A taste of Naples in Covent Garden

Today I’m happy to say that I’m  headed back to Covent Garden, it’s been a while! And I’m trying out some Neapolitan cuisine at Rossopomodoro (which literally means red tomato). This is a restaurant that was born in Naples – the home of the pizza – and their claim is you won’t find a more authentic pizza outside Naples. All ingredients used in the restaurant are grown and produced in Italy’s Campania region…they’re going for properly authentic here.

On a beautifully sunny London spring day it was a joy to settle down at the window with the sun streaming in, watching the Covent Garden world passing by. The menu offers a range of traditional Italian starters and salad, pasta and pizza dishes with plenty of Neapolitan specialities. And a mozzarella section with starters to share!

Decision made – a large ball of the creamiest of burrata came with bruschetta and heritage tomatoes (in several shades), rocket, pesto and plenty of olive oil. Burrate is basically made from mozzarella and cream, with an outer shell of solid mozzarella and a mix of mozarella and cream inside…yummily melt-in-the-mouth and creamy.

A beautifully fresh and tasty summery starter that shouts Italy.

burrata

Tomatoes, burrata, olive oil, rocket and basil. Italy on a plate

For mains I went for this tasty parpadelle dish – funghi e speck. The thick ribbons of pasta were served perfectly al dente in a mushroom, garden pea, speck and mascarpone sauce. Substantial and satisfying.

pasta

Perfect parpadelle with rich, earthy sauce

The pizzas are certainly authentic and quite a work of art with their beautifully puffed, light bases and luxurious toppings. This is the massese which is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, spicy spianata salami and basil. This was a new salami tasting experience for me, the large slices were beautifully juicy and spicy with almost a citrussy bite – unusual (in a good way) – and wonderful on a pizza.

pizza

Pizza inspired by Napoli and topped with spicy salami

And then it was time for dessert – not that we hadn’t had an elegant sufficiency, but I have two excuses for indulging today. First, it’s an Italian restaurant – always order dessert in an Italian. And second, there was a special on the menu available only for April.

The Pastiera is a cake that is traditionally eaten around the Naples area at Easter. Fragrantly citrussy with a taste of orange blossom, it’s a light sort of cheesecake filled with ricotta and candied fruit, apparently every Neapolitan household either makes or buys one at this time of year. I’m not surprised, it’s fabulous and would be welcome in my house any time.

cake

Traditional Easter fare with flavours of orange blossom

Rossopomodoro in Covent Garden is a light-filled welcoming space with a good buzz and friendly efficient service, all in a great location in one of my favourite parts of London.

And the good news is that there are another six around town so no matter where you live in this great city, there’s bound to be one nearby that you can pop into for your Neapolitan fix.

interior

The light-filled interior and a sparkling, gold pizza oven

You can find out more about Rossopomodoro by clicking here: www.rossopomodoro.co.uk

Square Meal

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