Beyonce, Rihanna and even Barack Obama – you name it they have all been on his pizzas. To add to his title as pizza artist extraordinaire, he’s an award winning pasta chef and is truly flying the flag for Italian cuisine in Scotland. Glasgow restaurateur, Domenico Crolla truly is the man with the midas touch, but you know what they say, behind every successful man stands a great woman.
We caught up with the man himself to find out how Mama Crolla, inspired his cuisine and we’ve also managed to bag a special Mother’s day pizza recipe you can try for yourself.
Hi Domenico, you are a busy man these days! Tell us what you have been up to recently?
Domenico Crolla: Currently we are going through a rebrand. After many years in the business Bella Napoli is changing its name to ORO, meaning gold in Italian. We felt that the name has been too widely used; everywhere you go there is a restaurant with the name Bella. It was time to change to something a bit more unique.
We love the new name! We imagine the restaurant will be busy with Mother’s Day coming up. Do you have a recipe inspired by your mum you would like to share with us?
DC: It would have to be my Mum’s pizza of course! When I was growing up in Glasgow, you couldn’t buy pizza in the shops or in pizzerias as we can today, it just wasn’t as popular so when my Mum used to make pizza for us, it was extra special.
We can’t even imagine life without a pizza place on every corner! Does this recipe bring back fond memories for you?
DC: It does. As a school boy having homemade pizza was unique to Italian families. I loved watching my Mum make everything from scratch and seeing the dough rise in the oven. It gave me a real passion and understanding of the art of making pizza. Even now when I smell the dough rising in the kitchen I think of when my Mum used to cook pizza for us.
Do you think your Mum’s cooking inspired you to become a chef? If so how?
DC: It definitely helped! My Dad was also in the restaurant business and from about the age of 10 years old I used to help out. It was a career I understood and liked and I knew from then it was what I wanted to do.
Learning from the best. Thanks for chatting with us today Domenico, we will definitely be stopping by ORO soon!
Mama Crolla's pizza dough recipe
Domenico Crolla’s recipe for making dough at home. It is suitable for roughly 7 x 12” pizzas. You can also make bread and focaccia with this recipe, if you wish.
Ingredients: Flour 1kg,
Dry yeast 0.6 grams (roughly 1/4 teaspoon),
Salt 26 grams,
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, kneading well by hand and allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
2. When ready to prepare, roll out the dough and top with tomato sauce and all your favourite toppings.