flatbread, lardo, basil, black pepper, pecorino romano 10
IT’S LARDO, NOT LARD!!!
I’m going to be blunt about this. Lardo is not lard! While they both come from the fat of a pig (yes, I just used that ‘f’ word), they are completely different ingredients.
Lardo is the Ferrari of Italian cured meats and was once the choice salume of Italian royalty. It can be found throughout Italy, but the most prized hails from Colonnata where the famous Carrara marble is mined. Actually, in Colonnata they cure the lardo in big Carrara marble boxes. The curing process is quite simple. Pure, clean white pork fat is cut into squares, packed in salt and herbs, and layered in the Carrara marble boxes. Over the course of six months, magic happens, and the result is a rich, succulent, unctuous pork nirvana. It is generally served thinly sliced as an antipasto or on a pizza known as the Mast’Nicola.
Lard, on the other hand, comes mostly from a pig, but the word has also become synonymous with beef fat (tallow). It is generally fat that has been rendered down from who knows what and the quality, with few exceptions, is oftentimes poor.
The Mast’Nicola is an elder statesman pizza in the fact that it dates back to the early 1600s, which is 150 years before the tomato showed its face in Italian cuisine or on pizza. As is the case with most Italian delicacies, the Mast’Nicola is very simple, but very beautiful.
At Tutta Bella, we serve it the traditional way it has been presented for hundreds of years. It starts with our flatbread topped with fresh basil, black pepper, plenty of lardo and Pecorino Romano to tie it all together. This is a very simple pizza, but the synergistic effect of those five ingredients is nothing short of a miracle. I recommend you set any fear of pork fat aside and come eat the food of royalty as the Mast’Nicola truly is a stellar pizza! And besides, when will you get the chance to eat a Ferrari again!?!
Available from February 25 through March 24.