Mortadella and Pistachio
It saddens me that mortadella gets such a bad rap. Many of us immediately compare it to a famous American deli meat that was inspired by this historic salami due to a certain brand’s famous commercial (“My x has a first name, it’s….) that popularized this deli meat in the 1970s. Well, I am on a mission to teach and educate the beauties of the Italian delicacy of true mortadella versus the American knockoff.
Mortadella production has been traced back to the mid-1600’s in the areas surrounding Bologna, Italy in the region of Emilia Romagna and it received official recognition from the European Union as a protected product in 1998. This protection guarantees that only the finest choice cuts of pork are used, instead of the pieces and parts you find in the American version, and only time-honored techniques are used during its production. The protection also allows the optional addition of spice (generally clove and/or nutmeg), black peppercorns, pistachio and cubed pork fat with each adding their own special twist to this traditional favorite. Wow! Just thinking about it, my mouth starts watering and I remember ordering a plate of mortadella in Bologna. My friends and I were floored when this HUGE plate of cubed salami arrived. We ate and ate (and ate some more), barely making a dent in the enormous portion. Our server frowned in disappointment when we could not finish, since we were served the smaller portion! Folks from Bologna sure enjoy their beloved mortadella and eat it by the plateful!
Needless to say, mortadella is featured on our next pizza special – the Mortadella and Pistachio. This very simple pizza sure packs a punch and is wildly delicious! The Mortadella and Pistachio starts with an extra virgin olive oil base and is topped with fresh mozzarella and red onions. We then drape a generous amount of mortadella overtop, dust it with pecorino romano and blaze it in our 800 degree wood burning ovens for just over a minute. Right after the pizza comes out of the oven, we sprinkle it with roasted pistachios and deliver it to you piping hot. As you dig in, the first thing that you’ll notice is the aroma of spice and how it plays off of the mozzarella, onion and pistachio. Oh, sooooo good!
Please come to Tutta Bella from June 12th – July 9th and experience the Mortadella and Pistachio. I hope you’ll fall in love with mortadella and enjoy this truly delicious delicacy as much as I do!
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.