Pane Cunzato (Sicilian Seasoned Bread)



Pane Cunzato (Sicilian Seasoned Bread)

In the simplest dishes lie the most genuine flavors... just think of a tomato bruschetta, for example, or seasoned bread, a Sicilian recipe that is as simple as it is delicious! Pane cunzato literally means 'seasoned bread' because it was originally enriched with the few ingredients available at home to create a cheap and nutritious meal, which over time has become one of the must-try dishes of local gastronomy. Also called 'poor man's bread' because of its humble origins, it is prepared in many ways, depending on the region: we are proposing Scopello-style seasoned bread, topped with tomatoes, primo sale cheese, anchovies, plenty of oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. But you can't miss the richer variants like Aeolian-style seasoned bread, with the addition of capers and onions, or Messina-style with eggplants, sun-dried tomatoes, and tuma cheese. You can also choose to stuff a loaf of bread as we did or serve it open-faced, maybe further enriching it with tuna, olives, and whatever your imagination suggests! Ideally, you should use a freshly baked loaf of durum wheat semolina bread, or the typical mafalde, but alternatively, you can heat the bread in your home oven and season it while it's still hot to enjoy an authentic and incredibly genuine seasoned bread.

If you are on vacation in Sicily, don't miss another delicious specialty to bite into: panelle!

Homemade bread 1.1 lbs (500 g) - (1 whole loaf)
Primosale cheese 10.6 oz (300 g)
Cluster tomatoes 2
Anchovies in oil 10 fillets
Oregano to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

How to prepare Pane Cunzato (Sicilian Seasoned Bread)

To prepare the pane cunzato, first, heat the fresh loaf of bread in a preheated conventional oven at 390°F for about ten minutes. Wash and cut the tomatoes into slices less than 1/4 inch thick 1, then slice the primo sale cheese as well 2. Take the loaf of bread out of the oven and divide it into 2 parts 3.

Cut each part in half horizontally 4 and drizzle with plenty of olive oil 5, then press the 2 halves together to distribute the oil evenly 6.

Place the tomato slices on the base of the sandwich 7, then cover with the primo sale slices 8. Season with salt 9 and pepper.

Finally, sprinkle with dried oregano 10 and add the anchovy fillets 11. Close with the other half of the bread 12 and repeat the same procedure to prepare the second sandwich. Your pane cunzato is ready to be enjoyed!

How to store

It is recommended to consume the pane cunzato immediately.


The ideal bread for this recipe is wood-fired, freshly baked durum wheat semolina bread.

You can enrich your pane cunzato with various ingredients, for example: tuna, onions, olives, salted ricotta, capers, eggplants in oil, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, mortadella, pecorino... the important thing is that they are of excellent quality!