I’ve been waiting months to take Gabriele Bonci’s pizza course at Tricolore. Since the rush of bloggers, foodies and groupies partook in this Roman Pizza Guru’s initial lessons back in January, many of the kinks of this 2 day, 170 euro course have been worked out. Special thanks to writers like Katie Parla for giving their feedback about the first classes.
I attended the two-day course on May 26/27 with my friend, Kathy. I was hooked within the first 5 minutes of the lesson when Bonci said “Cibo è sociale” (food is social). It sums up the way I feel about food and cooking, an experience to be shared, enjoyed and cherished. He teaches you to think like a chef rather than follow a recipe. While a basic recipe is necessary for the dough, it is not the end all be all, there are a number of factors that must be considered including the weather, type of flour, yeast, rising time, etc…See “Elizabeth Minchilli In Rome” blog for a detailed explanation of how to make Bonci’s famous crust.
We learned how to make Pizza al Taglio (pizza by the slice) from the master himself. Pizza by the slice is Roman street food at its best. We quickly learned how it can be recreated in large rectangular pans in our electric ovens at home. On the first day, we made our own dough with a recipe adapted for home use and made pizza bianca from Bonci’s dough. On the second day, we made pizza from our dough which had rested and expanded overnight. Toppings included red onions, peppers, fresh cherry tomatoes, pancetta with shaved pecorino cheese, spinach and mortadella…heavenly.
The highlight of each night for me was the creative dishes encrusted in pizza dough. On the first day, Bonci encased two chickens stuffed with peppers, lemons and herbs in pizza crust. On day two, he wrapped pork loin topped with pancetta, orange, apples and prunes in his famous dough and a mixture of rabbit with olives in a bowl shaped crust. At the end of each class we eagerly watched as he removed the steaming top to reveal the succulent dish inside. The chicken was quickly carved, plated and adorned with a lemon sauce while the pork was served with an orange prune salsa. Each was accompanied with a piece of the delectable savory crust. I can’t wait to make these at home to share with friends!
If you’re in Rome, be sure to indulge in Bonci’s pizza and bread at his pizzeria “Pizzarium” , Rome’s most prized pizza by the slice shop. Address: Via della Meloria, 43; telephone 06 39745416; Cipro metro stop.