Newsletter 49 del 25 febbraio 2018

Dear {{NOME}},

I wouldn’t turn back. My favourite pizzas, due to recent quality, are no longer calzone filled with ricotta (which I hate when in the shape of a pizza), fiordilatte and cooked ham, nor pizza with cooked ham and anchovies added before baking. Too many pizzerias whose offer is only slightly better than happy hour trash have them.

Today, the best places offer such high quality, such richness and creativity, that I enjoy an essential marinara, with tomato, oregano and garlic, to which I usually ask to add either anchovies, capers or olives.

Then there’s my favourite pizza which has nothing to do with pizzerias. It’s the pizza my mother used to make when I was a child. First of all, no tomato and no cheese. Only plenty of roughly cut onion, black olives and tinned tuna, and then parsley or basil or both, chopped and added after baking. And finally, a generous drop of oil.

I say this because I’d like to give my compliments to Da Zero in Via Luini 9 in Milan, tel. +39.02.83529189. Their pizza with Tuna, onions and olives ammaccate reminded me of summers in Levanto, in Liguria, and when you add high quality to memories, there’s nothing that can beat that.

Paolo Marchi



The Human Factor and the 6th flavour of wheat

The pattern from Petra Molino Quaglia’s space at Identità Milano 2018

The image of two pizzas represents the Human Factor, the theme of Identità Milano 2018, the international cuisine congress created by Paolo Marchi

Our point of view on the human factor is known. It has nothing to do with mistaking it for the central role given to the author of a dish, a trap in which many in the restaurant industry (including pizza, pastry and bread making) seem to fall. This can only lead to an empty protagonism. Instead, the human factor of which we would like to speak in this edition of Identità is about a complete sharing of feelings between kitchen and dining room. This can grant a better understanding of the dish, and convey a message of high quality to consumers.

Take bread and pizza. Two common, popular foods that convey emotions and a strong connection with human relationships and with spending time together. Sometimes the role of a baker or pizzaiolo overcomes food, leading to a void self-celebration of one’s skills. It’s as if the good relationship between us and food only depended on the technical skills of the cook. 

But then a research by the department of Food Sciences at the University of Oregon (in the summer of 2017, read here) reveals the existence of a possible sixth flavour: “starchy”. Apparently, carbohydrates have this unique flavour which our taste buds can recognise instinctively, just like sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami.

Is it the sixth flavour of wheat that enhances the human factor in the relationship between pizza and bread makers and guests? Or is it the human factor of the baker or pizzaiolo that stimulates positive emotions when serving bread and pizza?

Come visit us at Identità Milano and enjoy the 6th flavour of wheat. Join us at bakery Mamapetra where they will bake all the bread for the congress live, or come to the Petra area, in the sponsors’ piazza, where every day chefs, pastry chefs, pizzaioli and bakers (click here soon to find out names and recipes) will show the human factor from which their dishes are born.

Piero Gabrieli

Only a few days to Identità di Pane e Pizza

Only a few days to Identità Milano, 14th edition, scheduled as usual at MiCo in Via Gattamelata, on March 3rd-5th. Once again pizza (and bread too) will be among the topics of discussion: for the 12th time, Identità di Pane e Pizza is scheduled  in collaboration with Petra – Molino Quaglia, who are also the supporters, together with Valrhona, of another very important moment, the first edition of Pasticceria Italiana Contemporanea. In both cases, speeches will take place on Monday 5th, throughout the day.

Identità di Pane e Pizza is perhaps even more awaited than usual, this year, given pizza is the emblem-dish of the 2018 congress (see: Pizza as the emblem dish of Identità 2018, by Paolo Marchi). It’s unprecedented: in the past we had recipes by Carlo CraccoAlfonso CaputoMoreno CedroniMassimo BotturaDavide ScabinPaolo LoprioreMassimiliano AlajmoPino Cuttaia, again Bottura in 2015, Cristina Bowerman and, last March, Enrico Crippa. Now we have pizza, in fact two pizzas, "to unite the whole of Italy in the same image”. In the photo opening the piece seven slices stand out. The three on the left are by Franco Pepe, the four to the right by Renato Bosco. Campania, where pizza was born, and Veneto, the region where, over the last decade, it experienced a rebirth 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", said Marchi.

