Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana in the Lower East Side in New York, the protagonist, yesterday, of a lesson on pizza with Petra Antolini of Settimo Cielo in Pescantina (Verona) (photo Brambilla/Serrani)
The second lesson of day two at Eataly Flatiron starts with Petra Antolini, an artisan of pizza and patron at Settimo Cielo in Pescantina (Verona), a large restaurant with 25 employees. «Why did you choose this career?» Vince Gerasole, the moderator of Identità New York asks right away, «Because I’m following my passion», she says, «because I can use my hands. And because I can use the earth’s incredible products, like wheat».
«Today, for instance, I use an ancient Sicilian wheat with extraordinary aromas. I get it from the guys at Simenza. Just like yeast and extra virgin olive oil, flour is crucial for the dough: from that wheat, they make Molino Quaglia’s Petra evolutiva, which is essential for my work because it allows me to understand the processes that come first, from the selection of the wheat, to the milling».
At Eataly’s Scuola, Petra brought two types of dough with different structures. The first is a Pizza cooked in the pan, made with poolish and fermenting for 24 hours. On top, she puts a mousse of Grana Padano Riserva and some delicious Culatello from Valpolicella, marinated with Amarone and Recioto, «two strong expressions of my region».
Pizza in the pan, from Petra Antolini. Wine pairing: Chardonnay Tellus 2016 from Famiglia Cotarella
Pizza served on the plate, from Petra Antolini. Wine pairing: Famiglia Cotarella Lazio Merlot Montiano 2015
The second pizza is served on the plate, seasoned on a cutting board. «It’s not in the Neapolitan style because it is baked in the oven at 300°C, a lower temperature, that is». Next to the large edge, there’s a topping made with cream of Grana Padano Riserva, crunchy fresh baby spinach, Armatore tuna, Piennolo cherry tomatoes and some grated Grana marinated in lemon and a light vinegar.
Technicalities aside, Antolini is the creator of a praiseworthy project: together with 6 more colleagues, she founded Donne di pizza, donne di cuore, an association that organises fundraising events for charities that support mothers and children in difficulty. «We met during the classes at Molino Quaglia and decided to create this group. We all have different personalities, but we’re all determined, strong and proud of this job».
MANGIERI. The second part of the lesson unfolds as an interesting chat between Gerasole and Anthony Mangieri, pizza-maker and owner of Una Pizza Napoletana in the Lower East Side in New York and, soon, of a second place in New Jersey, in Atlantic Highlands.
Intelligent and well-focused speech, the grandson of a producer of sweets, Mangieri is originally from Naples: «It’s my favourite city. Every time I’m back, I love the incredible diversity it shows: even the smallest area has unique features». And the same applies to the features of all the pizzaioli who work hard to produce unique dishes: «In a way, we share a mental illness, that is to say the patience with which we repeat the same gesture hundreds of times each day».
Neapolitan pizza from Mangieri
Of course, his pizzas are in the Neapolitan style: large edge, soft and light dough, like the one in Genni, the specialty he baked at Eataly. The delicious topping includes provola, porchetta from New Jersey, garlic, Sicilian salt, Olitalia extra virgin olive oil, red onion, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, Provolone del monaco.
A final advice to the clientele: «When you go out to dine, try to follow what you really think and love. Don’t follow what’s trendy on social media, or the thoughts of someone else. Keep your mind and heart open».
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
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This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad