These days, I miss more and more the food I was raised on. There are many dishes and desserts that come to mind, but I think it’s more about food memory: remembering what it was like to be in the kitchen while my mom and/or grandmother were cooking for the family.
With that said, I’ve been on a hunt for comfort food in Turin and I think I’ve found it: pizza al padellino! This particular kind of pizza made its way to Turin some years ago all the way from Tuscany. Padella (pah-DELL-ah) in Italian means baking pan and padellino means little baking pan. What makes this pizza different is that it is like what we would refer to in the States as a “personal pizza,” because it’s just the right portion for one person. It’s baked in a round baking pan which allows for the edges and the bottom of the pizza to become ever-so nice and crispy.
Another favorite comfort food of mine is farinata, (fah-ree-NAH-tah). Farinata originates from Liguria, the region just to the south of Piedmont and is made with chickpea flour, olive oil, water and salt. It’s basically a flat bread and is naturally gluten free. The trick to making farinata is to use a copper pan and it must be baked at a very high temperature. Farinata is served with freshly ground black pepper. For my taste, farinata must have a crispy crust on top and around the edges and you can find one like this at Pizzeria RIO.
So, where can you go to try some of the best pizza al padellino in Turin? Truth is I have five recommendations.
Pizzeria RIO,Via G. Dina 28, telephone: 011 3175331. This is an old-style family restaurant that has been around Turin since 1954!! They only serve pizza al padellino and la farinata.
Pizzeria da Michi, Via San Donato 38, telephone: 011 4732408. This is a family style full-service restaurant.
Charile “Bird,” Via Gioberti 1, in the San Secondo area of Turin. Cozy environment filled with jazz photo memorabilia and wonderful jazz music, sometimes live! This is a full-service restaurant and bar.
Il Padellino, Corso Vinzaglio 21, telephone: 011 533730. A full-service restaurant that is very trendy!
Pizzeria da Gino, Via Monginevro 46/bis, telephone: 011/3854335. Thanks to Linda for this recommendation!