Naples – Materdei

Starita a Materdei (Elementary A), 27-28 Via Materdei, Tel. 081 557 3682/ 5441 485, www.pizzeriastarita.it

I heart this famous pizzeria, even though it’s a bit of a trek. It’s a fair way up the steep hill that runs up the side of the Archaeological Museum (Google map here). On the plus side there are no tourists because of the hill so they’ll be happy to see you, which makes a nice change from the grumpy staff at most pizzerias in the old town.

They sell Lowenbrau (B) by the litre here, and feeling thirsty after the climb, I started off with a huge flagon that went a long way to filling me up.

They have a very impressive range of fritti, including a delicious Frittatine di Pasta (A+) which is a deeply satisfying, deep fried mixture of spaghetti, pork and smoked buffalo mozzarella cheese.

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Other classics on the menu are angioletti (deep-fried pizza dough), crocche di patate (potato, mozzarella, bread crumbs), arancini (rice, ham, peas, mozzarella, pecorino) and fiori di zucca (courgette flowers).

Others I think might be creations of the restaurant, such as montarnarine (dough puffs topped with tomato sauce, pecorino), soffritelle (stuffed with a ‘sofrito’ of onion, celery, carrot) fraticelli (lightly fried dough stuffed with aged provolone), battilochi (with pesto) and rotolino (with courgette flowers and nuts).

I’m not one to change my pizza eating habits so as usual I had a Margherita Bufala which, as guaranteed by the sign outside, was a classic Vera Pizza Neapolitana (A).

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The Sarno area of Campania has a famous apple, the Mele Annurca, which has its own DOC  (see my Sarno post). A liqueur called Rossolio is made from the apple which I adore. When I saw it on the list of digestivi I ordered it immediately but was disappointed to receive a factory made version that did little for me (C).

Despite this small disappointment at the end, this is a great place for food and they were very friendly towards me. I shall be back.

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