Friday, April 26, 2013

Pizza Talk - Toto' Sapori- Quarto (Na)

Pizza.  In the Naples area , there is a pizza parlor on every corner.  Sometimes two. But not every neighborhood has a pizzeria run by one of the top instructors from the AVPN -Associzione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Quarto, a small but busy suburb about 11 km northwest of Naples does.  It was there, at Via Dante Algheri, 6 where I had an appointment one sunny Friday afternoon with pizza maker Salvatore Santucci for a little pizza talk.
Salvatore is the owner of his family owned and operated Toto' Sapori Pizzeria.  A small pizzeria with a few small plastic tables that sprinkle the sidewalk out front.  Just a few.  A few for those who wish to sit down in nice weather and enjoy their pizza fresh from the oven.  The rest?  D'asporto...carry out.  Take away.  Either way, all guaranteed an amazing Santucci pizza.
Back in 1984 Salvatore decided that he wanted to make pizza.  A good, no great pizza.  So after years of working around the Naples area, he opened up Toto' Sapori in 2007.  And inside this little family restaurant I found a family.  Wife Linda in the kitchen and at the register and two young but talented pizza makers; 12 year old Enrico and 7 year old Diego.  A team that was ready and willing to perform a little show and tell on pizza dough, pizza making, and of course pizza eating.  A little pizza talk.
Salvatore Santucci

A great pizza begins with a great crust.  And a great crust needs a great pasta dough.  Santucci's pizza dough  rises for 10 hours and then matures for at 24 to 72 hours.  Why so long?  Easy.  The dough needs that maturation period.  If it doesn't mature before he uses it for a pizza, it will your stomach.  That's what gives you that bloated full feeling.  Uncomfortable.
I thought about that as I watched Santucci and his sons form each individual portion of pizza dough and place it in a woodedn rectangular container so that it could rest.

And once the dough is ready, it's time to think about what to put on top.  Quality, what else. And that makes sense considering all the effort that went into making the pizza dough.
I wanted a Margherita.  One with piennolo tomatoes from Vesuvius.  Santucci added fresh mozzarella Campania Dop.  My son David?  A Marinara.  Simple.  With tomato sauce, a few slivers of garlic and a sprinkle of oregano.

Enrico Santucci

Diego Santucci

Then?  A minute or two in a  hot 485 degree Celsius wood burning oven (Santucci's is made by Stefano Ferrara whose small factory is just around the corner).

A minute or two for the flavors to meld, fuse, blend together.  A minute or two for the sugar in the dough to make the crust soft, soffice.

After the lunch rush,as Enrico played a few games on the computer, as my son helped Enrico with his Grammar homework, we continued tot talk.  About Santucci's plans to expand ...about upcoming AVPN events in Northern Italy.
About quality...
About dedication...
About his Celiac friendly pizza dough...
About soccer. Naples, of course.
About art...the murals on the wall are his...

And about pizza..

pizza talk...

Pizzeria Toto' Sapori
Via Dante Algheri, 6
Quarto (Na)
081 19913903 Fax 081 19913903

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