THE PIZZA DI BRUNO STORY
When I first encountered corn on a pizza in Naples almost 10 years ago, I didn’t know what to think of it and scratched my head in amazement. Then, I did what any curious chef would do and tried it. I was defiantly surprised on how deliciously tasty it was. Now, all of these years later, I can surprise you by including it as an ingredient on our next pizza special – Pizza di Bruno (Bruno’s pizza).
There was one ingredient on that pizza that tied it all together, though, and it was not the corn. It was the crema, which is basically a thick heavy cream. I’ve always wanted to share this corn and crema phenomenon with all of you, but the crema isn’t available in the States and can’t be replicated (believe me, I’ve tried). Well, I never forgot that pizza and now I think I that I have finally found the answer! Stracciatella! Stracciatella is not crema by any means, but it’s a soft oozy cheese that you find in the center of balls of burrata that ‘liquefies’ when you cook it. The two are so incredibly similar in texture and taste that I can now happily share something with you that I have waited for years to be able to do.
But, wait! This pizza is not only about the fact that there is corn on it or that I have found a way to “crema happiness” through stracciatella. It’s also about chanterelles! Being an avid forager I can tell you that there are few things finer than being in the woods and running across a patch of golden beauties amongst thick green moss and towering Douglas Firs! The only thing better than that is eating them and we are so unbelievably fortunate to live in an area where they are so plentiful every fall. Needless to say, they are one of my favorite mushrooms and I put them on a pizza every year. This year will be no exception to that rule.
So, let’s get to more details about the Pizza di Bruno. While this was inspired by the pizza that I had all of those years ago, it’s not even close to being the same and is much better in my opinion. Pizza di Bruno starts with an extra virgin olive oil base and we top that with basil and stracciatella (the crema!). Next we add corn that we have roasted in our wood-fired ovens followed by locally foraged chanterelles that are similarly treated. On goes some smoked bufala mozzarella, a little pancetta, a dusting of pecorino romano and then into the volcano it goes. 90 seconds later it comes out and….. I can’t quite put it into words…It’s kind of breathtaking! All the flavors of the cream, corn and chanterelles tie together. You get a hint of smoke from the smoked bufala mozzarella and a good dose of salty pork from the pancetta. SO GOOD!!!
Come one, come all and come fast as Pizza di Bruno will only be showing face for the short window of October 3 – October 30th.
— Tutta Bella Executive Chef, Brian Gojdics