In BARI where love is king
when boy meets girl
here’s what they sing …
When the moon hits your eye
like a CALZONE pie that’s amore!

Once again, we’re bringing you in the deepest tradition of Apulian cuisine. The calzone di cipolle, which can be roughly translated with onion pie, is one of the most beautiful, heavenly dish you can have when here. And if you have it, Christmas is just around the corner.

The sponsale is a kind of winter onion which is usually used to prepare the fillings for our traditional dishes during Christmas time. So, that is why when the Great Mother buys it, you start the countdown to Christmas eve.

Actually, the sponsale tastes quite delicate and sweet, but it is added with green olives, anchovies, codfish and sometimes capers, which give, altogether, a strong flavor to the pie.

So, if you want to have a try, here’s what you need. Of course, we know it is quite hard to find sponsale everywhere else than in South Italy, so you can buy leeks instead.

For the pastry, you can prepare a shortcrust one. We usually prepare it with

300 g flour

100 g evoo

½ teaspoon baking soda

iced water


Sieve the flour into a food processor bowl, add the evoo, salt and baking soda and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the iced water, pulse again and mix the dough. Transfer it to a work surface and knead it briefly and gently. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling with:

600 g leeks

3 or 4 peeled tomatoes

100 g pitted green olives

5 or 6 anchovies

(and/or) 2 small pieces of boiled codfish


Sauté the leeks in a generous amount of evoo over gentle heat, seasoning with a bit of salt and taking care not to let them brown too much. When the leeks  are translucent and reduced in volume, add the chopped plum tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes have totally melted into the leeks and any liquid has evaporated. Turn off the heat and let the leeks mixture cool completely. Then add the olives, the anchovies and the codfish if you like it, stir and spread this filling in the pie pan, previously lined with the shortcrust pastry.

Cover the pie with another round of crust, pinch the bottom and top crusts together and make slits in the top crust to allow air to escape.

Bake in oven at 375° F for about 40 minutes. You’ll love it.

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