Newsletter 53 del 11 settembre 2018

Dear {{NOME}},

On the 13th of August, I was struck by the title of the first news in Thrillist’s newsletter, an American website whose content goes beyond food and restaurants:How cauliflower became pizza’s hottest ingredient.

I’ve never even thought of it, let alone considered it the hottest ingredient, yet the author of the piece, Khushbu Shah, is not Italian and doesn’t live in Italy either, hence the pizza she refers to is certainly not our own. However, we should not ignore what she writes, as it has nothing to do with what we consider the absurd pizza with ham and pine apple.

Here’s a quote from the original piece: «Do a quick a scan of a grocery store in 2018 and you’ll notice something peculiar: Nearly every good carbohydrate also has an alternative made from cauliflower. This phenomenon ranges from bags of cauliflower “fried rice” speckled with diced carrots and peas to “gnocchi“ constructed from compressed bits of the cruciferous vegetable. But the food that takes up the most shelf space are cauliflower-crusted pizzas -- yes, pizzas with a base made typically from a mix of shredded cauliflower, cheese, egg, and seasonings».

This comes as no surprise when I think of some vegan recipes, with cauliflower served like a steak, or like rice, but I would have never thought of pizza. I cannot recall a single pizza that used this ingredient, however, I can’t wait to discuss it with someone who creates pizzas. Ingredients are not good or bad per se. It’s the use you make of them. Think of Renato Bosco’s pizzas made with pineapple or kiwi. Masterpieces.

Paolo Marchi



Petra srl is born, the new home uniting history and technology

Petra srl was born on July 3rd.

The history of Molino Quaglia started in 1914 with Angelo Quaglia’s first water mill. It then continued on dryland with Annito Quaglia and made the industrial leap with his children Lucio, Chiara and Andrea Quaglia.

Then twelve years ago they decided to give an identity to their flour, escaping the anonymity of flour considered and sold as soulless powder. From that moment on, they started selecting wheat varieties. They created stronger relations with farmers, stimulated Italian farming. They developed a new milling technique (called augmented stone milling), using state-of-the-art systems to clean the wheat and measure the flour so as to offer rich nutrients and the full flavour of wheat without forsaking the simple process and stability of modern flour. 

To put it simply, this is Petra. Today this name represents a complete system of products, training, communication, development of new ingredients, events and networks of partners, gravitating around constant research, following a contemporary concept of Mediterranean diet, which takes into account the climatic selection of wheat as a goal for healthy, clean and sincere food, the result of an allegiance between farmers, mill and food artisans. 

By creating Petra srl we gave birth to a new home for Petra, where we can enhance its artisan features in a setting full of history and technology. A home with big windows overlooking the surrounding countryside and as many windows on the increasingly fermenting virtual world, where guests and workshop-participants can enjoy a unique and concrete learning experience and communicate live on social networks.

Piero Gabrieli

Renato Bosco: here’s Saporè’s new home

Renato Bosco in front of the entrance to the new Saporè in San Martino Buon Albergo (Verona), in Piazza del Popolo, 46. Tel. +39 331 9873375


For a few years now, Renato Bosco and his Saporè restaurants have been a point of reference for the art of pizza in Italy. Hence San Martino Buon Albergo, a small village on the outskirts of Verona, has been a mandatory stop for gourmet lovers. Flavours, creativity, easily digestible pizzas, research for the best raw materials: all these elements make pizza at Saporè irresistible. 

Moreover, Bosco’s experiments on dough – from Aria di pane toCrunch and DoppioCrunch, from Mozzarella di pane toBagel Pizza, and Pizza senza lieviti aggiunti – show that you can create and invent starting from a great classic, adding innovations with love and respect. 

Some of the readers might have included a delicious stop to Bosco’s on their way to their holiday destination, just like I did. And by checking the official website in this hot month of August, they discovered the location had changed. 

