Newsletter 46 del 21 novembre 2017

Dear {{NOME}},

After the announcement in mid-October that Il Fattore Umano - The Human Factor -will be the theme of Identità Golose 2018, to be held in Milan on the 3rd-5th March, last week we revealed the emblem dish, a very meaningful choice. Indeed we chose pizza, but not just one pizza. We chose two, so as to unite Italy under the same image. In the photo below, in the third news in this newsletter, you can see seven slices. The three to the left are by Franco Pepe, the four to the right are by Renato Bosco. Campania, where pizza was born, and Veneto, the region where it was reborn a decade ago, thanks to Simone Padoan and Bosco himself. Utmost conviviality, innovation of an ancient product, man and his knowledge preceding every possible dough making and baking technique.

We chose La Scarpetta, by the master from Caiazzo, and Aria di Pane from the Veronese pizzaiolo. The choice was easy. It was harder to find the right moment for the picture, a shooting curated by Brambilla-Serrani. In Milan, edition after edition, we chose dishes presented by Carlo CraccoAlfonso CaputoMoreno CedroniMassimo BotturaDavide ScabinPaolo LoprioreMassimiliano AlajmoPino Cuttaia, Bottura again in 2015, Cristina Bowerman and Enrico Crippa last March.

It’s now the turn of Franco Pepe and Renato Bosco. For us at Identità pizza is a very serious matter. No space for folklore. After participating in the congress in Milan since the fifth edition, in 2009, in edition number 14 pizza becomes its emblem.

Paolo Marchi



Ancient wheat varieties or original cereals?

There’s lots of confusion online, where words and definitions often turn into meaningless labels. This also applies to wheat, mills and flour: consumers haven’t changed their perception of these three elements over time, even though technological development has radically changed wheat cultivation and its transformation into flour. The idea that today we could go back to how we used to sow, grow and harvest 100 years ago would be like thinking you could give up on mobile phones and go back to rotary telephones. The same applies to those who believe ancient stone mills can really work today, making flour that follows the health parameters imposed by the law and the workability and consistency features expected by those who will then use it as an ingredient.

We forget that wheat is the result of a seed and of the environment where the spike grows, hence soil quality and climate. Both these elements change over time. Especially the climate, which changes each year and is responsible for the different quality of the harvest. And since flour must be the natural expression of wheat, you must get the wheat from the place where it’s best each year. Whether in or outside Italy: it is of little importance if you want flour always to work well without any extraneous addition to the cereal.

In this sense, whether wheat varieties are ancient or modern, it is not of vital importance; their origin is more important, as it influences the quality of the harvest, because of climate and health of the soil. Focusing on “original cereals” instead of “ancient cereals” helps us face the issue of a healthy diet in a more concrete and less emotional way.

Piero Gabrieli

PizzaUp 2017

PizzaUp®, the technical conference dedicated to Italian pizza and organised by Università della Pizza, turned 12. It took place from the 13th to the 15th of November in Vighizzolo d’Este (Padua). This year’s edition focused on the evolution of dough-making techniques: essential tools for a professional pizzaiolo. More than toppings, dough interprets pizza following typical local traditions. It is essential to get a deeper knowledge of yeast and cereals, dough’s main component.

So the theme of PizzaUp 2017 was “Ancient Cereals”. It was analysed by trying to answer some of the most frequent questions: Are “ancient” wheat varieties better than “modern” ones? Is gluten in modern flour hard to digest? Do “ancient” wheat varieties have less gluten than current ones? And so on. During the three days we discussed this with pizzaioli, journalists, academic researchers, and farmers. The entire event was broadcasted through a live streaming on Facebook (@Lascuoladelmolino) thanks to Francesca Romana Barberini.

To fully develop the theme, two academic representatives were involved in the event (Ambrogina Pagani and Laura Franzetti, professors at Università di Milano). There was also space for the case-history of an agricultural entrepreneur and keeper of Sicilian seeds (Giuseppe Li Rosi - Terre Frumentarie) who over the last decade has promoted and guided the return to forgotten Sicilian indigenous wheat varieties and, recently, to evolutionary soft wheat.

