Peckish over pizza at Cavallino’s
One of my food passions is PIZZA … Who doesn’t love pizza?! Just to make it clear, I am not taking about Dominoes or Pizza Hut or Crust … This is real Italian pizza with the scent of woodfire-oven-cooking with melted mozzarella cheese. Recently I received quite possibly one of the best gifts – a pizza cooking class at Cavallino in Terrey Hills.Cavallino is a traditional Italian restaurant run by the same owners of Ventuno in Walsh Bay. The rustic decor is adorned by “cavalli” (horse) references from little horse hooks, paintings, horse statues, lamps, saddles … The warmth of the place is very inviting & dabbles in the modern theme as well. There is also a mouth-watering fridge filled with cured meats and salami, cheese & a trolley selection of Italian alcoholic spirits. Both owners (Lido & Roberto) are present at the Pizza Making class – and it’s led by chef Roberto for the step-by-step demonstration. As the class commences, we are taken on a journey explaining how pizza can vary from various regions and how the margarita pizza was inspired using the Italian flag colours of red (tomato), white (mozzarella) & green (basil). Seated in a small semi circle facing the adorned woodfire oven, the small class is intimate enough to feel like you are personally hanging out with good friends.
We are given a folder with all sorts of goodie recipes when it comes to making pizza dough, sauces, suggested toppings and oven tips. As pizza dough does need to be made in advance (for the yeast to go through the proofing process) Roberto had some ready-to-go to create a nice light & fluffy pizza base with a perfect pillow crust.
Commencing with the on hands approach, Roberto shows us the technique when creating the pizza base … Using a prodding technique, push the dough out using your fingers ensuring that you leave a crust. Then place your pizza base on top of a mountain of flour and gently stretch out the pizza dough base with curved hands and a slight turning motion – making sure the base is not too thin & breaks (this happened on my first attempt hahaha). Add some tomato base sauce in the middle and spread it out in a circular motion, making sure you stop just before the crust … Lastly finish off with the topping of your choice and in the demonstration with Roberto he went with simple mozzarella & tomato base with the first tasting sample … And the second sample was olive oil & salt – in Italian this is called “schiacciata” (literally means pressed – like a flat & crispy bread). Both of these were tastily fresh, hot & simple in flavour.After my fun attempt of topping my pizza with ham, mozzarella cheese, olives & mushrooms, my boyfriend & I both had the chance to learn the techniques or putting our creations in the woodfire oven … This included turning the pizza around to be evenly cooked and taking it out – which for me is ensuring that I don’t clumsily drop it on the floor! You can see the cheese melting & bubbling up in the oven and lavishly spreading it’s melted goodness all over. The delectable ham is from QLD (& apparently is as close to the quality of Italian ham) … There is no better satisfaction than cooking your own pizza & eating your own creation with a glass of wine. The class ends with a sweet dessert Nutella Pizza with strawberries & crushed white chocolate. So uncomplicated and so heavenly! Imagine a freshly cooked pizza base from the oven … Nutella lightly spread all around the hot pizza base – because of this the Nutella has a slight melt … Crushed white chocolate is sprinkled all over … And then conclude with an afterpiece of fresh strawberry chunks. As you take a bite, you experience the melted Nutella goodness, sweet white chocolate bursts and fresh strawberries.As we say goodbye to Lido & Roberto we are all given a little goodie bag containing our aprons, jar of sauce, flour … I would highly recommend this class for any home chef and pizza lover! Both Lido & Roberto are friendly and have all the knowledge for any hungry pizza foodie … Classes take place once a month for about 2 hours usually on the second Saturday of each month: http://www.cavallino.com.au/pizzaschool.html
Next time I plan to head over the Cavallino, I plan to dine in and enjoy the menu … In the meantime, keep an eye out for a mini-blog-post on Ventuno and many more delights! Til the next blog post, stay hungry & happy … thank you once again for reading & hope you enjoyed another visually pleasing post!Cavallino
Corner McCarrs Creek Road & Yulong Avenue
TERREY HILLS NSW 2084
Phone 02 9450 1777