Of course, the above-mentioned pizzaioli had to participate in Identità di Pane e Pizza. After all, their presence is well known to those who have been attending our congress: Simone Padoan will open the afternoon works, after the lunch break (at 1:20 pm); Renato Bosco and Franco Pepe will end the day beautifully, their speeches being scheduled respectively at 5:30 and 6:20 pm. In between, three more lessons by giants: Lello Ravagnan of Grigoris in Mestre is back at 2:10 pm, Giuseppe Oliva from Baest in Copenhagen at 3 pm, Luigi Acciaio and Jessica Tomaini from Com'era, è in Moncalieri at 3:50 pm.

A nice pizza focused mix with old masters and debuting speakers; in the morning, instead, three new appearances at our congress will share their thoughts on bread: Papoula Ribeiro from Manì in Sao Paulo in Brazil and brothers Matteo and Ivan Piffer from Trento, of whom Tania Mauri told everything in her piece.

Carlo Passera

New faces at Identità: Giuseppe Oliva...

A Sicilian at the court of Denmark. Giuseppe Oliva was born on the 20th January 1986 in Sicily, in Alcamo (TP), a small town between Palermo and Trapani, only a few kilometres from the archaeological site of Segesta. Giuseppe grew up in an area full of farms and vineyards, as well as olive groves and fields of wheat.

Here, ever since he was a child, he smelled the aroma of freshly baked bread and felt the warmth of the wood oven at his father Leonardo’s bakery: «My family has been making bread since 1941. My father opened his bakery in 1978, when he was only 20. My grandfather on my mother’s side was head miller in a beautiful water mill and he was also a skilled baker. He worked as a baker in the army, during World War Two. My uncle Paolo has a bakery in Padua and another uncle of mine was an excellent pastry-maker. So basically there’s always been plenty of flour and bread at home!». 

His brothers Claudio and Enrico work in the family bakery, which is famous for its unique sfincione – typical of Palermitan gastronomy, a soft pizza covered with a simple sauce: primo sale cheese, onion and anchovies.

As a child, however, Giuseppe was fascinated by sailors and pirates and wanted to sail across the oceans. Hence he decided to study at the Nautical School in Trapani and then became a sea captain after long crossings and passing the exams in Venice.

A dream come true: Oliva started to work mostly on merchant ships – oil tankers and container ships – as well as some passenger ships. This adventure lasted six years and led him to land in Copenhagen where, almost by chance, he once again felt the desire to put his finger in the pie: «So I went back to that profession that I started as a child, making bread and pizza. I worked in the most popular pizzerias in town and discovered I was an artisan, with a great passion for pizza and natural fermentation».

Then there was a decisive meeting in the Danish capital: «Shortly before Christian [Puglisi] opened Bæst, we met a few times and, given we’re both Sicilian, we liked each other. We decided to work with pizza together. We opened Bæst in the best possible way, creating and serving artisanal products only made by ourselves, starting from raw materials and paying homage to our roots». He still works at Bæst where he had a crucial role in shaping the pizza they serve daily, of course supervised by Puglisi.

Tania Mauri well as Luigi Acciaio and Jessica Tomaino

Elective affinities for Campanian Luigi Acciaio, born in 1969 in Castellamare di Stabia, and Jessica Tomaino, born in 81 in Castellamonte, husband and wife who are also united by their work.

