Tag Archives: Italian Food

Scugnizzi – A Delicious Discovery on Instagram

A ton of my non-professional hours are spent thinking about food; I read my food magazines, dream of what I want to make, drool over the dishes being posted on Instagram, borrow a ton of cookbooks from the library…..the list goes on and on. Today, at the magical hour when my brain started thinking about dinner options, there popped a picture of Scugnizzi. Posted by one of my favorite Italian food bloggers under the handle @giuliaeats, the dish was described as fried pizza dough served with fresh tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, and grated cheese. I responded saying I had to try these immediately.

Fortunately for me, I not only had one ball of pizza dough leftover in the fridge (home made from Marc Vetri’s book on Mastering Pizza), but the rest of the ingredients were on hand as well. I was on my way to recreating Giulia’s picture of the Italian dish that is named after street kids.

It is so easy and as I write this, I am watching with contentment, as my daughter literally is trying to get every last morsel off her plate.

Here’s how you can quickly create this dish at home.

Scugnizzi – An easy plate of heaven

If you like bruschetta, you will be in heaven with this fried pizza dough dish.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian, Pizza Dough, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 Ball Pizza Dough Store bought is fine
  • 4 Medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 5 Fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • .25 cup Shaved parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt To taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper To taste
  • 1 cup Cooking oil For frying


  1. Roll the pizza dough into an 8 inch round.  With a knife, score and cut the dough into 1 to 1.5-inch pieces.

  2. Heat oil in a small pan (I used a 6 inch round one).  When the oil is hot (test by dropping a little piece of dough and seeing if it comes right up), fry the pizza dough pieces in batches till golden brown.

  3. Remove the fried dough and place in a single layer on a plate covered with a paper towel.

  4. Now you are ready to assemble your Scugnizzi.  Divide the fried dough onto four plates.  Top with the tomatoes, basil leaves, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.  Pour a bit of olive oil over each serving.  

  5. Serve hot!

Recipe Notes

I am neither an Italian nor an expert on this dish.  I simply recreated the dish based on a picture and description.  Would love any corrections/thoughts from those closer to the origin of this dish!

One dough, two pizzas a continent apart

By Lakshmi:

Home made pizza is a staple in our household.  We make it in a myriad of flavors, each one vanishing off the tray as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Last week, I had a bunch of kids come home from school and decided to do two pizzas with one dough.  The first was a good old Margarita and the second? A Mexican pizza with salsa, avocados and cheese!  Here are simple instructions to create both.  We’d love to hear about your favorite pizza making experiences as well!

Recipe and how to for dough

1 tbsp sugar

2.5 tsps dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tbsps olive oil

3 cups all purpose flour

Salt to taste

Dissolve the sugar in a cup of warm water, add the dry yeast and let bubble for five minutes.  Next add the 3 cups flour, salt and olive oil and knead the dough with your hand or Kitchen Aid with a dough hook till the dough is gathered and springy.  Set aside for 30 minutes till the dough doubles in size.  Divide into two balls for two pizzas.

Recipe and how to for Margarita pizza

Half a cup of tomato sauce

A cup of fresh mozzarella

A few basil leaves torn

Preheat over to 500 degrees F.  Roll out one ball of pizza dough and lay on a pizza tray.  Use a spoon to spread the sauce in a concentric circle around the dough.  Arrange fresh mozzarella and torn basil leaves on the sauced up pizza dough.  Bake in the top rack of the oven for 5-10 minutes (till the circumference bubbles and is brown).  Take out and serve!


Recipe and how to for Mexican pizza

Half a cup of fresh or store bought salsa (I used fresh home-made chunky salsa made with two tomatoes, a garlic clove, half a red onion, a green chilly, two tbsps of cilantro pulsed in a blender with salt and pepper)

One avocado sliced into thin slices

A cup of Mexican cheese blend or queso fresco

A few tbsps of fresh cilantro

Preheat over to 500 degrees F.  Roll out one ball of pizza dough and lay on a pizza tray.  Use a spoon to spread the salsa in a concentric circle around the dough.  Arrange the sliced avocado, cheese and cilantro on the sauced up pizza dough.  Bake in the top rack of the oven for 5-10 minutes (till the circumference bubbles and is brown).  Take out and serve!


I cannot begin to tell you how much the kids loved these pizzas.  And it really is not that much work!


A little twist yields a memorable gnocchi dinner!

By Lakshmi:

Last year, I was introduced by a mutual friend to a guy who was as obsessed with creating and eating good food as I was.  So it was natural that when this guy started a food blog, I turned to it for inspiration.  Recently, the team behind this food blog breakingnaan.com wrote about their success pairing fettuccini with fenugreek leaves (a leafy vegetable widely available at Indian grocery stores).  The minute I read this, I started thinking about my favorite Indian dish on cold winter days…aaloo methi or potatoes with fenugreek leaves.  And then the light bulb went off!  I could create an Italian version of this dish by pairing gnocchi with fenugreek leaves!

Here’s how you can create this dinner in under 30 minutes.  Start with the ingredients below.

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Clean the fenugreek leaves well to remove all sand and grit and chop finely.

Cook the gnocchi according to the directions on the package.

Heat some olive oil, add a teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes and two cloves of crushed garlic.

When the garlic sizzles, add the fenugreek leaves and cook for about five minutes till the leaves are wilted.

Now add the cooked gnocchi to the fenugreek leaves and toss till the gnocchi are coated with the leaves (about a minute).

Grate some fresh parmesan cheese over the dish and serve hot!

Presto! Here’s the finished dish!  We did not have a morsel left over:)

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