The name of Stefano Manfredi’s new pizzeria at The Star – PizzAperta – is a play on Italian words that translates to, “we are open for pizza”. Located on the ground floor of The Star complex and below Manfredi’s Balla, the relaxed street-front pizzeria and bar is doing a couple of things differently. You order at the bar and take a buzzer, for a start. But then there’s the flour; Petra from Molino Quaglia mill in Padova.
“I fell in love with what was happening with the new wave of pizza in Italy,” says Manfredi of a whirlwind of pizza eating that lead him to the Petra flours. “Piazzaioli were going back to the flour, where it all starts. I looked at certain types of stone-ground flour using the whole of the grain, not highly refined industrial flours.”
Shifting away from the Caputo flour that most Neapolitan pizzerias use, Manfredi imported the Petra flours into Australia for the first time. The make-up of the flour means that the pizza dough can be aged and fermented longer, requiring very little yeast. This results in a lighter pizza that is easy to digest, with a highly developed flavour.
“It’s a 24-hour process at least, but can be up to 36 hours,” says Manfredi. “So one of the things you notice straight away is how light this pizza is as you eat it. You won’t want to get up in the middle of the night and drink lots of water” – a sensation usually caused by use of refined flours. But it’s not just the flour Manfredi is importing from Italy. The Stefano Ferarra wood-burning oven comes from Naples, along with pizzaioli Antonio Pappalardo (born in Naples and with a pizzeria in Brescia) who is introducing the Petra flours to the team before fellow Neapolitan pizzaioli and head chef Gianluca Donzelli (of Michelin Starred restaurant Don Alfonso 1890 in Sorrento, Italy and the official ambassador for Neapolitan pizza in Australia) takes charge.
There are of course a range of carefully selected toppings to choose from, including Pino’s smoked leg ham and mushroom; buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto di Parma; or lamb belly with ricotta and Mediterranean herbs. But Manfredi reckons the benchmark of any pizzeria is the margherita. Match it with a classic Negroni or a glass of Chianti and you’ve got a taste of Italy by the bay in Pyrmont.
The Star, Sydney
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont (Harbourside Pirrama Road)
(02) 9777 9000
Tue to Sat 11.30am–10pm