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puttanesca and pavement pizzas

Raamons Ballina. They do pizzas and an hour ago I rang through for G10 off the takeaway menu I keep in a drawer in the hall table. There is a collection in there. Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai … a buffet of takeaway, so I go down to pick up but in the five minutes it takes finish cooking the G10 what better than to engage the pizza- maker?

Life is short. The doctrine is to engage.

The pizza-maker is the big white guy behind the counter, the little brown guy is his help and the skinny young white kid is doing the phones.

I lean over the counter and we discuss the origins of the puttanesca pizza and he’s got it right away that it was made for the working girls in Naples, and he said it was made against tradition because it had to be cooked in a hurry. Me, we call that niche marketing.

So I asked him if he knew the origins of the Pavement Pizza.

Negative on that. Meanwhile he’s building pizzas at about two a minute. Flip flap slam and smack. He could make a boomerang out of flying dough.

You only get those in cities whose sidewalks ice-up in winter like Chicago. Sez I.

What you have is some Nigel Studly out on the town after work, all done eating after something quick and hot before hitting the bars. Then more bars, a couple of cubicle accelerants, then, just after Studs gets shown the door at 3am for being unwieldy what do you think he does next?

The big guy shrugs .. ‘ goes for a feed?’

‘No,’ sez I, ‘ he throws up on the footpath, and because the city is going to get iced up overnight the garbos can lift it off the pavement in one piece in the morning. They have a special shovel for that.

The big white guy stopped sliding out a plus cheese Marinara from the oven, looked over at me and shook his head.

Some days you have to make them up as you go.

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