... of good living from a graduate chef of the Italian Institute of Culinary Arts University of Pizza!
The second night of our trip, we had the chef come to the farmhouse where we were staying and teach us all about pizza. As he lectured us on the necessity of quality ingredients, preparation and timing, it was apparent his lecture covered more than just the basics of pizza making. He was giving us the formula on how to live a good life. A life where our actions yield delicious, healthy results.
Point number one: quality over quantity. Less is more when it comes to ingredients - it is better to have one fresh, simple but tasty topping than a heaping of mediocre items. In fact his sauce was tomato puree with nothing added. Just the sun, earth, rain, and life of Italy apparent in the mighty pomodoro (which contains the word "gold" giving a sense of the value of this fruit.)
When making the dough, take your time. There is an order to the blending of ingredients and intervals of time between each pairing. Rush things and you will get bubblegum crust, his opinion of American pizza dough. Handle the dough with care. Massage it, tend to it, feed it and it will feed you.
Only a very hot oven will work. As in all things, heat or passion, enthusiasm, intensity are required for anything to reach its fullest potential.
Once out of the oven, take time to appreciate your efforts. Enjoy the moment fully - smell, touch, taste, look, feel the enormity of your passion expressed in tangible - and here, edible - form.
Most importantly, share with others. Often true joy is found in witnessing the delight of another. Be with friends. Be outside. Rest in the moment.
Raise a glass to health and happiness, invoking the best of all Italian toasts: cin cin which has no real meaning, just the pleasure of the words on your lips.