Baking up pizzas at home creates an instant party vibe, and it’s easier than you think. Follow the lead of Food Network Magazine to start a homemade pizza party tradition at your house today!
After slinging Neapolitan-style pies at lunch and dinner for the past couple of months, Donatella Arpaia’s eponymously named New York pizzeria rolled out a brunch menu this past weekend.
2010 has been a big year for Donatella—she opened this very personal addition to her restaurant mini-empire, served on the judges’ panel for The Next Iron Chef Season 3 and on several episodes of Iron Chef America, and published her first cookbook, Donatella Cooks. We’d be surprised if the lawyer-turned-restaurateur ever sits still long enough for a lazy brunch, but she clearly gets what it’s all about. Her sunny pizzeria is perfectly suited for relaxing mid-day repasts and the menu is full of carby comfort.
Take the Hangover Pizza. Donatella’s executive chef, Jarett Appell, came up with it when he was making himself some food after a night of, well, too much of the obvious. The blistered crust is topped with breakfast sausage, an egg, and thin, melting slices of cured lardo (pork fat). The whole thing is oozy, decadent, satisfying—a delicious interpretation of the classic breakfast plate. The boss told Jarett to run with it on the brunch menu.
No matter how you slice it, this is an exciting moment for New York City restaurateur Donatella Arpaia. Doors opened this past week to her eponymously named pizzeria, Donatella, and Sunday starts her reprise run as a judge on the new season of The Next Iron Chef. “Donatella is my most personal project to date–it’s the first to carry my name. I wanted to create a rustic but glam environment and to use authentic ingredients,” says the attorney-turned-culinary-mogul and author of Donatella Cooks. “For some time I’ve wanted to go back to my roots, so I traveled to Naples and had in mind that I wanted to make the most authentic Neapolitan pizza possible.”
Donatella and her chefs traveled to Naples, where she spent summers in her youth, returning with tried-and-true artisanal techniques, ingredients (Caputo flour for the pies), and volcanic salt, sand and rock from Mount Vesuvius for the gilded wood-firing oven. It’s early, but her efforts are paying off with a big dose of attention to her plate-sized pies and antipasti (see for yourself at Zagat, Eater and Slice). “I didn’t really understand that other people are as obsessed with pizza as I am,” she says.
Today, I weaseled my way into one of the edit rooms. “Just pretend I’m not here,” I told editor and producer extraordinaires, Jim and Jenny. They’re working on Anne Burrell’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. No spoiler here, but come January 17th , you’re in for a treat. Chef Burrell’s grilled pizza episode is sizzling. No major gaffes, other than the overuse of “lovely,” and a few “ums,” which probably won’t make their way to your screens.
The color coordination—all pastels with pink spoon AND rolling pin — is so sweet; you’ll get a rush before she whips out the pizza dough. However, the girly décor doesn’t keep Anne from doing the tough stuff, like opening a bottle of oil with her teeth — or actually, removing the bottle wrapper (that part might get cut).
I dug for dirt on the snappy blonde from my new peeps. I learned about Anne’s sous chef, who’s on Top Chef now, and heard big praise for the steak recipe. Evidently, Anne’s brown sugar-coated steak is pleasing to carnivores and dessert-ivores alike. So nice — Jim’s made it twice.
Before I go, a shout out for Tyler. Saw you the other day in the elevator, Mr. Florence, bundled and sniffly. You’re a trooper!