The Montanara Pizza (Classic Fried Italian Pizza).
Umm….so yeah. There is pizza, and then there is this pizza.
I am well aware that it is not your typical everyday pizza, but apparently it’s pretty traditional in Italy.
Ok, and New York. Any New Yorker’s out there ever had The Montanara Pizza?
So, do you remember back in the summer when I made the Mozzarella in Carrozza? and I was telling you guys about that old Italian cookbook my dad got me? Well, this is another recipe idea from that book. It’s not the same recipe, but it’s the same idea, a classic fried Italian pizza.
I am not really sure what’s it is called, because in my cookbook half of the recipes are in Italian, but after a little research online I discovered that a fried pizza is commonly referred to as The Montanara Pizza and according to the New York Times, they are pretty popular in NYC now.
So there’s the background behind this recipe. Super fun stuff, right? Yeah.
Here’s the deal, this pizza is basically a Margarita pizza, but fried and made more consumer friendly – and winter friendly, by using canned san marzano tomatoes.
I used my favorite dough recipe, but this time, I let the dough rise overnight to allow it to develop flavor. Apparently, this is customary in Italy, so I went with it. For the sauce, I stayed pretty traditional, but at the same time, did my own thing, because I just can’t help myself.
And FYI, the sauce is soo good. It’s loaded with garlic, basil and maybe a little butter too. Whaat? Yes.
And oh my gosh? For the toppings, it’s really just some smoked mozzarella and basil. Crazy simple, but it is all you need. If you have some pine nuts, I’d add those too, but other than that, it’s all about the cheese.
Fried crust, melted cheese and fresh basil. Seriously.
Oh, and I figured that if there was ever a time to post a fried pizza, it’d be now, just days before the Super Bowl, when fried food is 100% acceptable.
I feel like I should also explain that we are only frying the dough here. See, you just take one ball of dough and flatten it out into a circle. Fry the circle of dough for about one minute per side and remove from the oil. Then top the fried dough with sauce, cheese and basil, place on a super hot pizza stone, and then under the broiler it goes for about two minutes or until the cheese is all melted and bubbly. And then of course – you eat it!!
If you do not have a pizza stone, you can just use a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet or a baking sheet, but use the stone if you have it (and then the skillet and then if you don’t have either of those, the baking sheet).
Ok, and now I am done. Are you ready for the best pizza ever?
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
The Montanara Pizza (Classic Fried Italian Pizza).
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: fried, pizza
There is pizza, and then there is this pizza.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 ounce cans san marzano tomatoes 28
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt to taste
- 1 parmesan cheese rind
- 16 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese sliced
- pecorino romano cheese grated
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1 in recipe [pizza dough | https://dev.halfbakedharvest.com/whipped-feta-and-roasted-jalapeno-greek-pizza/] preferably left to rise the fridge overnight.
If possible, prepare your pizza dough the night before and allow it to rise in the fridge overnight.
Heat a medium to large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, butter, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Slowly cook the garlic in the oil/butter for about 10-20 minutes, but be very careful not to burn the garlic. You want the garlic to be fragrant and lightly caramelized. Now carefully add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hand as you add them. Add the tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, a good pinch salt and the parmesan rind. Bring the sauce to a low boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, with the lid off for about 1 hour or as long as you can. If you are going to go longer than an hour, keep the lid on. You can make the sauce three to four days in advance. The longer it simmers and sits, the better.
To prepare the pizzas, Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Place a pizza stone under the broiler (or large pan) and heat it for 30 minutes. Pour enough canola oil into an 8 quart pot to go 2 inches up the sides of the pot. Heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees F. Divide the dough into four balls. Dust each ball of dough with semolina. Using your fingertips, press the dough into a 8-10 inch circle, it does not need to be perfect. Using a fork, poke holes all over the dough; gently lower the dough into the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until golden and puffed, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a pizza peel or clean surface. Repeat with the remaining dough. Spread each pizza with as much sauce as desired. Distribute a quarter of each of the cheeses and basil leaves over each piece of dough. Drizzle the pizzas with a little olive oil. Slide pizza, one at a time, onto stone. Turn the oven to broil and broil until cheese melts, about 1-1½ minutes. Serve hot with fresh pecorino, basil and pine nuts.
