Saturday, January 1, 2022

Enjoying Aglianico From the Vine with Pizza Montanara on the 7th Day of Christmas #ItalianFWT #SupperClubSaturday

Monatanara Pizza is a classic pizza that originated in Naples, Italy.  It is different as you fry the pizza dough before topping with a savory sauce, smoked mozzarella, a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano and fresh basil.

Pizza Montanara

I was inspired to create this pizza to pair with an Aglianico wine after watching the film From the Vine.....
Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited the members of our Italian Food Wine and Travel group to join her in kicking off the New Year by watching the 2019 film, From the Vine.

From the Vine

This movie is listed as a drama but I would list it more as a comedy.  I loved this film and while it didn't take place in Naples, Acerenza where it was filmed is not too far from there, so I'm sure this pizza made it's way to that area as well.

And while my wine isn't from Acerenza but Campania whose capital is Naples I knew that it was going to pair lovely with the Montanara.

The wine is however made with Aglianico grapes, the same grapes that Marco Gentile, played by Joe Pantoliano, ends up growing and bottling after fleeing a job as an attorney in corporate Canada and returning to Italian roots and his childhood home belonging to his grandfather who has since passed away.

There is not a lot of food in this movie except at the very beginning when Marco's wife comes home to a lovely meal prepared by him as he drops the bombshell that he has quit his job and has bought them open ended first class seats to Italy.

His wife believing that Marco is just going through a midlife crisis stays home and Marco heads off to Italy without her.  Once at his grandfather's home, that has been very neglected and is way behind on back taxes, Marco is reunited with the friends and neighbors of his childhood.  

Marco sets off to refurbish the house and the vineyards as the movie flashes back to scenes of his childhood memories and glimpses of the vines "speaking to him".  

Marco's wife and daughter finally show up in Italy after learning that Marco emptied their retirement savings to pay back taxes and renovate the place.  They arrive angry and determined to get him home to get some help for his mental breakdown.  

Soon they are enraptured by the magic of the town and it's people.  It is a fun, happy movie and a good way to start off the New Year.

Aglianico Wine

This Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico Rubrato 2017 is made to be enjoyed right now.  It is medium bodied and a bit spicy.  

While I am sharing this post with you on the 7th Day of Christmas that just happens to be the 1st day of the New Year, I served this wine on the 2nd Day of Christmas when my friend John, his son, Chris and daughter in law, Miyu, were over for a visit and games before Chris and Miyu have to head back to South Korea where he is stationed.  

Dinner started with a Tuscan Soup followed by the Pizza Montanara.  I will be sharing the soup recipe with you in a couple of weeks.  The wine paired very nicely with both the soup and the pizza.

Today also started a new group for this year hosted by Sue of Palatable Pastime called Supper Club Saturday.  We are all invited to share a recipe with the others in the group on the first Saturday of each month.  I am sharing this Pizza Montanara.  Let's see what the others are sharing.......
We will be talking more about Aglianico wines, travel memories, food pairings and thoughts about this movie at 11 AM ET today when we meet for Twitter Chat following #ItalianFWT.  We would love if you joined us.  Here are the topics we will be discussing.......

Pizza, Italian, Fried, Cheese, Breads, Entrees, Snacks, Meatless
Breads, Pizza, Entrees
Yield: 8 servings
Author: A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pizza Montanara

Pizza Montanara

Monatanara Pizza is a classic pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It is different as you fry the pizza dough before topping with a savory sauce, smoked mozzarella, a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano and fresh basil.
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 1 H & 30 MTotal time: 1 H & 55 M


  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 T. butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
  • 1 qt. tomatoes
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1 t. thyme
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb. smoked Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese for sprinkling
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 recipe easy pizza dough or your favorite recipe or store bought dough.
  • Semolina Flour
  • Canola oil


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When butter is melted add the garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir for about 15 minutes, until the garlic is golden brown and caramelized.
  2. Add the tomatoes, crushing them as you put them in the pot. Stir in the tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme and salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least an hour, stirring occasionally or longer if you have time.
  3. Heat about 2" of canola oil in a dutch oven to a temperature of 350*. Divide the prepared pizza dough into 8 equal pieces and press. Sprinkle with Semolina and press each piece into a rustic round shape. Pierce each pizza round all over with a fork. Place the dough, one piece at a time, into the hot oil and fry for a minute or two, flipping once, until puffed and golden brown. Set aside.
  4. Preheat a pizza stone in a hot (475*) oven. Place 1/8 of the sauce onto each pizza round, divide the Mozzarella slices between the pizzas, sprinkle each with the grated cheese and torn fresh basil.
  5. Place one or two at a time onto the hot pizza stone and bake until cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.


Adapted from a recipe found at Half Baked Harvest

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  1. I think you're right about the smoked mozzarella blending so well with this wine. Love that the pizza originated in Naples. Buon anno!

  2. Oh my goodness. That pizza and soup sound so good. I am eager to find your Aglianico wine. I am loving the wines!

  3. Wendy,
    Happy New Year. That pizza sounds great and I know Rubrato well. I'm sure it was a great pairing. I am excited to try the recipe. Cheers to you and 2022, Susannah

  4. Thanks for the introduction to Pizza Montanara! Definitely new to me. I also very much enjoyed "From The Vine" Happy New Year Wendy.

  5. Caramelized garlic, basil, smoked mozzarella....this pizza is heaven! I would love to have this pizza!

  6. That pizza looks yummy, Feudi San Gregorio is one of the by now classic wineries in Irpinia, Campania. Cheers!

    1. Cheers, their wine was very nice, I can see why they would be strong.


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