Businesses that have relied on the food service sector have had it hard during Covid-19.
Those supplying cafés, restaurants, hotels and the likes have seen huge chunks of their business whittled away, some in the blink of an eye when the “lockdown” began in mid March.
One of those businesses impacted was Pizza Si and one of their guys is Alex Suriano, 20 years now in Kilkenny.
I met Alex maybe six or seven years back to do some photos around his Bellissima bases but we caught up about two weeks back to see how things are going, and he’s had that “pivot” moment.
With hotels and bars gone by the wayside until later this summer (at least), like many in the food service sector, he’s had to change course and when we caught up a second time a few days ago, that course has been pretty good as it happens.
Now, you can get their pizzas, delivered to your door, as a kit. And you know what? It’s mighty craic.
Make It A Pizza Night
Maybe two years back, not long after we moved into the house, we had friends up for some lunch. They brought their son with them, and next thing you know, to make lunch a bit more fun, I suggested we make some pizza.
If you’re looking for something to introduce your children to, making pizza is a great place to start. No chopping or mixing needed, just grab a base, some sauce, cheese and other toppings and away you go.
This DIY kit gives you exactly that opportunity, making four pizzas and two sides, entirely suitable for adults and children alike. It’s retailing at €25 including nationwide delivery, so when you compare to what you could end up dropping on a Dominos or in the chipper-come-pizzeria, you’ve got a hefty saving for a fresh cooked meal.
What’s in the box?
As you’ll see in the video above, you’ve got all the core ingredients to get yourself up and running with four plain pizzas.
- 4 durum wheat Bellissima pizza bases (2 packs of 2) – they do contain gluten but are suitable for vegan diets
- 2 puccia bread rolls
- 2 bags mozzarella cubes (250g per bag)
- 2 portions garlic butter
- 1 tin Mutti pizza sauce (400g)
While it’s not explicit in the instructions in terms of how much cheese or sauce you would use, the maths are fairly straightforward.
Take one base, a couple of tablespoons of sauce (up to 100g), some cheese (up to 125g if you’re looking to spread across all the pizzas and some to top your bread), bang it in the oven and you’re good to go.
You’ll want the oven nice and hot (up to 250c) and cooking the pizza only takes 5-6 minutes. Similarly, the bread will be done between 4 minutes (soft and puffy) to 6 minutes (crust getting hard).
When I’m making pizza at home – be it fresh dough, store-bought bases, even tortilla wraps – I tend to over indulge on the sauce and cheese. Here, I’m more than happy to work within the parameters of the box.
One thing to remember is that when you’re prepping your pizza, the cubes of cheese will melt, and they’ll melt well, so you don’t need to cover your pizza from edge-to-edge. Be liberal with the sauce by all means but sometimes with a pizza you’ll find that less is more.
If pizza is high on your agenda when you’re out for a meal, think when was the last time you had a pizza at a restaurant where the sauce went all the way to the edge and there was so much cheese there you couldn’t see the tomato?
The making: In photos
I’d be some man to sit down and eat four pizzas to myself, so instead, I prepped one the first night and a second two days later.
In between, I handed off half the sauce, cheese and two bases to another family member with two young children and you know what they did? Pizza party.
They took giant cookie cutters to the bases to make them smaller, spread out the sauce, added the cheese, some ham and vegetables and got stuck in.
While my own daughter is a few years off standing at the kitchen counter to give her daddy a hand prepping pizza, it’s one of the first things I’ll look to do when there’s younger hungry heads to feed in the house as it’s a great hands-on activity.
The DIY pizza kit was gifted to me for my thoughts to try. I tried, I enjoyed, the extended family enjoyed, so it gets a thumbs up from me.
It’s a time saver, it’s a party starter, it’s a cool way to introduce children to cooking in a simple form, it’s a handy way to keep the adults fed. Bonus: it tastes better again the following day (you’ve always got to leave a slice hanging over).
As someone who has no issues (and something of a habit) of dropping €20-30 a week on takeout for just two of us, the notion off running a homemade pizza night that would feed four adults comfortably for €25 – delivered – is pretty good value in my books.
You can start to get adventurous by adding your own toppings. For example, in the photos above I happened to have some roast pork in the fridge that I sliced in.
I added some garlic salt from the press. You could chop in some onion, peppers etc, but so long as your oven is good and hot, you won’t find any real delay in the cooking time.
It’s courier delivery within Ireland, Monday to Wednesday for orders, but if you’re in Kilkenny, you’re likely to get Alex himself dropping the pizzas to your door.
It’s rare that I do product reviews, but I’m a keen supporter of shopping local and supporting local business. If we don’t do that, who will? The DIY kit was gifted to me, but if you like what you can see, you can order direct from pizzabellissima.ie. It’s a PayPal payment for the moment but they’re getting there inn terms of online orders and their digital presence.