Rossopomodoro beckons pizza-lovers on the prestigious Fulham Road in the midst of Chelsea. Transporting you into a Neapolitan dream, the restaurant sources its fresh and flavoursome ingredients from the Naples region while the chefs are from pizzaioli families.
On arrival at the restaurant, the warm staff greet you with a glass of bubbly and a board of appetisers, featuring some of the juiciest olives known to man, and just like that you’re welcomed into the Napoli family. After meeting (and admittedly sizing up) the fellow pizza students, the lesson begins. For those of us that aren’t too great with numerical accuracy, everything is already measured out for you. Ingredients are as simple as flour, the finest “00” Caputo flour from Naples, yeast, salt, water and olive oil. Our maestro pizza teacher, whose accolades include coming 17th in the World Pizzaioli Competition in Naples, taught us step-by-step how to get the perfect dough – one that won’t lead to bloating, which signals that it’s not up to standard.
After mixing together all the ingredients comes the kneading process, a perfect bit of stress relief. There’s nothing more therapeutic than getting to punch some dough and knowing that the outcome will be a gorgeous Italian style pizza – thick at the edges but with a light thin base. At the end of the class, you’ll be taking home the recipe with your own dough which will make up to four pizzas (pictured are my creations). The knowledgeable staff will give you all the ins and outs of the iconic dish that is pizza, from its etymology (it might have come from the Greek ‘pitta’) to tips on how to judge the dough – supposedly, the best test is to taste the Marinara, a tomato and basil based pizza without mozzarella, so the toppings don’t disguise the taste of the dough.
Once you’ve got the flour off your hands (and face), and the dough covered in its box, dinner awaits. The food is simple yet delicious, from the classic spaghetti with succulent cherry tomatoes and olive oil, to the heavenly creamy buffalo mozzarella margherita. Yet, my favourite had to be the gourmet pizza with ricotta and spicy nduja, which certainly hit the mark. To top it all off, we got a preview of the fried pizza which will be joining Rossopomodoro’s menu in March. It might seem adventurous but it’s a reflection of the street food served in Naples and is as Italian as it gets. For £30 a head, with a three-course meal from a specially designed menu, you’ll be leaving the restaurant with smiles all round and the desire to tell everyone all about your newfound pizza-making talents.