Some prefer to have pizza fugazza – simply topped with onions and parmesan.
Others like a bit of mozzarella thrown on top – making it pizza fugazza con queso.
And then you can step into pizza fugazzeta territory, where the base is stuffed with mozzarella.
My preference is the more extreme fugazzeta rellena con jamón y queso – a base stuffed with ham and mozzarella. A little brie is snuck in there before it’s topped with more pizza dough, some onions, oregano and parmesan.
So how is this Argentinian?
Well, the cuisine of Argentina is strongly influenced by Italy, thanks to a wave of immigrants flocking to this part of South America around the beginning of the 20th century.
Argentinian pizza has roots in Neapolitan cuisine, but I learned that fugazza comes from the northwest of Italy in the Ligurian region. I dug a little further and found that fügassa – cheese-stuffed focaccia – is specific to the coastal town of Recco.
All interesting stuff – to me anyway – but at the end of the day, fugazzeta is an Argentinian creation.
Neapolitan pizza is my personal preference, so eating one that’s made using focaccia dough was a rather “bready” affair. This thing can get enormous!
It’s a bit of an onion-lovers paradise, thanks to a tangle of soft and crispy strands decorating the top. Many fugazzeta-makers use raw onion, others sweat it down a bit in a pan before using it.
I’m not very good friends with raw onion, nor the breath it gives people, so a quick blanching in boiling water eliminates much of its sharpness, yet retains its flavour.
My favourite part of the fugazzeta I made is the soft mozzarella and brie at its core. The dominant flavour is all the oregano that’s put on there. Not too much, but enough to flavour the entire thing. I think chilli flakes are a must, plus a good toss of sea salt flakes that crunch as you bite into the pillowy pizza.
You could easily make one large rectangular slab of fugazzeta, or two smaller round ones, with the recipe I’ve provided. Alternatively the dough can be divided into three. Two thirds to make a fugazzeta and the other third for a simple fugazza.
Recipe adapted from here, and if you want it as cheesy as the ones in Argentina, top it with about three times more cheese. They’re mad for the stuff!