Top This: Spinaci e Pomodoro (à la LaRocco's Pizzera)

Top This

Learn how to work a new topping onto your pies.

[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

Bundled up in snowy Brooklyn, Paul LaRocco watched California's Rose Parade, glittering with sunshine and palm trees, year after year. Finally, the allure grew too strong and the NYC mailman transferred to the West Coast. He's never looked back...that is, except at the pizza.

LaRocco's Pizzera serves a New York-style pizza. Thin and crisp, it's reminiscent of Paul's childhood in Little Italy. Many of the toppings are styled after New York's corner slice joints, although the California influence does sneak in from time to time. The Spinaci e Pomodoro, for instance—in a tribute to fresh produce, the baby spinach leaves and halved cherry tomatoes are lightly touched with heat, drawing out flavor while retaining their vibrant color. This pizza takes full advantage of residual heat, gentling wilting the leaves and transforming the fruit into warm cherry tomato bombs.

What You'll Need

LaRocco's Pizzeria

3819 Main St. Culver City, CA 90232 (map) 310-837-8345;