The humble margherita is the litmus test for a good pizzeria according to Lorenzo Furfaro. “It’s just sauce, cheese and dough, so there’s nowhere to hide,” he says.
Furfaro runs Renzo’s Woodfired Pizza Catering and this week (weather dependant) he’s hosting his fourth Wednesday night mobile pizza dinner in Tempe, on the side of Princes Highway.
Renzo’s Neapolitan-style margherita is exceptional. The base is chewy and light, made from a high-water-content dough that’s fermented for between 24 to 48 hours, depending on the weather. “The hotter it is outside, the shorter the fermentation,” says Furfaro. “My strict rule is we don’t use the dough on the same day it’s mixed.”
Topped with slices of mozzarella and tomatoes imported from Italy, the pizza is blasted at 450 degrees for 90 seconds in the domed oven. The cooking time is enough to lift the crust and melt the cheese but barely singe the basil leaves. The pizza is finished with a drizzle of olive oil.
Renzo’s runs weekly specials, such as roasted potatoes on a garlic base with sausages and rocket, or salami and ricotta. The diavola is spicy and more elaborate – it’s topped with hot salami, onion, capsicum and olives.
Renzo’s two-and-a-half-tonne brick pizza oven was made in Melbourne by an artisan with certification from Italy. It’s covered in a mosaic of black tiles that glitter in the afternoon sun, and heat waves rise from the small chimney where inside burns Queensland ironbark hardwood.
Pizza is available for takeaway or there are large tables and bench seats borrowed from the cafe that trades on the property during the day. There’s no shade, so bring a hat. On a lucky night you’ll be downwind from the oven and the scent of hot dough and garlic will rise above the clatter of the highway and transport you to Naples.
Locations are likely to change, follow on social media for regular updates.
Renzo’s Woodfire Pizza Catering
880 Princes Highway Tempe