Recipe courtesy of Nick Pellegrino

Mangia Nashville Focaccia

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 1 focaccia
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1 large red onion

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 bunch Swiss chard

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 head garlic

2 pounds Mangia's Basic Focaccia Dough, recipe follows

1 cup Mangia's Ricotta, recipe follows

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Crushed red pepper, for serving

Mangia's Basic Focaccia Dough:

2 teaspoons dry yeast

4 cups flour

1/2 cup roasted garlic

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing

Sea salt or kosher salt

Mangia's Ricotta:

3 cups whole milk

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Slice the onion in half, then slice into thin strips. Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat until they start to caramelize. Add the vinegar and sugar, and reduce until almost all of the liquid is gone. Set aside.
  3. Remove the spines from the chard, and cut into 2-inch-long strips. Saute in some olive oil until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Peel the garlic and place the cloves in a small pouch made of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and then seal and place the pouch in the oven until you start to smell the aroma of sweet roasted garlic, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. Do not open the foil pouch, the garlic will continue to steam until ready to serve.
  5. Turn the heat in the oven as high as it will go. Baking time will vary depending on your oven.
  6. Spread the Focaccia Dough evenly onto a sheet pan. With your finger, make little dimples in the dough. Lightly brush the dough with oil. Bake in the oven until the dough rises and starts to brown, about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the oven and spread the roasted garlic onto the warm focaccia. Top evenly with the chard, ricotta and balsamic onions. Finish with the freshly grated Parmesan on top, and return to the oven until the cheese starts to brown, 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle more Parmesan and a little crushed red pepper. Slice and enjoy!

Mangia's Basic Focaccia Dough:

  1. Start by making the biga (sponge). In a large bowl, proof 1 teaspoon of the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the flour, and stir to combine. Let the biga rise, covered with plastic, until the biga has risen and then begins to recede, about 8 hours. It should be slightly bubbly and airy.
  2. Then make the final dough. In another bowl, proof the remaining 1 teaspoon yeast in 1/4 cup warm water until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Transfer the second yeast mixture, the roasted garlic, olive oil and the biga to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add in 1 cup of the flour, mixing on medium speed. Slowly add the remaining 2 1/4 cups flour in two batches and mix until the mixture forms a dough and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turn it to coat with the oil and let rise, covered with plastic, until it doubles, about 1 hour.

Mangia's Ricotta:

  1. Pour the milk, buttermilk, cream, lemon juice and salt into a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel saucepan. Bring to a boil. DO NOT STIR! Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with an apron or dish towel. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. You will see the mixture separating into curds.
  2. Line a colander with some cheesecloth and set in the sink or over another pot. Carefully scoop out the curds and set into colander and cheesecloth. Let ricotta drain for a few minutes and serve warm. You can set the ricotta into the fridge for later use. Fresh ricotta will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, but you will eat it all way before then. Enjoy!

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