Zucchini and Ricotta Tarts (Sfogliata di Formaggi)

8 servings
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups tepid water
  • 1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups semolina flour
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 4 medium zucchinis, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water and set aside for 15 minutes, until yeast dissolves and foams.

In a medium bowl, mix the tepid water, 1/4 cup oil, the milk, and the salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose and the semolina flour and add them to the yeast mixture, along with the liquid mixture. With a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients to form the beginnings of a dough. Turn out onto a lightly-floured board and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic, at least 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the remaining oil until smoking. Add the scallions, garlic and almonds and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until light golden brown. Add the chili flakes and zucchini and cook until the zucchini is very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring regularly. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and stretch each piece into an 8-inch round, which need not be perfectly round.

Place a clean pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Divide zucchini mixture among the 8 rounds of dough, distributing it evenly, and dab a little ricotta on each one. Bake until light golden brown, about 14 to16 minutes, and serve hot or at room temperature.

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