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Chef Cozzolino Serves Up Authentic Neapolitan Pizza in Brooklyn

By Janet Upadhye | October 15, 2012 8:57am

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS— Dellarocco's of Brooklyn, the new Italian restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, leaves some patrons wondering if they are on Hicks Street or at a pizzeria in Naples.

The authentic Neapolitan pizzas are the work of Naples-born chef, Pasquale Cozzolino.

Cozzolino was taught by chef Gaetano Esposito in Naples — the great grand nephew of the inventor of the Neapolitan pizza, who is considered one of the best 'pizzaioli' in Naples — to make pizzas the traditional way.

He divulged the main secret to creating a bona fide Italian pizza: the ingredients.

"The flour is from Caputo, the tomato is authentic Neapolitan and the cheese is mozzarella di bufala from Caserta," he said. "The only ingredient from New York is the water."

The recipe Cozzolino uses is over 200 years old.

Cozzolino's technique is also all-Italian. He carefully kneads dough made with only flour, yeast, water and Sicilian salt. He then gives the dough 24 hours to rise naturally.

Then, Cozzolino adds a small amount of sauce, cheese, basil, and olive oil. Finally, he babysits each pizza, rotating and moving the pie as it cooks in the wood burning stove for 50 seconds.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Italian chef Giorgio Amabile ventured to Dellarocco's to try the pizza. With an empty plate on the table in front of him he said, "It tastes the same as in Naples."

Dellarocco's has been open a little over a month, but already at night the place is packed, according to diners in the restaurant.

“I am so excited to bring the flavors and tastes I grew up with in the beautiful city of Naples to Brooklyn,” Cozzolino said. “We are using the freshest and best ingredients to make a true pizza the way it should be made: light and bursting with flavors.”

Dellarocco’s also offers appetizers, calzones, salads and daily specials. Twelve beers are on tap, including locally brewed Sixpoint, Kelso, and Brooklyn Brewery, as well as wines that pair well with pizza from all across Italy.

Dellarocco’s of Brooklyn is accessible via the 2 or 3 (Clark St),  4 or 5 (Borough Hall), or M or R  (Court St)  For more information go to www.dellaroccospizza.com or call (718)-858-1010.