Italian Talisman Italian Cook Book

Pizza di Scammero

I am endlessly fascinated by vintage recipes that somehow seemed at the time relevant enough to find themselves in fairly authoritative cook books and yet seem to have no other artifact of their existence or origin aside from that very book. Enter “Pizza di Scammero” from Ada Boni’s The Talisman Italian Cook Book. Boni’s pizza section spans a rather lean 4 pages and yet this recipe, roughly (and humorously) translated as ‘pizza of the scammed’ seemed important enough at the time to be featured. It is certainly one of the most interesting pizza’s in the book and I have no doubt that the flavour palette, with its combination of capers, olives, anchovies, and raisins, is common enough. Where it gets interesting is in the name, which seems to have been completely lost.

The most interesting aspect of this recipe are the sautéed endive which create a sort of faux onion base. Maybe that is the scam? There’s a lot of flavours going on here but the overall effect is nice enough with raisins offering a counter point to the briny capers, olives, and anchovies. This one’s more of a curiosity for me then a culinary delight. But, I just had to share it.


4 2/3 cups flour
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 envelopes of yeast

2 heads of endive, chopped and parboiled
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp capers
6 anchovy filets, chopped
6 black olives, chopped
1 tbsp raisins


  1. In a large baking bowl combine flour, shortening, salt, pepper, yeast and 1 and 1/8s cup of warm water and knead until smooth. Cover and rest for 2 hours.
  2. Parboil the endive for 3 minutes. Drain.
  3. Cook endive with 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for 15 minutes. Cool.
  4. Punch dough down and divide into two parts.
  5. Shape 1 piece into an oiled pie plate.
  6. Spread endive mixture over top, leaving a border. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients over endives. Cover with 2nd dough, sealing edges.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.