Italy: Come and experience some Eatalian pizza magic
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie: That’s Amore! And what love could be truer than the love you feel every time you experience the magic of authentic Italian cuisine? That’s right, friends- truer love is hard to find, even in fairy tales. That’s why we were over-the-moon excited about Kryddhyllan’s next guest, Luca. Hailing from the land known for its ability to turn carbs into spectacular works of art (Seriously… the country has over 600 types of pasta shapes), we couldn’t wait to see what Italian specialty Luca would whip up for us. Being skilled veterans in the art of indulging in Italian cuisine (our last trip to Italy saw us ordering two tables worth of food for ourselves… yes, we finished it all), we knew well enough not to eat a big lunch before making our way over to Luca’s cosy Liljeholmen abode.
Italian music gentling serenaded us as we stepped through the door, and Luca wasted no time putting us to work on kneading and rolling out the dough to make the evening’s feast of… Italian pizza from scratch *cue the drooling. Now, they always say that good things come to those who wait, and this is certainly true of this pizza. But ever the gracious host, Luca had sustenance ready and waiting, in the form of the most delicious hunk of parmesan cheese with balsamic vinegar we’d ever laid eyes upon, to put our rumbling tummies at ease. The four of us managed to feast upon 6 pizzas that night, and while we literally rolled home in food coma heaven/agony, we’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. If your mouth is watering just as ours was writing this, then find out how you can make your own Italian pizza feast here!
Recipe for the greatest (perfect for impressing your loved ones) pizza you’ll ever eat
First things first...
Enjoy with: As opposed to what we thought, a true Italian pizza experience is to be enjoyed with a cold Peroni beer (our vino rosso was consumed with eagerness nonetheless)
Listen to: Let your mind wander away to the piazzas and ragazzis, with the sounds of Luciano Ligabue, a smooth singer from a place close to Luca’s origins
Serves 4-6 people (makes 6 pizzas)
As most of you know pizza is truly a food for the eager-to-express-oneself people of the world since you can garnish it with almost whatever you please. Well, almost… Luca made it very clear that our Swedish way of putting canned pineapples, kebab meat or bananas on it is an abomination and should be banned for the betterment of humanity. He obviously hadn’t heard of the saying “when in Rome…” during his Italian upbringing and for that we would forgive him. So this eve we would come to enjoy to true authentic Italian classics!
1 package fresh yeast
About 500 ml of water, body temperature
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp milk
About 10 dl wheat flour
In a large bowl, crumble the yeast and pour in the water. Mix these together to dissolve the yeast.
Add oil and milk and mix well.
Start adding the flour, 1 dl at a time while slowly mixing. Try to break up the small “balls” of flour. Keep on adding flour until the dough is quite firm (about 10 dl).
Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for at least one hour (we waited almost two hours) in order for the dough to rise.
Once the dough has risen, add a bit of extra flour and bring the dough together into a large piece. Try not to handle it too much.
On a baking sheet, divide the dough into 6 pieces of the same size. Take one of the pieces and flatten it with a rolling pin until it’s about 0,5 cm thick.
Fold in the edges.
500g strained tomatoes
About 2 tbsp of dried oregano (adjust to your taste)
Blend both ingredients and voila, your tomato sauce for the pizza is ready!
Making the pizza:
NOTE: we were equipped with a pizza stone, which is almost a must if you want to achieve the perfectly cooked pizza. If you are not in possession of one note that the cooking time may be longer.
Turn the oven to 200-230 degrees celsius and put a pizza stone on the rack.
Cover the pizza in the tomato sauce and whatever condiments you see fit.
Leave pizza in for about 5 min in the oven (on top of the stone). Remove and let cool down for a few minutes (wouldn’t want to burn your precious tongue on hot melted cheese).
Ready to serve!
We made 4 different types of pizza (no vegan options here, but pizza is versatile so adjust to your preferences!). We added mozzarella to all our pizzas (except for one which had the mozzarella di bufala!)
3 packages of fresh mozzarella, cubed
4 mushrooms, sliced
A few slices of ham
Sliced spicy salami of your choice
1 package of fresh mozzarella di bufala, cubed
Luca’s (such a good one! Possibly the favorite of the evening)
A few slices of prosciutto crudo
A handful of arugula leaves
Crema di balsamico (balsamico creme)
Add the prosciutto and the parmesan before putting the pizza in the oven.
After the pizza is cooked, add the arugula on top and decorate with balsamico.
Kryddhyllan: So the first question is: what’s your favourite food from home?
Luca: From home? Well then it IS pizza?
Kryddhyllan: Oh yea?
Luca: Yea, or if i had to choose something else, I would choose….
Kryddhyllan: No, you should choose your favourite!
Luca: No then I wanna change that one… then I would say gnocco fritto
Kryddhyllan: Gnocco fritto (slaughtering the italian pronounciation)
Luca: Yes, it’s kind of like a fried foccacia, it’s difficult to explain. And then you put that ham that we had now, prosciutto crudo, you put it in and you eat it like a sandwich. But you have many of those. They are really fluffy, there is air in it. It is kind of difficult to explain, we only have it in Italy. It’s lika air inside..
Kryddhyllan: Or also empty inside…
Luca: *laughs* yes, but that’s my favourite, with prosciutto crudo.
Kryddhyllan: And why is it your favourite?
Luca: Ehm, because it is really unhealthy *laughs*. No, but because prosciutto crudo has a really strong flavour and it’s a really good combination. For example when we have big dinners with my family, we always have that. But I can’t do that just so you know...
