The finished article...
I have done it at last. After years of yearning I have finally taken the plunge and built a pizza oven. In truth this is almost total self indulgence, but I justified the cost on the back of the increasing number of foodie adventures that I am doing – for which a pizza oven is, if not quite a must have, at least highly desirable.
It is a large commercial oven and I am not disappointed. Build by a local expert who has been building wood ovens for more than 20 years I wanted this to be something special that guests can enjoy when they visit Casa del Colle and would serve as part of the foodie adventure experience.
In fact it turned out to be easier than I expected to get the oven to temperature but it did take a bit of skill to keep the temperature constant. However once it was up to temperature - about 450 degrees centigrade (900 Fahrenheit) - the pizza oven is a dream to use and cooks a pizza in under 2 minutes.
Like so much of what I love about Italian cuisine the pizza has its origins in a few simple, local and high quality ingredients. The right cheese, the right tomatoes, the right dough (00 flour), risen slowly and cooked in a wood fired oven can make a dish that is sublime and a far cry from the fast-food alternative that is all too often eaten around the world in increasing volume
Whilst there is resurgence in real pizza, far too much is over-processed, high in salts, fats and sugars. The growth in the modern pizza came about in the US, brought over by Italian immigrants with the pizza’s popularity exploding in the 30s and 40s to become an industry now worth a staggering $45 billion per annum worldwide with the two biggest chains – Dominos and Pizza Hut – having sales of over $11 billion in the US alone.
What is a shame is that the real pizza of Naples has been lost in the process; I hope that those who come to Casa del Colle can enjoy the opportunity to cook something that is special. The pleasure of lighting a wood fired oven and cooking a real pizza with great local ingredients is immense.
Guests can now use the pizza oven and equipment during their stay at Casa del Colle, or purchase a pizza-making workshop through our guest area; we will arrange for an English-speaking pizzaiolo to come to the villa and:
- set up the pizza oven and provide instructions on how to tend
- prepare dough and ingredients (or just the ingredients)
- Guide you through the process