Forcella (New York City)

Forcella, a pizzeria in New York City, gained fame for its Neapolitan-style pizzas, particularly its unique Montanara pizza, which is a deep-fried pizza dough topped with tomato sauce and cheese. While I don’t have the exact recipe used by Forcella, I can provide you with a generic version of a Montanara pizza for you to enjoy at home.

Montanara Pizza Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Pizza Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110°F/43°C)
  • 4 cups “00” flour (recommended for authenticity)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Frying:

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

For Toppings:

  • 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Activate the Yeast: a. In a small bowl, combine active dry yeast, sugar, and warm water. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.

2. Prepare the Dough: a. In a large mixing bowl, combine “00” flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. b. Stir until a dough forms, then transfer to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. c. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

3. Preheat the Oil:

  • In a deep skillet or frying pan, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).

4. Roll Out the Dough:

  • On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into small rounds (about 6 inches in diameter).

5. Fry the Pizza Dough: a. Carefully place the dough rounds in the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry until golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). b. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried dough and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

6. Assemble the Pizza: a. Spread a spoonful of tomato sauce over each fried dough round. b. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce. c. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.

7. Optional: Bake briefly (optional):

  • If desired, you can briefly bake the assembled pizzas in a preheated oven at 450°F (232°C) for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

8. Serve:

  • Serve your Montanara pizzas immediately while they are warm and crispy.

Enjoy the unique and delicious flavors of Forcella’s Montanara pizza in the comfort of your own home!

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