Young pizza-chefs grow up

In Rezzato, in the province of Brescia, discovering the tasty leavened works of Antonio Pappalardo

22-08-2013
One of Antonio Pappalardo’s fantastic pizzas. Tw

One of Antonio Pappalardo’s fantastic pizzas. Twenty-four years old, Neapolitan from Castellammare di Stabia he works at Cascina dei Sapori in Rezzato in the province of Brescia, in via Almici 1, tel. +39.030.2593557, a restaurant worth visiting

Here’s a young and ambitious pizza-chef who, following renowned names in the gastronomic pizza scene such as I Tigli and Sirani, while keeping to Northern Italy (and to two nearby restaurants), puts his creativity to the service of the most famous Italian dish in the world. Twenty-four year old Antonio Pappalardo, from Castellammare di Stabia, had a traditional training – first in the family pizzeria, with a classic menu and the pizzas you can find a bit everywhere, then, since 2007, following the renovations of the great restaurant in Rezzato, La Cascina dei Sapori, he starts to explore some new roads.

L’Estate pizza, made with fiordilatte cheese, courgette flowers, onion in carpione, confit cherry tomatoes and stracchino delle Pertiche alte cheese

L’Estate pizza, made with fiordilatte cheese, courgette flowers, onion in carpione, confit cherry tomatoes and stracchino delle Pertiche alte cheese

He started from a detailed research of quality raw materials, in his territory and beyond, and using vegetables in season and only fresh products. His pizzas are in Neapolitan style, with a large border, that is, but are also offered in baking tins, Roman style. They are very tasty and convincing, and, among others, it’s worth tasting Parmigiana 2.0, with grilled purple aubergine, burrata cheese from Puglia, confit cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, his Mia Marinara, with foie gras, buffalo milk mozzarella from Campania, confit cherry tomatoes, oregano and Cetara anchovies or the Roasted octopus with fiordilatte cheese, green celery and black carrot. For those who want to pick something from the restaurant menu, you can focus your attention on the fried fish served in a paper cornet, on a couple of pasta dishes or on the hamburgers, served with bread baked in the restaurant’s oven.

There’s a nice selection of beers (Baladin, 32 and a draught Valcavallina), but there’s also some good wine, chosen with common sense. Going back to pizzas, they are made using Petra stone-milled flours, long leavening and quality seasonal products. The two pizzas that open the menu are the classic Margherita and Marinara, but have the TSG logo, that is to say Traditional Specialty Guaranteed, in Italian it’s STG. Then there are the classics, characterised by some particular ingredient (from Cetara’s anchovies to Pantelleria’s capers) or those called La Follia and Cascina, with Bufala Dop mozzarella cheese and Parma ham matured for 24 months.

Antonio Pappalardo, 24 years old

Antonio Pappalardo, 24 years old

The menu continues with seasonal pizzas, with some daring matches (for instance the English-style Roast Beef) or full of character (Tropea Red Onion in carpione or courgettes in scapece) and with the Roman-style pizzas made in a baking tin, even though, given the season, one can choose the excellent L’Estate, made with fiordilatte cheese, courgette flowers, onion in carpione, confit cherry tomatoes and stracchino delle Pertiche alte cheese. The strong point are still his gourmet pizzas, as mentioned above. These are full of creativity and taste, such as the Beef tartare (with chopped Bronte pistachio) or the red tuna tagliata (with burrata cheese and fennel salad). These inventions leave the door open on an interesting future as their interpreter is still so young and as he pays so much care to the choice of high quality raw materials which, by the way, blend classic Mediterranean style with the best local products.


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The establishments, tastes and cooking personalities in Europe, as seen by Gualtero Spotti