 and is highly likely to have come from the Spanish word empanada, from empanar which means to wrap or coat with bread – the semi-circular stuffed pastries common in the Spanish speaking countries and in Spain. This Sicilian bread pie is filled with caullflower, cheese and anchovies.

Serves 8 – 10


  • Dough
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 4 cups semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Filippo Berio olive oil as needed
  • Filling
  • 1 small head Romanesco cauliflower (lime green in color), trimmed and separated into florets
  • 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio olive oil
  • 2 medium size onions, chopped
  • 2 anchovies in oil, chopped
  • 4 ounces black olives, pitted
  • 1 cup grated caciocavallo cheese
  • 1 tablespoon capers in salt, well rinsed and chopped
  • Ingredients


  1. Pour water into bowl of food processor; add yeast and blend.  Stir in enough flour, the salt and olive oil to make a soft dough that winds around the blade.
  2. Gather into ball and place in lightly greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the filling.
  4. Steam the florets until fork tender.  Drain and set aside.
  5. In a sauté pan heat the olive oil, add the onions and cook until they soften.  Stir in the anchovies and cook until they melt.  Stir in the cauliflower and cook about 2 minutes.
  6. Off the heat, stir in the olives, cheese and capers.  Mix well.  Set aside.
  7. Punch down dough. Divide in half; roll one half out to fit a lightly greased springform pan.  Add the filling and smooth it evenly.
  8. Roll second sheet of dough to cover the filling.  Pinch edges closed.
  9. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  11. Bake for 45 minutes or until nicely browned.  Let cool to room temperature then release latch on side of form.  Cut into wedges to serve.

This recipe was featured on Season 23 - Episode 2310.

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