When we restored Villa Palazzetta one of the things that was on the top of our list was a real wood-burning pizza oven. Fortunately our Italian architect, Marco Pignattai, and his wife/chef, Raffaella had a lot of hands-on experience with this. So now we have have one at Villa Palazzetta. On our first visit to the "finished" Villa Palazzetta, Marco and Raffaella inaugurated the oven and prepared wood-fired pizza for us and six of our Montalcinese friends.
Raffaella offers private cooking classes and caters events in Montalcino. She started by making the pizza dough the day before so it could rise overnight. She brought about a dozen toppings and ended up producing 16 different pizzas for our little group of 8 people. Needless to say there was a lot of food and wine that evening.
Matteo our grounds manager started the fire in the oven about 4 hours before "kickoff" and by the time Marco was ready to cook, the oven was 450 degrees C. Really, really hot. Pizzas cooked in about 2-3 minutes and were rotated once or twice during that time. Some of the toppings included fresh tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, potatoes, zucchini flowers, Villa Palazzetta's own extra virgin olive oil, eggplant, peppers, salami, cucumbers, sausage etc etc. Hungry yet? Guests at Villa Palazzetta could arrange to have Raffaella do just such an evening for them.