Get Hip to the Square!
Thick, airy, saucy and complete with a crisp, oil-fried bottom, the legit Sicilian slice you’ve been craving is now available at Home Slice! A staple of most NY slice places, Sicilian-style pizza has always intrigued us, and this past spring we started developing our own recipe in earnest. Now that it’s perfected, we’re serving it on Mondays only – by the slice or the whole pie — until we run out. Please come try it out and tell us what you think!
The Home Slice Sicilian is
- A square slice, with 9 slices in one pie.
- Made with an artisan dough that takes longer to rise
- Similar to focaccia, airy and has body.
- Is soft with a crisp, olive oil fried bottom.
- Worth the wait; it cooks longer than a normal pizza – 13 minutes in the pan and two minutes out of the pan, directly on the pizza stone.
- The plain is topped with Home Slice house sauce, provolone, thinly sliced mozzarella, Romano and oregano – and in true Sicilian style the cheese is underneath the sauce! And the pepperoni has all that and…well… loads of our delicious pepperoni.
- $3.50/slice plain; $3.75/slice pepperoni; $22 for a whole plain pie and 24.50 for a whole pepperoni pie.
- Like all Home Slice Pizza, made with love
Our poetic kitchen manager, Phil, rolls his sleeves up yet again to share how our Sicilian slice fits into an illustrious history:
This craggy bit of rock sticking out of the Mediterranean, flaunting the smoking tip of Mt. Etna, is on the other side of the Italy, separated by the Straits of Messina where mermaids were first sighted. Sicily has been consistently invaded and abandoned, every hundred years or so, since about the 4th century BC. The population, generation after generation, became stronger and stronger, more and more reliable upon themselves, cherishing their independence and freedom as only an occupied people can.
Then they came to America. Italian Grocers began putting ovens in the back of their shops. Locals stopped in for food from the old country, community in the new neighborhood, and for this new thing they were making: pizza.
When the Atomic Age hit, pizza became undeniably American with the advent of Industrial Ovens using gas instead of coal, made of steel instead of stone. The old school Italians, of course, kept using stone to cook on. Pizzas went from being Neapolitan, small and puffy, to New York Style – Large, crisp, and divided into slices. This meant that what had been a food designed for one person became food designed for one family.
It was in the 50s and 60s that the Sicilian Pizza was born. The Sicilian, so named for that romantic bit of rock in between Africa and Italy. The Sicilian, the left-handed cousin. Luka Brasi was from Sicily. That huge, loyal, dependable killer: Sicilian.
The Sicilian Pizza is a different dough from New York Style. While the New York style is strong and springy the Sicilian is soft and lush. While each goes through a 48-hour proofing period, the proof for the Sicilian is mostly at room temperature, while the New York Style is cold fermented the majority of the time. While New York Style is round, the Sicilian is square – dependable in its right angles and geometry.
Sicilian Pizza is called everything from “Sicilian” to “Square Pie” to “Upside Down Pie” to “The Grandma Slice”. It carries all these different monikers because each time it was conceived it was brought about by someone’s personal affection. These were Italian Americans who had moved to Brooklyn and Staten Island from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Italians who had settled in Jersey. Each shop began making its own version of the square pie, invoking the Grandmother for luck. “The Grandma Slice” says it all. The Grandma is the one who can make use of everything extra in the kitchen. The Grandma is the one who will find a way to take dough that is old, and make it useful. The Grandma is the one who will take sauce, which is the most loved and cared for of all recipes in an Italian kitchen, and bring it to the forefront of attention by making it the centerpiece of the Upside Down Pie, the Square Pie, the Sicilian Pie.
We started working on our Sicilian Pie about a year ago. We researched the authentic methods. We spoke to the Maestro, Dom DiMarco at DiFaras in Brooklyn. We spoke to Tony Gemignani on the West Coast. We contacted pizza makers in Boston, in Nashville, and back home here in Austin. Each shop, each pizza maker, was free and giving when it came to sharing information about how they go about making this pie, and why. What was similar for each was this: do it with love.
So we did.
We worked w/ a dough recipe until it became unfailing and delicious.
We worked on topping it so that it would be balanced and beautiful.
And then we hit upon this thing that doesn’t exist here in Austin, doesn’t really exist anywhere close to us. It’s similar to the Maestro’s. It’s similar to the beautiful Sicilians Gemignani makes in North Beach, San Francisco. But ours is definitely our own. Our own homage to those pizza makers in the 50s who originated this pie. Our own homage to Italian Americans who make the best out of everything, and in that way make everything better. Our own gift to our neighborhood, our community.