Until now, Saporè in San Martino had a home divided in two: in Via Ponte 53, you could collect take-away pizzas. The tasting room was next door, at number 55. Then of course last year Bosco opened two Saporè restaurants in the centre of Verona, which serve plenty of delicious pizzas: Saporè Pizza Stand Up, take away, in Via della Costa 5, and Saporè Downtown, for tastings, in Via Amanti 6/8. 

The headquarters, however, are still in San Martino, where it all began. And where the restaurant with tasting room now has a brand new and cosy location, in the village main square: Piazza del Popolo 46, (tel. +39 331 9873375, closed the entire day on Monday).

Niccolò Vecchia

Tuscan Identity is in free pizza

Two nights of tastings, experiments and a few provocations but most of all thoughts and discussions. This is what Contaminazioni di Pizza 2018 was about. It was the second edition of the event created by Pizza&Peace and hosted at Barbara’s and Massimo Giovannini’s Apogeo in Pietrasanta. The association was founded in 2017 by 4 pizzaioli – on top of Giovannini, there was also Graziano Monogrammi, Paolo Pannacci and Giovanni Santarpia – and by Beatrice Menichetti, a baking enthusiast. Their goal was to promote pizza culture. Today, it has some twenty members, who took part in the first night. There was Tommaso Vatti from La Pergola in Radicondoli (see below), Renato and Riccardo Pancini of Al FoghèrGabriele Tonti of GhevidoRoberto Muscas of Gusto al 129Massimiliano Ciaffone of Le Simpatiche CanaglieCristiano Diodato of La Pizza Di RebeMirco Giuntini of Mangiare’Giovanni Saviozzi of Farina Del Mio Sacco, Marco Manzi of Giotto, Raffaele Menna of Mamma Napoli, Fabrizio Giovannini of Il Pachino. Antonio Polzella of La Ventola and Agostino Figliola of F.lli Cuore were the excused absentees.

Four of the Donne di Pizza Donne di CuorePetra Antolini, Eleonora Massaretti, Marina Orlandi and Giovanna Baratella also helped, and pulled out of the oven 4 types of pizza made together: from the Roman-style to Neapolitan-style round one, plus one made in the pan and a stuffed one. A nice teamwork.

There were many important moments: the more craveable one, the one dedicated to charity and the discussion of a significant theme during the opening round table – can one give a definite identity to Tuscan pizza, something that defines it, a bit like what happens with pizza napoletana or the “Venetian school”, perhaps starting from traditional Tuscan schiacciata? Yet is it necessary to limit something that is born as “free” as pizza, and is ready to be influenced by different styles, ingredients, experiments?

From this discussion among the pizzaioli – joined by two producers who know the world of pizza very well, namely Piero Gabrieli and Chiara Quaglia of Petra, and Olitalia and Coppola with their tomatoes – emerged a general dislike for strict boundaries as well as the desire to focus on quality and research, enhancing the value of local ingredients. Meanwhile, everyone can contribute to a varied and fermenting regional scene where thick and thin, crispy, popular and gourmet can all coexist as long as they taste good.

Luciana Squadrilli

Tommaso Vatti, strong roots and farsightedness

Tommaso Vatti has joined Pizza&Peace (see above): his career can offer an interesting example of “Tuscan approach” to pizza, with strong local roots but looking ahead, always searching for improvement and new stimuli. And of course this has its outcomes: awarded by guides and critics, he’s known most of all thanks to his pizzas, a tribute to robust and true Tuscan tradition, like the one made on the peel, with cocoa in the dough, the one with boar, Maremma-style, and extra virgin olive oil.

