Mama: if bread is the source (of pizza too)

Pane Quaglia in Lendinara (Rovigo) is a multifunctional place with a shop selling delicacies and a kitchen too. There's bread, various dishes, cakes, burgers, pizza... And take away

09-04-2021
Steamed pizza with tomato, burrata and basil oil 

Steamed pizza with tomato, burrata and basil oil from Mama in Lendinara (Rovigo)

Four letters, bright and energetic. Highlighted by a line that recalls, in a stylised way, a peel. «The peel that our father would use to bake bread is now hanging on a wall, reminding us that everything is a logic consequence of bread», Davide Quaglia explains, describing Mama's logo.  He runs the establishment in Lendinara (in the province of Rovigo) with his siblings Sandro, Massimo e Maura. Together, they also run a bakery in Sant’Urbano, Padua: Pane Quaglia, opened by their father Pietro and mother Annarosa in the early Sixties.

Davide Quaglia (close up) and his brother Massimo in the lab in Sant'Urbano

Davide Quaglia (close up) and his brother Massimo in the lab in Sant'Urbano

To this day it is the source of the entire production. Just imagine that even Mama – originally Mama Mia – was born as a bakery-cum-café, also launched by Pietro. «But then we took over. In 2006 we moved it to the current location, focusing on aperitivo. Then, over time, I changed my mind and started to imagine a different mood. With a well-defined food offer and service, plus a shop, open from morning to evening. So in June we made renovations and now you can eat in the shop», Davide continues. Inside and “outside”, since the takeaway service is now improved.

The sweet offer at Pane Quaglia, available at Mama

The sweet offer at Pane Quaglia, available at Mama

Bread at Mama

Bread at Mama

Davide Quaglia at work pre-cooking the pizza 

Davide Quaglia at work pre-cooking the pizza 

The colomba from Pane Quaglia, available at Mama: with candied orange zest from Caffè Sicilia and romana almonds from Noto

The colomba from Pane Quaglia, available at Mama: with candied orange zest from Caffè Sicilia and romana almonds from Noto

This means brioche, croissant and pain au chocolat, as well as  bread and loaves – called Ciópone -, crackers and breadsticks, panbiscotto and Balobini: the iconic breadsticks hand-rolled and named after Balobino, the other family-run business (now in stand-by), but not betraying pizza. «Massimo and I take care of all the dough and the pre-cooking in the Sant’Urbano lab, next to the bakery. We always use sourdough and Petra flour from Molino Quaglia.

Making buns 

Making buns 

Making the pizza discs

Making the pizza discs

Mostly Petra 1, Petra 5 and Petra 9. The day before, we make a poolish and a gel. The next day we add this to a third pre-dough element which we have prepared with autolysis. Then, in a static oven we bake all the disks to 70%. The baking is then finished in the oven at Mama, when people make the order. Or clients themselves can finish the baking at home. Best if in a ventilated oven at 200°C for five minutes», he points out. The ideal process.

One of the pizzas at Mama

One of the pizzas at Mama

So here's the pizza on the peel: ready to eat or ready to cook. There's also a version with wholewheat organic spelt, rye and semi-toasted seeds of linen and sunflower. And while the round pizza is ready to be served, the tasting kit implies a greater interaction with the guest given that both the ingredients and the disk are packed and vacuum sealed with labels and instructions. What's not to be missed? The steamed dough (in a pan).

The large table created with old wood boards 

The large table created with old wood boards 

This is the result of a long research from brothers Massimo and Davide. The cooking must be accurate: twenty minutes at 130°C, with 100% humidity. And then five minutes at a higher temperature and lower humidity. This so the structure is soft, but there's also a crispy edge. As for the topping (on the side): tomato sauce, burrata and basil oil. And let's not forget the burgers. Precious because of the buns, made with Petra 1 and Petra 9 flour.

«This results in a wholewheat bread easy to digest», Davide points out. And how about filling? There's passionate chef Luca Crivellenti: a previous training with Simone Padoan and now in charge of the culinary offer at Mama, which includes fresh pasta: from tortellini to bigoli al torchio, from tagliatelle to lasagne.

Massimo Quaglia in the lab in Sant'Urbano

Massimo Quaglia in the lab in Sant'Urbano

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso