LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you love pizza and work at perfecting your homemade recipe, here’s a treat: Two Las Vegas pie makers share a couple of tips.
They are New York natives: Rotolo from Manahattan’s Bleecker Street and Saglibene from upstate Rochester. So you might assume a New York style pizza is their specialty.
Yes and no.
Rotolo’s grandma style, the most popular at Good Pie, is a little bit New York, but think square, thin and crispy. Its origin traces to Long Island; three pizzerias claim to have invented the style Umberto’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, King Umberto’s and Da Angelo of Albertson. But each shares one ingredient — New York water. In the original’s case, water from Long Island aquifers.
That kind of water is hard to get in Southern Nevada, so Rotolo offers this tip. “The best way at home is to use Coors Light Beer,” he says. All those claims about Colorado mountain spring water, he says, are, well, golden. “You get an incredible result from the Coors. And when you’re proofing the dough, keep it below 72 degrees. Between 65 and 72 degrees is the best.”
Saglibene has her own tip about water. Using the hard water from Southern Nevada won’t do. So she likes using bottled water, specifically Niagara.
Her pizza is a little New York, too. “But we like a crispier crust,” she says. When she first came to Las Vegas, in 2015, she worked as a bartender in the casinos. She found one of the brands of water handed out at tables and slot machines was Niagara, and she noted its upstate New York bottling plant. It was a natural when she started making pizza and trying for a bit crispier finish.
Her Pizza Stone’d pies also are a little thicker than traditional New York pies. That’s because she finds her customers like piling on more toppings. A “heavier” dough stands up to the toppings. But, like a New York slice, you can still fold it.
Both pie makers say one of the fun aspects of homemade pizza is experimenting, using different ingredients, different flavors. “How many different ways are there to make pizza,” Saglibene says, “that’s the beauty of it.”
The same way you might appeal to friends and family isn’t much different than making pizza for a living.
“It ever changing, evolving,” Rotolo says. “That’s why we can fall in love with pizza over and over again.
“Pizza is not just dough, sauce and cheese. It’s the whole experience.”