Scarpaccia is an Italian zucchini tart full of fantastic flavor!

Scarpaccia Zucchini Tart

Every Italian family (and every non-Italian family for that matter!) needs a good Scarpaccia in their recipe collection.  Scarpaccia is a delicious zucchini tart or flatbread with such fantastic flavors – we would eat this dish every week if we could!

Scarpaccia is a dish that originates from the Tuscan coastal areas around Viagreggio, an Italian city that Jack and I visited on our honeymoon. The name is loosely translated as meaning ‘bad shoe’ and some sources say this dish got its name because it bakes up as thin as the sole of a bad shoe!  Other sources describe a ‘bad shoe’ as one that has been worn by many family members, and scarpaccia is a tart that you can put anything into – like a bad shoe.

Scarpaccia Zucchini Tart

Whichever definition you prefer, scarpaccia was traditionally baked during the zucchini season by retired sailors using the vegetables from their garden.  Scarpaccia traditionally includes zucchini flowers – however most people don’t have access to that ingredient year-round, so we made ours with thinly sliced zucchini. (If you are able to find zucchini flowers, by all means add it – and just cut back a bit on the amount of sliced zucchini called for in this recipe.)

Scarpaccia Zucchini Tart

Scarpaccia can be made sweet or savory, thin or thick, crisp or soft – as long as the common ingredients of zucchini and flour are used.  Our version – inspired by both Jack’s own family recipe, as well as a recipe we brought home from our honeymoon – has a touch of sweetness along with wonderful savory flavors from sundried tomatoes, basil and thyme and Parmesan cheese.  It also has a bit of texture thanks to adding corn meal as well as the addition of pine nuts to the batter.

Served warm out of the oven with a side salad, this scarpaccia makes a truly wonderful lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!

Scarpaccia Zucchini Tart

This post was originally published in May 2014. 

You may enjoy these other Zucchini recipes:

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Scarpaccia - A Family Feast

Scarpaccia

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 1 red onion (about ½ pound)
  • 2 cups tightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 8.5-ounce jar sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, plus one teaspoon for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Approximately 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or enough to add to the oil drained from jar of sundried tomatoes to equal 1 full cup), plus more for drizzling
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a 12X16 inch sheet pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Slice zucchini into very thin slices and place in a large bowl. Slice red onion into very thin slices and add to zucchini. Also add baby spinach to bowl.
  3. Drain oil from sundried tomatoes into a cup measure and set oil aside. Cut tomatoes into quarters and add to bowl with other vegetables.
  4. Add pine nuts, basil, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, salt and pepper to the large bowl with vegetables and toss all ingredients together.
  5. In a separate bowl mix flour, corn meal and baking powder. Add this to the large bowl and toss again to mix the ingredients.
  6. In that same smaller bowl, beat eggs and sugar and add to the large bowl, mixing into ingredients.
  7. Take the reserved cup measure with the oil drained from the tomatoes and add enough olive oil to fill one cup. Add to the large bowl, mixing to combine.
  8. Finally, slowly mix in the water to the large bowl, only using enough to make a thin batter. You may not need all of the water.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared sheet pan, drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 55-60 minutes.
  10. When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over the top and drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle the remaining thyme over the top.
  11. Cut into squares and serve.

 

Scarpaccia Zucchini Tart

Scarpaccia Zucchini Tart

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    Comments

  • Antointte balbata wrote:

    I made this as part of my Sunday family roast dinner as there are several vegetarians in our midst. A really easy recipe to follow and cook. I will be making it again but will reduce the amount of sugar as I found the the scarpaccia tart a little sweet. Was enjoyed by all who ventured to try it and taken away for lunches the next day.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Antoinette!

  • Monica wrote:

    This looks like a great recipe and thanks for the backgroud story. I’m going to make this for Thanksgiving in addition to our other traditional family recipes, and hopefully adding this one every year.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great idea Monica! It will make a nice (and different!) addition to Thanksgiving dinner. We hope you love it!

  • Melissa wrote:

    Delicious! When my husband says “it’s pretty good,” it’s high praise. Might try a slightly smaller pan next time.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you (both) liked the recipe Melissa!

  • Jacqueline wrote:

    sounds wonderful. can you give me the nutritional breakdown..mainly the carbohydrate content….I have a family member who is diabetic.

    thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jacqueline – We don’t currently calculate the nutritional breakdown of our recipes but may be adding it soon. In the meantime there are several free online calculators you may use (MyFitnessPal, etc) to calculate the information you need. Hope that helps!

  • Sona Creighton wrote:

    This recipe sounds delicious. I’d love to make it for my vegetarian daughter-in-law and wondered what kind of pan to bake in if I cut the recipe in half?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sonia – Quarter sheet pans are available (Walmart sells some inexpensive options) which are 9″x13″ and have similarly low sides like the pan you see in our pictures. If you don’t want to buy a special pan, then any 9×13-inch pan will work too. Enjoy!

  • Bob Osborne wrote:

    Really tasty, but why so much sugar, does it actually need any? Being suspicious of stated amount, I only used about 125 Grammys but it was way too sweet.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing your feedback Bob. As you may have read in the post, this is one of those recipes that can be made sweet or savory. Jack’s family recipe was someplace in between. But – as you did – feel free to adjust to suit your tastes.

  • Robert Weaver wrote:

    This recipe looks terrific but haven’t made it yet, still trying to decipher the instructions. I’ve just about figured out the bowls. We have “large” bowl, just plain “bowl”, “separate” bowl and just plain “bowl” bowl. Extremely confusing. Also, it appears the vegetable mixture is complete in step #7 and step #8 is preparing the batter and #9 is cooking the batter for an hour; what do you do with the vegetable mixture?

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the feedback Robert – I can totally see your point and agree that as written it a little confusing (especially if you are just reading through the recipe without doing the steps). We will edit the recipe to attempt to make it more clear. Basically, throughout the recipe, you’ll mix various ingredients together in steps that all get added to the ‘large bowl’ with the vegetables – including the last step which is adding water to the ‘large bowl’ to create what we called the batter. Everything (vegetables in a batter) gets poured into the pan before baking. I hope that helps clarify things for you. Thanks for taking the time to write to us!

      • Robert Weaver wrote:

        tx, Martha, I’ll look for the amended version and give it a try.

  • Andrea Hunsberger wrote:

    Took to a party and everyone loved it, including two men who don’t like vegetables. They went back for seconds and thirds.
    I had a bowl of pasta sauce [Rao’s is my favorite] on the side and goes really well with it.
    On my keeper board and is something I have made many times.

    Thanks.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for taking the time to write to us Andrea – We always love hearing feedback like yours! So glad the recipe was a hit!

  • Julia wrote:

    I love this recipe! I make it as a side dish regularly. It’s unique and impressive-looking.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Julia!

  • Pam wrote:

    Unfortunately this was the worst recipe I’ve cooked in years. I used beautiful fresh ingredients, but the resulting flavour wasn’t nice.

    • Martha wrote:

      I’m sorry you were disappointed Pam. Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback.

  • Stephanie wrote:

    Hello! Would you say this is good at room temp and made the night before? I want to make it for a function and there is no opportunity to bake it there.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Stephanie – This would be a great recipe to make ahead and it is delicious served at room temperature. Enjoy!

  • June Vee wrote:

    I’m not a fan of sweetness in savoury dishes – can I leave the sugar out?

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes June – you can leave the sugar out.

  • Keri wrote:

    This dish was part of the appetizer course in a big, special dinner over the weekend and it was terrific! Thank you for posting!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you for writing to us Keri! So glad you enjoyed the recipe – and great idea to serve it as an appetizer!

  • Rachel wrote:

    Is it OK to leave the pine nuts out or can you recommend a substitution?

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes – no problem leaving them out.

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