Life & Style

Pizza Brutta: creating authentic Italian style in the heart of Madison

One and a half minutes: that’s all it takes for the pizza at Pizza Brutta to bake. The dough has only four ingredients and the cheese has just two. These core elements are combined with all-natural ingredients and an award-winning tomato sauce to create Pizza Brutta’s uniquely delicious yet authentic Italian pizza taste. 

This pizza style has been around since the 1830s, where it originated in Naples, Italy. 

Traditionally, pizza was considered street food. It was cheap, easy and primarily made up of flour and tomato sauce without any cheese. 

It wasn’t until 1889, when the owner of Pizzeria Brandi was invited to the palace to create pizzas for King Umberto and Queen Margherita, that cheese was added. 

Queen Margherita’s favorite pizza was the one that resembled the Italian flag: red tomato sauce, white mozzarella and green basil. This style of pizza has since then been named after her and can be found at many different pizzerias, including Pizza Brutta. 

When my friends and I visited the restaurant, some of my favorite styles of pizza were the Nostrano (basil, sausage, roasted red peppers) and the Lombardo (basil, garlic, ham, sundried tomatoes, gorgonzola).

The Margherita was by far our group’s favorite. With a rich taste, it was simple yet delicious. 

The crust was thin, but not too crunchy or dry, and the tomato sauce and cheese added flavor without the thick layer of grease that accompanies most local pizzas. 

The other pizzas were also good and tasted fresh, but the extra toppings were almost too much on a pizza that was already flavorful with just tomato sauce, cheese and basil. 

Just tasting Pizza Brutta’s menu makes it obvious that the cooks try to embody the art of Neapolitan pizza-making, with high quality flour, slow churned dough and fresh tomato sauce prepared every day. 

It is also easy to understand Pizza Brutta’s motto “fast oven, slow food.” There is practically no wait for the pizza to bake, but the results are ones to be savored. 

The ambiance of the dining area also gave the restaurant a “homey” feel. There was an assortment of seating options and the entire front of the restaurant had windows that let in plenty of natural light. 

One of my group members gave Pizza Brutta a “10 out of 10, would eat again.” We were also excited to find out that Pizza Brutta plans on opening another pizzeria in Middleton, Wis., in the near future.

Given its authentic Italian style with a modern flair, it’s easy to assume that Pizza Brutta’s unique taste will carry across locations. 

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