Newsletter 51 del 23 luglio 2018

Dear {{NOME}},

I never thought that on a professional level there could be a tangible difference between the same dish, whether a male or a female chef had made it. Elena Arzak, who runs Arzak in San Sebastian with her father Juan Mari, often tells that her dad loves to add a flower here and there and when she walks around the tables everyone shows their appreciation thinking it was her, as a woman. Elena thanks them, not wanting to embarrass the guests, but deep inside she’s laughing.

This also applies to the world of pizza, with the birth of Donne di pizza Donne di cuoreLuciana Squadrilli writes about them in this issue, so please refer to her. I’m very happy of all this energy, all this showing one’s passion and talent. The more women will work as a team, the stronger the example they will set, so that more young people will embark on this journey to stand out in a world like that of pizzas, which is even more male-led than the restaurant industry.

Of course, if what is important is food quality, there should be no differences between male and female chefs, or pizza chefs. After all, the word chef itself is used regardless of whether a brigade is led by a man or a woman. But then it is a given fact that the best chef is a man, one doesn’t even need to mention it. For women, instead, there’s always a separate category, that of female chefs. So many think of a golden enclosure, when at least for us at Identità, it’s a way of putting under the spotlight those who stand out in a strongly male industry.

Paolo Marchi



PizzaUp 2018: Mediterranea diet and climate selection from wheat to yeast

The 13th edition of PizzaUp will take place on November 5th-7th 2018. This year with a completely new format, compared to the previous 12 editions. The topic will go across the board, from interactions between climate and cereal cultivation techniques, to milling, to the transformation induced by fermenting dough, to a more complete vision of how pizza interprets the advantages of the Mediterranean diet through its local variations.

Returning to a right interpretation of the value of carbohydrates in the Mediterranean diet has been our goal for quite some time. So much so that in 2012 we were among the promoters of the Manifesto della Pizza Italiana Contemporanea which was then written and signed by some of the most prominent culinary experts in Italy. Since then, in every edition of PizzaUp (to this day the only technical meeting dedicated to Italian pizza) we’ve invited academics, journalists (above all, Paolo Marchi, a strong supporter of the need to give a nutritional value to pizza, and to extend the tenth point of the Manifesto), bloggers, cooks, communication, architecture and marking experts, opinion makers, and science populisers. We’ve asked each one of them to stimulate the participation of the attending pizzaioli in inspiring theoretical and practical workshops, offering plenty of new ideas so that they would serve pizzas based on the Mediterranean diet. In the PizzaUp 2013conference proceedings, Eleonora Cozzella (La Repubblica) wrote with regards to the format presented on that occasion for a traditional Neapolitan pizza recipe based on 180 grams of dough: «The aim is to develop a new way of making pizzas paying attention to health. Starting from the idea of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Which is based on whole-wheat cereals».

Today, 5 years later, we’ve made great strides in all the areas of pizza making, and the recent news that even a professional like Franco Pepe has now joined the Manifestowith his work, paying the right attention to nutrients and to using a lighter base for the pizza, is one more proof of how the work done at PizzaUp in 2012 and 2013 is current and useful.

Piero Gabrieli

At Bioesserì Palermo for pizza Evolutiva

Vittorio and Saverio Borgia, patrons at Bioesserì Palermo, with special guest Corrado Scaglione of Enosteria Lipen, in Canonica Lambro (Monza-Brianza)

Are pizzas cooked with the fire of evolution? Clearly yes. On Sunday 27th May, in the Palermo branch of Bioesserì, brothers Vittorio and Saverio Borgia, founders and creators of the restaurant also open in Milan, presented a new series of pizzas and leavened products. They’re all made with Petra Evolutiva, the flour made with organic, Sicilian wheat which is milled and distributed by Molino Quaglia.

