Ipswich pub now offering authentic Naples-style takeaway pizzas
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
While jetting off to Italy this summer is most likely off the cards due to the ongoing lockdown, Ipswich residents can tuck into a taste of the Med this summer thanks to one local pub.
The Woolpack, on Tuddenham Road, has recently enlisted the culinary services of Neapolitan chef Antonio Cioffi to whip up a variety of traditional pizzas available for collection.
“With Antonio coming from Naples, and with a lack of Neapolitan pizzas in Ipswich, which are obviously known as the best in the world, we thought we’d use that gap in the market to start offering something new,” explains landlady Marita Rodwell.
“We’ve actually never done pizza before at the pub, so we had to buy a pizza oven for it, and we’re having to wheel it in and out of the kitchen which is why it’s currently a temporary pop-up. But we’re thinking about maybe building something in the car park for over the summer once lockdown restrictions ease, and potentially using it as a starting point for a pizzeria in the town later down the line.”
With big pizza plans on the horizon – what exactly makes a pizza Neapolitan?
“It’s all about the ingredients,” explains Antonio.
“From the flour and how you prove it, right through to the toppings. As we prove the dough for 24 hours in the fridge before we use it, it makes for a really light and digestible pizza.”
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Antonio, who previously ran a pizza trailer in Cambridge before moving to Ipswich, has a burning passion for food, with pizzas in particular going back generations.
“All of my family work in the food business. My grandpa was a cheesemaker, my father is a chef and my uncle has a pizzeria. I grew up working there as a waiter in the pizza section, so I’ve got a strong background when it comes to pizza.”
Antonio, like any chef, is a huge fan of quality ingredients, and harnesses both locally-sourced and Italian-imported fare.
“I’ve previously worked as a head chef in a few places across the country, so I really know and understand the tastes of England. I therefore try to adapt my pizzas to suit both British and Italian palates. It’s all about finding that culinary balance.”
Antonio uses Dingley Dell pork and fennel to create his Neapolitan sausage, alongside anchovies from the Amalfi coast and friarielli – a wild broccoli that grows in Naples which he pan-fries with garlic and chili.
Pizzas available on the menu include marinara, margherita, Napoli salami, kale and funghi, cotto and funghi, and Antonio’s personal favourite, piccante. Customers can also add a ricotta, ricotta and friarelli, or ricotta and Napoli salami stuffed crust.
“My favourite is the cotto and funghi, which actually features a double cream base which is quite unusual for Ipswich,” adds Marita.
“We’ve also had a few Neapolitans who we didn’t know lived in Ipswich come in and try the pizza!”
Antonio’s pizza is available for takeaway Mondays and Tuesdays between 4.30pm and 8.30pm.
“Eventually, we hope to do pizza on weekends, so when people are able to meet up in the park, they can order a takeaway pizza and enjoy it outside,” Marita adds.
To find out more, visit www.woolpack-ipswich.co.uk or ring 01473 215862.