*Heavily adapted from [Saveur | http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Montanara-Starita-Fried-Pizza-with-Marinara-Sauce].
GOOD. Lets make it already!
Every Friday I think I should have a pizza because I made it through another work week. I will definitely be having this.
Friday is SO perfect for pizza! 🙂
Holy yum this looks so good and would last about 10 secs in our house.
Oh my! I think I have died and gone to pizza heaven. Can pizza get any better? I’ve never fried my pizza dough but this is convincing me that I have been committing a pizza making crime all these years. Fire up the fryer honey!
I think I found what I want for dinner! 🙂
Looks like something im gonna be eating this week! Looking good, looking good that sauce must be really tasty.
SMOKED MOZZARELLA is a thing!?!? I NEED that in my face, and ALL over my face.
I am all about a simple ‘za. and this sounds like it needs to get into my belly! Pinned!
OMG yes!!! And it is so good! 🙂
It’s so easy! It’s so beautiful! I’m sure this is amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Got my pizza stone out of the cabinet already. xxoo
Yeah! Thanks Terri!!
omgosh… making pizza dough in 5 minutes… dinner tonite? THIS PIZZA!
Thanks Janet! Hope you love this!
My mouth is already watering. Seriously, could it be a better combo? Garlic, basil, melted cheese, FRIED crust and melted butter?! This is calling my name already…
Thanks Crissy!! 🙂
Happy almost Friday!
Ok, this has got to be THE best looking homemade pizza crust I have EVER seen! Seriously. I am now going to let my dough rise overnight because obviously I have been missing out on a huge trade secret! Gorgeous photos, too!
Thanks so much! Leaving the dough overnight adds so much flavor, you will love it!!
This looks fabulous! My husband is italian and they call fried pizza dough “Pizza Fritta”
What a fun name! 🙂
These look fantastic Tieghan, perfect for the weekend coming up. Love the recipe for the sauce – it’s on my ‘to make’ list. Pinning!
Thanks so much, Kathy! Hope you get to make the pizza! 🙂
This looks like the dough at our local Catholic School carnivals. We would have it fried with pizza sauce or sprinkled with powdered sugar. yummy!!
Oh yum! Thanks Karen!
This is really interesting, because while I’ve never heard of a fully fried pizza like this, it is slightly similar to a pizza oven pizza at home technique I’ve been experimenting with recently from the Pizza Pilgrims’ book (they’re London’s most famous pizza joints & street food, we have the same agent!) http://www.amazon.com/Pizza-Pilgrims-Recipes-Backstreets-Italy-ebook/dp/B00ALKTW1C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422456940&sr=1-1&keywords=pizza+pilgrims&pebp=1422456942520&peasin=B00ALKTW1C
For that, you cook the round of dough in a dry, blistering hot pan while you put the toppings on so the base gets nice and crisp and puffs up, then you blast the top under a very hot grill the same as yours. I love the method, though I’m not happy with the dough recipe I’m using with it, yet.
That sounds a lot like a cast iron skillet pizza method, it;s delicious!! Oh and I am so buying that book, it look awesome!!
Wait just a second….HOLY GAUCAMOLE! You can fry pizza?!?! What stroke of utter brilliance is this and why have I never eaten it? Tieghan, you did it AGAIN!
I know! I kind of thought the very same thing!
Yeah…this looks incredibly delicious!
I really enjoy using the skillet method to cook pizza, but it’s always so difficult to get the whole pizza (toppings and all) transferred to the skillet in one successful piece. This frying method looks super similar and much easier. Can’t wait to try it out!
I LOVE the skillet method!! And yeah, this is a lot like that, but just fried dough instead. Thanks Jenna!
It’s almost like naan bread!! GOTTA love it!
my goodness!! best looking pizza i’ve seen in a loooooong time..
THANK YOU! 🙂
Oh man! I love making pizza like this! Definitely more Italian style, which is certainly the best!!
