Over the past few years there have been a handful of Master Pizzaioli from Naples who have been trying new and interesting pizza toppings—they’ve really gone outside the box at times. For Neapolitan pizza, this is a big deal since there are traditional “rules” that pizzaioli follow about what can and cannot be on a pizza. These rules are not written down in book. Instead, they have been informally defined over centuries and religiously followed by the craftsmen who meticulously prepared their dough by hand, used indigenous ingredients to Campania and slaved away in front of a volcano of an oven.
Working with these Masters over the last decade, I have seen some not-so-traditional ingredients on pizzas. The purists would find broccoli or pistachio puree on a pizza to be utter blasphemy. Yet, I have personally seen and eaten both on my journeys through Naples on pizzas that were prepared by 3 to 4 generations deep pizzaioli (read: purists) who have opened up the doors and are pushing some boundaries.
Our next pizza special – the Enzo – is in the same vein of bending the “rules”a bit although this pizza is 100% Neapolitan in heart and spirit. It’s just got a few things on it that may be hard to find on a pizza in Naples.
It is fairly a simple pizza, yet packs a punch with bold flavors. It starts with an olive oil base that we add fresh mozzarella to and then top with artichoke hearts and lamb sausage. We blaze it in our ovens for 90 seconds and then finish it with a romesco sauce. What’s the big deal? Well, it would be hard for you to find a pizza with lamb on it in Naples. And, romesco? Never in a million years, as it comes from Spain. Regardless, this pizza is incredibly delicious!
The combination of the subtle artichoke, the gaminess of the lamb and the smoky, spicy red pepper in the romesco is really to die for!
So, let’s get outside the box, bend the rules and have some fun! Hurry, though, as we will only be running the Enzo until mid-May!
EXECUTIVE CHEF & DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE