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Saverio's Pizza Room

The Margherita pie at Saverio's in Massapequa is

The Margherita pie at Saverio's in Massapequa is a Neapolitan classic, Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Sam Cataldo started working at A&S Pork Store in Massapequa in 1984, the year before he married Emily, the boss's daughter. Over the decades, Sam learned the business from his father-in-law, Pasquale Giammarino -- making sausage (fresh and dried), mozzarella, pasta and sauce; butchering fresh meat; retailing Italian imports.

In January, Sam and Emily brought something new to A&S: Neapolitan pizza. Saverio's Pizza Room is a narrow storefront, carved out of the pork store's production kitchen. It's barely large enough to contain its wood-burning oven, work counter and four tables. But what it lacks in space, it makes up for in passion.

The Cataldos were inspired to open a pizzeria after a visit to Naples, where they tasted their first true pizza Napoletana, an individual wood-fired pie with a soft crust surrounded by a puffy "cornicone" edge. When they returned, Sam trained in Manhattan under the tutelage of Neapolitan pizzaolo Antonio Starita. The moment he started pressing out the dough, he felt he'd found his true calling.

Sam labors over his dough, using Italian flour and letting it rest overnight for better flavor. The rest of the ingredients are easily available: Italian tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh sausage, meatballs are A&S' stock in trade.

Saverio's eight regular pies range from a simple Margherita ($10) to the more elaborate Giovanni (with meatballs and ricotta, $15). Sam tries to limit his cheese consumption and his personal favorite, a frequent special, is the Genovese ($12), which consists of his mother-in-law Enza Giammarino's slow-cooked tomato-onion sauce, basil and nothing else.

Saverio's Pizza Room

929 N. Broadway, Massapequa



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