This month I'm cooking and sharing lots of Argentinian food, and I've learn't a lot about it so far! I was surprised how often pasta, gnocchi and focaccia came up in my research and in talking with Argentinian friends. Italian in Argentina? Apparently so! There is quite a strong Italian influence in Argentina which lead to some delicious fusion and the prominence of some classic Italian dishes (you'll be seeing a couple from me this month!).
I love focaccia so I couldn't pass up the chance to make this one. Whilst the Italian varieties tend to be topped with olives and herbs (or sometimes sundried tomatoes), the Argentinian version is generally topped with onions and dried oregano. It's called Fugazza - and it's delicious. You can either top with raw chopped onion (it'll cook up as you bake the focaccia) or you can make it even tastier by slightly caramelising the onions first. Guess which option I picked? Caramelised onions every time.
1 cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp dried oregano
1. Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is frothy on top.
2. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 5 tbsp olive oil and the yeast mixture and mix to form a dough. It should be soft and pliable, but not sticking to your fingers. If it's too wet add a bit more flour, if it's too dry to hold together add a little more water.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured benchspace and knead for 10 minutes (set your oven timer and put on some good music to sing along to).
4. Lightly oil the mixing bowl and return the ball of dough to it. Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes (or until doubled in size). In the meantime you can preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
5. Once risen turn the dough out and punch down into a smooth ball. Oil a round pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and place your ball of dough in the centre. Gently flatten the ball out into a disc with your fingers. You'll get to a point where you can't stretch it any further without it springing back. When you get to this stage just set is aside and let it rest for 10 minutes (while it's resting you can chop up your onions).
6. After 10 minutes the dough should have relaxed, allowing you to spread it out further. Keep doing this until the dough covers the whole pan and reaches the edges (you may have to rest it again before you can get it the full diameter).
7. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a fry pan and saute the onions until softened. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes.
8. Spread the onions over the the base and sprinkle liberally with dried oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
9. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges become golden brown. Remove from the oven, slice and serve up.
This month I'm featuring lots of recipes from Argentina!
Check out my other Argentinian recipe posts: