Scarpaccia (Italian Zucchini Tart)

published Jun 10, 2023
summer
(5)
Scarpaccia Recipe

Zucchini is the star in this rustic, low-effort Italian pastry originating from the Tuscany region.

ServesServes 4 to 6

Prep35 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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Scarpaccia (zucchini tart) in pan before serving
Credit: Marcella DiLonardo

Scarpaccia is a rustic Italian tart originating from the region of Tuscany. Zucchini is the star of this dish, which makes it the perfect recipe to bake all summer long. Here, sliced zucchini is coated with a simple batter of flour, eggs, milk, cheese, and herbs. You can add whatever fresh garden herbs you have on hand, but fresh basil is my favorite! 

Ingredients You Need to Make Scarpaccia

  • Zucchini: You can use all zucchini, or a mix of zucchini and summer squash.
  • Fresh basil: I always have fresh basil on hand as it is my go-to herb. Feel free to add your favorite fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, or thyme.  
  • Parmesan cheese: You can substitute Pecorino romano, Asiago, or Grana padano.
  • White or yellow onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Whole milk 
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour 
  • Fine or medium-grind cornmeal
  • Olive oil
Credit: Marcella DiLonardo

How to Prepare Zucchini for Scarpaccia 

It is important to ensure the zucchini is evenly sliced and that as much moisture as possible is drawn out before it’s added to the batter. Similar to making zucchini fritters, you want to salt the zucchini and let it stand for a minimum of 45 minutes. This step will help remove the excess water from the zucchini and ensure the batter does not become soggy as it cooks. This step can be done a day in advance — just refrigerate the zucchini until you’re ready to make the scarpaccia. 

Scarpaccia Recipe

Zucchini is the star in this rustic, low-effort Italian pastry originating from the Tuscany region.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

ServesServes 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    zucchini or summer squash, or a combination

  • 1/2

    medium or 1 small white or yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoons

    plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh basil, plus more for garnish

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 ounce freshly grated, or 1/3 cup cup store-bought grated), plus more for garnish

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup

    fine or medium grind cornmeal

  • Flaky salt, for sprinkling

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, plus more for the baking dish

Instructions

  1. Trim and very thinly slice 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 5 cups) and 1/2 medium white or yellow onion (about 1 cups). Place in a colander, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt, and toss to combine, making sure all the zucchini slices are separated. Place the colander in the sink or set over a large bowl and let sit for 45 minutes to drain.

  2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF. Coat a 10-inch round baking dish, cast iron skillet, or high-sided ovenproof skillet with olive oil. Push down on the zucchini and onion to press out any remaining water or squeeze handfuls with your hands, then pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Place 2 large eggs in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl as it is completed: Finely grate 2 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 2 fresh basil sprigs and thinly slice until you have 3 tablespoons. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese until you have 1/2 cup, or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought grated.

  4. Add 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until combined. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cornmeal. Stir until the batter is smooth. Add the zucchini and onion and fold with a flexible spatula until combined.

  5. Transfer to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

  6. Bake until golden-brown around the edges and set in the middle, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with more grated Parmesan and sliced fresh basil leaves before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.