Focaccia di Recco (Melted Cheese Flatbread)

My obsession with focaccia di Recco began several months ago while watching The Cooking Channel. One of the hosts was describing a divine crispy flatbread dish filled with stracchino cheese. I did some research and found a special copper pan from Italy just like the chef used in the spot. It is gorgeous. There a number of recipes here on EYB that were in my cookbook collection as well as a few online indexed recipes.

What is focaccia di Recco? It takes its name from the town of Recco in the Ligurian Riviera di Levante. The history of focaccia di Recco dates back to the third Crusade when only simple ingredients were available. This crispy flatbread focaccia is made without yeast and stuffed with cheese (or whatever your heart dictates) and is delightful.

I went on a shopping goose chase (or should I say stracchino cheese chase). Not a single location in my area had this wonderous cheese. I put aside my quest for a less busy time that is until a friend posted a photo of focaccia di Recco on social media. He was enjoying a version made with Robiola and Mortadella at a restaurant and this re-ignited my passion to create this dish.

I remembered I had located Robiola, an Italian soft-ripened cheese of the Stracchino family, during my earlier shopping spree. I just didn’t know enough about the cheese to know that it was very similar. Off to the market I traipsed to procure a small package of this white gold. I asked the cheesemonger if this cheese would make me breakfast in the morning as it was $16 for eight ounces. He laughed and assured me that it was worth the price. (He was right).

A few days later in the midst of making an Italian feast with recipes from Pasta Grannies, I decided that the time was right to make this dish that was haunting my memory. After cooking most of the morning, I almost cheated and bought bistro pizza dough (which you could use) but after I put together the dough – that thought will never cross my mind again.

The dough is very simple, made with flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and water and truly took a few moments to mix together. It was a forgiving dough and easy to work with. I adapted my version from this indexed recipe Melted cheese flatbread (Focaccia di recco) and it was spectacular. I reduced the amount of cheese as a test run and the results were perfect for us.

Everyone at the table loved it. One guest had four pieces and hinted to take the leftovers home. I sent her happily away with those precious squares. I had enough cheese and mortadella to make a second smaller focaccia di Recco this morning.

I made the first focaccia in a cast iron flat pan and the second in a small baking tray. Both methods resulted in a crispy bite.

Focaccia di Recco with Robiola and Mortadella


For the pastry

  • 500 gm 00 flour
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 250 ml of water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt

For the filling

  • 100 gm of Robiola
  • Six thin slices of Mortadella (about 100 gm)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt flakes
  • Crushed black pepper

To make the dough, mix flour, oil, water, and salt together and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Wrap in plastic cling film and rest for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220C). Oil a large dish of your choice but something heavy and sturdy.

Divide the dough into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. Roll the larger one to 2 mm thick (almost see-through) and line the dish, leaving some pastry to overhang on the sides. Cut the Robiola into small pieces and evenly distribute them onto the base, distribute the Mortadella over the cheese, and drizzle a little olive oil.

Roll the second piece of dough to the same thickness and lay it on top of the filling. Tuck the pastry nicely so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out and trim the excess. Drizzle a little oil on top, prick with a fork and sprinkle with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Before serving drizzle a little more olive oil and black pepper, if desired. Cut into squares and serve while hot or warm but this stuff isn’t bad room temperature either. Would make an ideal appetizer or small bite for holiday parties.

Mandy Lee of the Lady and Pups blog has a version online adapted from Chi Spacca as well as a Nutella version in her new book The Art of Escapism Cooking: A Survival Story, with Intensely Good Flavors, I am looking forward to Nancy Silverton’s Chi Spacca: A New Approach to American Cooking coming out in April of 2020 which shares her well researched and perfected recipe!

I also tried a tiny Nutella filled version but the focaccia disappeared as I was away from my guard station in the kitchen! My husband is already eating the savory version as I type. Pasta dough is resting to complete my promotion for Pasta Grannies that includes a 5.25 quart covered braiser from Ruffoni. Look for this promotion before the end of the weekend!

For reference: the first focaccia looked like the photo below. The second I wanted a bit more crispy and left it under the broiler for two minutes. Both were great.

Post a comment


  • pumpkinspice  on  October 30, 2019

    Thank you for the recipe and information. It looks fantastic!

    Also, excited to know Nancy Silverton has a new cookbook coming out.

  • Kristjudy  on  October 30, 2019

    This is a multi faceted review, educational, humourous, and perfect instructions for the bake. Now I will be off on my own mission.

  • FaithB  on  October 30, 2019

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! Love anything with mortadella; add Italian cheese and crisped pastry and I hear angels sing.

  • lean1  on  October 31, 2019

    Thank you for this recipe. I am going to make it soon!

  • Livinginfrance  on  November 2, 2019

    Having eaten focaccia di Recco in Recco at Manuelina and at several other places in Genoa, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Mortadella is out as is Robiola. Authentic focaccia di Recco has Stracchino and paper thin slivers of dough. Your end product looks nothing like the real thing. I’m not saying it isn’t delicious; it’s just not focaccia di Recco.

  • Jenny  on  November 3, 2019

    Livinginfrance. This is my version and I link to the original recipe. If you read the text, you will see why I went with my choices.

  • lgroom  on  November 3, 2019

    Looks so good, Jenny. My WalMart supercenter carries a stracchino made by Bel Gioso. I think it’s good. (Of course, Bel Gioso is a Wisconsin company so I suppose that’s why it is carried here.) Worked at a specialty Italian store in Milwaukee for a while and I know they carried an import.

  • PaolaS  on  December 10, 2019

    It definitely looks yummy! However, the real “focaccia di Recco” is not made with stracchino (a good substitute, by the way), but with Prescinsêua (

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!