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!

Cooks Notes:

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,

fresh basil.

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.

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