Making: Get Meaty Pizza
This week, Chow Bella gets a behind-the-scenes look into the fifth--and newest--location of Spinato's Pizzeria in Ahwatukee.
After the lunch rush on a recent summer day, Spinato's has a sleepy, quiet vibe to it.
One family shares a pizza in the larger dining room. A few other patrons occupy stools at the bar, a protruding square into the smaller dining area, with brick walls and a low, arched ceiling above. The interior is meant to reflect the classic Italian architecture the Spinatos admire when visiting the old country.
Anthony Spinato, dressed in a black short-sleeved polo with a matching black apron and black chef's hat, blue jeans and gray sneakers, greets us at the bar, publicist Mary Garrett in tow.
He offers a tour of the restaurant before leading us back to the kitchen, where the bustle hasn't slowed, though the lunch rush has. The air smells of pizza sauce, with subtle wafts of garlic. Classic rock plays on the kitchen radio over the droning ventilation system and the clinking of dishes. Spinato weaves through the narrow kitchen aisles, finally landing at our destination. It's time to make pizza.
The Spinato's pizza is Chicago-style, and so are they, though Anthony's parents both hail from Italy. (Ken is from Sicily, Elaine the northern Italian town of Vicenza.)
Still, Anthony insists he's still not sick of Italian food.
In fact, this Spinato's favorite dish is g
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Spinato starts off the pizza-making process with dough, but doesn't toss it in the air as you might imagine. Instead, he runs it through a steel machine that flattens the future pie for consistent thickness throughout.
Once the crust is leveled, Spinato takes a roll over it that punctures the dough, to prevent air bubbles from forming while it bakes. Then sauce. After weighing each ingredient, he tops the pizza off -- homemade Italian sausage (from Chicago), followed by a handful of mozzarella cheese. Then comes the layering of the Italian beef, pepperoni, and smoked Canadian bacon.
The Get Meaty comes out the other end of the oven, thick with a golden crust and the variety of meat toppings cooked under the melted cheese. Spinato grabs the tray with the pizza on it, places it on the counter nearby and cuts it into squares.