He started making pizza out of necessity. In 1998 with his brother Federico – who runs the dining room with SilviaTommaso’s wife, and manages the cellar – he took over the restaurant-pizzeria, which had been a prominent culinary point of reference in Siena since the Seventies. People came here, and still do, for the typical local cuisine and for the pizza, which at the time was a little neglected, rolled out with a pin, using traditional seasonings. The kind that was popular at the time. «At first I continued with this approach, because it worked – says Vatti. – Then over the years I started to look around and found some nice local products: from cured meat made with cinta senese pigs to pecorino made by producers who arrived from Sardinia back in the Sixties. So I started to work on seasonings, focusing on some local products, such as beans from Sorana, meat from Maremmana cattle or anchovies from Certaldo. As a pizzaiolo I joined Alleanza Slow Food, quality is important. I also believe in “Km vero”: I couldn’t do without mozzarella or tomatoes from Campania or Puglia, prosciutto from Sauris or Bitto Storico». He also pays strong attention to extra virgin olive oil, thanks to which Vatti received the Airo award for Pizzaiolo dell’Olio 2018, and to meat and cured meat matured in special ways.

Tommaso’s research also includes dough. Today he uses five types, all with living mother yeast, and type 1 flour or special blends. There’s the classic one for pizza served in a plate, two types for pizza baked in a pan, with whole-wheat or Evolutiva flour – which he uses, for instance for his summer pizza with cream of courgettes, tomato confit, bresaola from Valtellina and Muntok white pepper. There’s also the one for the Roman peel (which he serves in a round version) and the one with cocoa, from Valrhona. Then there’s bread, served with the food from the kitchen. And with the arrival of the autumn there will also be a dough made with whole-wheat and water aromatised with sage, to be topped with roasted cinta senese pork.


Francesco and Salvatore Salvo in the heart of Naples

The Salvo brothers’ new restaurant in Naples. The logo, colourful and remarkable, was designed by Milanese agency Robilant & Associati: «It has two pizzas that look like they were painted by two children, which are meant to be Francesco and I – says Salvatore – It represents our journey from a traditional concept following innovation»

Francesco and Salvatore Salvo opened the doors to their second pizzeria late in July; and they’re no ordinary doors, but are part of the three monumental doors of 17th century Palazzo Ischitella, at 271 in Riviera di Chiaia, a stone’s throw away from a historic and famous tie shop, Marinella, and the Neapolitan promenade. From San Giorgio a Cremano, the village below the Vesuvius where they turned the family restaurant into a emblem of contemporary pizza, the two brothers (who equally share honours and obligations, without other partners, so as to be fully independent and base what they’ve built on sound family foundations, even for the future) arrive in Naples, and bring pizzas and fried food to the most chic neighbourhood in town.

It was a quiet launch, so as to perfectly fine tune what is expected to be not just a replica of the headquarters, (to be renovated in the next few months) but an even better finished and more modern evolution, without losing their roots and the idea of pizza being accessible to everyone. A proof of this is given by the prices, which though adjusted to the costs of running this new location, are in line with the Neapolitan average: 6.50 euros for Margherita while it’s 5 at the headquarters. What is very different, however, is what surrounds the pizzas and the fried food (which arrive from the Vesuvian workshop). There are 300 square metres divided into multiple rooms – on top of workshops, storerooms and underground cellars, serving 150 guests inside, and 60 outside. All this was created to offer the greatest comfort and a pleasant break, even beyond what’s in the plate.

Take the restyling of the rooms, respecting the original structure, even when they added soundproofing and airing features, or the super comfortable chairs; or the lighting around Vincenzo Zannini black and white photos of Naples, showing unusual and hardly cliché images. And there’s also the partnership with Marinella, the designers of the staff’s braces and ties. They’ve hired 44 new staff members, coordinated by some of the Salvo‘s historic collaborators, given the two brothers have always paid lots of attention to training the staff and to service, so much so some did an internship at Francescana.


