Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pizza Al Tavolo - Attempt #1

You have already heard me gush over Italian pizza, but to be fair, that’s a very simplified title. Pizza has so many incarnations and recipes, split off into different cities that, for all intents and purposes, are still like separate nations. Though Italy was unified in 1860, each area has its own flair on language, art, culture, and especially in their cuisine. The pizza at Da Baffetto is very similar to Neapolitan pizza, a thin, crispy crust overflowing with fresh toppings, and is one of my favorites. Another such pizza is the pizza al tavolo, the pizza you can find anywhere in Rome. Flat and square, it’s usually snipped into thin strips with scissors an wrapped in paper for you to carry with you as you explore the city. 

On my last trip to Rome, I had a variety of pizza al tavolo: patate, erbe & salsiccia, broccoli & salsiccia, pomodori & mozzarella… the list goes on. I seriously cannot get enough of it. When I had to come home, I mourned the loss of pizza al tavolo. Though I have found restaurants in California that resemble the sweet crunch of Pizza Baffetto, I have never seen something close to my every-day snack. (If you have, PLEASE let me know.) I decided to attempt to recreate one of the best I tried on the trip, broccoli and sausage. As I’m still experimenting with my culinary prowess, I decided to do this in stages. Eventually I’d like to make my own dough (recipes welcome – will credit) and buy a pizza stone, but for now store-bought dough will have to do.

Fresh mozzarella in water, shredded pecorino romano, broccoli and Italian sausage atop a Trader Joe’s pizza dough – pretty damn good. The one I tried in Rome was sauce-less, so I left that out as well. I’ll admit, I think I was a tad too generous with the cheese (Quinn might disagree), but all in all it tasted pretty damn close. The sausage in Italy has a crumbly consistency that seems to be lacking in the ones I bought, but as I always complain, everything is better in Italy.
Hopefully soon – Pizza Al Tavolo Attempt 2: Dough from Scratch?


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