There aren’t many things we like more here at Casa Luchito than a good pizza. However, when it came to finding someone to make the Gran Luchito pizza, we were looking to take it the next level.
So we asked London’s best pizzeria, Santa Maria in Ealing, to make us something special using our Mexican smoked chilli range.
They certainly came up trumps…here’s what happened.
If you haven’t yet been to Santa Maria, you really should check it out. Once you have, you’ll understand why this friendly little restaurant regularly appears at the very pinnacle of ‘best pizzas in London‘ lists. They specialise in the classic original Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, and special they are. Besides their regular menu, they also have a constantly changing specials menu (see above).
It was an absolute pleasure to spend an afternoon with owner, Pasquale, and his team of talented chefs as they put their own spin on our Mexican smoked chilli range.
We were incredibly excited to see how they would combine our Mexican smoked chilli with their traditional Italian pizzas. What we weren’t expecting was the other amazing dishes they prepared for us before that.
First up, we were presented with some delicious pork meatballs which had been coated in our smoked chilli honey and then rolled in sesame seeds. This was served with a salad of rocket, cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion.
The Santa Maria chefs had obviously seen it as a challenge to find something delicious for our whole range.
Next up out of the kitchen was a plate of beautiful zucchini fritti: courgette strips which had been deep fried in an unbelievably light batter, served with delicious sun-dried tomatoes, basil olive oil and our smoked chilli mayo & ketchup to dip.
This turned out to be an excellent combo and it’s something we’ll definitely be trying ourselves.
After 2 outstanding starters, and having counted 3 out of the 4 Gran Luchito products, we were salivating in anticipation to find out how they had used our smoked chilli paste on a pizza.
We were summoned to the kitchen where we were treated to a masterclass in pizza preparation by Santa Maria’s head chef, Emanuele. First of all, we were told about what would be the main topping, Italian sausage meat marinated in our smoked chilli paste overnight with a little extra virgin olive oil and roughly chopped fresh red and green chillies.
We were also told that this topping would work best as a white pizza, where no tomato sauce is added to the base (these appear on the menu too). Instead, it’s all about the ingredients in the topping, and we were dying to taste it.
At this point it was time to begin putting it all together, and we had a front row seat. Once the dough had been stretched out, it was on with the smoked chilli sausage mix, followed by artichoke hearts, lots of fresh basil and the buffalo mozzarella.
Finished with a little drizzle of olive oil, our beautiful little pi’ was swiftly scooped up on a paddle and expertly deposited into the huge wood-fired oven that dominates the kitchen area.
About 60 seconds later the raw ingredients had been transformed into what looked like the perfect pizza. As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before we were digging in.
It really was a pizza of the highest order, and by the looks of the others being delivered to other hungry customers, that’s not anything out of the ordinary here. It was no surprise that all of the ingredients worked really well together.
The Pasilla Oaxaca chillies used in Gran Luchito give a slow burning, relatively mild heat which you notice at the back of your palate. This, combined with the more immediate, zingy heat of the fresh chillies worked extremely well. The real star here however was the dough.
Check out the Santa Maria website