Francesco Mazzei collaborates with Franco Manca

Italian chef Francesco Mazzei is collaborating with sourdough pizza specialist Franco Manca on a new, exclusive addition to the restaurant chain's menu. 

Mazzei's creation, 'No.8', is inspired by the colours of the Italian flag, topped with British mozarella, Colston Bassett stilton, wilted spinach and roasted hazlenuts, dressed with honey and 'nduja (an ingredient for which the chef is credited with introducing to the UK, from his home town in Calabria) on Franco Manca's signature sourdough. The exclusive dish is available from Franco Manca pizzerias across the UK for the next three months from now. 

Mazzei spent the early parts of his career working in cities such as Rome and London, before going on to establish restaurants in Edinburgh, Milan and Bangkok. In 2008, the chef opened L'Anima, his first restaurant in London, with a menu inspired by traditional cooking from Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia. 

Franco Manca's slow-rising sourdough – made on-site daily and cooked at 450°C for 60 seconds – is unique to the brand, dating back to the pizzeria's early days in Brixton Market. 

Mazzei comments of the partnership: "Franco Manca and I both share a love for authentic Italian cuisine, so having the opportunity to put my own spin on their wonderful menu was something I just couldn't turn down. The No.8 pizza embodies all the things I love about southern Italy and I can't wait to bring the taste of Calabria to restaurants across the UK."

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