Priverno is a town in the province of Latina where Luca Mastracci opened his pizzeria named after the nickname he was given when he was young: Pupillo Pura Pizza. Here he makes excellent fried food and pizzas – including a Margherita that is worth doing the trip – and he works mainly with small local producers.
It takes at least an hour and a half to reach Priverno from Rome: you need to pay attention to the traffic, potholes and speed cameras scattered all over the Pontina road.
That’s why, it took us a while to visit Luca Mastracci‘s beautiful pizzeria which opened just a year ago: an anniversary celebrated on October 12 with a lively “pizza rave” held in the center of Priverno, a town not far from Latina.
So, as we managed to find the right company willing to scramble us there we finally succeeded. And it was worth it (oh my! What I do to eat a good pizza!).
Who is Pupillo
We met Luca a couple of years ago, when practicing and mastering at Gabriele Bonci’s shop, he would give Pier Daniele Seu at Mercato Centrale a hand during the glorious first edition of La Città della Pizza.
Back then, – from a distance so far – we’ve been paying attention to the path that led him to open his pizzeria in his hometown, conquering both: public (local and not) and critics: he is the Emerging Pizzaiolo – along with Valentino Tafuri
– for the Pizzerie del Gambero Rosso 2019 guide
Luca started to put his hands in dough after his studies, with a cooking class and a first experience in a pizzeria in his town; when he realized that this was his way, he began to gain experience, from Dublin to the Roman masters, until he managed to own his own a place at only 27 years: Pupillo is in fact the nickname he was given by his older friends, to underline his young age but also the enthusiasm that is evident in his eyes when he talks about leavening and products to put on his pizzas.
Ready to double the bet: soon Pupillo Pura Pizza will open a new pizzeria in Frosinone.
Pupillo Pura Pizza: the place
The pizzeria is located in the center of Priverno, in a place that until a few years ago housed a rather well-known restaurant, La Terrazza.
The rustic interiors have remained, with the sloping wooden roof that nicely contrasts with the contemporary details of the furnishings and the appealing graphics which refer to the pizza and the ingredients, and a large kitchen where all the preparations and the very appreciated fried are made.
The Neapolitan style built on purpose oven, is now right in front of the entrance of the place behind the wall that half hides it and upon which stands the sign of the pizzeria.
The dining room staff is young and kind and you immediately notice the great attention paid to tell both the story of this territory and the work done in this pizzeria with the use of: placemats, menus, posters on the walls and “Sacks of flour” with pizza dedicated writings upon them used as decoration on a wall of the room.
These writings are the leit-motiv of the well- realized communication of the local. Here one for all: La pizza dà, la pizza daje”. which is a playful paraphrase in roman slang of the italian motto: “L’amore dà, l’amore toglie” “Love gives, love takes away”
Pupillo Pura Pizza: the products
Pupillo’s pizza, as we mentioned, is definitely from the Neapolitan school, with the melting dough and the well-swollen rim.
Ingredients and dressings, however, speak often and willingly of the Lazio, if not of the pontina area, with some digression from outside the region which are more than justified by the quality of the ingridients.
So, for example, the flours
are those by Molino Cipolla
: a small family-run mill in Terracina, the buffalo mozzarella
is that of the Perseo dairy
from the milk of their own animals, the pontino milk
is from Alveti & Camusi
, the vegetables bio by Mario De Angelis
, the salami are by Campoli
(in Sezze), the Dop extra virgin olive oil “Colline Pontine” is by Paola Orsini
. The tomato, however, is San Marzano DOP or the Paglione Pugliese, the anchovies for the “Napoletana” are from the Cantabrian Sea
and in the pizza with pumpkin the Roman Conciato
cheese is the one that is used.
Also among the wines there are different labels of the area, like that of the young agricultural cooperative SETE-Vini Naturali
, while the beers are those from Amarcord
The menu of fried and pizzas
The menu is divided between:
Fried: equally distributed between the roman and neapolitan tradictions with “frittatine di pasta” and “crocchè di patate” but also with an amazing “supplì al telefono” which we tried in a dish of mixed fried.
Pizzas: the fried ones (6.5 euros which become 10 if buffalo mozzarella and raw ham are added);
the Classic ones (from 4 to 7.5 euros); those with Seasonal products (8-8.5 euros, including the aforementioned pizza with Zucca); the one stuffed with buffalo ricotta, smoked provola, artisan jowl and Sarawak pepper (7.5 euros, that is going to be our choice for the next visit!); the Classic ones with a Twist (8-9 euros, including an inviting artichoke and guanciale and the “Latte +” with different milk cheeses, but also the Wurstel and patatine with homemade würstel and Fucino potatoes); and the Pupillos (8.5 euros) including the Carbonara, Amatriciana and Raù, with wild boar sauce to wave goodbye of the Neapolitan traditions.
We tried a fried pizza stuffed with buffalo ricotta and seasoned pork sausage (salami), cooked to perfection and really tasty even if at first sight it seemed a little “poor” in seasoning compared to Neapolitan fried pizzas; but definetely: quantity is not quality.
And a “Sagra”, chosen among the Pupillo pizzas, with fiordilatte pontino cheese, chicory, white buffalo ragout, marzolina and extra virgin Dop olive oil by Colline Pontine. With the bitter vegetables well balanced by the softness and the taste of the cheeses and lean meat that maybe is too delicate and remains dominated by the intense flavor of chicory cooked in a generous dose of the excellent local oil.
A third pizza, which I shared with a friend, was sent by Luca to accomplish the task to “clean” our palate: a simply perfect Margherita. Perfect in cooking and seasoning with tomato Paglione, fior di latte pontino cheese, basil and Orsini extra virgin olive oil.
To conclude the dinner, we could not miss to taste the chocolate chips panettone baked by Luca and garnished with fiordilatte and pistachio ice cream.
Pupillo Pura Pizza
via Giacomo Matteotti, 29
04015 Priverno (LT)
tel. 339 414 3148