Pizzeria Pellone, Naples

My new friend Mauro di Benedetto (the marketing maestro at L’Oro di Gragnano) took me to this pizzeria on the way to the train station. It was his favoured lunchtime spot for many years when he worked in the nearby Chamber of Commerce. He knows the menu by heart and the waiters by name. These guys all look like they are extras from The Sopranos: they are most definitely Neapolitan not metropolitan.

The pizzeria has been in business since 1960 and is run by the De Luca family and it’s something of a local institution, famous for its fried pizzas and pizza margherita, which Mauro insisted we both had.

They’re humungous – and totally delicious. The fried pizza was a first for me: this is a typical Neapolitan dish: a deep-fried calzone, stuffed with ricotta, provola cheese, and ciccioli. The latter are little pieces of crispy pork, the end product of rendering down the fat of a pig carcass. I suspect this is impossible to find outside Naples and diced pancetta would make a reasonable substitute.

The pizza margherita had ample topping (something I like) and the ingredients were top notch – the generous scattering of zingy basil really lifted the flavours. At the next-door table, they had the fresh tomato version, which also looked good.

For office workers with no time to sit down, there’s a takeaway counter outside, with a selection of fried snacks like arancini in addition to pizza.

Address: Via Nazionale 93

Phone +39 081 5538614 Closed on Sundays