Preserving integrity of pizza

Preserving integrity of pizza

Story by Amy Nicholson , Standard-Examiner correspondent - Nov 5 2012 - 12:36am
(KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
The Margherita Pizza is a popular menu item at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in Farmington.
(KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
The restaurant is in Station Park in Farmington.
(KERA WILLIAMS/Standard-Examiner)
A specialty at the restaurant is the Involtini di Proseiutto salad.

Seven years ago, business partners Michael Brooks of Bountiful and brothers Brad and Tim Otton of Pasadena, Calif., opened the first Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in Las Vegas. Michael Brooks' brother, Mark Brooks, worked as their marketing director.

Since that time, they have established locations in Salt Lake City, Pasadena and, most recently, at Station Park in Farmington, where Mark Brooks has now added general manager to his list of responsibilities.

The concept for the restaurant was born out of a desire to re-create what the owners had experienced while eating pizza in Italy. Mark Brooks explained that his staff followed rigorous guidelines to earn the Vera Pizza Napoletana certification -- a distinction given to restaurants that protect the integrity of pizza-making as it was first started in Napoli, Italy, more than 200 years ago.

Among other things, this means Settebello uses specific ingredients in the dough -- such as special flour imported from Italy -- and the dough is kneaded by hand and baked in a bell-shaped pizza oven fueled solely by wood. The handmade oven is held together with volcanic sand and reaches temperatures near 1,000 degrees to cook the pizza in 45 to 90 seconds.

The result is a thin-crusted soft pizza with blackened char spots formed in the blistering heat. Brooks said that they use the finest ingredients possible, including tomatoes and cheeses from Italy.

They also import Italian wine and beer.

"We use all fresh ingredients. It is really a simple way to make pizza and that is what makes it so good," Mark Brooks said.

He recommends the Margherita ($10) to first-time customers -- made with crushed tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil and extra virgin olive oil -- since it is the most classic pizza on the menu. The red, white and green colors are indicative of Italy's flag.

Brooks said the Settebello ($13.50), their signature pizza, is another popular choice. It features crushed tomatoes, pancetta, sausage, mushrooms, pine nuts, mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

For appetizers, he suggests the Caprese ($7.50) or the Involtini di Prosciutto ($9) with baby arugula, goat cheese and a balsamic reduction.

Dessert is a special treat with a selection of gelato and sorbetto ($5) in flavors like hazelnut, mint cookies and cream, panna cotta, coconut, strawberry, lemon and tiramisu.

Brooks said that many of their customers are from Italy or have traveled there, and they enjoy the dense, creamy ice cream and the traditional, light pizza.

SETTEBELLO PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA

  • ADDRESS: 895 W. East Promontory (inside Station Park), Farmington
  • HOURS: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon-9 p.m. Sundays
  • CONTACT: 801-451-9100, settebello.net

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