Luigi was born with good food in his eyes and in his blood: he started to work with his grandfather at 8, in the family delicatessen called Lucullus in Torre Annunziata. He later refined his culinary knowledge thanks to his father Giuseppe, a big expert of culinary excellences and owner of GMA Import Specialità in Pompei. Luigi specialised in pizza and dough, which is increasingly light and easy to digest. He became a pizzaiolo, offering his consultancy to restaurants opening all around Europe, as well as promoting courses for «housewives who want to learn how to make a good pizza at home».

In the past few years, together with his father, he registered the Pizzeria Gourmet® format where they only use high quality raw materials and processes that follow ancient traditions. Moreover, in order to safeguard these principles, he created the Associazione Pizza Napoletana Gourmet, whose regulations offer the guidelines to be followed by Pizzaioli Gourmet.

After attending the School of Art, Jessica Tomaino arrived in the restaurant industry by chance. In 2002 she met Luigi Acciaio in a famous pizzeria in the province of Torino, where they were both working at the time and where Luigi was supporting the launch. After loosing sight of each other for a decade, they met again and this time, not only did they start a professional partnership but they fell in love too. This resulted in a child… and lots of professional projects, some of which are runnind already, while others are in progress.

Luigi Acciaio and wife Jessica offer training courses, also with the support of Fip (Federazione Italiana Pizzaioli nel Mondo). In 2016 they opened their first Pizzeria Gourmet®, called Com’era... È in Moncalieri (To). They offer dough with whole-wheat flour and whole wheat seeds from Molino Quaglia, 75/90% hydration and at least 36 hours of leavening. Here Luigi presented and tested his patented kneading processor “AT” (which stands for the initials of their surnames, Acciaio and Tomaino). It offers “assisted” hand kneading, simulating hand kneading with the help of a moving container, thanks to which they can make large quantities of dough (up to 30 kg per time) in very few minutes and with a hydration that would be impossible to handle in a traditional kneading processor or by hand on a flat surface.

Tania Mauri

The other pizzas: Yoji Tokuyoshi

A nice dinner, recently, at Yoji Tokuyoshi (here’s the story: Yoji Tokuyoshi news, great menu and a new location) and a surprise during the starters at his Tokuyoshi in Milan: they served us a pizza carton… which enclosed a "fake" pizza with puffed rice. It’s Pizza Anna, a light version of capricciosa, to share: the base is made of puffed rice, plus tomato sauce, wafers of Parmigiano, cooked ham, mortadella, capers, anchovies and fried artichokes. It’s served with a broth of capers. It can be (or it is) a game, made by an important chef, and Bottura’s ex sous. It also encloses an important concept: with recent developments, pizza has attracted the attention of fine dining, and vice versa, in a continuous relationship made of exchanges, borrowings, quotations.


The other pizzas: Daniel Canzian

Continuing with this series, a new idea comes from another famous pupil of the illustrious Maestro: Daniel Canzian of Daniel in Milan, the last disciple of Gualtiero Marchesi. As part of the appetizers, in his restaurant in Via Castelfidardo on the corner with Via San Marco 7, in Milan, he served Pizza soffiata all'amatriciana, that is to say with onion, pecorino and jowl bacon. As in the case of Tokuyoshi, the chef enhances the crispy part of pizza, so as to paraphrase a famous dish by Bottura, and enriches it with a comfort food style seasoning. «I like the idea of going deeper into the Italian essence – says the chef – enough of all this trying to imitate others». The dough is simple: water, oil, flour, salt and yeast; Canzian makes many small discs, which he then bakes at 230°C, until they grow. Then he seasons them depending on his whim and the season.

There’s also Niko Romito’s pizza-pizza


So many great chefs are now dealing with the pizza universe, in more or less creative ways. But some are also choosing a very classic way: as in Rome, where there’s lots of ferment, in fact. Many new restaurants have recently opened in town, also serving pizza, the best leavened disc in the world.

Among them, Spazio by Niko Romito, which from 11:30 until the supply is finished offers round, fragrant and soft focaccias, white and red or with potatoes, scamorza and rosemary, or tomato, parmigiano, lemon and basil, just to give a few examples.

