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Sciadunes (Half-moon shaped Easter pastries, filled with Pecorino Romano cheese, Provolone, Ricotta, pepperoni and ham)
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010)

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For Pastry:
18 to 19 cups all-purpose flour (use more if needed)
6 teaspoons salt
3 3/4 cups shortening
5 cups water
9 extra large eggs, beaten

For Filling:
10 1/2 cups whole milk Ricotta or fresh basket cheese, well drained
8 cups shredded Provolone
3 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
20 extra large eggs, beaten
8 1/2 cups pepperoni, diced
4 cups baked ham, diced

For Egg Wash:
4 beaten eggs


To Make Pastry:

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.

Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, as for a pie crust.

Make a well in the center of the flour.

Add water and beaten eggs.

With a wodden spoon, gradually work flour into water and egg mixture until dough begins to form a ball.

Place dough on floured surface and knead until smooth.

Cover dough and let it rest.

To Make Filling:

In a large mixing bowl, combine Ricotta or fresh basket cheese with Provolone and Roman cheeses. Blend very well.

Add eggs, pepperoni, and ham. Mix well. Mixture will be very moist.

To form sciadunes, divide dough into 12 pieces.

Work with one piece at a time, while keeping remaining dough covered.

On floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Invert a soup bowl or a luncheon-size plate (8 1/2 inches) on the dough and cut around it with a pastry wheel.

Remaining scraps of dough cn be gathered and rolled out again.

Place 1 cup filling on one-half of the round.

Spread evenly with a knife, leaving a 3/4-inch space from the edge.

Fold dough over to form half-moon.

Crimp edges with floured fork and seal with pastry wheel.

Place on greased sheet pan.

Continue to cut and fill all the sciadones.

With a pastry brush, coat tops and sides with egg wash.

Pierce top of the half-moons with a fork for steam to escape.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove and cool on a rack.

Sciadunes may be prepared and stored up to 2 weeks in advance, if wrapped well and frozen.

YIELD: 26 to 28


This recipe was taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010) with the expressed permission of the author, an award-winning Italian-American chef and owner of "Rizzo's Malabar Inn." "Rizzo's Malabar Inn" is located in southwestern Pennsylvania (126 Rizzo Road, Crabtree, Salem Township). The food served at this restaurant, a local landmark dating back to the 1920s, reflects the culinary traditions of Abruzzo and Molise. N.B. Rizzi DeFabo notes in his cookbook that "In Molise there are two variations of this treat: the "sciadune" and the "fiadone." Unlike the "sciadune," the "fiadone" is a pie (not a pocket) made with Ricotta cheese and golden raisins. At our restaurant, we make the sciadunes for Easter and share them with our family and friends. This recipe may be divided in half...." Photo: Mary Melfi.

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