Living in a good pizza city like Milan, I’m quite spoiled. Some of the pizza places are so solid that I’ve become a creature of habit, which makes it hard to get out and try the new ones as I’m loyal to those that are near to my heart. Pizzeria Da Zero opened in May in Milan, an outpost of a popular Cilento pizzeria operated by Giuseppe Boccia, Paolo de Simone and Carmine Mainenti that opened in 2014.
Hailing from Cilento, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that pizzeria Da Zero’s specialty is Cilentana style pies, a type of pizza that has been made from the region’s local grains as far back as antiquity. I had been eager to try it, and I recently visited for an autumn menu preview, during which three Salerno producers dropped in to chat about their products:
- Martina from Azienda Agricola Le Starze in Vallo della Lucania, a mozzarella nella mortella producer. During ancient times, this cow’s milk cheese had to be transported through animal breeding grounds so it was cut into strips and packed tightly with myrtle leaves, which add a distinct flavor. He prepared a batch on site
- Adolfo from Azienda Agricola Cicco di Buono, producer of caciocavallo discussed the particularities for the filatura, or spinning of this cheese made from the milk of cows that graze the hills above the Gulf of Palinuro, known as the Macchia Mediterranea (Mediterranean shrub lands). On a side note, I actually discovered caciocavallo in Italy before I moved here when a friend prepared this pasta recipe for me during one of my pre-expat visits. Upon my return to NYC, I soon started buying caciocavallo at Eataly to replicate this pasta.
- Raffaello from G.ioi srl piccolo salumificio artiginale, which produces Soppressata di Gioi, a Slow Food Presidia ingredient named for a town where this type of salume has been made for centuries. A piece of lardo is packed into the casing of this soppressata which is made with lean ham meat. It’s then placed in natural casing with the lardo and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
So, here’s what’s on the menu at pizzeria Da Zero in Milan this fall.
Fior di Formaggi pizza: Le Starze’s mozzarella nella mortella; Agerola caseficio Zi Monaco’s smoked provola; Carasciano di Guardia Lombardi’s soft toma and blue goat cheese; Cicco di Buono’s caciocavallo and cacioricotta, the latter a Slow Food Presidia ingredient made from a Cilentana goat
Dalla Padella alla Brace pizza (from the pan to the grill): Zi Monaco’s fior di latte and smoked provola; Cicco di Buono’s caciocavallo; Crocche cilentano; and sopressata from G.Ioi.
L’orto Dinverno pizza: This winter garden is topped with Le Starze’s mozzarella nella mortella; foglie e patate, a typical Cilentana comprised of potatoes and chard; and spicy sausage from salumificio G.Ioi.
Soppressata pizza: Zi Monaco’s fior di latte; Polito di Agropoli buffalo ricotta and G.Ioi’s soppressata di Gioi!
A splendid evening overall in great company! I enjoyed the pizza and was impressed with the quality and vibrant flavor of the ingredients. The pizza dough was super super light and almost elastic, made from local Cilento grains. The dough’s water percentage is so high that it makes the dough so extra delicate that only a specially trained pizzaiolo can work it. All tasted yummy, and while I don’t like playing favorites, if I had to pick one, it would be the sopppressata pizza! But, again, all were quite tasty! And I can’t wait to go back and try the margherita as well as their fritti.
Pizzeria Da Zero
Via Bernardino Luini, 9
+39 02 8352 9189
Open 7 days: 12.30 – 3pm; 7.30pm – 11.30pm