Newsletter 56 del 23 febbraio 2019

Dear {{NOME}},

It’s been eight years since pizza, as recalled by Carlo Passera in this issue,made its debut at Identità Golose. And what a debut it was, back in 2011. Three pizzas – and their pizzaioli -, launched the congress in the Auditorium. Never before, had pizza enjoyed the same dignity as what we still call fine dining. On the stage, arrived a classic Pizza Margherita, Napoletana, Pizza a metro and a so-called Margherita gourmet and everyone cheered, especially Gino Sorbillo from Naples and Simone Padoan, of Tigli in San Bonifacio, Verona.

Eight years ago, the work of Padoan in Veneto was a break with the generalised banal Italian present, not worthy of the historic importance of pizza. People rested on their laurels. If one looks at the current richness, and at how hard it is now to find banal pizzerias, no matter where you are, one would think this was decades ago.

And now Naples is as delicious as ever, in terms of pizza, and capable of invading Milan with incredible strength, even in an entrepreneurial way. When I think of the Italian national sport, football, it’s as if Naples and Campania had lost the first round, but made a great start with the second one. And clients smile happily because they’re spoilt for choice. Unfortunately, what’s still missing is a sincere and constructive confrontation among the many different Italian realities.

Paolo Marchi


Why a University of Flour is necessary

When you enter a pizzeria, they’ll serve you a drink and a snack, and then finally pizza. Served with the pride of someone making hundreds of them (sometimes on the same night) and every time shaping and seasoning the pizza while capturing the mood of the clients eating it in the dining room while it is still steaming. These pizzas are born from laborious kneading, the result of flour and yeast above all. With these two ingredients, quintessentially alive, every pizzaiolo has an almost human relationship.

So I wonder why in menus as well as when presenting the pizza, almost nobody ever mentions the flour and the yeast that was used, and why the pizzaiolo has chosen that specific flour or yeast for the dish that best represents him. Saying that the flour is “doppio zero” or “type 1” or “semi whole wheat” (the latter term having no real technical or legal meaning) is of little use for the customer and doesn’t answer the questions. It’s the pizzaiolo-paradox: he’s proud of his work, and conveys the value of his pizza by pointing out the ingredients for the topping (like tomato and mozzarella, and even kiwi and the surprising pineapple). But when a pizzaiolo speaks of the tradition from which his pizza originated, in those family histories the 

name of the wheat, of the flour, of the yeast used by his ancestors over the years to give an identity to their product, never appears. 

Is it perhaps a secret to be jealously kept? Or perhaps none of these people knows why they used one type of flour and not the other? In my opinion, pizzaioli have little to do with this. Flour itself has gradually lost its appeal while consumers left poorer food after the war. Today, however, the children and grandchildren of those consumers have a new interest in everyday ingredients that are part of their diet, as well as a sense of aesthetics that leads them to prefer dishes that are not just good, but beautiful too. So it is impossible to think that in a contemporary pizzeria, of a pizza that weighs around 350 grams when served, one gives more importance to 20 grams of capers, and says nothing of the 200 grams of flour. It is necessary to create an Università della Farina [University of flour] to be able to speak to clients of wheat with the competence of a farmer, and of flour with that of a miller.

Piero Gabrieli

Identità di Pane e di Pizza: the programme

The speakers at Identità di Pane e di Pizza 2019. In the top row, left to right, Lionello CeraSimone RodolfiTommaso Cannata andGiuseppe Li RosiEugenio Boer and Giuseppe Rizzo. Below, left to right, Massimiliano PreteGennaro Battiloro, the four guys from Marghe,  Danilo Brunetti, Michele Botta, Riccardo Raia and Simone Mantuano, and finally Franco Pepe

"After passing the test last year on the main stage of Identità Milano(...), during the past 365 days – thanks also to the increasingly noisy and careful work of Italian pizzaioli – pizza has become one of the unquestionable protagonists of the top events in the Italian gastronomic scene. Reinterpreted by chefs and pastry-chefs with a gourmet and molecular approach, with dedicated websites and blogs, this year, it finds a dedicate space in the congress, Identità di Pizza".

When looking through the archives – online, already – of the old Identità Golose websitewe found this piece titled 2012, odissea nella pizza, from Luciana Squadrilli, announcing the first “official” edition of Identità di Pizzathefollowing 6th 

of February. From that moment on, Identità di Pizza became a constant of the congress. There had been a sort of preview in 2011, said Luciana: three pizzaioli, two of whom become real ambassadors for their respective schools, Gino Sorbillo and Simone Padoan. In 2012 there were already nine speakers: Beniamino Bilali, Franco Pepe, Giuseppe Giordano, Massimo Gatti, Roberto Pongolini, Corrado Assenza, Enzo Coccia, English Jon Pollard and again Simone Padoan.

