I often get asked what my favorite pizza is. Not surprising is it? What may surprise you is that I have a difficult time answering that question. We have such great pizzas and so many to choose from that it is challenging to decide. And then a light bulb goes off, I remember and the answer flows freely. “The Pulcinella,” I exclaim!
Pulcinella is one of the best known figures in the Neapolitan culture. The character was originally developed in the 16th century by traveling troupes of actors in Naples as part of the genre of performance theatre called Commedia dell’Arte. Today, if you walk the streets of Naples you will find thousands of different forms of this character, but he is always dressed in a large, white smock and soft white hat. On his face rests a black half-mask with a hooked nose. Pulcinella has become a good luck charm in Neapolitan culture and a symbol of someone who rebels against the abuses and humiliations received by the powerful. He does so jokingly with good humor and a sly smile. In many depictions of this character, he can be found eating pasta or cooking pizza since they represent the historical foods of Naples. Even our cherished accrediting body for “true Neapolitan pizza”, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), has Pulcinella in their logo!
The Pulcinella pizza is as playful a take on Neapolitan pizza as Pulcinella is a character. It starts with an extra virgin olive oil base and then it is dressed with fresh mozzarella, Italian sausage, our house-made sweet/hot pickled peppers, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and pecorino romano. I am always very excited when the Pulcinella makes an appearance as this playful pizza is by far my favorite!
Please join us at Tutta Bella from July 10th through August 6th for a Pulcinella pizza. Maybe it will become your favorite, too!
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.