During the event,Giuseppe Li Rosi, the president of Associazione Simenza  - Cumpagnia Siciliana Sementi Contadine, explained how this flour was born: «Our evolutionary wheat, organically farmed in Sicily, comes from a mix of seeds that was formed in Syria, with some 2000 varieties from Algeria, Jordan, Iran and Eritrea. They showed a strong capacity to adapt to our territory: think of thousands of variants of the same species of wheat planted in the same field for years, and every year nature selects the strongest varieties; so a field of wheat is indissolubly connected with climate change, and resists to illnesses and weeds».

Davide Visiello

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Battil'oro A+

La squisita pizza San Giovanni

Gennaro Battiloro is a prodigy. He shows his tattooed arms and says: «I like to thrill my clients. To give them goose bumps». He’s also full of emotions, he oozes passion in the same way that his pizzas are a blast of flavour.

So much so that a few months ago he opened his first restaurant, Battil'oro in Querceta (Via Asilo 54. Tel. +39 0584 1670112), a few km from Forte dei Marmi – and it’s a success already, serving up to 180 pizzas per day. Gennaro, who’s directed pizzeria La Kambusa in Massarosa for many years – seems as determined as ever to grow, grow, and grow. For him, this is a goal he’s had for a long time: «It’s always been a personal dream. I was waiting for the right moment», he told Tania Mauri, for Identità Golose, a while ago.

Born in 1983, originally from Torre del Greco (Naples), he’s worked his way up the ladder. Battiloro’s style is inspired by Franco Pepe, with whom he worked in 2014 and 2015 – he was working by the oven during the short Milanese experience of the pizzaiolo from Pepe in Grani, with Rocco Princi. He says: «I owe Franco a lot. Thanks to him, I made a huge leap in terms of technique». Before that experience, he worked like a pizza rover: mostly in Italy, but also in Los Angeles, London and in the Canaries. Then he arrived in Versilia, where he settled.

His dough is made with poolish matured 48 hours, using Petra 3 and 9 flour, to which he adds great raw materials for the topping. He uses two wood ovens for the baking.

Our tasting of course started with a classic and perfect Margherita, with San Marzano PDO tomatoes Gustarosso selezione Battil'oro, fiordilatte, basil and extra virgin olive oil. Then a delicious Marinara (San Marzano PDO Gustarosso selezione Battil’oro, oregano from Monte Saro, garlic, extra virgin olive oil).

When it comes to the basics, he shows he has all it takes. His more creative pizzas, however, show he’s already reached a degree of maturity: Battil'oro with yellow cherry tomatoes Piennolo Coppola 1934, burrata d’Andria, anchovies from the sea of Cantabria, basil, extra virgin olive oil) was delicious, but his San Giovanni pizza with naturally cooked San Giovanni prosciutto, fiordilatte, gorgonzola PDO, toasted almonds and Roman mint were pure flavour.

Carlo Passera

Donne di pizza (e di cuore) with Petra

This is not an organisation. There are no presidents or other roles, no sponsors. However, Petra – in multiple ways, as we’ll see – plays an important part in Donne di pizza donne di cuore: eight pizzaiolefrom all around Italy united by the same passion for dough and a great heart which doesn’t stop within the walls of their restaurant. They’re represented by an illustration by Serema Romio, a playing card – a queen of hearts, of course – dressed as a pizzaiola.

Petra Antolini (Settimo Cielo, Pescantina), Marzia Buzzanca (Percorsi di Gusto, L’Aquila), Paola Cappuccio (Pizza Verace, Portici), Enrica Causa (Pizzeria Rustica, Galzignano Terme), Eleonora Massaretti (Basilico Rosso, Castelmassa), Marina Orlandi and Giovanna Baratella (Slurp – da Mary e Giò in Ferrara) and Claudia Tosello (Arcobaleno in the province of Rovigo, though she’s soon to move into town) met at PizzaUp, the technical symposium on pizza organised by Molino Quaglia. A strong friendship and the desire to do something extra grew between these colleagues, both pizzaiole and entrepreneurs.