Even then, some features that continued over the years already appeared: Identità di Pizza is not a celebration of the present state but a stimuli for the future, in an explosive and fertile mix of innovative pizzaioli, chef and/or philosophers, foreign guests offering different points of view, different (technical, and philosophical) schools sharing the same goal: driving pizza into modernity, giving value to it, tracing a precise profile. It was, basically, the birth of contemporary pizza.

Identità di Pane e di Pizza edition number 8 plus 1 (the "plus 1" depends whether we count 2011 in or not), at Identità Milano 2019, as usual in partnership with  Petra® Molino Quaglia, will follow that path, adding the usual dose of ideas. There will be 13 speakers, in eight lessons covering the entire day, on Monday 25th March in Sala Blu 2 at MiCo in Milan. We’ll start with a chef – and what a chef! – that is to say Lionello Cera, of Antica Osteria Cera in Campagna Lupia (VE): he will restate the current contiguity between the world of pizza and that of fine dining which will again be stressed in the afternoon, when on the stage we’ll have, together Eugenio Boer, of Bu:r in Milan, and Giuseppe Rizzo, of Pizzeria dell'Angolo in Vittuone (MI). Before them and after Cera, there will be a great bread-maker, Simone Rodolfi, and another marvellous duet, in this case made in Sicily: Tommaso Cannata of La Boutique del Pane in Messina (but now he’s also opened a place in Milan) and Giuseppe Li Rosi, the heart behind a marvellous association that embraces the past and the future, namely Simenza - Cumpagnìa siciliana sementi contadine.

After Boer-Rizzo, at 3 pm it will be the turn of Massimiliano Prete, an old acquaintance of ours, now with a brand new pizzeria, Sestogusto in Torino. And then there’s a debut for Identità Milano: Gennaro Battiloro, of Battil'oro in Seravezza (Lucca), who in fact got the "Pizzaiolo dell'anno" award from the Guida Identità Golose 2019. The day will end with a few young professionals and a great master: the first are Danilo Brunetti, Michele Botta, Riccardo Raia and Simone Mantuano, that is to say the guys from Marghe, two successful restaurants in Milan. The master is Franco Pepe, who needs no introduction: he will end the show.

Carlo Passera

Niko Romito’s Bread, here’s the emblem of Identità Milano 2019

Bread as the emblem of Identità Milano 2019. Some time ago, Carlin Petrini quoted whathe had found written on the sign of a Russian café: "Bread is the kinder and most welcoming word. Always write it with a capital letter, like your name". We’ll follow his advice.

Bread, a universal legacy of community, of brotherhood («There are people around the world that are so hungry, that God could only appear to them except in the form of bread». Gandhi), was of course adopted by Christian culture. Bread as a sign of identity, and therefore, of Identitàas well. Not just an ordinary Bread, of course, but the bread made by Niko Romito. You can see it above, in the photo from Brambilla-Serrani.


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Mondofood in Mondovì, having fun with dough

One of the pizzas from Mondofood in Mondovì

Pizza, cooking, wine and cocktails: these are the galaxies of the Mondofood universe, a nice project entirely dedicated to food and wine and born in 2007 in Mondovì, in the province of Cuneo. Mondovì is one of the so called "seven sisters", that is to say seven of the most important cities in the province (with Alba, Bra, Cuneo, Fossano, Savigliano and Saluzzo). Here, in 2016, Laura Zunino and Davide Danni decided to include pizza, in the old station of Mondovì Breo, on the old train line between Bastia-Mondovì.

They did not just add pizza to the menu, hiring a pizzaiolo to join the restaurant’s kitchen staff. They also created a new concept focused on the oven with the involvement of a dedicated team guided by Nicola Caruso. Their (accomplished) mission was to make a light, crispy and easily digestible pizza thanks to a carefully made dough (with a mix of Molino Quaglia flour that enhances and makes use of all the features of each type of flour in the mix) and recipes for toppings that are based on seasonality and on typical products from all around Italy (i.e. fiordilatte from 

Agerola, San Marzano tomatoes PDO, tasty cheese from the Langhe, cured meat from Mora Romagnola, ventricina from Vasto, Castelmagno di alpeggio PDO, just to name a few).

