The Beauty of Neapolitan Pizza at Settebello Marina del Rey
Learning the secrets of Neapolitan-style pizza at Settebello Marina del Rey
Los Angeles may not have a great pizza tradition, but Settebello Marina del Rey is proof that things have changed lately. We met with Kyle Munroe, pizza chef at the Marina del Rey location of the Settebello chain, to learn the secrets of the craft (and also grab a few slices). Here’s the video:
LA’s pizza scene has been described in three time periods. First, old-school pizzerias opened by Italian immigrants decades ago. Then, “gourmet” pizza places such as Spago or Pitfire, very creative in terms of toppings (maybe too creative?). Finally, third-wave pizzerias paying homage to the Neapolitan tradition: wood-burning ovens, quality ingredients, and consistent execution.
“It’s all about making a beautiful final product with a few, basic ingredients.”
Some are even certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organization that preserves and promotes authentic, Neapolitan-style pizza around the world. Settebello Marina del Rey is one of them.
What’s in a Neapolitan style pizza anyway?
To receive this recognition, you have to keep things simple. As Kyle explains, “Neapolitan pizza reflects Italian cuisine as a whole. It’s about making a beautiful final product with a few, basic ingredients.” After all, only four things go into the dough: flour, water, salt, and yeast.
Well, it’s not so easy as it sounds. Kyle trained for almost a year at the first location of the Settebello chain, in Salt Lake City, UT. “Learning to make the dough and stretch the pizza properly takes time,” he says. “The standards for a certified Neapolitan pizza are strict and details are important.” And then, of course, you need a 900-degree wood-burning oven, and you need to know how to use it.
Finally, the quality of the ingredients is key. Settebello Marina del Rey, like the other certified pizzerias, uses only a certain brand of tipo 00 flour, all the way from Naples. Special cheeses, like fontina, taleggio, or carboncino, are imported as well. And the imported buffalo mozzarella is what makes the Margherita DOC stand out.