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Franco Pepe’s pizza with apricots

Here’s the new Crisommola fried pizza. The pizzaiolo dedicates it to the fabulous apricot from Vesuvius

Franco Pepe with his Crisommola, a delicious new

Franco Pepe with his Crisommola, a delicious new pizza with apricots from Vesuvius

It’s harvest time for apricots from Vesuvius, called crisommola in the local dialect. This fruit has an extraordinary flavour, hard to forget once you taste it. It should soon become a Slow Food presidium: the association has decided to safeguard it as it risks extinction. Indeed, the market doesn’t give it its deserved value. But the people of Vesuvius hold this fruit very dear and wait for June and July to enjoy its deliciousness.

Franco Pepe in his pizzeria Pepe in Grani in Caiazzo loves giving value to historical products from his homeland, Campania. He is very sensitive to the historical and social value that raw ingredients like this represent. He also knows very well how important it is to support and defend agricultural biodiversity and respect for nature. So he dedicated a pizza to this very tasty apricot. In the area of Vesuvius small farmers preserve some forty varieties of crisommole. The most popular are pellecchiella, vitillo, vollese, and then boccuccia, prevetarella, ceccona, palummella.

Pepe chose for his Crisommola fried pizza a jam made with vitillo apricots by Vincenzo Egizio who, in Somma Vesuviana, with great passion, and together with his wife Violetta looks after an apricot orchard with sustainable farming. Why vitillo? Because it is very tasty and on top of its sweetness, it also has acidity which makes its flavour special. Here’s the recipe.

Crisommola pizza

Crisommola pizza

Crisommola fried pizza

70 g ricotta mixed with icing sugar and aromatised with lemon zest
vitillo apricot jam to taste
chopped toasted hazelnuts to taste
deboned, dehydrated, powdered olives from Caiazzo to taste
mint leaves to taste

Apricots from Vesuvius

Apricots from Vesuvius

Roll out the dough so as to make a round disc, then dip it into lots of oil at 190°C. When the colour of the disc becomes golden, remove it from the oil, dry it and slice it according to your needs. Then compose the pizza. Put a knob of ricotta with a pastry bag in the middle of the piece of pizza, then place a teaspoon of apricot jam, sprinkle the toasted chopped hazelnuts and the dehydrated olives on the ricotta. Finally place a small mint leave in the middle.

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Marina Alaimo

Born in Naples in 1966, she's a wine sommelier and Onaf cheese taster. She writes about food and wine

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