How to Make Neapolitan Fried Pizzas – Original Montanare Recipe


How to Make Neapolitan Fried Pizzas – Original Montanare Recipe

fried pizza
fried pizza

Fried Pizzas, also known as Pizzelle fritte or Montanare, are a popular street food in Neapolitan cuisine. I recently had the pleasure of tasting them during my visit to Naples, and I immediately fell in love with their unique flavors. Upon returning home from my trip, I decided to share this delightful experience with my sister Giorgia, and they were a big hit! We couldn’t resist indulging in several servings of these mouthwatering treats.

The Art of Crafting Fried Pizzas at Home

Fried Pizzas, or Montanare, are made using an original Italian recipe with leavened dough, divided into small portions, flattened to form the characteristic round shape, and then fried to perfection in hot oil. Unlike traditional baked pizzas, Montanare are topped with a rich tomato sauce made using an authentic Italian recipe, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and fresh basil after frying. Imagine the crispy exterior paired with a soft, juicy, and fragrant interior – it’s a taste sensation that can be found in every corner of Naples.

Mastering the Art of Frying and Topping

Now, you can recreate this real Italian recipe for Fried Pizzette at home and savor the authentic Neapolitan delight! Making these delectable treats is a culinary journey that brings the vibrant flavors of Italy right to your kitchen. The joy of crafting these Fried Pizzas from scratch, kneading the dough, and watching it rise to perfection is a rewarding experience in itself.

Furthermore, the secret to achieving a mouthwatering result lies in the details of this authentic Italian recipe. You start by preparing the dough, a key element in creating that perfect balance of a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy interior. The dough, made with just the right amount of yeast, is made to rise for hours, developing its unique texture and flavor.

Once the dough has risen to perfection, you divide it into small, manageable portions, ensuring that each piece is uniform in size. These portions will become the foundation of your Fried Pizzas, so precision is key. Rolling each portion into a ball and flattening it into the characteristic round shape is a step that requires finesse, but the effort is well worth it.

The Excitement of Frying and the Aromatic Topping

Now comes the exciting part – frying! The Montanare are carefully submerged in hot peanut seed oil, where they transform into golden-brown masterpieces. To prevent them from puffing up too much and to create a central cavity for the toppings, a gentle press in the center with a spoon is necessary. This technique ensures that each Fried Pizza is both visually appealing and incredibly flavorful.

As the Montanare sizzles in the oil, your kitchen will be filled with the irresistible aroma of frying dough. It’s a scent that takes you straight to the bustling streets of Naples, where these delicacies are enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The anticipation builds as you watch them turn that perfect shade of golden brown. Once they are cooked to perfection, remove them from the oil and let them drain on paper towels, ensuring they are free from excess oil.

The Perfect Finishing Touch

The final touch that elevates these Fried Pizzas to an authentic Neapolitan experience is the topping. It’s a flavorful combination of tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil. Each Fried Pizza’s central cavity is generously filled with this aromatic mixture, allowing the flavors to meld with the crispy and chewy dough. The result is a culinary masterpiece that captures the essence of Italy’s rich food culture.

PS: For leavened, cakes and sweets, I recommend using a scale that measures grams and oz so that you can measure the ingredients accurately and get a great result. You can purchase the scale by clicking directly here.

Fried pizzas video recipe

Recipe Difficulty Level: not too tricky

Ingredients for 25 Fried Pizzas:

  • 700 g (24,7 ounces) of Flour 0 (or 00 flour)
  • 500 ml (2 cups plus 1 tbsp) of room-temperature water
  • 4 g (0,2 ounce) of fresh brewer’s yeast
  • 20 g (0,7 ounce) of fine salt

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • 720 g (25.4 ounces) of canned peeled plum tomatoes
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Oregano
  • Fine salt
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 60-70 g (2,4 ounces) of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

For frying:

  • Peanut seed oil


To prepare Fried Pizzas, start by making the dough. 

Begin by pouring a portion of the room-temperature water into a glass, add the crumbled fresh brewer’s yeast, and stir until fully dissolved. 

While the yeast mixture rests, take a glass bowl and combine one-third of the flour, water, and salt.

Mix the ingredients together with your hands. 

Gradually add more flour and continue kneading until approximately half of the flour is incorporated. 

At this point, introduce the dissolved yeast into the dough. 

Continue adding flour as needed until all of it is fully incorporated. 

Knead the dough in the bowl for about 10 to 15 minutes until it becomes smooth and uniform.

Cover the bowl with a clean, slightly damp tea towel, and let the dough rise at room temperature for at least 4 hours, away from drafts. 

After the resting period, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide it into 50 g (1,7 ounces) portions, forming each into a ball. 

Place the dough balls, and seams down, on a lightly floured tray and cover them with a dry dishcloth. 

Allow them to rest for another 2 hours in a draft-free area.

Let’s prepare the sauce

In a separate pan, heat a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and sauté a garlic clove until it turns golden brown, then remove it.

Add the peeled tomatoes to the pan and crush them with a fork. Season with salt and oregano. 

Simmer the sauce over low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.

Frying the Fried Pizzas

After the 2-hour resting period for the dough balls, heat a large pan with peanut oil to a maximum temperature of 180°C (356 F°)  (check with a kitchen thermometer).

Take the risen dough balls, roll them in flour, and shake off the excess.

Gently flatten each dough ball into a pizza shape using your fingertips.

Use the tip of a knife to make little holes in the dough to prevent it from puffing up too much during frying.

Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, submerge the pizza dough, pressing it down in the center with a spoon to create a central cavity that will hold the toppings.

Remember to flip the Montanare while frying.

When they turn golden brown, remove them with a skimmer and place them on paper towels to drain any excess oil.

As soon as the Montanare are cooked, you can start topping them.

Add a spoonful of tomato sauce into the central cavity of each Fried Pizza, followed by a sprinkle of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Finish by garnishing with fresh basil leaves, and serve your Fried Pizzas (Montanare) while they are still hot!

Buon appetito!

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