So, thanks also to a group on WhatsApp that TV host Francesca Barberini created – she became the group’s godmother and supports them with her advice – Donne di pizza donne di cuore was born: a “spontaneous” group, based on friendship and the desire to help. «Our goal isn’t to promote ourselves or our restaurants – says Petra Antolini – We organise or participate in charity events. This way, we grow too: the group joined us together, it made us stronger, even professionally; if one of us has a problem, even during service, she calls the others and they answer. We also organise four-handed events or participate in events organised by others, as long as the goal is to help those in need».

The next scheduled event is on October 1st, in Portici at Paola Cappuccio’s. But these pizza women have plenty of ideas in mind and – as common female habit – you can bet they’ll put them into practice.

Luciana Squadrilli

Eccellenza Pizza with Assenza, Costa and Padoan

Simone Padoan and Corrado Assenza, the first to the left, at Eccellenza Pizza (Photo Due P Digital Video)

Eccellenza Pizza took place on June 4th, at seaside pizzeria L’Orso, part of the exclusive and elegant Blanco Beach Club in Messina. It was the second edition of the event created by Antonino D'Agostino, seller and distributor of high quality products in Sicily. The evening had three different moments: tasting, round table and cooking demo. The audience was made of gourmet, enthusiasts and professionals.

Four different types of pizza, a delicious and edible demonstration of the golden age Italian signature pizza and its contemporary interpretations are experiencing. They were prepared by the Petra Selected Partner pizzerias participating in the event: Cutilisci and 7+ from Catania, La Bufalaccia and Tredicisette from Palermo, Brancato Pasticceria and Piano B from Siracusa, Il Tocco from Acireale (Catania) and L’Orso from Messina.

The round table that followed was livened up by Giuseppe Li Rosi, president at Associazione Simenza  - Cumpagnia Siciliana Sementi ContadineChiara Quaglia and Piero Gabrieli, respectively owner and marketing director at Molino Quaglia, and the acclaimed Corrado Assenza, the master pastry chef from Caffè Sicilia in Noto.

Finally, an educational end with two cooking demos led first by Giuseppe Costa, patron-chef from Il Bavaglino in Terrasini, one Michelin star, and then Simone Padoan, patron at pizzeria I Tigli in San Bonifacio and a pioneer of the last decade’s revolution that transformed pizza into a gourmet dish, and an ambassador of Italian excellent products and raw materials. In Messina he presented his interpretation of pizza with Petra Evolutiva, in which the base highlights the strong relationship between territory and food.

Great praise for him and the other speakers; and for the excellent Cristina Viggè, who moderated the round table.

Davide Visiello

Amalia Costantini is Mater in Fiano Romano

Mater, Madre. Like the yeast on which she decided to focus a few years ago, taking care of it every day – holidays included – as if it were her child. Like herself, who became a mother when she was very young – of Martina, a very bright girl who now works in the dining room and had a daughter herself, Viola – creating a sound and united family, These are the foundations, together with her passion for baking and cooking.

Amalia Costantini, who’s both shy and energetic, has always faced her challenges: after Martina was born she worked for 17 years for a textile factory in Fiano Romano, a town a half an hour’s drive from Rome, from which you can reach the green countryside of the Sabina region. She took care of the family and of course cooked for everyone. Then the time came when she could follow her dreams thanks to the complicity of her husband,Fabio, who in 2008 bought her a course as a professional cook in Rome.

That’s when the Mater project starts taking shape: Amalia leaves her job and opens this nice pizzeria, with the collaboration of all the family, or at least of all the adults in the family. The décor and atmosphere recall a warm home, and there’s also a pub next-door mostly created for the sake of their second born. In the kitchen, however, she’s doing most things: from freshening up the mother yeast to kneading the dough – 2 or 3 three different types, from the “basic” one with semi-whole wheat flour and natural leavening to the one with ancient wheat varieties or hydrolysis, with no added yeast –, to the rolls for the pub and the topping for the pizzas, made with genuine ingredients often from small producers, local or from other regions.

