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Pizza with pros: Forcella offers individual classes

Posted on February 6, 2013 | by Margaret Weinberg

Fried pizza sanctum Forcella is offering pizza enthusiasts a chance to be the masters of their own Neapolitan pie. Running through Feb. 21, the one-on-one pizza making sessions with renowned pizzaiolos Giulio Adriani and Aurelio Petra are being held at all three of the restaurant’s locations.

After calling in to reserve a spot, patrons are invited into the warm yet sophisticated atmosphere of the pizzeria. For the price of one pizza, they are given the choice to make any pizza on the menu, including the margherita, made with tomato sauce, bufala mozzarella, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and basil, or the pignasecca, a succulent sausage pizza.

The montanara, dubbed the “original New York fried pizza,” is an extremely popular choice at Forcella. To make the montanara, customers are shown how to form balls of dough and push the air out into the crust, creating a  thin pizza base. Afterward, the dough is fried in sunflower oil. Fresh tomato sauce, chunks of juicy mozzarella, luscious basil, and even some truffle oil are added atop the fried dough before the pizza is placed in the wood-fired oven.

It is Adriani’s love for the craft that makes him a good teacher. After being intrigued by a pizzaiolo friend of his father’s when he was a teenager, Adriani began making pizzas as a hobby. He had attained an MBA and first worked as an accountant, but he decided to invest fully in the pizzerias because of his love for the specialty.

Adriani designs his pizzas in a way he claims is different from that of American techniques. The essence of the pizza lies in balanced and blended tastes, which is concocted by simple toppings. In his mind, pizza is one of the most distinct foods in the world, down to the simplest details of baking it.

“It is the only food in the world that cooks in one minute,” Adriani said.

Adriani plans to share his passion for pizza with the world by opening a school dedicated to the pizza-making craft in the next two months.

“There is a big market of amateur pizza makers. And there is a lot of misguided information about pizza-making,” Adriani said.

Although the popular sessions are fully booked, Adriani might extend them for another month. Keep a look out for Adriani’s announcements, as NYU students will soon receive a 20 percent discount when ordering pizzas.

Forcella’s flagship pizzeria is at 334 Bowery, with other locations at 377 Park Avenue South and 485 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg.

GALLERY: Click on the image below for play-by-play of the pizza production process:

 

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 6 print edition. Margaret Weinberg is a contributing writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

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Tatiana Baez

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