Happy New

Happy New Year. I'm off to the beach house and won't be back for a couple of weeks. If I get connectivity down there I'm probably post more about pizzas.

Meanwhile here's a little pic of the view from the hotel in Rome from the previous trip. Cathedrals everywhere; and lots of great rooftop terraces.

Christma Dinner: Sheep

This is about as non-traditional as you can get. No turkey, stuffing and cranberries for me. I made a simple stew from what amounts to a sheep's leg. Served with rice to soak up the sauce.

Sheep Stew

Serves: 6
  • 1,5 kg [4#] sheep leg, chopped in pieces
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 C tomato sauce
  1. Oil into a pan
  2. Brown the pieces of sheep, really well
  3. Remove goat pieces
  4. Sauté onions to soften them, with a little salt
  5. Return meat to pan
  6. Add thyme, pepper, white wine, tomato sauce
  7. Simmer for 40 minutes


  1. Served with rice
  2. It's just browned meat, sautéed onions with tomato sauce and white wine to simmer in. Other meats are perfectly acceptable but sheep's more adventurous. The faint hearted may like it with stewing beef.
Super tender and keeps well for the next day, and the next.

Bob Dylan: Zaragoza

Here's a promo video (linkjacked) for the Expo in Zaragoza. The unusual thing is that you can actually understand what he's saying.

Italy: Telephone

As we know, the Italians are famous for their excellent product design skills.

Then how do explain such an ugly public telephone?


Looks like solid cast aluminum so it's body is probably vandal proof  - - but really,  couldn't some effort have gone into making it a little prettier?   Note, also, that the handset is cheap red plastic; which is definitely not vandal proof - since a fair percentage of them have smashed open handsets; probably from banging it repeatedly on that oh so sturdy aluminum shell.

l'Archetto part II

First, the menu.  Check those prices!  A Pizza Margherita for €5,50.  This place is not just a pizzeria, it's a "real" restaurant too - specializing in Roman cuisine - for those not into pizza every day.

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This is their 4 seasons pizza.  more than 1 artichoke would have been nice but look, on the other hand, at that lovely slice of prosciutto


This one here is a little odd.  What you see there on the right are not button mushrooms - they're beans.  It's called (translated)  "The Explosion". larchttobeans09122007874 As you can see the pizzas are a little toasty around the edges and the dough might have had a touch too much salt for my taste. 

Note that the edge of the pizza is not an inch high [2 cm] all puffed up like earlier pics of pizzas.  That's because this is Roma style; probably not hand thrown but formed with a little rolling pin.  The crust is still soft, less chewy than Naples style.  Good in its way.

Oh, and the address of the restaurant is Via dell'Archetto,46,  Roma, Italy (not a real long street - you'll have no trouble finding it)



A very short one today since I have a killer flu... this might well be my last post ever (no, not really, just feels that way at the moment). This is the lovely ambience of the restaurant pizzeria l'Archetto in Rome.  On a side street (okay, an alley) as so many of the good ones are.

Roman style pizzas (less bulgy on the edge).

That's all for now - more details later (and pics of the pizzas) - I need a rest.

Pizza Forum

Reputed to be the first Napoletan pizzeria in Rome. Once inside you notice the ambiance, or lack thereof; sort of metallic and cold.

A couple of nice ovens. Using all sorts of odds and ends of wood.

Big working space. It's after the lunch rush and a drizzly day so apparently not a lot of work to do.

The menu. From EUR 4,50 a pizza - cheap (but not the cheapest in town).

The pizza Forum; square with borders filed with the meaty ingredients.

A stright, by the book, traditional, Margherita. Someone spends a whole mess of time cutting up cherry tomatoes.

A little bit gummy and quite soupy under those tomatoes in the center; a slight smell of flour in the base (not good - needed more time to rise; should smell yeasty, not floury).
Tasty though. And the "Pizza Forum" was good too.

Would I go again? Maybe. There's so many to choose from that this wouldn't bubble to the top of the list. It was conveniently close to the Colosseum and what with the rain it could be a winner again if only on the basis of geography.

Navona Notte

The first ting you notice is the oven (although I also noticed two pizza bases, bare, precooked, sitting on the front of the oven there; not a good thing [precooking your pizza-bases])

And how small the preparation area is (ignore the pizza-base rolling machine just behind the guy's head in the background; we shall hope it is never used)

The menu. Reasonable prices.

A straight Margherita

Porcini mushroom pizza

For a real close view click the foto below

First place visited was Navona Notte.
The base was a little bready and bland/soft/underdone in the center (a soupy center is common in Rome pizzerias it seems). Sauce was showing through under the cheese (this is a good thing).
But - tasty; cherry tomatoes and a decent amount of basil.

As the first pizza I ate in Italy it was not disappointing at all. The Napolitan style crust, light, spongy and chewy was an interesting new experience.

Nice atmosphere, fast service, fair prices - food other than pizzas as well. I'd go again.


Rome: Good pizza at Rossopomodoro. A chain, but producing decent Napoletana style pizza. Delicious tomato sauce.

The oven(s) - one guy needs something to do.

The pizza kitchen - roomy. And he's still underworked

The main pizza menu

The Margherita

A plate of mixed non pizza items

Lots of locations. Expect a wait. You'll enjoy your pizza.

The dough was slightly over salted - the only negative comment

In Rome

Dashed off to Rome and Naples to look at pizzerias and eat way too much.

This is the Trevi Fountain (Rome)

It really is rather beautiful.

More Pizza

The continuing adventure of studying pizza-making in the south of Spain.

In Vera (playa) the restaurant Mayo de 2004 makes a decent pizza.

This one is mushrooms, ham, artichokes and ... bacon. Ham and bacon are too similar and don't provide a flavour contrast.

Fresh crust, some bubbles there. good colour. Thin in the middle. Not bad at all.
The odd thing, which I noticed elsewhere, is that this is a "four seasons" pizza. comes with fours toppings - - but I would expect that the the traditional four seasons pizza's topping are one each in four quadrants of the pizza. Not all spread equally over the thing.

The point is to enjoy each of the four items separately.

It looks like I'll be continuing the studies in Italy next week. Off to Rome and Naples to check out the pizzerias there. Call it a business trip.