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Fried Pizza Momma's Way

(Serves 2 – Yield 8 pieces)

By Michele

One of my favorite childhood memories is of fried pizza when on Friday nights it was the go-to dinner meal in our home. My mom would purchase ready-made dough, prepare a marinara sauce, and grate mozzarella cheese. With everything ready to go, so was she.

Oil heated, mom couldn’t fry the dough fast enough. My siblings and I would stand around the stove not so patiently waiting to retrieve it from the frying pan and start smothering it with sauce and cheese. Many times, we never made it to the table! When mom finally caught up because she used two frying pans, we were all able to sit down together and enjoy our pizza.

A funny aside, we were not allowed to have soda at the dinner table, so we ate it with a glass of milk. That’s right, milk! To this day, I still enjoy my pizza with a cold glass of milk.

Keeping the memory alive, and because it’s oh so good, fried pizza is an occasional meal in our home. I update the recipe adding a few toppings that I enjoy, such as oregano, fresh basil and a drizzle of a good extra-virgin olive oil. I also enjoy making it for friends who are surprised by how much they love the simplicity of the recipe and taste. What’s not to love, fried crispy dough dressed with a savory tomato sauce and topped with creamy cheese. Yum!


1 lb. ready-made pizza dough

2 cups canola or vegetable oil

1 ½ cups marinara sauce, Passata, or your favorite sauce

¼ lb. mozzarella cheese, grated

Black pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil to 350F in a medium cast-iron skillet

  2. While oil is heating, place tomato sauce in a small sauce pot and simmer to keep warm until needed.

  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and, with floured hands, pull off small portions of dough stretching it out to form a thin, uneven disk. Don't worry about the exact shape or size of dough, just stretch out it far as it will go without tearing. Crimp the edges before placing it in the hot oil. (See photos for approximate sizing of dough.)

  4. Working with two or three disks at a time, fry each side for a couple of minutes until dough puffs up and turns golden.

  5. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels for a few seconds. Immediately plate and dress or keep warm in oven until you are ready to dress the pizza.

  6. Scatter the cheese over each disk, spoon the warmed sauce over all and add black pepper to taste and mangia!

Today, when l make these little gems, I add a couple of toppings that I enjoy. For instance, oregano, fresh basil and a drizzle of a good extra-virgin olive oil.

Should you have a little piece of dough left over, fry it up and top it off with confectioner’s sugar for a ready-made dessert – zeppole!


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