Enrico Bartolini’s Margherita amarcord

We’ve already written about Enrico Bartolini’s first book (Uomo e chef, così Enrico Bartolini si racconta), a sort of auto-biography of the five star chef, from his birth to his success. The book also includes 30 recipes that will have readers understand the culinary art of the chef, starting from his youth. The chef writes: "The worst tantrum I threw at home with my parents in Castelmartini was when I wanted a wood oven as a gift. Having a wood oven at home was my greatest desire... It arrived at last, and then as often the case when a reach a big goal, the journey started over and I didn’t make use of it. Before I turned 18, my father had it built in the dining room, but I left soon after that. I haven’t really made use of it and I still think about it. But I rarely use it. However, it was very useful: cooking meat, beans, vegetables when the fire is dying out gives the best results. And a freshly milled flour from the mill has a very special aroma". Then Bartolini presents his recipe for pizza Margherita.

Pizza Margherita
Ingredients for 4 pizzas
1 kg strong flour
550 g water
10 g brewer’s yeast
30 g extra virgin olive oil
15 g salt
400 g tomato puree
4 fresh mozzarellas
a few leaves of basil

If possible, use warm water at 26°C. Create a well on the table, then add brewer’s yeast melted in 500 g of water in the middle of the flour. Add 50 g of water to the oil and salt, and add this mixture halfway into the process. Start kneading so as to mix the water and yeast. As soon as you have made the dough, knead it energetically for at least 5 minutes. Add salt, oil and the remaining water and continue to knead for 5 more minutes. Cover and leave to rest for some 3 hours in a room at a temperature of around 2°C. After this step, break the dough and knead it very little, create some small balls weighing 200 grams each, cover them and leave them to rest for two more hours at least. Now roll out the balls of dough, forming a crater and pressing it starting from the middle; pay attention to leave the edges intact, because if you press them, they won’t grow. Put 100 g of tomato puree in the middle of every pizza and bake in a very hot oven. After a few minutes, when the edges are brown, add the mozzarella; bake again for a few minutes. Serve with basil and a drop of good olive oil, for those who wish so.

The new Social Pizza at Triennale in Milan

Marinara ai 4 pomodori at Triennale Social Pizza

Cristian Marasco, pizzaiolo from Merate, is the author of the pizzas at Social Pizza della Triennale which joins the offer of the Caffè inside the Milanese museum in Viale Alemagna. He uses Petra flour from Molino Quaglia, mother yeast, 48 hours of leavening at controlled temperature, PDO products, Slow Food presidia and mozzarella with 100% milk from Lombardy from the Razza Bruna della Valtellina, cooked in a state of the art electric oven. Triennale Social Pizza doesn’t follow neither the pizza gourmet movement "alla Padoan" nor the Neapolitan one. His style is in between.

The menu is limited, but promises to change depending on the season. Marinara ai 4 pomodori with a wise use of San Marzano, Pachino, antico pomodoro napoletano and Piennolo tomatoes as well as garlic and oregano stands out. The same goes for 4 formaggi Italia-Francia with fiordilatte, crème fraiche from Isigny, camembert, a natural blue cheese from Guffanti and a topping of honey. Stefano Cerveni, starred chef at Due Colombe in Borgonato who runs the gastronomic offer at Triennale, together with Ugo Fava and also signs the menu at Terrazza Triennale - Osteria con vista, put his touch on the Gambero rosso e patate viola, with red prawns from Mazara del Vallo, stracciatella pugliese, chives and chips of purple potatoes. A very classic of his becomes a topping.

Mariella Caruso

A nice surprise at Cascina Vittoria

Pizza Moncada

The guys at Cascina Vittoria have even charmed Paolo Marchi’s palate: “There’s a vegetable garden, there’s geese, fields and much more. But most of all, there are four young talents that are worth the trip”. He’s referring to the Ricciardella brothers, in decreasing order of age: Marco (wines), Alessandro (grill and bureacoracy), Giovanni (kitchen) and finally Simone, who’s not yet 18 and works in the dining room.

