60 South County Commons Way, South Kingstown | 401-783-2900
A Restaurant Born in Naples
Other restaurants serve Neapolitan-style pizza – the small, thin-crust pies that are quick-fired in a wood-burning oven – but none make it quite like Pasquale’s. The pizzas there are Neapolitan to the core. Chef and owner Pasquale Illiano was born and raised in Naples. “I started working in kitchens at 15, at some of the most recognized restaurants in Naples,” he says. “That’s where I learned most of my techniques that I use here, and learned my recipes.”
In addition to appetizers, salads and pasta, Pasquale’s serves three types of pizza: New York-style, grandma and Neapolitan. It’s the last one that he’s most passionate about. The fluffy, chewy crust has only three ingredients: water, yeast, Italian flour and Sicilian sea salt. The simple and elegant pizzas that come from it, though are hard to forget.
That’s because nearly every ingredient Pasquale uses in his kitchen is imported directly from Italy. The organic piennolo tomatoes he uses on pizza and spaghetti pomodoro grow on Mt. Vesuvius. “That’s what pomodoro means,” he says, “those tomatoes, pasta and Napoli olive oil. That’s it.” His flour, olive oil, sea salt, pasta and cheese all come from Italy, and the restaurant serves exclusive wine from Sorrento. “I want to be an ambassador of Naples,” Pasquale says. “That’s my fun.”
But how good is the pizza, really? Really good. So good that Gambero Rosso, Italy’s version of Bon Appetit, ranked Pasquale’s as one of the best pizzerias worth visiting in America, along with restaurants in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. His pizza is certified from Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, an association created in 1994 to preserve the authenticity of the product. Only 600 restaurants are certified in the world. On top of that, Pasquale trained and certified at the Neapolitan Pizza Academy. He recently added a pizza recipe dating back to the 1700s to the menu: the mastunicola, with organic Spanish lardo, basil, grated pecorino romano and cracked black pepper, then finished with olive oil. “That’s it,” Pasquale says. “It’s the simplest thing in the world, and the most ancient pizza from Napoli.”
A Little Italy in Rhode Island: Pasquale’s makes traditional Neapolitan pies, using ingredients imported from Naples – everything from flour to olive oil to tomatoes comes from Italy.
That’s Amore: The pizza is so authentically Italian (and delicious!) at Pasquale’s that the restaurant is known in Italy as a destination in the USA that’s worth a taste.
Sample Neaploitan Pizza Menu
Piennolo tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella from Campania region, EVOO and basil leaves
Crispy pancetta, egg, cream and mozzarella
Olives, mushrooms, ham, artichokes, San Marzano tomatoes, basil leaves, fior di latte, mozzarella and EVOO
Spicy sopressata, mozzarella, San Marzano and EVOO
Stuffed with fior di latte, ricotta, ricotta, prosciutto, salami and basil
Clams, garlic and grated cheese
Fior di latte, EVOO, prosciutto, arugula and shaved parmigiano