Before I traveled to Rome for the first time a few years ago, I fantasized about all the amazingly delicious Italian food we were going to have. The fresh pasta, the authentic pizzas, the sweet gelato, it was all going to be perfectly delicious. On our first night in the historic city, we strode into a bistro just outside the Jewish ghetto. There, I had the only thing still available from the menu, the most tasteless spaghetti in marinara. It was quite disappointing. I should have known better when I heard the chef and waiter speaking to each other in Russian. Thankfully, the rest of the trip was beautiful, but I didn’t leave with such fond memories of the food, save for a few exceptional restaurants in the Jewish Ghetto where ironically I ate Middle Eastern food.
When I came back, I made pizza at home just like I imagined I would have had in Rome. I made a flavorful, airy dough and topped it with a garlicky sauce, baked it until the fresh mozzarella was melted and the edges were charred. It was perfect! I continue to make that same pizza, just playing around with the toppings, but fresh mozzarella is consistently a favorite.
Fresh mozzarella has such a delicate, soft texture and a clean, fresh taste. It can be marinated in different flavors and it pairs well with sweet or savory foods. Try it with strawberries and dress it up with an earthy balsamic sauce. Both recipes are a great way to enjoy fresh, delicious Mozzarella cheese.