The Queen of all Margheritas
By Colleen Cross
“When you start experimenting in dough, it’s never-ending!” says Chef Giuseppe Cortinovis excitedly. Cortinovis has more traditional credentials under his belt, among them a professional course in traditional pizza at ITHQ in Montreal and a Roman pan pizza course with respected chef Massimo Bosco in Sardinia.
He is well trained after working in many restaurants. But he is a believer in learning by doing – and by travelling. This love of lifelong learning is celebrated on a website he built to begin consulting: lovemypizza.com
Cortinovis’ winning pizza, “The Queen,” is a twist on the traditional Margherita.
His pizza was double-baked. First, he baked it with San Marzano tomatoes and pecorino romano cheese to about 80 per cent doneness. He then took it out, added buffalo mozzarella and cooked it another 20 per cent. After baking the buffalo mozzarella so that it didn’t melt too much and retained some texture, he added extra-virgin olive oil. The final touches are Maldon salt and basil. The basil is specially arranged as a metaphor for the evolution of the Margherita. He explains: “I put the micro basil close to the edge, then I put the big basil in the centre. By doing this, I would like to show the life of the basil from when it’s small to when it’s fully grown in the centre. The idea is to show how the basil grows and how the Margherita [changed from] when it was created to now.”
He enjoys putting a twist on tradition. “I wanted to make the Margherita as if it was invented today. Today we have micro basil, we have this amazing buffalo (mozzarella) with low moisture content that you can put on the pizza. I can use Maldon salt and pecorino to season the tomato. I think that’s how the Margherita would be if it was invented today,” he says.
THE QUEEN’ (A TWIST ON THE MARGHERITA)
By Giuseppe Cortinovis
- 80 % 0 flour
- 18 % semolina
- 2% wheat germ
- 75% hydration
- 48 hours of maturation at a controlled temperature
- San Marzano tomato sauce (DOP)
- Buffalo cheese (DOP)
- Grated pecorino cheese
- Micro basil
- Drizzle of olive oil (DOP) from Monti Iblei (Hyblaean Mountains in southeastern Sicily)
- Touch of Maldon salt on finished pizza
Reprinted with permission from Canadian Pizza