They offer different types of dough, depending on flour mix, techniques and baking: at lunchtime, there’s the Roman style pizza alla pala, including La Boscaiola with San Marzano tomato PDO, artisanal speck, fiordilatte from the mountains of Agerola, robiola from Roccaverano PDO, mushrooms and extra virgin olive oil and thyme. In the evening, there’s the round pizza in three versions of dough (classic, tutto grano and multi-cereal) and classic and rich toppings – such as Radicchio e versino, with fiordilatte from the mountains of Agerola, Verzin from Beppino Occelli, pig sausage, stir fried radicchio, extra virgin olive oil – or pizza al padellino in which the dough has spelt, like the one with angus, fresh fried artichokes and mustard salad with extra virgin olive oil and bean sprouts.

In each case, the pizza is served in pieces or slices topped separately so as to enhance the recipes and the ingredients and make the tasting easier. They can be paired with craft beers, wine – especially from Piedmont, of course – or cocktails prepared by the barmen at Mondofood. You’ll find all these pizzas at Mondofood Mondovì Breo in Piazza della Repubblica 5, in Mondovì, Cuneo (tel. +39 0174 44440). A selection of the complete menu, instead (as for pizza, mostly the one alla pala), can be found in the other location, also in Mondovì, called Mondovicino (Piazza Cerea 15/17. Tel. +39 0174 529376). In both cases, the website is

Luciana Squadrilli

Pasta Madre from Bosco enters the Sourdough Library

Renato Bosco in Saint Vith, in Belgium, the location of the Sourdough Library

Research, innovation and experiments characterise the work of Renato Bosco, who’s always been in the frontline in the valorisation of mother yeast of the highest quality as a crucial product when preparing his leavened products, from bread to pizza and cakes. A few days ago, Renato Bosco’s Pasta Madre Viva received a prestigious international acknowledgement and was included in the unique collection of the Sourdough Libraryin Saint-Vith in Belgium, which was born with the goal of preserving the biodiversity of the leavening agents and the relevant know-how. EveryPasta Madre Viva kept in the library will be preserved and refreshed for ever.

Marked with number 108 in the “caveau” of the LibraryBosco’s Pasta Madre Viva was studied and analysed by a team of scientists who defined its precise composition in terms of microorganisms, lactic bacteria, yeast and acidity, highlighting the peculiar features even in comparison to the other samples in the collection.

«I’m proud that my Pasta Madre Viva is part of the Sourdough Library, a magical place where the charm of history and ancient techniques meets the most advanced technologies and scientific research. I believe it is important to preserve this heritage and continue to study new families favouring global confrontation and growth, also via networking with the various producers scattered around the world. Cultural and geographic differences can only enrich and improve the work of everyone», Bosco said during the official event when he was handed the certificate from Karl De Smedt, the Library custodian.

At Spiazzo, in Rome, the new pizza “nel ruoto”

Pizza "nel ruoto" at Spiazzo in Rome

In September 2016 brothers Fabio and Alessio Mattaccini opened Spiazzo (Via Antonio Pacinotti 83, Rome. Tel. +39 06 5562738) in the old location of their Bibere Bistrot – an ambitious experiment that matched fine dining with craft beer. Now Spiazzo has found its place in the Roman pizza scene thanks to the excellent fried food (includinglingotti, delicious breaded and fried parallelepipeds, filled for instance with broccoli and sausage or potatoes and salmon) and thanks to the Spiazzanti pizzas, with special toppings often with organic products or Slow Food Presidia, such as the Mele e prosciutto cotto affumicato (buffalo milk mozzarella, Prague cooked ham, roast chicken, balsamic vinegar and rosemary) or Diversamente parmigiana (smoked buffalo milk mozzarella, fried aubergines, basil pesto, date tomatoes and Parmigiano) as well as the pizze Classiche.

In both cases, the dough (also available in the whole wheat version) is a mix of different techniques and traditions: stone milled flour – from Petra, adding wheat germ to give extra crispiness – at least 48 hours of maturation and leavening, 75% hydration. The result is original and interesting and unites the techniques of the Roman pizza in teglia with the Neapolitan direct cooking on stone, with a large and lightly crispy edge.

And there’s a recent novelty too: pizza nel ruoto, following the Neapolitan term (a small round baking tin, also known as padellino). The dough is similar to the previous one, but it leavens in the ruoto, in which it is also seasoned and baked. The result is a thick pizza, crispy on the outside and soft and light on the inside. Very interesting and with a unique character.

