pizza

By Maddie Rix

I was lucky enough to spend the first five years of my life in Italy, and what I ate in those formative years has most certainly shaped my palate and the way I eat. It’s also given me some wonderful memories that I’m reliving as we build towards Food Revolution Day, due to its focus this year on kids. 

pasta (1)

My first food memory is undoubtedly of pizza. We lived in a small town on a lake about 45 minutes drive north of Rome called Trevignano in the region of Lazio. Here you can get big slabs of pizza just about anywhere; most typically pizza bianca or pizza rosso, which directly translates as white pizza or red pizza. Pizza bianca is similar to an unleavened focaccia, made with unhealthy amounts of olive oil and salt, with a crisp crust and airy texture. Pizza rosso is the same but with a thick, sweet tomato sauce baked on top. You can eat them just as they are or fold them over and stuff them with meat or cheese. One of my earliest memories is having picnics at the lake or in the Abruzzi hills with big slabs of pizza, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto cotto and amazing ripe tomatoes.

Once my taste buds started to mature a little, I began to enjoy all the other toppings Italy had to offer. The crisp slabs of pizza we would always top with my now much-loved buffalo mozzarella and Parma ham, but I also started adding earthy Porcini mushrooms, delicate courgette flowers, salty capers and anchovies, and even thin slices of potato with rosemary. We also ate many of the classic wood-fired pizzas with an ultra-thin crispy base and an array of toppings. All were delicious and I could never decide which one to choose.

Now I’m all grown up, pizza is still one of my absolute favourite foods. A couple of years ago I went to the Amalfi coast down South, where the pizza is completely different to that of my childhood. The Napoli bases have a thick chewy crust and are beautifully charred due to the high temperature of the wood oven. The tomato sauce is sweet and tangy from the incredible tomatoes and the whole thing just tastes better.

The best pizza I have ever eaten was in the coastal town of Atrani. It came from a little hole-in-the-wall, carved out of a cliff on the beach. The base was perfect and crisp, with no tomato sauce but clouds of soft buffalo mozzarella, the sweetest cherry tomatoes, salty Parma ham, wild rocket, rich first-press extra virgin olive oil and torn basil. We ate it lying on the beach with cold beers – it was pretty special.

You can, of course, make your own pizza and get great results. In this month’s Jamie magazine Jamie tells you how to do exactly that, as well as sharing his all-time favourite toppings. We also have some great recipes on the website, including a great simple dough.

However, if I can give you one piece of advice when it comes to pizza, it’s to go to Italy and eat it as much of it as you possibly can.

pizza

About the author

Maddie worked as a musician before she realised her love for food outweighed her love of music. As an assistant stylist on Jamie's food team, she now obsesses about food for a living! Her passion for food stems from growing up in Italy but she now likes to cook and eat anything and everything - hence why her blog covers interesting foods and places from all around the world.

Maddie Rix's blog

tags


More news

festival cooking

Cooking at a festival (whatever your diet)

By Maddie Rix
al fresco

Al fresco with aplomb

By Maddie Rix
homemade gyoza

Japan: izakaya & homemade gyoza dumplings

By Maddie Rix
pizza

Pizza: a slice of my childhood

By Maddie Rix
flourless chocolate cake

Ultimate Easter feast: flourless chocolate cake

By Maddie Rix
sourdough

Getting started at The Sourdough Hotel

By Maddie Rix
  • петя спасова

    thanks for the info,genarro sure knows how to make pizza.

  • Rachel Inman

    I love this article. We spent last summer driving through Italy starting at the top and going to Amalfi. The food was stunning, especially the pizza. We loved it so much we got engaged under Capri and are getting married next year in Tuscany. I’m so excited about the food we will eat and the wines we will drink. Our best pizza was in a ramshackle restaurant by the side of a busy road in Pompeii, it cost 3 € and was washed down with wine from the vineyards of Vesuvius. Perfect :-)

  • MaddieRix

    Hi Rachel, I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading. I’m planning to go back to Amalfi and on to Puglia this summer and sample some more of the delicious food. It’s always the simplest things that are the best- your 3 euro pizza sounds heavenly. Maddie x