How to coax a Neapolitan-style pie from your home oven
“Obsessively authentic Italian.” That’s the motto at Ca’ Momi, a bustling little Napa restaurant known for its Neapolitan-style pizza. So closely does it hew to tradition that it’s one of only 76 American pizzerias certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana organization.
Key to the springy crust of a Ca’ Momi pizza, says co-owner Dario De Conti, is the restaurant’s big wood-fired oven. It burns at 900°, instantly sealing the dough’s surface and trapping its expanding gases. Total baking time: 90 seconds. “The big problem with making pizza at home is that you don’t get the temperature,” he says. Most home ovens max out at 500°, not hot enough to trap gases—so the pizza tends to get crackerlike.
But De Conti has some tricks up his floury sleeve for making pizza at home, which he showed us at the Napa house. One of his secrets isn’t Italian at all: organic local produce. “Here in California, it is so much better than in Italy,” says De Conti. “It is amazing.”