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Cucina di Amalfi by Ursula Ferrigno: Pizza Fritta di Mozzarella e Peperoni

Italian food writer Ursula Ferrigno was born and raised on the Amalfi Coast, in the small coastal village of Minori. In her latest book Cucina di Amalfi, subtitled “sun-drenched recipes from Italy’s most magical coastline”, she celebrates the food of her home, including its beautiful fresh seafood, comforting home cooking and world-famous lemons.

Ingredients

Serves 6 (2 fritta per person)

Fritta
200 g/1½ cups Italian ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
125 ml/½ cup whole milk
Olive oil, for frying

Anchovy dressing
100 ml/generous 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for topping
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 anchovy fillets, chopped
100 ml/generous 1/3 cup dry white wine
1 small garlic clove
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

Topping
3 large red (bell) peppers
Generous handful of wild rocket/arugula leaves
4 x 100-g/3 ½-oz. balls of buffalo mozzarella, each torn into 3 pieces
12 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon capers in brine, rinsed in cold water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To prepare the fritta, mix all the ingredients together, expect the oil for frying, in a large mixing bowl and knead well for 8 minutes. Please do not over-knead. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover and leave the dough to relax for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/gas 7.
  3. Prepare the red peppers for the topping. Roast the peppers in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pepper – they should be wrinkled and blackened slightly when ready. Cool the peppers in a bowl, remove the skin when cold and cut each pepper into 6 large strips.
  4. To prepare the dressing, gently warm all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat to heat through. Transfer to a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Season to taste.
  5. Once rested, the dough should be ready to fry. Break off a small golf-ball sized piece of dough and roll into a thin disc on a floured surface, to about 18 cm/7 in. in diameter. Repeat with the rest of the dough until you have 16 discs (you only need 12, so enjoy the leftovers as cooking snacks!).
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and fry the discs one at a time, shaking the pan vigorously, for about 4 minutes until the dough circle aerates and becomes crip and golden. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt and keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. To assemble, toss the rocket leaves in a little extra virgin olive oil. Place a piece of mozzarella on each fritta. Arrange the anchovy fillets and roasted pepper strips on top. Scatter over the rocket and capers and spoon the dressing over and around the fritta. You might like to finish with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.

 

Cucina di Amalfi by Ursula Ferrigno, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£20) Photography by Nassima Rothacker © Ryland Peters & Small.