Pizza & Co: Serving Italian Pizza on the Streets of LA
For the last two years, Pizza & Co has provided Angelenos with what they crave the most... pizza! Now it's time to learn their story
If you think you’ve tried just about everything from a food truck, including sushi burritos and Chinese meat skewers, Pizza & Co will bring you back to quintessential Italian classics: woodfired pizzas, with slightly charred crusts, gooey and cheesy in the middle.
Lately, the pizza scene in Los Angeles has improved a lot. Meanwhile, food trucks have become so commonplace that they are not even a “trend” anymore. Then why not making high-quality, Italian-style pizza on a truck?
With similar thoughts in mind, Roberto Carcione and Francesco Angiuli started Pizza and Co about two years ago. They were attending the Las Vegas International Pizza Expo, the biggest pizza convention in the world, when they first came up with the idea.
Six months later, they were already rolling dough on their first truck. So far, they have got good feedback from the people of Los Angeles, who are accustomed to food trucks by now (and love pizza, of course). In fact, soon enough there will be another Pizza & Co truck roaming through the streets of LA.
I know what you are thinking…a real woodfire oven, on a truck? And also, can I have some, like now? To answer all these questions, we went to the Odd Nights at the Autry event and walked up to their truck. We sat down with Roberto, poured some chilled Peroni, and talked pizza.
Full disclosure: We ate some too.
Pizza & Co: Italian traditions on the streets of Los Angeles
“Yes, we do have a woodfire oven in there,” Roberto confirms. “In fact, the first thing we did was to buy the best pizza oven in the market, Valoriani, imported from Italy.” Just so that you know, this brand is recognized by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which protects and promotes Neapolitan-style pizza around the world.
OK, the oven is important and all (as explained in the video below), but you need a skilled and experienced pizzaiolo to operate it.
Well, Roberto himself is from Sicily, but he learned all about pizza making from his master Pasquale, a master pizza chef in Valle d’Aosta. A pizzaiolo from sunny Sicily, all the way in the south of Italy, trained up north in the Alps? That sounds pretty interesting to me!
“I have a few secrets for the preparation. For starters, I let the dough rest for 72 hours at least. This keeps it light and easy to digest.” Because the rest is a secret, we couldn’t learn more.
What’s next? The ingredients, of course. Most are imported from Italy, starting from the basics: flour, extra-virgin olive oil, and San Marzano tomato sauce. Also the cured meats, like Parma prosciutto or bresaola. Bresaola, by the way, is a type of spiced, air-dried beef typical of Valtellina, in Northern Italy. If you are patient enough, you can even make it yourself.
Similarly to Pizzeria Mozza, Pizza & Co combines Italian ingredients with the best that California has to offer. “The great thing about working in Los Angeles is that California offers a lot of great produce,” says Roberto. “When shopping for vegetables and greens, I go for the freshest and best-looking ones.”
Maybe it’s because health-conscious Angelenos want to feel good when eating carbs. Or because parents hope that kids will eat their veggies, if they are served over pizza. Whatever the reason, Pizza & Co lets you add to your pizza pretty much any vegetable you can think of, from broccolini to caramelized onions.
Any recommendation? “You can’t go wrong with the margherita, but you should try at least one of our specialties. For the Bianca, I roast fresh garlic in the oven and make a nice garlic sauce. If you are bringing a date, you may want to skip the garlicky part… and get the Verde pizza! Instead of tomato sauce, it has our signature pesto made of fresh, wild arugula.”
You’re all set now! So follow Pizza & Co on Twitter and find out where they will stop next.
Photos by Agata Gravante for Foodiamo. All rights reserved
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