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Entries in Arugula (2)


July Slice of the Month - Fig & Pesto Picnic Pizza

We are all of us melting here on the East Coast (and beyond) in a heat wave. It is July. This stuff happens. However, don't let it happen to your pizza. Melted cheese = good. Flopping, listless pizza with frizzy hair and disengaged toppings = bad.

This has not happened to you? Clearly, you do not eat enough pizza in the mid summer sun's direct light.

Picture yourself in a bucolic field, surrounded by daisies, tweeting birds and copious amounts of sunshine. You have just produced a picnic basket of epic proportions and your companion looks on, eagerly anticipating the delicious contents. As you pull napkins, utensils and other non-perishables from it's wickery depths, you reach for the pizza, when - GASP! - you realize it has dematerialized into something resembling the Wicked Witch of the West at ending credits. Hmmm.

Time to rethink everything. 

To combat this all-to-prevalent problem, I present you with PICNIC PIZZA (did you hear an echo?). This is thick crust pizza at it's best, stuffed with an assortment of the high summer fruit, figs, jammed with ricotta cheese and prosciutto, and slathered in arugula pesto. You keep the pesto in a jar and slather on-site to reduce transport-related mess.

Genius, no? YES!

You should make some. In order to do so, head on over to Colavita's Facebook Page, like them and download the cookbook. You will find:

1. Instructions on toppings and assembly

2. A thick crust pizza recipe

3. An arugula pesto recipe

4. The photographical stylings of yours truly.

Go do it!! You've got a weekend ahead!


Pie by Pie – Stracciatella at Donatella and Co. Pizzerias

Instead of taking you through a whole restaurant review, this week I'm going to call out some stand outs. Stand out pizzas, that is, from various pizzerias in the city.

To begin, I would like to talk about cheese. Stracciatella to be exact. What is it? I think I have referred to Burrata Mozzarella as the chocolate "truffle" of the cheese world. With a firmer outer cheese shell and a gooey center, Burrata accomplishes that same textural combination, with a similar "melt in your mouth" sensation upon biting into a piece.

Well, imagine that someone took all the truffle cream out of the outer housing and smeared it on a pizza. With prosciutto, arugula, tomatoes and basil. This is what happens with Stracciatella. It's all the ooey-gooey center goodness. Stracciatella removes the middle man (the Burrata outer shell) and gets straight to the good stuff.

I got the good stuff at two Chelsea pizzerias. First up: Donatella in Chelsea, a pizzeria with a Euro-bar flair, complete with blinged-out pizza oven. I won't lie, I totally want that gold-bedecked pizza-cookin' dome in my apartment.

I ordered the Donatella: a Neapolitan pie topped with arugula, tomatoes, basil, and Stracciatella cheese. This was my first Donatella experience and my first Stracciatella experience. I thoroughly enjoyed both.

The flavor combinations in this pizza are just right: soft, creamy, sloppy cheese is offset by tangy tomatoes with just a hint of bitter veggie crunch from the arugula.

And the crust.

That gold pizza oven can do more than look pretty. It bakes a mean crust. Note the signature char marks above: speckled like a Dalmatian with golden crust in between. This pie was chewy, pliable and crispy all at the same time. Well done.

So if you're craving the insides of a cheesy truffle gracing the surface of an expertly baked crust, the Donatella pie at Dontella's is for you. And if you are sans eating partners (more Stracciatella for you!), you can pull up at their expansive bar.

Oh yeah, and there are Xlerators in the bathrooms.

184 8th Avenue
NY, NY 10011

Next up: the Stracciatella Pie at Co. Restaurant. We've posted about Co. before, and their pies are top notch, but I had never tried the Stracciatella before. Co's version did not dissappoint.

A saucier version than Donatella's, this pie was fabulously rich and decadent. I also enjoyed the extra surface char along the top that crept into the tomato sauce like tasty volcano lava. Balanced by the signature arugula requirement, Co.'s version hit all the right spots.

Insider Tip: While it is not a pizza pie, the Strawnoffee Pie, a wonderful mess of graham cracker crust dolloped with dulche de leche, sliced farm-fresh strawberries and balsamic whipped cream is a dessert you MUST HAVE. I'm going to beg you. PLEEEEEEEAAAASE have it. You will thank me. Balsamic whipped cream....I mean really, it's genius.

And if you recall, Co. won our Bathroom of the Month award in February.

Co. Restaurant
230 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001