Fais’s Framento, great pizza in Cagliari

La deliziosa Napoli di Framento

The awakening of Sardinian cuisine – that is to say of a system that finally also includes fine dining and contemporaneity, in that process of modernizing that was gradually spreading across the country and is now appearing on the island too – of course had to include pizza. On top of established places such as Sa Scolla in Baradili and Massimo Bosco in Tempio, there’s a growing new “signature” place where the signature belongs in fact to a chef, not a pizzaiolo: Pierluigi Fais, patron at Josto in Oristano, and at his new, very interesting Josto in Cagliari. The latter is the second-born restaurant, after a pizzeria, namely Framento, opened in December 2015 in the central Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 82 (Tel. +39 070 6670370, Open daily, only in the evening).

A chef’s approach to pizza follows a now established script: excellent toppings created by him, while the dough is handed to a serious professional in the field. In this case, Valerio Luperi. While he’s by the oven, we find Fais’s partner, Isa, and his two sisters Chiara and Elisabetta in the dining room.

We had already tasted Framento’s delicious pizzas at Degustibus, the first edition last May, organised on Cagliari’s Poetto beach by Michele Cabras. At the time, we wrote: "(Framento uses) stone milled whole-wheat flour plus local semolina and mother yeast (in Sardinian, su framentu. Left acting for 30 hours): «We make pizza with local ingredients, but with a modern style». The edge is crispy, the baking takes place in an electric oven ["low" temperature, 360°C, and hence longer baking, up to 4 minutes]. There’s also a high-hydration focaccia: we tasted a lovely slice with rocket, coppa from Roberto Pusole and honey vinaigrette". 

Having tasted such delicious products, of course we had to pay a special visit to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 82: the restaurant is large and a little loud, halfway between traditional pizzeria and modern bistro; the selection of beers is good. There are a few "antipizza", that is to say a quick entrées, and then a selection of a dozen pizzas, including some classics, always available, and some pizzas "of the day" described on the large blackboard behind the counter.

Among the classics, we couldn’t miss (following Pietro Pio Pitzalis’s recommendation, later confirmed by Fais himself) Napoli, with tomato, fiordilatte, capers from Selargius, anchovies from the Sea of Cantabria, extra virgin olive oil and oregano: delicious, rich but perfectly balanced. Pitzalis also recommended (and good he did) Immuginazione, another "classic" with fiordilatte, smoked muggine from Cabras, young pecorino cheese, withered cherry tomatoes and mint: ingenious and very elegant. Among the pizzas of the day we chose Muriga Muriga (fiordilatte, Muriga Muriga courgettes, Pusole sausage from Baunei, pecorino Marchesa), for a craveable yet balanced finale.

«Our pizzas end in the oven but start in the kitchen. Our choices are sustainable, we choose and select our products with great care», says Fais. We confirm without any doubt.

Carlo Passera

Franco Pepe’s summer pizza

This pizza was an idea of Stefano Pepe, my son, with my help in balancing aromas and flavours. The chosen name is Sud Estate which recalls all the products that make and belong to our south: buffalo milk mozzarella and ricotta PDO, an excellence of Campania, olives form Caiazzo, the emblem of our territory, tomato confit from Sicily and oil aromatised with bergamot, the famous citrus fruit from Reggio Calabria, where I recently received an award asAmbasciatore del bergamotto. On that occasion we presented our new "summer" pizza, with fresh flavours and a Mediterranean aroma.


Recipe for 4 sticks

0,5 l water
800 g 00 flour
22 g salt
5 g brewer’s yeast 
Ricotta straccetti and buffalo milk mozzarella from Campania 
Tomato confit
Tuna alletterato
Celery cooked in ice, aromatised with bergamot oil 
Dehydrated olives 

Pour the water into  a bowl, slowly mix in the flower melting the salt in the water. Halfway through this process, add the brewer’s yeast and knead for 15-20 more minutes until the dough is rather compact. Once ready, leave to rest for four hours, covering it with a cloth, then cut and form 100 or 200 g sticks, depending on personal taste. Leave them to rest for 2 more hours.

