When my mom and my nonna would make piadina, a flat bread from Romagna, they would reserve a bit of dough for cascioni, griddled pockets of dough stuffed with tomato and cheese, stewed greens we called "erbe," or whatever goodies were lying around (nutella and apricot jam anyone?). I love them so much that now, when I make a batch of the dough, I rarely bother with the piadina -- I just stuff it all. Cascioni are admittedly a bit laborious, but they freeze beautifully, are totally portable, and always make me think of my mom, my nonna, and childhood summers in Romagna. —lisina
Test Kitchen Notes
Best described as better-than-hot pockets, Cascioni Romganoli is a savory treat you can enjoy any time. Stuffed with a delicious Swiss chard filling, these turnover-style stuffed breads are portable, making them perfect for road trips, school lunches, and hiking excursions. While best warm, I can tell you from experience that they're just as tasty at room temperature. —RunningFoodie
On a smooth work surface, stir the baking soda and salt into the flour. Create a mound with a well in the middle that is large enough to hold your water and oil.
Pour the water and oil into the center of the well. Using a fork, begin to draw the flour mixture into the center of the well, stirring. The well will begin to get pasty and grow in diameter.
When the paste in the center is thick and gloppy, use your hands to fold in the remaining flour surrounding the well. Knead until the dough is relatively uniform, about 3 minutes. This is a shaggy, raggedy looking dough, but the texture should still be uniform. (Note: Steps 1 to 3 can also be done in a stand mixer with a dough hook).
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest while you prepare the fillings.
In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. When the aromatics are soft, add the chard and cover. Stir occasionally until the chard is not only wilted but also tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Pat the mozzarella dry, squeezing a bit to release extra water. Slice thinly. Set aside. We use the tomato straight from the jar or can, no preparation necessary.
Once your fillings are ready, you can begin to roll out your dough. Use a bench scraper to cut your dough into 12 pieces. Taking one piece at a time (and keeping the rest covered), use a rolling pin to roll it out, turning as you roll so that it is as round as possible. Roll each piece to about 1/8-inch thick and set each one aside as you go.
Lay out half of your rounds (called "piadine"). Cover half of each round with the chard, leaving a 1/2-inch lip. Fold the clean half of the piadine over the filling and use a fork to crimp them shut. Lay out your remaining piadine. Add a few tablespoons of tomato, a few slices of cheese, and a sprinkling of salt, maintaining the 1/2" lip. Fold the clean half of the piadine over the filling and use a fork to crimp them shut.
Preheat oven to 200° F and heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Lay the cascioni onto the griddle to brown, about 2 minutes per side. The dough will have a mottled light-dark finish. Transfer the griddled cascioni to the warming oven until ready to serve. Serve them cut in half to expose the filling and release a bit of the heat.
The cascioni can be held in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Pop them in the oven or back on the griddle to reheat. They're good cold as well!