There were also workshops with teams working on yeast and pizza dough together with two great chefs who advised them on toppings (Emanuele Scarello of Agli Amici in Udine and Peter Brunel of Borgo San Jacopo in Florence). Teams also took part in a workshop on cocktails and “mixology” held by Guglielmo Miriello of Ceresio 7 in Milan. Finally, there was a workshop on the human factor as the glue in a team. It was held by rugby player, trainer and now team director in the first league as well as famous sport reporter, Vittorio Munari. For more info:

Pizza: the emblem of Identità 2018

Padoan and doughs "for pairing "

Pizza Porca l'oca (photo by Tanio Liotta)

Synthesis and (seeming) simplicity: which means focus on neat flavours, no frills but plenty of space for complexity. While a few years ago it was mostly a matter of focusing on the quality of pizza so as to improve it, and hence it was logic that one would add, and enrich, today fine dining pizzerias must have the same approach – once again – as fine dining restaurants, and follow their most recent trend. So the goal now is to aim for pure flavours, removing frills and serving a dough+topping formula that is straightforward, almost didactic (pizza speaks to the people, it’s democratic), but also includes a series of inspirations, whether aromatic or not.

Our head was full of these thoughts at the end of a recent visit to I Tigli, chez Simone Padoan. This is the news: after so many innovations in terms of seasoning, the pizzaiolo from San Bonifacio is once again working on dough. And he does so by presenting new types – a total of seven – thanks to the use of different cereals. «This choice comes from my desire to always move ahead – he explained – I wondered: why not study different types of “pairing dough” so to speak, that is to say dough that can give aromatic notes that are particularly suitable for a specific type of topping».

A sort of pairing indeed, as a sommelier would say: the perfect disc for the seasoning that will go on top. «First of all, we prepared a Roman focaccia with corn and sunflower seeds, because I was looking for the perfect match for a pizza Polenta e baccalà [plus spinach and pine nuts en papillote]. Then the research continued». Any difficulty? «Managing the “rotation” of all the different leavenings». Prospects? «I’m thinking of a dough that can also include durum wheat». Keep in touch.

During our tasting, the same dough we mentioned – de-li-cious – was also paired with red prawn ceviche with fennel and orange and burrata. Then came a barley focaccia with fiordilatte, turnip tops en papillote, pan-fried sweetbreads with butter and lemon; then a dough with rye and oats, with fiordilatte, cabbage stewed with soy, ginger and mirin, pork jowl sautéed with Croatina wine. Simply yummy.

The peak, however, was perhaps Porca l’oca, a pan brioche dough enriched with sunflower seeds and white and black sesame, topped with goose baked in a wood oven, lard, foie gras and a quince compote: what a blast.

Carlo Passera

Renato Bosco: «Milano and Torino, I’m coming»

Teo Musso and Renato Bosco

Renato Bosco says he’s been «thinking of new solutions for some time, because I’ve always wished to make my varied work known to a larger public, that of big cities». Said and done: in the space of six days, the pizza-researcher from San Martino Buon Albergo will open two new metropolitan places.

The first close to the Madonnina, in Milan, together with Teo Musso, in the renewed Baladin Milano in Via Solferino 56, tel. +39 02 6597758. The official opening is on Friday 17th November, «but in fact we’ve been working since the 3rd November. We first tested all the mechanisms, and I must say clients gave us a very positive welcome».

The format will not be called Saporè («That name can only refer to places that feature my complete offer»), but Baladin-Renato Bosco: «We serve a selection of our production. Hence a slightly modified Aria di Pane compared to the original, Crunch and Doppio Crunch, as well as Mozzarella di Pane». Everything will have a Piedmontese take, in synergy with Musso, «so for instance we’re using fassona. And we also bake the bread for Baladin burgers», in a work of delicious influences.

On Thursday 23rd November (the launch. It will open to the public on the 24th) the “Renato Bosco” brand will also appear at the new Edit - Eat Drink Innovate Together in Torino (Via Cigna 96/17). The multifunctional site will have other prestigious Italian fine dining names, such as brothers Christian and Manuel Costardi, Pietro Leemann, as well as cocktails from Barz8, and an in-house brewery.

«The site is very large, beautiful, inspiring. Even too much so – says Bosco – Pizza will have the task of acting as a trait d’union with the more popular soul, because the idea is that Edit should be a format that can be replicated elsewhere». Besides presenting his delicacies, in this case the “official” Aria di PaneDoppio Crunch and Mozzarella di Pane Bosco will be the “baker” for all the restaurants and chefs involved. 