SO by “bunch” of fresh basil you clearly mean multiple bunches right?!? That’s how I eat my pizza, with a basil salad on top drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. Hello, singing to my soul right now! I have heard of this pizza but have never made it. That crunchy crust definitely sells me.
HAha! Yes, a basil salad sounds incredibly PERFECT!! 🙂
YUMMMMMMMM! I never thought of frying pizza dough!
Waa, fried pizza, huh? That’s sounds freaking awesome!
Thanks so much!!
Gosh that looks like a delicious pizza!
I’ve never heard of fried pizza….apparently I’m not spending enough time in NYC…because I definitely would have tried this…and now I’m obsessed…I have to try it now!
Your pictures look incredible and your pizza really comes to live. I can almost imagen the heavenly smell of the delicious melted cheese and tomatoes. Great recipe!
Thank you so much, Valerie! 🙂
WOW … WOW… Can I say “wow” again? This looks mind-blowingly good. Thanks for sharing.
Haha! Thanks so much!! 🙂
that opening sentence should simply read, there is “my diet” and then there is my DIET, which includes like 8 of these pizzas.
LOL! So so true though!
Thanks Christine! 🙂
This is the GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN.
haha! YES!! Thanks so much, Cynthia!
Love This! Bookmarking to try sometime! Never thought of frying a pizza crust…
Thanks so much! Hope you love it!
Oh my goodness I am drooling. This pizza looks amazing! I haven’t heard of it but I am now on a mission to have some!
Thanks Emily! 🙂
This pizza looks absolutely glorious! Basically I really, really wish this was dinner tonight!
Fantastic!! And gorgeous too!
Oh my, that crust looks like perfection! Loving this one!
Such a brilliant idea. I love the fired dough. Gotta try this.
This is so cool! What a creative recipe 🙂
Thanks so much! 🙂
Holy wow..this all makes sense. back when I was a kid in Scotland fried pizza is on the menu of every fish n chip shop and guess who owns all of the fish n chip places?? Italians! Weird huh 🙂
Really? That is so awesome and who would have thought Scotland made fried pizza?
Thanks so much, Gerry!!
The crust on this pizza is calling my name! Yummy!
Our favorite Neapolitan pizza joint in Madison, Wisconsin, serves a Montanara. So. Amazing. I can’t believe you were able to make it at home!
Really? That is awesome!! Thanks Dana!
I could eat my screen. Love all that mozzarella and crushed red pepper!
Oh man, there really isn’t anything better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oooooh, this looks good! I recently got a pizza steel (like a stone but a big slab of steel that gets waaaay hotter) and have been cranking my oven and making pizzas like crazy. Frying the dough first is such a great idea, I can imagine the flavour is incredible. Indulgent, but hey, isn’t pizza supposed to be indulgent? Pinning this for our next pizza night. Must get my hands on some smoked mozzarella too! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you so much, Katie!!! 🙂
Hope you love this Pizza!
Mmmh. Fried pizza. Looks interesting! I want to give this a try, mostly because of all that cheese 🙂
I’ll take twelve please 🙂
That sounds soo gooood !!! Just one question when you say slide the pizza on the pizza stone ..slide it with a parchment paper underneath or does it hace to be pizza base touching the stone directly?
I use it with the parchment underneath. Let me know if you have any questions. Hoe you love the pizza!!
If the dough is refrigerated overnight, should it still be left to rise for 1.5 hours in a warm place? And can I do the same for the dough in this recipe: https://dev.halfbakedharvest.com/cheesy-fontina-caramelized-onion-chorizo-spinach-artichoke-pizza/
Yes, you can leave the dough in the fridge and yes, I would let it rise/sit to come to room temp at least 1.5 hours before cooking. That will also work for the other dough. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
This turned out magnifico! I’ve done traditional pizza crusts before but I think this is my go-to from now on. The crust was light yet crunchy and had a flawless texture & flavor- very crisp, a bit chewy in the middle & fresh, with no flour-laden dry spots. Just for fun & in the Italian tradition- could I use this fried dough to toss in powdered sugar as well? Returns me to memories of growing up with my wonderful grandmother who loved rustic baking & sweets…❤️
Wow that is so amazing! I am so glad you loved this recipe, Gia! Thank you!