There’s a wide choice in the menu, and on top of fried food, various starters and a few cooked dishes, there’s calzoni and pizza fritta, Mater classic pizzas – from the classic Margherita to Vegana with carrot cream, onion from Montoro au gratin, roasted potatoes and black sesame seeds – and gourmet pizzas, a dozen, which change depending on the season, on what’s available at the market and on Amalia’s whim. The dough is thick but light. They’re available both as focaccias – seasoned after baking – or as pizza and served already sliced and seasoned with great care. They’re all really delicious and show that Amalia has perfectly learnt the lessons of Simone Padoan and Renato Bosco, from whom she learnt a lot during courses and meetings. For instance, the focaccia Terra Mater with sliced steamed aubergines from the family vegetable garden, tomatoes confit, stripes of pepper and local extra virgin olive oil, is truly delicious.


Enzo Coccia, ode to fried pizza (in a book)...

Until recently, fried pizza was not affected by the great “rebirth” experienced by pizza, Neapolitan and beyond. Given everyone was focusing on the dough – more or less thick, more or less soft – and on (wood) ovens, fried pizza was considered a rather “rough”, fat and greasy food (though this is often not the case). After all, this humble and tasty product represents the beginning of the Neapolitan tradition of “street pizzas”, kneaded and topped with what was available at home, fried by simple women outside their door to supplement the meagre family budget. Then came the turning point.

Underneath fried pizza lies another universe, made of rolled and filled pizzas, of battilocchi, the folded half-moon version, or round pizzas filled and sealed one on top of the other. Just like what happened with round pizzas, when the most talented pizzaioli decided to work on this type of pizza too, using high quality fillings and frying, fried pizza also experienced the glory it deserved. Aside from some emblematic names in the great Neapolitan tradition, one of the very first to pay the necessary attention to fried pizza was Enzo Coccia. He dedicated an entire restaurant to fried pizza (together with the delicious ‘mpustarelle, filled panini) called  'O Sfizio d’’a Notizia (where today his right arm Lorenzo Sirabellais at work), matched with a wine list focused on wines from Campania, Italian bubbles and Champagne. A pioneer of style and trends, Coccia dedicated a book to this topic. The title is evident: Pizza Fritta.

Published by Guido Tommasi Editore and embellished withLuciano Furia’s beautiful photos, it’s a collection of recipes that unite the ancient Neapolitan art of making dough and frying it with inspiration and products from all around Italy, what with fried pizza and traditional and innovative interpretations. But Coccia – who’s an excellent speaker and teacher as well as a pizzaiolo, has also written a precious handbook aimed for professional pizzaioli, La Pizza Napoletana (Ed. Doppiavoce) – in which he gives advice on raw materials, dough and impeccable frying. For instance, he gives plenty of information on the right type of oil, and the temperature and the equipment needed for frying to make elegant and aromatic, dry, light and highly digestible fried pizza. Even at home. «With my new book – he says – I want to make this delicious traditional Neapolitan recipe available in all homes, revealing the secrets of the most ancient culinary art in Naples».


... and the story of how pizza spread around the world

In the early 20th century, there were 127 pizzerias in Naples. In 1973 there were 245. In 2018 there are 1400, including restaurant-cum-pizzerias, pizzerie a teglia, focaccerie, classic pizzerias, take away pizzerias. What led to this growth? The economic crisis, the gridlock of restaurants and trattorias, the increasing quality of local typical products, the new value given to tradition and local production and recent communication, which exploded in traditional media but most of all on the Internet and on social media...

Enzo Coccia

At Triennale focaccia is served in the garden

4 Formaggi Italia-Francia

Since last winter pizza has arrived inside a museum. The beautiful (and hardly “dusty”) Triennale, the enchanting Milanese site dedicated to art and design overlooking Parco Sempione. Here they’ve opened Social Pizza. It’s a modern and welcoming place, what with the design décor and the large windows, where at lunchtime you can eat pizzas that Cristian Marasco – pizzaiolo of Campanian origins but born and raised in Lecco where he runs family restaurant Grotta Azzurra in Merate and two more pizzerias in the same province – designed with Stefano Cerveni. The latter is the chef at Due Colombe in Borgonato di Cortefranca, and is in charge of all the restaurant offer of the Triennale withVistagroup.

Marasco took care of the dough, which is neither super thin and crispy nor as soft as the Neapolitan one. It is tasty, fragrant, and perfectly easy to digest, just like the one served in his restaurants in Lecco. In Milan, young Apulian Francesco Dell’Oliotakes care of dough and baking. Long maturation, long cooking in the electric oven (a mandatory tool, given we’re inside a museum) and a blend of flour from 100% Italian wheat created especially by mixing organic flour type 1 (Petra 1111) with Petra 3, from wheat produced through sustainable integrated farming.

The chef, who wanted the very Marasco for his pizza project, supported him in the selection of raw materials. These include many Slow Food Presidia and PDO or local products, such as fiordilatte 100% from Lombardy, made daily by expert dairy producers with milk from the Razza Bruna della Valtellina breed. He also supported him in the creation of the topping of some pizzas – such as the rich but balanced 4 formaggi Italia-Francia, with crème fraiche d’Isigny, camembert, fiordilatte del Casaro and a natural blue cheese with honeydew honey – and of the focaccias, which are thicker, airy and soft on the inside, and pleasantly crispy outside.

In this case the high-hydration dough is based on a mix of type 1 and 0 flour, plus a multi-cereal flour. Its processing includes multiple steps: after it rises the first time, it is rolled in a baking tin and pre-cooked for 4-5 minutes; then it is chilled and baked again before being served, creating a soft and airy product, with a nice crispy contrast. In the summer, they serve the focaccias at Caffè in Giardino, the summer alfresco space overlooking Giorgio de Chirico’s Bagni misteriosi. The seasonings range from complex and refined versions, such as Purple potato and red prawn created by Cerveni (with Apulian stracciatella di burrata, red prawns from Sicily, chives and purple potato chips), an immediate success, to simpler yet equally successful pairings such as focaccia with fried Ancient Neapolitan Tomatoes placed on each slice when still warm, paired with buffalo milk mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil.


After Bottura, Daniel Humm also visits Ciro Oliva

Humm e Oliva

Ciro Oliva’s Concettina ai Tre Santi in Naples continues to attract the attention of great chefs. After hosting Massimo Bottura, who also dedicated to the young pizzaiolo a snack at Osteria Francescana (See Lo stuzzico di Massimo Bottura dedicato a Ciro Oliva), the other day the pizzeria in Via Arena alla Sanità 7 welcomed Daniel Humm, chef at Eleven Madison Park in New York, the first restaurant in the world according to the 2017 50BestHumm tasted two simple pizzas, margherita and marinara; judging by the smiles at the end – see the photo above – he was very satisfied.

Antonio Danise’s rice dough

Fried rice pizza with cherry tomatoes from Vesuvius and crystalised basil. Photo by Tanio Liotta

In the photo, Fried pizza with cherry tomatoes form Vesuvius and crystallised basil, from chef Antonio Danise from Villa Necchi "in the countryside" (not the one in Milan), in Tenuta Portalupa di Gambolò (Pavia). Danise mostly uses local products: hence the dough for his pizza is made with the most important product in the agriculture of Lomellina, that is to say rice, transformed into flour.

Andrea Berton’s sweet pizza

Meringue pizza, raspberry and wild strawberries (photo by Marco Scarpa)

Andrea Berton’s sweet pizza struck us for two reasons. The second, less important one, is that it’s inspired by a presentation we saw recently at Yoji Tokuyoshi’s: a pizza box, with a fake pizza inside, which the Japanese chef interprets in savoury way, as a starter, while the chef from Friuli gives a sweet take. The idea is nice. The other reason is that this dish is part of the new menu presented by Berton.