Depending on who you ask, it’s either called scachatta or scacciata. There’s no debating this much, however: It’s made on an egg-yolk filled dough, with a savory tomato meat sauce, topped with a sparse amount of cheese and served at room temperature.
Scachatta is a specialty at bakeries in Tampa, Florida. It is not to be confused with a Philadelphia tomato pie, which is similar in that it is square and served at room temperature, but lacks the spongy, yellow base that gives scachatta its calling card.
Jeanine Consoli of the Savory Traveler posits that scachatta was created in the early 1900s in the Ybor neighborhood of Tampa, heavily populated by Cubans, Sicilians and other immigrants. Their fingerprints are all over scachatta.
“Scachatta’s base is made with soft, doughy bread, much like Jewish challah, and sold at room temperature,” Consoli wrote. “The eggy dough looks like Cuban Pan Suave—a sweet egg bread [used for authentic Cuban sandwiches], except it’s not sweet.”
“The base is often described as Cuban Butter Bread but made with eggs,” Chance Drake, assistant general manager of La Segunda, a 109-year-old bakery that still serves scachatta (but refers to it as “scacciata”), told Consoli. “Which makes it really soft and gives it that yellow color.”
Like any unique style of pizza, scachatta differs from restaurant to restaurant. Some bakeries top the product with light mozzarella cheese or even a trace amount of Parmesan or, in other cases, Romano. Where the difference is really stark, Consoli says, is in the sauce.
La Segunda uses two types of San Marzano tomatoes, ground beef, yellow onion, bell peppers, herbs and spices. “It’s so thick, you can easily pick up the gravy with your hands,” Drake said.
“The sauce is then spread on top of the yolky dough and sprinkled lightly with Parmesan cheese, and then baked to perfection,” Consoli wrote. “[But] other variations include the ingredients mentioned above, chorizo and Worcestershire sauce.”