Franco Pepe

The best pizzerias made in France

Una pizza de L'Atelier Pizza

With 21 thousand pizzerias and 745 million pizzas each year, France is the first market for pizza in the world, followed by Italy. Yet in terms of quality, what are the standards of pizza in France? And how come it’s so popular, so much so it exceeds Italy in terms of volumes? Documentary La Très Très Bonne Pizza, by François-Régis Gaudry and Anthony Da Silva, directed by Frédéric Planchenault, was broadcasted on TV channel Paris Première in June and portrays an interesting journey of food and culture, in search for the best pizza in France. 

Gaudry, food critic at Express and presenter of TrèsTrèsBon, together with épicière Alessandra Pierini (RAP Épicerie), the spokesperson of Italian gastronomic culture in Paris, and French chef Alain Cirelli, patron at Le Purgatoire, where he organises culinary and art events, travelled across France and tested over 300 pizzerias listing the best French pizzas. Surprisingly, the winner is in a featureless industrial area, an hour’s drive from Paris. Here, surrounded by discount stores and fast-food restaurants, Emmanuel Cottet, an ex-auditor who a few years ago changed career and completed his cooking training with Ducasse and his pizza training with Renato Bosco, surprises at L'Atelier Pizza with his extraordinary light dough seasoned with excellent raw materials.

La Très Très Bonne Pizza is not just a competition among pizzerias: it’s an in-depth reportage on pizza culture in France, from its arrival in the late Forties to our days. Speaking of which, one has to mention the great work done by Gennaro Nasti (pizzeria Bijou in Paris) over the past few years: an almost pioneer work in making Neapolitan pizza current, in the French capital.

Ilaria Brunetti

Eduardo Ore, Latin American (pizza)

From Naples to Cuba, through Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia. The journey of Neapolitan pizzaiolo and baker Eduardo Ore, is in a way reminiscent of the one that Che illustrated in his book Notas de viaje. The Neapolitan pizzaiolo and baker specialised in dough has collaborated with producers and great masters – we met him at Enzo Coccia’s ‘O Sfizio d’a Notizia where he fine-tuned the dough for the mpustarelle.  Regardless of the political and revolutionary references, when following his journey on social networks – seven months on the road, sharing his journey with enthusiasm, acumen and sincerity – it was clear that it was urged by an adventurous and free spirit, as well as a desire of social, cultural and even professional knowledge.

«It was most of all a journey of relax after a very hard year at work – says Eduardo now back in San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, a village near Naples famous for its delicious traditional bread – But I took the opportunity not only to work as a consultant in Buenos Aires, but also to research the pizza market in these countries, from an anthropological and historic point of view. I met indigenous people who make bread and traditional “pizzas” in remote areas, using local products, like the fried “montanare” sprinkled with sugar, or filled with potatoes and seasoned with spicy tomato, made by the Quechuawomen, and third or fourth generation “Neapolitans” still strongly tied to their origins».

Almost everywhere, they call it pizza “napoletana” even when it’s made in a baking tin or in any case it is very different from our own: «it’s not an attempt to emulate, but a proof of acknowledgement and respect». So, for instance, in San Paolo Ore dived into the “Neapolitan” barrio of Mooca where people speak a Brasileiro-Neapolitan dialect and some try to offer pizzas that are not totally unlike the original. In Buenos Aires, a town that has always been “twinned” with Naples, he fine-tuned the dough for a new pizzeria created by Italian-Argentinian people. Then he moved to Montevideo, Santiago del Chile – which he believes could be the next capital for Latina American pizza – and the spectacular Salar de Uyuni desert, entering Bolivia, perhaps the leg that left the strongest mark, if only because of its beautiful landscapes.

Thanks to the collaboration with NGO Fe y Alegria – whose motto is “where tar does not arrive, we arrive” – Eduardo visited some of the most rural and remote areas such as Chuquisaca, where people only speak Quechua, teaching locals baking techniques which they can use with their products. And now, what will be the next move? “For the time being, two events in Cantalupa with the Cerea brothers, on September 4th and 11th».