Kryddhyllan: Yea you can! We believe in you! Impossible is nothing!
Luca: *looks uncomfortable
Kryddhyllan: *quickly moving on So what brought you to Sweden?
Luca: Hmmm..*long silence*... that’s a really long story but in short, I was an Erasmus student and I met my ex-girlfriend there.
Kryddhyllan: Where did you meet?
Luca: In Linköping. Really good student city actually! I really liked it. I liked it so much that I came back many times. Before I moved to Stockholm I was in Linköping, then Västerås, where my ex is from. And then we moved to Stockholm.
Kryddhyllan: Do you miss Västerås or Linköping?
Luca: Well, in some ways yea, I mean I have nostalgia.. I have many memories of Linköping, many parties and I made friends there. But at the same time Stockholm is a bigger city, much more to do, so.. I don’t really miss it in that way. Västerås I do have some memories but not as strong as Linköping. Nice city but.. I am nostalgic but not really missing them.
Kryddhyllan: So since you moved to Sweden, what’s your favourite new dish?
Luca: In Sweden? I really like kroppkakor (ed. note: body cakes).
Kryddhyllan: You’re the second person on the blog to say that! I don’t even know if I have had kroppkaka! Where have you had it?
Luca: The first time was a couple of years ago at a restaurant in Stockholm, I don’t remember the name. Was it Pelikan? Maybe, I don’t remember. Now at work they have it once every month or something.
Kryddhyllan: But did you know anything about Swedish food before you came here?
Luca: I didn’t know anything about Sweden before I came here. I mean before I moved to Sweden for the first time I knew very little about Sweden. I didn’t even know about Ikea.
Kryddhyllan: What did you know about Sweden?
Luca: Let’s see. There was TetraPac, which is a really big Swedish company.
Kryddhyllan: Wow, quite specific.
Luca: Yeah, and that’s because they have a big production plant in my hometown, my little little hometown, so everybody works there. And there is a Swedish school not far away and stuff like that. And of course when you go to the seaside you just meet Swedish girls and stuff. That’s the only thing I knew about Sweden. I also had friends from Sweden working with the Red Cross. I met a girl working with the Red Cross that I met again when I moved to Stockholm, and she told me a few things about Sweden, but apart from that I didn’t know anything else.
Kryddhyllan: Cool, so Swedish girls and freshly packaged food!
Kryddhyllan: What would you say is the best and worst thing about Swedish food?
Luca: Hm… The best thing… I don’t know I like the sauce concept, I really like to have wet and fat sauce with my dishes.
Kryddhyllan: Did you say wet and fat?
Luca: Yeah, I mean it’s quite fat. Like köttbullar sauce, it’s very creamy. Brown and creamy. But what I don’t like is, I don’t know, sometimes it’s too minimalistic, too flat. Of course if you go to a good restaurant then you find really good presentation and stuff, but when you go to the matsal at work, it’s not really like… you see that there is something missing, like life.
Kryddhyllan: Spices or, like different ingredients?
Luca: Yeah I think so. I think that maybe… maybe it’s spices or, it’s difficult to explain. Maybe some flavour. Sometimes like with salmon, you know it’s good but then after awhile it’s boring. But of course it depends how you cook the salmon and I’m not really an expert in food.
Kryddhyllan: Fair enough. If you had to pick one type of food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Luca: For the rest of my life?
Kryddhyllan: Yup, you can’t eat anything else.
Luca: Then it would be pizza. Pizza all the way.
Luca: Well, first of all because I like pizza. And second of all because I can trick your question because I can put whatever I want on a pizza.
Kryddhyllan: True… Some people said sandwiches. Well, sandwiches you could also have anything, it could be a burger or a lettuce wrap. Someone said broccoli once.
Luca: Just broccoli?
Nico: That would be a horrible life.
Kryddhyllan: Yeah, they’d get scurvy.
Luca: That’s boring.
Kryddhyllan: At least they’d be skinny? Anyway, if you could only use one type of spice for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Luca: Yeah, I was going to say that. Does it count as a spice? Then oregano then.
Kryddhyllan: Not salt?
Luca: Nope. Not a big fan of salt actually.
Kryddhyllan: Really? Good for the blood pressure I guess.
Kryddhyllan: What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Luca: Ok. I need time for this…. It’s difficult.
Kryddhyllan: Yeah, it’s a hard question.
Luca: Yeah, it’s really broad. Hmmm *long silence*. But uh….
Nico: I’m thinking something maybe related to a memory?
Luca: There was this mmm… Dammit. This…. Maybe I can say like this- when I go back home and then I go to a restaurant and I eat tortelli. You know what that is right?
Kryddhyllan: Like tortellini?
Luca: Yeah, it’s called tortelli. So when I go to a restaurant and I eat that, it’s like the best thing I ever ate. So I always get that.
Kryddhyllan: Is it at a specific restaurant or?
Luca: Just in general. Yeah, because you find them in every restaurant around there.
Kryddhyllan: Yum. And last question is- what’s your favorite restaurant at the moment?
Luca: Favorite restaurant in Stockholm or in the world?
Luca: I would go with… I would say Osteria Francescana *laughs
Kryddhyllan: Have you been there?
Luca: No *laughs.
Kryddhyllan: You can recommend it if you want to.
Luca: Hm… I’ll go with….Well I’ll choose the restaurant where I often go, and that is called Trattoria Del Massimo. Yes!
Nico: What do you usually have there?
Kryddhyllan: Nice! Well that was all the questions we had. You passed, with flying colours! Yay!