Angela Acquaviva from Cantina Masciarelli took us to see the gentlemen of La Sorgente Pizzeria for dinner on our first evening. We were jet-lagged, exhausted and hopefully better company for her than I think we were… When I saw a pizzeria on her itinerary I didn’t think much of it- I certainly wasn’t prepared for the food that came out of La Sorgente’s kitchen. This was game-changing stuff, my friends.
Let’s start with the fact that they call themselves a “pizzeria”. I firmly believe this is highly underestimating what is happening at La Sorgente. The first taste- a simply “crema di Zucca” or Pumpkin cream was delicate and earthy- the perfect juxtaposition for a winter evening. Laced with local oiio nuovo and studded by crispy little breadcrumbs. This is the highest expression of Pumpkin. Period.
Angela. You are our Angel. Thank you for bringing us here!
Then three courses of “pizza”. Seriously. The first was a crispy “panino” of sorts- wood-fired flatbread that had been split and stuffed with smoked mozzarella and a bit of prosciutto. Texturally it was perfection. Flavor-wise, I think my senses went into some kind of food-induced madness and I inhaled everything on my plate- before I even had a second to snap a picture.
Each pizza we tasted had a different type of dough- one made from stone ground wheat flour, another from spelt (farro). Each time we were more impressed than the last with the texture of the dough, the perfect acidity leant by the highly developed yeast (lievito madre), and the perfect balance of ingredients topping the crispy-chewy-toothsome base.
Then came the liver. Fegato in Abruzzo seems to be a common theme, and I couldn’t be happier about that. This pizza was topped with a little fior di latte mozzarella, some sauteed wild chicory and crumbled pieces of pork-liver-sausage. The bitterness of the winter greens and the iron-animal richness of the liver were then expertly offset by dehaydrated red peppers and orange zest. I cannot express how perfect this flavor combination was. Bravo. I am getting emotional just writing this.
We paired the liver pizza with a glass of Masciarelli’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Also full of those deeply wooded mountain scents, bursting with dark ripe fruit, and charged by spicy minerality that just lit up the palate and managed to support than flavors of the pizza without totally overwhelming. Perfect paring, perfect pizza.