At Spiazzo, pizza nel ruoto is available both in theClassiche versions – like the delicious Marinara with tomato, parsley, chilli pepper, extra virgin olive oil and red garlic from Nubia – and in the Spiazzanti options, for instance the one with red prawns, cream of red prawns, Pata Negra lard and fried rosemary. This and the other items in the menu are the result of a successful team work between pizzaiolo Lorenzo De Bellis (responsible for the dough and the oven management), the kitchen staff with Loris Duranti and Giovanni Giglio (for toppings, fried food and cakes) and Alessio Mattacini himself, who searches and selects the raw materials and sets the guidelines for the dough and the choice of new recipes.


Angelo Rumolo, from Castello to Le Grotticelle

The pizza dedicated to MartinaRumolo’s wife: seasonable vegetables (currently: black kale, leek, broccoli, wild chicory)

We met him back in 2014, a young ande passionate man who presented his pizza at Identità Milano with chef Vitantonio Lombardo, his “neighbour” at the time in Caggiano, a village on the border between Campania and Basilicata, a short distance from Apulia. We then visited him at Grotto Pizzeria Castello, a small but charming place in a wing of the castle of Caggiano, run by the entire Rumolo family: his uncles and parents mostly farm the products used to season the pizza, his cousins are in the dining room and Angelo – when he’s not roaming in the mountains in search for mushrooms, truffles and wild herbs – kneads and bakes marvellous pizzas which (re)define the concept of “local pizza”. With the airy and light dough, he uses local products and ancient recipes such as zammedda, slowly cooked tomato seasoned with lots of pecorino.

Even then, all the family was at work to reach a common goal: Le Grotticelle, a nice place perched on a hill close to the centre of Caggiano, which they built themselves, brick after brick. They wanted to welcome guests with pizzas, typical food, rich farmers’ breakfasts and warm smiles (in Grotticelle, Caggiano, Salerno. Tel. +39 0975 1966171, So since a few months ago there’s no more fire in the oven at the Castello – while waiting for renovations and new developments – yet Angelo’s pizzas have a new, and beautiful, home. Conceived for banquets too – with well-designed gardens, turrets and panoramic terraces, 4 bedrooms and two annexes for overnight stay, and a cellar room that is perfect for 

aperitivos and private dinners – Le Grotticelle is still based on the true and genuine flavours of this borderland area, following the rhythm of the earth and the seasons.

On top of the extraordinary cured meat and cheese – the former come from Bioagrimar in Basilicata, the latter from Di Cecca in Apulia– there are first courses made with homemade pasta and sauces. Main courses are meat based. But the main role belongs to Angelo’s pizzasfrom the classic ones, always available in the menu – like Zammedda or Le Grotticelle with cardoncelli mushrooms, guanciale and fresh truffle – to the seasonal ones which change weekly based on the supply. For instance, while the snow is currently covering the fields and the roads, there’s leek and salted cod (the mountain fish) or the one with beans cooked in the pignata, and the one with pezzente sausage from black pigs and powdered coffee, which will warm you up during the cold winter nights.

Try the pizza dedicated to Martina, who is now Angelo’s wife: seasonal vegetables (currently: black kale, leek, broccoli, wild chicory) seasoned at the table with a strong bagna cauda, a specialty of Angelo’s mother – she’s from Piedmont – and a favourite of Martina’s.


Massimo Bosco’s pizza in Tempio Pausania

Massimo Bosco and his pizza with fiordilatte, peretta di Berchidda (a local cheese), rolled pancetta and shaved GranAnglona

Massimo Bosco does not know the meaning of laziness. The excellent pizzaiolo from Sardinia started his career by chance and out of necessity, and is now one of the best interpreters of pizza on the island. He’s also an esteemed teacher for all the aspiring pizzaioli who come from all around the world to Tempio Pausania to learn from him. While he was already making round pizzas to take away on top of bread, in his small place dedicated to pizza in teglia,since last summer he decided 

to focus on round pizzas mostly (pizzeria panetteria Bosco, Via Vittorio Veneto 4, Tempio Pausania, Sassari. Tel. +39 079 632494).

So he bought the place next door, and used one room for the oven, and one for the cosy dining room with nicely set tables and inspiring photos on the walls (in the summer, however, there are tables outside too, under the flowered porch in front of the restaurant and on the other side of the street, part of the old town market, and in August even occupying the pedestrian road in between). People stop here to enjoy, calmly, his delicious round pizzas with a soft and light dough made with 100% Sardinian wheat and spelt. Toppings range from traditional ones like Pizze Classiche to the more creative and richer ones like Pizze Bosco or PizzeSpeciali, often with local ingredients and with a strong Sardinian character as in the case of pizza Culurgiones, in which the topping recalls the famous Sardinian ravioli: boiled potatoes, pecorino sardo, oil with mint and chives, and salt and thyme.

