Pizza needs no introduction. It is an extremely popular food that has won the hearts of millions of people around the world. However, in Italy, there is also a less well-known variant of pizza called Montanara.
It is a pizza whose dough is first fried in oil. Only after frying is it flavored with sauce, cheese, meat, pistachios, etc. The same dough is used for pizza Montanara as for classic pizza.
Montanara pizza has a beautifully crispy surface while being fluffy inside. The frying process gives the dough an interesting taste and structure, while the sauces, cheese, and other ingredients added after frying bring it closer to classic pizza. I had the opportunity to try Montanara pizza in gourmet style at the 400 Gradi pizzeria in the Italian city of Matera.
I tried an incredibly delicious variant with mortadella, straciatella cheese, pistachio cream, and crushed pistachios, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil. A delicacy that I would love to have again.
The second variant was Montanara pizza with pesto made from yellow Datterino tomatoes and anchovy, drizzled with basil olive oil. I really like anchovies, and the taste of this pizza was brought to perfection. Simple ingredients that went together perfectly.
The third small pizza was a special version with spicy provolone cheese and a fried zucchini slice, which was covered with a sauce made of caciocavallo cheese (a local teardrop-shaped cheese). It was a perfect combination once again.
Each of the small Montanara pizzas cost 3 – 3.50 EUR. If you haven’t tried Montanara pizza and you like fried dishes, definitely give it a try.
More information can be obtained by clicking on the map link:
Accommodation in Matera
I recommend trying out the accommodation in a traditional Sassi cave style. You will be right in the historic center, everything is new and clean, it's pleasantly cool here in the summer and the spaces are heated for the winter months. It's possible that you'll be hosted by a talkative bartender from a nearby establishment, who prepared mixed drinks directly for James Bond. The last time I stayed here was in January 2022 and I would love to return again.