Lievito 72, rectangular pizza in Trani

In a region like Apulia, where pizza has its traditions, changing the rules and overturning a seventh-generation family pizzeria is no easy task. Still, Andrea Bruno Giordano, born with a finger in the pie, was brave enough to do it with pizzeria Lievito 72 (Via Ciardi 29, Trani, tel. +39 388 4346166), where he presents a light and easy-to-digest rectangular pizza.

Andrea has bread and pizza running in his blood because ever since he was a child he first visited and then worked in his father’s workshop. He still works with him, together with his brother. He continues to make fresh bread every day, with special varieties of wheat, like Tumminia and Chia seeds, and they serve it as a welcome with extra virgin olive oil from Lucera.

When making pizza, he uses stone-milled Petra 1 and 9 flour, sometimes mixed with different types of wheat like Senatore Cappelli, Tumminia, Rossello ragusano, spelt and kamut, and mother yeast kept alive with water and very little salt (less than 30%). The dough leavens for around 72 hours at controlled temperature. It is then turned into balls and rolled out in a rectangular, not round, shape: «I had reached a turning point. The time had come to say enough with endless menus stuffed with entrées and fried food. It was time for a new concept of pizza, not only in terms of flavours but of shape as well. This is why I chose a rectangular, not round shape, so as to give a strong sign of change».

Today the menu includes only 10 pizzas. It changes according to the available ingredients, which are mostly local, preferably seasonal. Pizza, cooked in the oven at a temperature slightly below 400°C. Ninety percent of the toppings are added after the baking, never before. If any he adds tomato, but never oil before cooking. A few examples? Genovese, with onion, beef sottocoperta, smoked fior di latte added when cooking with sprinkled pecorino and yellow date tomato jam and chilli pepper at the end; or the one with turnip tops, smoked horse sausage and, after baking, cow’s milk stracciatella; or Parmense, the most popular among his clients, with a sauce of hand-crushed tomatoes from Paglione added before cooking, and stracciatella, prosciutto crudo Dok Dall'Ava 24 months and a drop of oil after baking.

Tania Mauri

High quality and innovation: Sirani’s mantra


Sirani (Via Gramsci 5, Bagnolo Melia, Brascia. Tel. +39 030 6821179) is a unique place, just like patron-pizzaiolo Nerio Beghi is unique. Ex bricklayer, ex mechanic, ex waiter, he was a pupil and a fan of Simone Padoan and today is a real master of pizza. He fine-tuned the “perfect” dough thanks to a secret blend of Petra 1, 5, and 9 flour, resulting in a light, crispy, tasty and easy to digest pizza.

The watchwords, here at Sirani’s are: high quality and innovation. We can find these features in the wide selection of raw materials, in the toppings, and pairings. There’s a dozen pizzas that never change, like the one with San Marzano tomato au gratin and burrata or the one with tuna tagliata and onion from Tropea. Nerio’s creativity shows in his "specials", such as 4+4 with Corona scampi, Carabineros prawns and focaccia in pinzimonio, Confusa e felice with prawns roasted with bacon, or 60 grammi with Calvisius caviar and butter from Normandy. Desserts are not to be missed. Neat and original, they’re an “ancient” passion of Beghi.

The restaurant is multifunctional, luminous and elegant; open since early in the morning, serving cakes and pastries, it has an interesting selection at lunchtime (including pizza Veneta with octopus and calamari salad) different from the tasting one. And then in the evening, time for fireworks.


Cogo’s pizzas help sick children

Lorenzo Cogo making pizzas in the hospital ward (photo

Here’s a news from a few weeks ago that deserves not to go unnoticed: chef Lorenzo Cogo of El Coq in Vicenza took part in a nice charity event at Clinica di Oncoematologia Pediatrica in Padua. Together with Venetian Maurizio Toffoli he prepared savoury and sweet pizzas with the young patients, from rolling out the dough to the final post-baking decorations. «I made special sauces with creative names»: "courage" sauce, with chocolate, "smile" with carrot, "energy" with tomato, "strength" with courgettes and mint, "speed" with turmeric, "magic" with beetroot, "incredible" with paprika, «so I could suggest them to add a little courage and they would put chocolate and so on».

Cogo continues: «We live in a hectic world, we’re worried about things that are in fact meaningless, unimportant. Instead, we should never forget there’s pain, and we should focus on others a little more».


