The other night, Adam and I were strolling in the East Village and were debating what to do for dinner. We had some leftover butternut squash enchiladas in the fridge from the previous night but we weren’t sure if we were feeling them. We both looked at each other and said one word…pizza. Normally, I’m a meal planner and menu studier. But this night…we were totally spontaneous and with a quick yelp, found a pizza place mere blocks from where we were walking that had actually been on my radar to try. With only a 15 minute wait at 8pm on a Saturday night, the dinner at Motorino was off to a good start.
Both pizzas were excellent! The cheese on the stracciatella was perfectly salty and gooey and the brussels sprouts were crisp and went beautifully with the pecorino and fiore di latte. You may have noticed these were both “white” pizzas (ie. no red tomato sauce to speak of). And this is where Motorino loses points…we ordered a side of sauce for dipping and I’m so happy that Adam didn’t go with his usual choice of a margarita. This sauce tasted like they just opened a can of crushed tomato and dumped it in a bowl. No seasoning, no flavor, nadda! So..despite the perfect crust and delicious cheesy toppings…keste is still the winner in our books. Would I go back to Motorino…absolutely! But only to enjoy one of their many white pizzas.
Two days later, the pizza craving was back again. Which was a good thing because we were off to our foodie friends for some homemade pies…that also included homemade sauce (that knocked Motorino out of the park) and homemade mozzarella. (yes…we do know how lucky we are to have this couple as our friends).
I stood in the kitchen and watched “the pizza master” at work as I learned a new technique to mimic coal-fired pizza without a pizza stone or wood burning oven. Now pay attention…this will change your homemade pizza life as you know it.
We all decided homemade crust is simply not worth it…we just added a pinch of salt to this store-bought trader joe’s dough and it was perfect. Using the cast iron to oven method gets you that crisp, slightly burnt outer crust and chewy interior. Once you make pizza this way, you will never go back!