Mattonella Palermitana literally translates into Palermitan Brick, relating to the rectangular shape. It is a common traditional treat that hails from Palermo, Sicily. You can find it in every Sicilian rotisserie. It is very easy to prepare, very quick and so so good!! We used ready-made puff pastry sheets….do not be afraid of this already made pastry as it will save you hours in the kitchen and it is never as good as homemade but very close. Also, to get a genuine taste you have to use Italian Prosciutto Cotto (NOT CRUDO) but you can always use any good quality ham if you do not find it. Another option is smoked bacon (cook it before using in this recipe).
Do not use cheap ham as this contains water and will get your pastry soggy. Another process that should be done is draining the mozzarella balls from all the liquid very well and pat dry the slices from any excess liquid…again this is done to avoid getting soggy pastry!! So give it a go and let us know how you get on. You will need…
Brick Ham & Cheese in Puff Pastry
- 2 ready-made puff pastry sheets
- 8 oz Italian prosciutto cotto, hand-torn into small bits
- or 10 strips of bacon cooked previously
- 4 mozzarella balls ( 1 pound), drained well and sliced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- Dried oregano
- Sesame seeds
- 1 egg, white & yolk separated
- Flour for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Dust a large oven tray/dish with flour (not too much) and lay the first sheet in the middle of the tray.
- Start by layering half of the prosciutto,( or bacon) enough to cover the pastry, leave an inch or so from the edges so later you can seal them together.
- Then layer the mozzarella slices on top, now carefully cover all the mozzarella with the tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle with dried oregano and then cover with the rest of the ham or bacon.
- Now brush the edges with egg white and carefully place the other pastry sheet on top. Seal the edges tightly using a fork.
- Prick the top with a fork in various places so as the steam can go out. Now brush the top with the egg yolk and sprinkle loads of sesame seeds on top.Brick ham and cheese in puff pastry
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the egg yolk is well golden!
- When cooked leave it to rest for about 10 minutes and cut into squares and serve!!