Portafoglio pizza gets its name from the Italian word for wallet, but you won’t have to open yours to sample some of it Saturday.
Rossopomodoro — which provides the pizzas at Eataly — will be giving away the traditional Neapolitan-style on-the-go snack at its standalone Greenwich Village location on Saturday, Nov. 12, in conjunction with one of several yearly incarnations of National Pizza Day.
What sets portafoglio pizza apart from your typical slice? It’s a smaller pie that’s served whole, but folded in half to a half-moon shape, and then in half again, creating a cone-shaped pocket — hence the wallet nickname. It’s a typical example of street food in Naples, said Simone Falco, Rossopomodoro’s chef and owner.
“This is the way you can eat in Naples,” he said. “Something that you can just buy on the fly and eat while you are sight-seeing the city.”
He rattled off an Italian expression to describe the pizza, which he translated to “first aid for anger” — the kind of thing you buy when you’re trying to keep hungry from turning into hangry.
You start, Falco said, with the crust, and eat into the center of the pizza — where the sauce and the cheese are awaiting you.
“The last bites are the best ones,” he said.
The pizzas will all be margherita — “the queen of the pizzas,” Falco said — and will be topped with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.
The pizzas will be handed out between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Luckily for those who will be waiting in line for the pizza (and perhaps unluckily for the restaurant’s accountants) the small pies only take about 90 seconds to cook in a wood-fired oven that can hold 10 pizzas at once, so Falco estimates he can hand out about 10 pizzas every three minutes.
The free food is pegged to a bigger cause: The restaurant will be collecting signatures to advocate for the addition of Neapolitan pizza-making to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Falco hopes that could lead to more training of chefs in how to make pizza like a true Neapolitan pizzaoli.
And of course, there’s some nostalgia involved on Falco’s part. He’s hoping to see 100 people or more walking down the street with portafoglio in hand.
“It will remind me of Naples when I was little,” he said.