After a couple of warm summer months, it’s finally time! Time for what, you may ask? The answer is simple. The Calabrese Pizza!
This very seasonal, pizza special requires no introduction to many of our longtime guests. Many of whom request this special all year round! Even all winter long when there is no chance that we can source the key ingredient! Well, the wait is now over!
For those of you that have not been introduced to this glorious pizza, let me give you all a little history. Joe Fugere, the founder and owner of Tutta Bella, handed over the reins of selecting the pizza specials to me soon after we opened in 2004. This was a very creative time in my life and I turned to all of Southern Italy to find inspiration. I ran across the cuisine of Calabria and, more importantly, the affinity that the Calabrese have for figs. The timing could not have been more perfect as figs were just hitting their seasonal stride. Using that as a jumping off point, I started looking at other available ingredients and reminisce about the fig dishes that I had enjoyed over the years. Then, a light bulb went off! I remembered a very simple presentation of a fig that was stuffed with goat cheese and lightly baked to warm the cheese. Afterwards, it was wrapped with a delicate slice of prosciutto and draped with aged balsamic vinegar. And, there it was! The Calabrese pizza!
We have run this special ever since. The first two years started slow, but finally the light bulb went off for our guests as well! Maybe they learned about the amazing health benefits of figs, but I’m guessing the word ultimately got out about the multitude of flavors in this delicious pizza! Ever since, we’ve barely been able to meet the high demand of orders. Well, the momentum has never stopped and each year we’ve sold more and more (and more and more) of the Calabrese. And, now, as I mentioned, we get requests for this pizza all year round!
Today, I am proud to share with you —The Calabrese Pizza. Starting with an extra virgin olive oil base, it is then topped with a sprinkle of rosemary and prosciutto di Parma. Next comes a generous amount of black mission figs and creamy goat cheese. It spends 90 seconds in our 900-degree ovens and is finished with a drizzle of a balsamic vinegar reduction. This pizza truly is delightful as there is a magical combination of sweet, sour, acidic, salty, tangy, herbaceous and savory flavors–depending on the bite.
So, I strongly encourage you to run…don’t walk… to Tutta Bella between August 7th and September 3th to enjoy your Calabrese before it’s gone. Once this special ends, you will have to wait until next year to get one. Unfortunately, this is one request that we cannot satisfy offseason!
EXECUTIVE CHEF & DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE
Italian food has always played a role in Brian’s life in some capacity or another. Where he grew up in NE Ohio, families from Sicily, Naples and Abruzzo dominated the local Italian restaurant scene and he became inspired by their culinary traditions and flavors. Brian migrated west to Seattle and was hired as a cook when Tutta Bella opened its doors in 2004. He is now is the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage with responsibility over all menu development. Brian is one of the first three, and the first American, recognized by the AVPN as a Senior Pizzaiolo and has spent countless hours training with many master pizzaioli in Naples and across the United States. Brian and Tutta Bella’s owner still meet every Friday morning to explore and share new ingredients and recipes.