Rome 1: round, crispy and "social" pizza at Manforte’s

The idea is that of conviviality, of having a good time without spending too much. In Rome, in Talenti, Manforte was born (Via Zanardini 39. Tel. +39 06 823871), in an old barn with a big garden transformed into a large and fascinating place, perfect for a big party of friends. Everything is focused on sociality.

 «We decided to call it Manforte – says Fabrizio Marcucci, one of the partners – because it had a suffix "man", which hints at the fact you mostly eat using your hands [mani], here, and because "darsi manforte” [supporting each other] is one of the most beautiful sides of sociality, a concept we consider essential».

The culinary offer is wide - pizza, bruschetta, burgers and gluten free food – each with its kitchen, its well-organised spaces and modern equipment that guarantees an efficient and effective work (which is very important when you can seat up to 800 people…).

The pizza is "social", round, with a diameter of around half a meter. They use a wood oven but with baking tins placed right on the embers. Crispy, not too thick nor too thin, it is naturally leavened and served in slices to share. It looks good and tastes good. They have "red" pizzas, like Bufalina with peeled tomatoes, buffalo milk mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, or Mar-forte, with peeled tomatoes, taggiasche olives, anchovies and hot chilli pepper; and "white" pizzas, like Paesana with fior di latte, melted smoked provola and crispy pancetta, and Fiori per alice, with fior di latte, courgette flowers and anchovy filets.


Rome 2: meanwhile, at Forte’s there’s the best of Calabria

The new Forte (via Marcotti 20. Tel. +39 06 69321414) has a cuisine full of character. It opened in Rome, in the Tiburtina area, and offers delicatessen and pizza Made in Calabria (but it’s also a shop where you can buy the best products selected by 100% Calabrian Giuseppe Marturano, a famous figure in the capital’s restaurant scene).

Nduja from Spilinga, Caciocavallo Silano PDO, pecorino from Monte Poro di Crotone, bergamot and so on: everything is sold or can be tasted, fried or served on a platter, or as an ingredient in the daily specials. Both the pizza and the excellent bread deserve a mention: they’re made with ancient wheat varieties, from a mill in San Floro (Catanzaro). The project is run by farmers, but was launched with a crowdfunding on Facebook.

Pizzas are made with dough with 25% whole wheat Verna flour, stone-milled, and organic type 0 flour. It raises for around 48 hours and is then baked in the oven. You can enjoy it by the shovel - both at lunchtime and in the evening - or served on the plate, in this case but only upon request, and only in the evening. There are many toppings available, from classics to specials; the most interesting ones, though, are with Calabrian products, as with the pizza with red onion from Tropea, Callipo tuna and lime, or with sundried tomatoes, olives and anchovies. It is a good representation of Marturano’s motto: “Earth, sun and passion”.


Rome 3: pizza and engines at Officina


Officina (Via Populonia 59. Tel. +39 06 93571248) is a restaurant in the Appio Latino neighbourhood in Rome where iron tables, ancient signs, petrol pumps, a Vespa and even an old Cinquecento turned into a comfortable and unique seating, create a vintage, original and captivating setting, coherent with the name designed by patrons and brothers Alfredo and Mario Arcangeli, who are car fanatics. 

The menu also recalls the mood of the restaurant. And while for the restaurant they count on excellences such as meat from Sartor in Testaccio, pasta from Mancini, bread from Bonci, vegetables and eggs from small producers in Lazio, for pizza they required the support of Marco Lungo, a famous expert in the field.

The dough was made using only Italian wheat, Type 1 and a “pre-fermento” which he invented himself, which he called Biga Lungo™. This type of dough adds crispiness, softness, and aromas that derive from the use of mother yeast, so there’s almost no brewer’s yeast. They bake in a gas oven. Lots of attention is also paid to the ingredients, from mozzarella, which is made following Lungo’s recipe in a dairy factory near Agerola, to San Marzano tomatoes from a small farm.

The names of the pizzas recall the automotive industry: pizza Martello with fior di latte, porcini and truffle; Vite with fior di latte, gorgonzola, jowl bacon, potatoes, onions and Parmesan; Sfiammata with Carolina Reaper chilli pepper, the hottest in the world; Marce, with cocktail sauce, prawns, tabasco, corn salad, vinaigrette and San Marzano PDO tomato; or Marmitta with fior di latte from Agerola, potatoes, sausage, rosemary and Parmigiano PDO matured 24 months.

The restaurant is only open in the evening. Closed on Mondays.