Pizza speaks to everyone. Pizza in my younger years involved takeaway from the likes of Pizza Hut (hello puff crust!) and Domino’s. As I matured, my tastebuds did too, and I switched the greasy common pizza for real pizza. Thanks to Italian migrants, authentic pizza is made with love all around Australia.
Remember this scene from Eat Pray Love? “I’m in love. I’m having a relationship with my pizza.”
There’s nothing a pizza moment can’t solve.
Following the success of its inaugural launch in Melbourne last year, the Pizza Festival has arrived in Sydney this month!
Festival organiser, Matteo Rubbettino is a food journalist who splits his time between Australia and his Italian homeland. He explains “I created the Pizza Festival last year to help showcase the skill and passion behind artisan pizza-making, and as a way of educating Australians about the regional pizza variations so fondly eaten around my country. Every place you go has a particular product, like a fingerprint, which is a result of preferences in process, ingredients, tools and craft.”
From 8 to 28th July, 13 Sydney restaurants will be taking part in Pizza Festival. Each of the participating restaurants had to pass the critical eye of Matteo and his team of food industry experts. With their own dedicated night, each restaurant have been offering a special $20 promotion which includes one pizza and a beer, glass of wine or soft drink. A loyalty card also enables you to try three Pizza Festival restaurants for just $50, saving you $10 at the last restaurant! What a bargain!
The first Pizza Festival restaurant I dined at was La Disfida in Sydney’s Inner-West. Known for their authentic woodfire pizza experience.
$20 here includes a choice of pizza, Moretti beer or glass of Zaccagnini Montepulicano or Cerasuolo Rosato.
One of La Disfida’s most popular non-pizza dishes is this salad of baby beets, mozzarella di bufala, watercress and rocket ($18). It’s easy to see why – the sweet beetroots, the utterly creamy buffalo mozzarella and that sharp pepperiness of watercress and rocket. This is one salad to love!
There are three main styles of pizzas: Pizza Napoletana, Pizza Romana and Pizza Italiana. La Disfida’s style is Romana. It’s a very thin base that is low on the edges and deliciously crispy. I should also mention that they’re pizza purists here. The kitchen doesn’t allow variations on the pizza toppings, and there’s no half-half.
Tartufa (normally $26) is an indulgent pizza for truffle and prosciutto connoisseurs. The base features mozzarella and wild mushrooms and is topped with ribbons of prosciutto and a pleasantly heady truffle oil concoction!
Matteo mentions that an authentic pizza should not be loaded with
toppings. It should only have a maximum of five added ingredients. True
to their reputation, this pizza is one of the best I’ve ever had. I love the blistering base, along with all the charred bits.
Next is the Disfida, named after the restaurant. It is tomato, mozzarella, ham, smoked mozzarella, olives, anchovies and capers (normally $22).
While the salty umami of the anchovies makes this pizza irresistible, the addition of capers makes the overall pizza ‘pop’. Add a drizzle of chilli oil, and I’m in pizza heaven!
Just as I’m flagging down the dessert menu to try the almond brittle semifreddo I keep hearing about, Matteo surprises us with this Nutella pizza!
The wafer thin pizza base is topped
with a thick smothering of Nutella, tartare of fresh strawberries,
toasted almonds and generous dollops of mascarpone.
It’s such a sight!
The crispy pizza base breaks up the intensity of the toppings and the hazelnut and chocolate spread binds every mouthful with a naughty sense of satisfaction. Two slices later, I say “No more pizza!” but truth be told, I had already planned my next Pizza Festival dinner! Stay tuned!
109 Ramsay Street, Haberfield NSW
Phone: (02) 9798 8299
Pizza Festival – Sydney
8 – 28 July, 2013
For more information on participating Pizza Festival restaurants, go to the official website: pizzafestival.com.au
JENIUS dined as guests of Pizza Festival