At Cascina Vittoria, on top of the restaurant offer chef Giovanni makes excellent pizzas. As in the case of everything else they serve, you’re stricken by the attention the Ricciardellas pay in selecting the products and in enhancing their value. «With our pizzas, we wanted to stand out thanks to a traditional dough, with a sensible use of yeast, plus precious type 1 whole wheat flour from Petra 3 and Petra Bricks», they point out.

Very long leavening (on a Sunday night, we ate a pizza made with dough from Thursday), Selezione Moncada tomato both as puree and chopped, good fiordilatte, Apulian extra virgin olive oil. Baked in the wood oven. We tasted pizza Moncada, in the photo, with orange date tomato, buffalo milk mozzarella from Campania, Cantabrian anchovies, extra virgin olive oil and basil. A very good blend of ingredients (orange date tomatoes tend to be excessively sweet, but were perfectly balanced by the anchovies). The Riccardellas also make other leavened products themselves.


The new Battil’oro: fire + yeast + spirits

Pizza Battil’oro

Gennaro Battiloro was awarded as young chef by Espresso 2018 in the insert dedicated to the "best pizzerias of Italy". After running La Kambusa in Massarosa for many years, he recently opened his first pizzeria as patron. Called Battil'Oro, it’s in Querceta (in the heart of Versilia, slightly north of Forte dei Marmi. The address is Via Asilo 54. Tel. +39 0584 1670112).

The place is large, the setting is a play on red, black and gold; two wood ovens, a window overlooking where they work the dough and a counter where you can eat while looking at the pizzaioli at work. Even though Neapolitan pizza is still his forte, Gennaro, originally from Torre del Greco, gave a current trait to his new place, and pairs pizzas with a selection of cocktails prepared by Giuseppe Rainieri; also featured in the lounge area.

Indirect dough matured 48 hours and poolish made with Petra 3 and 9 flour, and research of the best raw materials: these are the features of his pizza, which is very promising, starting from Margherita, with San Marzano PDO Gustarosso tomatoes, fiordilatte, basil and extra virgin olive oil. Or Marinara with anchovies, with Piennolo PDO cherry tomatoes, anchovies from the Sea of Cantabria and garlic, and the not-to-be-missed Battil’oro with yellow Piennolo cherry tomatoes from Coppola 1934, burrata from Andria, anchovies from the Sea of Cantabria, basil, extra virgin olive oil. There’s also the rich San Giovanni with naturally cooked prosciutto, fiordilatte, gorgonzola, toasted almonds and Roman mentuccia.


Roma: Bling Pig

As we mentioned, there are many new restaurants in Rome, including the new restaurant that Marco Pucciotti opened in 2018: Blind Pig (Via La Spezia 72, Rome. Tel. +39 06 87750714), which hints at speakeasy clubs from the past centuries and puts together good drinks and food. A new project “Made in Roma” signed by bartender Egidio Finanza and Mattia Ria as for the cocktails, Fabrizio Pagliardi – who’s also taking care of craft beer and spirits - Matteo Baldi and Marco Mattana from Epiro for the food and Stefano Callegari for the starters, enriched by chef Alessio Angelino. The offer focuses on tasting pizzas with intriguing gourmet toppings, carefully studied. The “Finte Classiche” [Fake classic] pizzas include Margherita, Marinara and Napoli with a few innovative touches, such as fried anchovies. “Gourmet” pizzas, what with Insalata di Porchetta, with porchetta, oranges, fennel and olives and Mare e Monti, with beefsteak tartare, sea urchin mayonnaise and mixed salad leaves, will have you spoilt for choice. The offer ends with “Frontespizio”, with pork popcorn and meatballs made with cheese and egg, and desserts.

Tania Mauri