I am Italian.
Loud family gatherings, great fashion sense and excessive hand gestures come with the territory.
But, above all else, Italians are best known for their love of food.
And who could blame us? Creamy, cheesy lasagnes, fresh pastas with vibrant pestos, delicious dolci of Tiramasu and gelato, the evidence is endless.
But the most illustrious Italian dish being gobbled up around the world would have to be the pizza.
A disk of heaven bringing pure joy and comfort to its consumer from its crispy, chewy base, tangy tomato sauce, and molten hot mozzarella stringing from pizza to smile.
Outside of Italy, it’s hard to find a decent pie.
Most are too thick, leaving large wads of dough in your stomach which render you wanting a wheel barrow. Some are too thin, with flimsy slices that create funnels for sauce to pour onto your lap. Some are too cheesy…. no, there’s no such thing as too cheesy.
Londoners, the search is over.
I’ve found delicious pizza right in the heart of the city.
Needing a break from emails and a catch up with a friend, I popped in for lunch with the lovely Nada. We tucked ourselves away in the corner into comfy leather couches and watched as the restaurant became buzzy with business men and women escaping their desks for a tastebud trip to Italy. A good mix of lounge music and cool covers created a relaxed vibe and I could happily see myself curled up on the couch for the rest of the day.
The circus lights on the ceiling gave a fun atmosphere and with the speakers scattered around the restaurant, you know the place gets up to some fun later in the evenings.
Some girls catching up across the restaurant had just received their pizzas. One of them picked up a slice and said, “I love this, I feel like I’m on holiday in Italy,” as she took a massive bite. And it did feel a bit like we had escaped the freezing London streets with the wall-sized mural of Naples and mounted photo of an Italian Mama sipping her Espresso watching over the diners.
Our Antipasti Rustici arrived.
A big board of traditional Italian cheeses and meats.
Simple, rustic and delicious.
Then came the main event.
Nada’s Calzone was a monster.
Chewy, crispy pizza dough folded around fresh tomatoes, ham, tomato sauce, and plenty of melty cheese. It was a thing of beauty.
But I wasn’t here for a calzone.
A pizza the size of a wheel was placed in front of me.
Chewy crust with crispy, rustic burnt patches lay the base for fresh tomatoes, salty prosciutto, creamy Buffalo mozzarella all topped with crunchy rocket.
I doused this in chili oil and dug in.
It truly was delicious, the perfect mid-day treat.
But I’m afraid to tell you, this was not the end.
The Don Luca Pizza alla Nutella should come with a warning.
A full sized pizza arrived, but instead of marinara and cheese was a generous slathering of hazelnut chocolate Nutella and a sprinkling of pistachios. There was also a coating of powdered sugar which is quite possibly the last thing this sweet pizza needed. The slice was delicious, but overwhelming having just had a piled high pizza for lunch.
Regarding the Nutella Pizza: You have been warned.