As I mentioned in Part 2, El Pompiere was the best place we ate in Italy.
Before I continue, let me post this “Google” picture of the awesome restaurant we had lunch at when we were in Verona. As I said, it set a high standard for all the other meals we had in Italy. And thanks to our driver from Sunny Tuscany for the great choice.
After shopping the market for ingredients, we went to Emanuela’s home (a lovely flat tucked in a private courtyard in the center of Venice). I was so stunned at the views from any windows in her home, I had trouble concentrating on what she was sharing with us. In Italy most kitchens in older building are small. As we teach here in our classes, mise en place is essential to a well executed menu. Ours was Pizza, and a wonderful tomato timbale. I will share the recipe for the pizza in this post.
As soon as we entered the flat, we were shown the work area. Mise en place was in envidence.
Even though kitchens in Italian apartments are typically small and compact. The food that comes out of them is anything but small. I loved looking at all the different types of equipment that Emanuela had in her kitchen. She made the most wonderful espresso I have tasted.
Emanuela and her housekeeper prepared the sauce for the pizza. It needed to cool, so she started it before we went to the market.
Each ingredient was carefully measured. The dry flour was weighed, not measured from a cup measurement. The pizza dough was mixed, kneaded, and left to rest. The girls volunteered to slam it against the workbench (which helps develop gluten).
800g plain white flour
200g wheat flour (gran duro)
600 ml warm water
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
for the topping
two cans of skinned & crushed tomatoes or fine chunks (or prepared sauce like Mutti).
350g mozzarella cheese
1 small jar anchovies
1 small jar capers
Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the honey, then gently mix in the flour and, lastly, the salt
and the oil.
Work the dough very well, beating it to give it elasticity – this means picking it up and pounding it
down on the board. A hundred times will do nicely.
Allow it to rest for two hours in a warm place away from drafts.
Lay the pasta down on a baking tray, extending it with your fingers. Spread the crushed
tomatoes/tomato chunks, anchovies and capers on top and place in an oven pre-heated to
The mozzarella goes on 5 minutes before the pizza is finished cooking.
The pizza should cook for about 20 minutes.
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