Category Archives: Pizza Fritta

Herculanum Pizza: le Parùle

Ristorante and Pizzeria le Parùle in Herculaneum, modern day Ercolano, near Naples, has a great reputation. I first read about it on Luciano Pignataro’s blog, A few years ago, I was invited to the area by Campania Stories to taste the wines of the principal zones of Campania, visit the wineries and have dinner with the winemakers at night. To my surprise and delight, one of the restaurants where we were scheduled to dine was le Parùle. The name means vegetable garden in Neapolitan dialect.

When I returned to NYC I told Michele that not only was the pizza fantastic but also the rest of the food on the menu.


One of the places we have never visited on our frequent trips to Campania was the ancient Roman city Herculanum, destroyed by the famous eruption of Mont Vesuvio on August 24th 79 AD.  On this visit to Naples, we decided to visit Herculanum in the morning and go to le Parùle, only a few minutes away, for lunch. I contacted Giuseppe Pignalosa the owner/chief/pizzaiolo of le Parùle to let him know that we were coming.

Giuseppe said he only uses the best ingredients from the Mount Vesuvio region.

We started as always with Pizza Margherita made with Neapolitan tomatoes, fior di latte dei Monti Lattari cheese, and olio extravergine d’oliva del Vesuvio “Villa Dora”.  Giuseppe said he uses Caputo “0” flour and does not use a biga (starter).

Next we had a pizza topped with ‘nduja, a spicy cured meat, and mozzarella.

We also had some fried things, including macaroni with bechamel sauce, peas, cheese and ham, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried until crisp on the outside and melted within.

Then Fried calamari with onion rings

Montanara (pizza fritta) topped with Pomodorino del piennolo del Vesuvio, mozzarella di bufala Campana D. O. P., olio extravergine d’oliva del Cilento D.O.P. “Monzo” of Pietra Bianca and fresh basil.

I have been traveling to Naples, Italy for many years, and I think Le Parule has some of the best fried food and pizza I have tasted.



Filed under Pizza, Pizza Fritta, Pizza Restaurants

Pizza Fritta in NYC

Twenty years ago there was only one pizzeria serving Neapolitian pizza in NYC and that was La Pizza Fresca. Since then, a number of others have opened including Keste, Don Antonio Starita, and Ribalta, to name just a few.

Now Zia Esterina Sorbillo by Neapolitan pizza expert Gino Sorbillo has opened on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. He also plans to open another location on the Bowery.

First a little background. At the moment Gino Sorbillo owns the most popular pizzeria in Naples located at Via dei Tribunali, 32. In February we tried to go there but the line was so long it blocked the street. Sorbillo has several locations in Naples including:

Gino Sorbillo Lievito Madre al Mare at Via Partenope, 1. New York’s Zia Esterina is a clone of Antica Pizza Fritta di Zia Esterina Sorbillo, Piazza Trieste e Trento 35 

The NYC shop is very small and you place your order and pay a man in front. You can stand at the counter and eat or grab a spot at one of the few small tables in the front of the shop or on the sidewalk outside.

I especially wanted to try the pizza fritta, which is not easy to come by in New York. It consists of a large sheet of dough folded over a filling and deep fried. Imagine a calzone, fried instead of baked.

Pizza Fritta varieties include:

Salame: Ricotta, Smoked Mozzarella, Salami, Organic Tomato, Black Pepper

Prosciutto Cotto: Ricotta, Smoked Mozzarella, Italian Ham, Organic Tomato, Black Pepper

Provola E Pomodpro: Smoked Mozzarella, Organic Tomato, Black Pepper

Michele and I shared the Salame version. She thought it could have been crisper and there was little flavor of the mozzarella and salame. I, however, liked it. 

They also have a regular pizza menu which we were not able to try:

Margherita: Mozzarella, Organic Tomato, Basil

Marinara: Organic Tomato, Garlic, Oregano

Little Italy: Ricotta. Smoked Mozzarella, Italian Ham, Salami, Black Pepper

We plan to return when we come back to New York from Copenhagen and try it again.


Filed under Pizza Fritta, Sorbillo NYC