"Maurizo handed me Santa Barbara sea urchin and asked me to create a pizza around it" says Pasquale Cozzolino, chef at Prova, explaining how a $29 pizza using a rather unique ingredient came to be. The Maurizio in question is Maurizio de Rosa, the driving force behind Prova and also a partner in Sushi Nakazawa – hence the uni. Cozzolino employs squad ink because he likes the way the "salt, spice, and acidy" of the ingredient play against the creaminess of the uni, and uses mint and lemon zest to brighten the palate. The dough is made with a special blend of millstone and "00" flour, and uses a natural starter. Cozzolino uses imported mineral water from Campagna because it does not have the chlorine and other additives of domestic tap water. The mineral content is also important to the chef in developing the flavor for his dough, as is the lengthy four-day fermentation process. All the ingredients for the pizza go on after the dough has been cooked. Cozzolino cooks the pizza with ice to inhibit it from inflating and also to add moisture. As soon as the cooked dough is removed from the oven, he adds a layer of shredded pecorino, which quickly absorbs the remaining water and forms a base for the toppings to come.
Watch Cozzolino make the pizza in the slideshow above.