"I wanted to recreate thin crust Roman pizza, which is not considered an elevated form of food. It's like a hot dog" says chef Nick Anderer of the pizza that he is making at Marta. "It would be as if a Roman came here and started eating dirty water dogs and then went home and opened a restaurant based on that," says the chef. "It sounds kind of crazy". But Anderer always loved that form of pizza because its lightness allows one to eat more stuff with it, and its great late at night. So he sought to make a "slightly more careful version". This involved considerable research and experimentation in striking the perfect balance between "crack and chew" in the crust.
The chef eventually arrived at a lengthy two part process for the dough that starts with an un-refrigerated pre-fermentation. The dough is then mixed further, portioned, and fermented in the refrigerator for as long as 36 hours. This gives it the perfect mix of crunch and pliancy. "You are always fighting for chew" with thin crust pizza says Anderer. As for the toppings on the "patate alla carbonara," Anderer knew he wanted to do both a potato pizza topped with gricia, a pasta sauce made with guanciale, black pepper, and Pecorino — essentially carbonara without the egg. So he combined potato with gricia. The pie that emerged "was close" but it was just a touch too dry. Adding egg was the logical solution, but also created a problem. Eggs are difficult to cook in a pizza oven, so Anderer decided not to. Inspired by the warmed coffee creamers that sit next to his pizza ovens, the chef decided to coddle the egg in a small pot and simply pour it over the finished pizza.