One of the best ways to channel Abruzzo when you’re far away is to cook its famous fried pizza, known as Frittella or Pizz’onta. It’s a delicious golden downy inheritance from the days of cucina povera; a simple a quick-fry bread that could be taken to the fields to eat alone or with a slice or two of prosciutto, or pecorino cheese. Today, it’s revered, greedily gobbled down without a second thought about carbs and fried foods at many a sagra, or when following your nose as you pick up the smell of your neighbour cooking and handing them out.
In typical Abruzzese fashion its story lies in the necessity of nothing going to waste; dough scraps which were rolled into a ball and then pulled into shape or rolled out to be shallow or deep fried in olive oil or lard. Now of course it has its own recipe and like all things wonderful it requires a little patience. Before you let the dough prove for its final, second stage you want to see plenty of small and big bubbles pushing up at the top of your dough, once fried and sprinkled with a little salt, those bubbles become the peaks and foothills of Abruzzo’s undulating landscape in this golden heaven.
To get the true rustic experience forget the napkin and grab a piece of kitchen paper, their nickname ‘Pizz’onta’ in dialect means ‘greasy’ and your fingers and lips will be after eating, but go with it and enjoy the delight, you only live once!
- 300 g 00 Flour
- 160-180 g Water (room temperature)
- 5 g of Fresh Yeast
- 3.5 g Ground Salt
- 1 tsp Caster Sugar
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- For Frying:
- Low grade (cheap and cheerful) Olive Oil
- Ground Salt
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water gradually because as all flour is a little different you want a soft elastic dough.
- Leave it to rise in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel until it has doubled in size and formed bubbles.
- Take the dough again and divide it into a 2/3 and 1/3 ratio. Divide your larger ball into 3. Take each piece and tuck the ends of the ball underneath and then roll in a ball and leave on a plate. For the smaller piece of dough divide it into 3 and again roll each piece into a ball and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan
- Use your floured fingers hands to pull and spread the dough balls into a pizza shape or elongated oval so they are - the thinner they are the crispier they are when cooked.
- Fry each pizza one at a time so the oil temperature for approximately 30 seconds on each side - they should be golde brown .
- Drain on kitchen paper towel.
- Serve hot with added salt sprinkled on top.