The best ‘pizzaiolo’ in the world brings an ephemeral pizza to Zaragoza

An ephemeral pizza from Italian Francesco Martucci, considered the best ‘pizzaiolo’ in the world according to the prestigious Top 50 Pizza ranking, is available in Zaragoza for a limited time. The dish has four different types of tomatoes and three consistencies are distinguished. ‘Mani di Martucci’ – that’s what the pizza is called – is made with Fior di latte mozzarella, semi-dried cherry tomato confit, yellow and red Datterini tomatoes, dried tomatoes from Piennolo del Vesuvio and Primo Sale de Bufala cheese.

The pizza arrives in the Aragonese capital through the Grosso Napoletano restaurant, which has agreed a collaboration with Martucci. The trajectory of the ‘pizzaiolo’ began in his uncle’s pizzeria, far from the oven, since at just ten years old he was in charge of cleaning the dishes. Some time later, at the age of fourteen, he began to work in the oven and it was then that this job “kidnapped” him. After working with his uncle, he spent three years at Speedy Pizza. When he arrived, they were barely making forty pizzas a day. When he stopped working there, at just 18 years old, he had managed to get 200 pizzas out a day.

Mani di Martucci, the pizza that can only be tasted until the end of March.
Mani di Martucci, the pizza that can only be tasted until the end of March.

A couple of years later, in 2001, he opened ‘I Masanielli’ in Caserta, a city north of Naples. This pizzeria, 21 years later, is considered a place of pilgrimage for true lovers of Neapolitan pizza which serves half a thousand diners a day. Despite all the accolades, Martucci does not consider himself the best, but different. “Pizza is subjective. You can’t please everyone. You can only hope to satisfy the majority of your customers,” he states. The secret of his pizzas, he says, is in “the continuous improvement of the recipes” during his more than 20 years of experience and in his way of making pizza evolve repetition after repetition.

The result of his collaboration with Grosso Napoletano will be available from February 25 until March 27 at all the establishments of the brand in Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Zaragoza. Units per day and per location will be limited. “It’s a very iconic pizza from I Masanielli, it’s been on the menu for six or seven years even though we change the menu every three months to innovate,” confesses Francesco.

In Francesco’s restaurant in Caserta, this pizza is baptized as ‘quattro pomodori’, since it is the star ingredient of the pizza and we can find it in four different ways.

The pizzaiolo has promoted this pizza after the pandemic in order to help farmers who could not sell their tomato production: “We have prepared the tomatoes in different preserves, so we can also prepare this pizza in winter, even if it is not the tomato season, since the tomato confit and dried tomato have been prepared.”

Hugo Rodríguez de Prada, co-founder of the chain, reveals that they had been “since the end of 2019” in talks with Martucci. “During the pandemic we have continued to work with him until we achieved it. The result is ‘Le mani di Martucci'”.

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