Recipe of the Month
Pizza at Walt Disney World leaves something to be desired. At least that’s what I used to think before dining at Via Napoli. It was truly love at first bite. Since our first experience in 2012, my family has made it a point to eat there on almost every trip, just because of the pizza. Via Napoli’s pizza is hands down the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.
The key to Via Napoli’s amazing pizza is their ovens. Pizzas at Via Napoli are cooked in wood-burning ovens named after the three active Italian volcanoes: Etna, Vesuvius, and Stromboli. This helps the pizza get a crisp crust on the bottom, while keeping the inside chewy and light. There are many varieties of pizza flavors to choose from, but my favorite is the Margherita. For this variety, the pizza is topped with a fresh tomato sauce, fresh mounds of mozzarella cheese, and lots of fragrant basil. Upon first bite, you can taste the tart sauce, the creamy cheese, and the sweet yet spicy basil all working together to create a beautiful culinary experience. It reminds me a lot of the authentic Neapolitan pizza I ate while studying in Italy.
I crave this pizza in between trips. My family often jokes that they wish they would open a Via Napoli nearby so we could have their pizza anytime we want. Our wish has been answered, (sort of). Thanks to Via Napoli’s executive chef, Charlie Restivo, I can recreate my favorite pizza in my own kitchen and you can too!
It is important to use bread flour for this recipe. While most pizza dough recipes I’ve made use all-purpose flour, it is the bread flour that gives this crust its light airiness.
For best results, follow the directions exactly, including letting the dough refrigerate overnight.
You will need both a pizza stone and a pizza peel to make this pizza. Both can be bought at any home goods store.
Transferring the pizza from the peel to the stone will be the hardest part. Make sure the peel is well floured to make the transfer go as smoothly as possible.
To make the Margherita variety:
First, make a quick sauce of crushed San Marzano tomatoes,
2 cloves of garlic,
You can cook it, or put it on the pizza raw.
Spread the sauce on the crust.
Top with 1 cup of cubed fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.
Sprinkle the pizza with more basil after cooking.