And there’s also fried pizza, simply seasoned with tomato and mozzarella or for instance in the version with porchetta from Ploaghe, roasted potatoes, salt aromatised with myrtle and mustard. Super rich, but without exaggeration: «Simplicity and substance is our motto», the pizzaiolo often repeats. This is confirmed by tasting his pizza – including the one with fiordilatte, peretta di Berchidda (a local cheese), rolled pancetta and shaved GranAnglona, a sheep’s milk cheese that is somehow similar to Grana in terms of texture and aromas.


Sandro Cubeddu and his ReMi in Sassari

Photo Marco Piras

There’s ferment in Sardinia. There are now many important and awarded names: like Massimo Bosco, mentioned above, or Pierluigi Fais of Framento. But there’s also an interesting project called Sa Scolla, which is soon to open a restaurant in 

Cagliari after pizzeria Accademia Casa Puddu in Baradili. And there are other young pizzaioli worth keeping an eye on.

One of these is for sure Sandro Cubeddu. Born in 1983, Sandro first approached pizza almost by chance when he was working – first as a kitchen hand, then helping the pizzaiolo – in some restaurants in the province of Sassari while studying at university. After learning the ropes he felt the need to grow and started his self-training. At 26 he opened his first place in Torralba, a small village in the area of Melogu, in the province of Sassari: a starting point which made his desire to find a personal route grow further.

So in 2016 he closed the restaurant and started to explore the island and the “continent” – but he also travelled around the world – in search of inspiration and new ideas. His stop at Simone Padoan’s, as well as tasting Gabriele Bonci’s pizzas were both crucial. But he didn’t want a format to copy: «Mostly, I was curious to understand what high-quality pizza was. I wanted to find my own way. I was struck by the idea of a tasting menu, I wanted to transform the classic giropizza in a different experience, matching different types of dough with toppings that follow the seasons».

So the offer at ReMi, opened in Sassari in 2017 (via Coradduzza 17. Tel. 333 1378998) took shape: not a pizzeria, but a restaurant focused on leavened products in a wider sense, «a place where you can discover something new», says Sandro when he explains how he chose the name: «It’s a bit of a metaphor, two notes that together form a sound, with their own style; we want to offer something good but without limitations. In a way, we’re still looking for our identity».

It’s all based on contemporary pizza, with 4 or 5 types of dough that differ in terms of process and shape, presented in a real tasting menu: from the welcome snacks with a slice of bread with local products, to the round pizza, with mother yeast (like Carlofortina with tomato sauce, fiordilatte, Mediterranean tuna, powdered capers, pecorino, taggiasche olives and lemon), and then the one with double leavening in the pan, seasoned with special ingredients (such as tuna carpaccio or beef tagliata) and the excellent pancrock – a sort of stuffed focaccia. And finally the ReMi burger, a sort of burger bun served in slices.

Desserts too, are based on leavened products with local ingredients; as for the pairings, there are nice wines from Sardinia (and beyond) and a selection of craft beers that change with the menu.


Bread made with bark flour, an ancient tradition

The bread Stefano Basello makes using (also) bark flour 

A bread that can give a new life to the trees destroyed by the storm that hit Friuli Venezia Giulia – especially Carnia and Sappada – late in October. This is the idea of Stefano Basello, chef at restaurant Il Fogolar in Udine.

Our bread made with bark is the result of history and tradition. In the past, farmers would make flour from the inner bark of the trees or the roots, when they had to give the wheat or corn they farmed to the nobles. In order to survive, they realised they could use the inner bark and the roots to make bread and more. So basically this is a subsistence flour. From this tradition, and from some courses I attended, held by Valeria Margherita Mosca, came the idea of using the bark from the fir trees that fell in our mountains in October because of the storms. This bread is made with mother yeast, adding 20% flour from white or red firs and lichen.

Since because of this disaster it will take at least 60 to 100 years to recreate the forest, my team and I thought we could make this bread to recall the aromas of the forest. Indeed it’s a very aromatic bread. We’d like a village of Carnia to stand out thanks to the production of this bread, so as to transform it in a tool for territorial marketing, promoting tourism.

The entire team takes part in collecting the bark, with the help of my father, and the authorisation of the forest rangers. This bread, together with other four types, can be found throughout the year in our bread basket. 

Stefano Basello, chef at Il Fogolar - Udine