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Cheese "Focaccia" Pie Topped with Basil Pesto Sauce: an Italian Recipe

Updated on July 6, 2017
Alessio Ganci profile image

I'm from Italy, country famous for its food. I love true Italian food... and yeah, also love to drink a Frappuccino when I am abroad!

An example of cheese focaccia with basil pesto sauce, cooked by a local pizzeria in my town (I can say... the best pizzeria in my area).
An example of cheese focaccia with basil pesto sauce, cooked by a local pizzeria in my town (I can say... the best pizzeria in my area).

The Italian focaccia al formaggio di Recco is a a variation of the Italian focaccia topped with stracchino cheese and olive oil. It is very popular in some regions in the North of Italy (especially Ligurian region, in which you can find Recco city). In these same regions this dish is also proposed by pizzerias (an entire focaccia can be eaten just like a pizza). In the cities in which cheese focaccia is very popular it is not uncommon that pizzerias also propose you an alternative edition to this dish: the cheese focaccia with basil pesto sauce (made with stracchino cheese and basil pesto sauce). Both editions of the cheese focaccia (the simple one and the one with basil pesto sauce) cooked by pizzerias are usually very slim (even a bit slimmer than the same Italian pizza) and very elastic, and they are usually cooked in wood fired oven.

The cheese focaccia you see in the photo is prepared by a local pizzeria, and if you come to Italy I suggest you to order it from someone who cooks it in a wood fired oven. Otherwise you can also prepare this dish at home (I attach some indications on what you need to make it), but cooking it in wood fired oven would be the best solution. The instructions will help you in preparing this dish, but this is not a complete recipe: it just provides you with some information about ingredients. A little note about basil pesto sauce: it is much better if you can prepare it instead of buying it, as you can use the true ingredients you can find in the autentic sauce (while purchased sauces often contain cheaper alternative ingredients and many preservatives).


  • Flower
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Stracchino Cheese
  • Basil Pesto Sauce (better if made by you)

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: Serves a person (an entire focaccia), or a family
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 100g
Calories 450
Calories from Fat99
% Daily Value *
Fat 11 g17%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 9 g
Carbohydrates 40 g13%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
  1. You are doing the same passages you make in order to prepare a pizza: however in this case you should follow the Italian model of pizza, not the American one: so you are going to realize a very slim pizza base.
  2. After you have realized the base, you are going to top it with stracchino cheese, like if you are doing a cheese focaccia (in Italian pizzerias you can find cheese focaccia made in this way). However you are not going to add olive oil in addition to stracchino cheese: you just add some basil pesto sauce (which already contains EVO oil). The basil pesto sauce is not the predominant ingredient, so you are going to add less sauce than the amount of stracchino cheese: just make sure you are distributing it all over the base. It is very important to use stracchino cheese, and not alternatives like cheddar. If you cannot find it at your local shop, you can buy it from Eataly or other chains.
  3. The best way to cook this type of focaccia is by using a wood fired oven (in general Italian pizza is usually cooked in this way), otherwise you can rely on your home oven (even if it will not be the same)
The pizza topped with pesto, another similar dish, always prepared by the local pizzeria. Pizza is less thin than focaccia (but always thinner than an American one)
The pizza topped with pesto, another similar dish, always prepared by the local pizzeria. Pizza is less thin than focaccia (but always thinner than an American one)

I personally have not tried to prepare this at home to be honest: the local pizzeria has wood fired oven and makes an excellent focaccia with cheese (in general it makes excellent pizzas), and that's why I have not provided a complete recipe (since I prefer ordering the dish from the pizzeria), but some little passages you can do at the basis to make your focaccia (the same you are going to realize when you make a pizza)... but the little advices may help people who live outside Italy (like the most part of HubPages users) and who can't easily find this dish abroad, to make it in a similar way at home. So the main scope of this articcle is not to provide a professional recipe, but to promote a type of dish which is very popular in Italy, but probably not so much popular outside that country (it even starts to become less popular in the Southern Italy, as it is a typical Ligurian dish).

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© 2015 Alessio Ganci


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