A Hamburger Today

Top This: Cotechino and Cavolo Nero (à la Pizzeria Ortica)

[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

Costa Mesa is a blooming destination for Neopolitan style pizza. With Ecco (LA Times recently gave them 1.5 stars), Il Doce, Nello Cucina and Pizzeria Ortica it can be hard to pick a favorite. But not for me. It's Pizzera Ortica, hands down.

The Executive Chef, Justin Miller, prepares a seasonal cotechino (a cooked holiday sausage) and cavolo near (Tuscan kale) pizza with smoked mozzarella, spiced mascarpone, and curls of spring onion. It is a perfect balance of flavor and texture. The chew of the pork skin and fat back in the Italian sausage marries with the soft earthiness of the cavolo nero. The smoky base notes from the mozzarella and sharp crunch of the spring onion accent the entire palate. It's simply a wonderful pizza with each ingredient playing off the others. But once the holiday cotechino is gone you can't get this pizza again until next year. Or you can follow Chef Miller's instructions and enjoy this pie in any season!

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What You'll Need

*Better Italian markets should carry it

Pizzeria Ortica
650 Anton Blvd Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (map)
714-445-4900; pizzeriaortica.com

About the author: After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie

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