The daffodils and cherry blossoms have sprung. Warm, gentle winds bring the joy of renewal our way. It’s the time of year when people wander outside and tilt their faces toward the sun like human solar panels. In Italy, early spring is the time to race to the greengrocer for tender baby artichokes. Menus throughout Rome sprout with specials featuring the baby artichokes. At Pagliacci Pizza (we’re always willing to take cues from the Romans) we feature artichokes on our Verdura Primo. We roast the artichokes with thyme and layer them with fresh spinach, parsley, and mildly-spicy Mama Lil’s peppers. Mozzarella and ricotta over a pesto base make up the rest of the ensemble.
Moving south of Rome, our Matador Primo takes its cues from Calabria, the southern toe of Italy. In the early 19th century, the French and the Spanish got entangled in a territorial dispute over the sun-baked region. Very little good ever comes of war, but one indisputably good result of this conflict was ‘nduja. The Calabrian specialty is a spicy, soft sausage made with pork, herbs and spices, along with Calabrian peppers, which give ‘nduja heat and a distinctive red color. Our Matador Primo features ‘nduja made by La Quercia, buttery Castelvetrano olives, creamy fresh mozzarella and tangy Manchego cheese over crushed Italian tomatoes.
Our seasonal gelato is Peanut Butter Cup—the frozen, Italian take on this favorite American treat. Gelatiamo’s creamy peanut butter gelato is smooth and salty-sweet and studded with chocolate peanut butter cups. If you love the salty-sweet combo, you should order a pint of this seasonal special while supplies last.