Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
calzoncelli di scammaro fritti OR  causuncielli di scammaro fritti
Cauzuncielli di scammaro fritti (Neapolitan fried savory calzoncelli stuffed with anchovies, Swiss chard and onions)
Originated from: Naples, Campania, Italy
Occasion: Any time & special times
Contributed by: Taken from "Cucina Teorico-pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (1839).

Printer Friendly Version


Bread dough, cut into rounds

For filling
lard or olive oil
Swiss chard ["Scarole"], cleaned, chopped fried a little**
anchovies or fish, chopped

Oil for frying

**The Neapolitan word, *scarole," might sound a lot like "escarole" and is translated as such by some Italian-English dictionaries but in fact, it most likely means, "Swiss chard," as those who grew up in Southern Italy can attest to.


If you want to make cauzuncielli with "scammaro" you use the same dough as with cauzuncielli imbottunati ("pasta de llo ppane).

You wash and clean Swiss chard (escarole), clean it, chop it and fry it a little in oil or lard.

Remove the salt and bones from the anchovies.

Add them to the Swiss chard.

Fry the onions a little.

Add the onions to the mixture.

Place the mixture in the center of the rounds, fold them, press them together and then fry them.

Original text using Neapolitan dialect

Volenno fa li cauzuncielli de scammaro, pigliarraje la stessa pasta, e de la siessa manera; piglia doje, o tre grana de scarole pulite, lavate, e ntretate lle farraje zoffritte, o co la nzogna, o co l'uoglio, nce miette alice salate ntretate, aulive senza l'osse, e chiapparielli, farraje zoffriere assieme, e co hesta rrobba mbottunarraje li cauzuncielli, e li friarraje.

Nce puo mettere pure lo pesce, o l'alice fresche scaudate, e spollecate, ca veno chiu meglio


2. Fried cauzuncielli with scammaro

Bread dough rounds


Olive oil

Swiss chard, clean, chopped fried a little


Anchovies, chopped


The recipe in this entry was taken from the book, "Cucina Teorico-Pratica" by Ippolito Cavalcanti (Naples: Di G. Palma, 1839). For the complete copyright-free Italian cookbook visit www.archive.org. P.S. The directions are a little bit difficult to understand, but having done similar style of dishes, I kind of filled in the blanks. In any case, having grown up in a Southern Italian family (born in Molise) many of the words used in Cavalcanti's Neapolitan recipes sound very similar to the dialect used in Molise. Certainly, the word, "scarole," which the Google Italian-English dictionary translates as "escorole," was in my family used to mean Swiss chard. When I was a child my mother used Swiss chard in omelets and other dishes, she rarely used spinach and she certainly never used escorole. According to my mother the reason those from Molise use "scarole" rather than other greenery in their dishes is because farmers in Molise found that "scarole" did well, but other types of greenery did not take well to the soil. When I was growing up in Montreal back in the 1960s I assumed "scarole" was an Italian vegetable known only to Italians and sold only in Italian shops. It was only when I was an adult that I discovered to my amazement that "scarole" is not in fact an Italian vegetable, but one available throughout western Europe and some parts of North America. A source of merriment. Ignorance shouldn't cheer one up, but when it comes to food, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. Comments and photos: Mary Melfi.

Back to main list