Neapolitan Nirvana: Tutto Vero, Oatley

Tutto Vero, Oatley

Tutto Vero is a pizza restaurant in Oatley in South Sydney. Meaning "All True", Tutto Vero is owned by Antonio Lupo and Anthony Costa, two best friends who have known each other since high school. Tutto Vero dish up pizzas with toppings like Guanciale with Grana Padano; Mortadella, fior de latte and pistachio as well as classic pepperoni and Capricciosa pizzas.

Just a quick note: Italy and Sicily lovers, I am travelling to Sicily in October on a Sicilian Food Tour and I would y'all to come along! Join me, our guide Carm and fellow food lovers on an amazing 5 day tour that takes you to some of Sicily's food highlights. Carm and her family are from Sicily and we will get to experience things that are normally only open to friends and family of local Sicilians. The cost for this food tour is $4,000AUD or $2649USD per person and includes all meals and accommodation. And incredibly, there is no single supplement because Carm says, "I don't discriminate against singles like me." Here is the website and the downloadable brochure and the outline of where we are going!

"We called it Tutto Vero because we loved all the different ways it can be interpreted. In Italian it means: “It’s all true!” “It’s all real!” “It’s all genuine”," says Anthony Costa. The newspaper headline of the 2006 Italian World Cup victory sporting the words "Tutto Vero!" that inspired the name hangs just inside the front window of the shop.

Tutto Vero, Oatley
Photo: Holly Lupo

Both men come from Italian families and have been friends playing football (soccer) and eating pizza for over 20 years. Anthony had a career in football but his interest in food was passed down by his grandparents who owned and operated one of Sydney's biggest fruit shops in the 70s while Antonio had a career as an electrician after studying graphic design. Neither had hospitality backgrounds, just a passion for pizza.

In 2016 Antonio travelled to Napoli to train as a pizzaiolo and brought back with him a pizza recipe. Using Gozney ovens they honed their pizzas even taking the oven with them on holidays. Anthony says, "We had been talking about opening our own pizzeria but the timing never felt right - kids, busy lives etc.. The fact that neither of us had any idea how to run a pizzeria never crossed our mind." Then mid last year it got serious; Antonio and his wife Holly were living in a caravan in the back yard of their half renovated house on the South Coast and Anthony and his wife were juggling multiple soccajoeys businesses and everyone was looking for a change.

Tutto Vero, Oatley
Antonio Lupo (left) and Anthony Costa Photo: supplied

They chose Oatley for a few reasons. " Oatley has a nice community feel about it. We wanted the pizzeria to feel like the kind of small venue where you get to know your regulars and have banter with customers. We went to school just around the corner, now one of our old teachers is a regular," says Antonio. They did most of the fit out themselves after hours and on weekends as they were both working full time. At the same time the duo did AVPN training with Roberto Di Massa in Sydney and met Neapolitan pizza chef Pasquale ‘Pachi’ Petrecca. The pizza oven nicknamed "Fabio" after the captain of the 2006 Italian football team was imported and tiled in situ. Blue was chosen as it is the colour of the national Italian jersey. It was a nervous wait while the oven made its 3 month long journey from Italy.

I'll drive or go anywhere for pizza and when Tutto Vero came up on my Instagram and I saw that familiar leopard printed puffy edge it went straight to the top of my list. Monica and I were planning a takeaway dinner together and I'd pick up the pizzas from Tutto Vero and take them to her house to eat.

Tutto Vero, Oatley

"Ok give me your picks and I'll give you mine," I said to Monica and between the two of us we had a list of four pizzas we really wanted to try. We both honed in on the guanciale and mortadella pizzas while she also chose the capricciosa pizza (aka the supreme) while I went for the spicy Tutto Bene. I did not count on the smell of the pizzas in the back seat. I've never driven so assertively, making the 28 minute drive to her house in record time.

Tutto Vero, Oatley
Guanciale (Pork Cheek) A$26.00

We both start with the guanciale. The sliced pork cheek is served on a white pizza with Grana Padano cheese, fior di latte and caramelised red onion. When I first opened it up, the aroma made my mouth water as it reminded me of carbonara but the caramelised red onion is very sweet so it steers it in a different direction. It's nice but I think next time I'd opt for no onion and more parmesan cheese and black pepper to make it more savoury because I prefer more savoury flavours.

The base is made using Italian flour and very little yeast with a fermentation at a minimum of 24 hours up to 48 hours depending on conditions. They have also developed their own gluten free bases. In terms of toppings Anthony says, "We’ve always been judgmental of pizza toppings, they have to be top quality or the pizza will be a 2 out of 10. We cut the fior di latte mozzarella, squash the tomatoes and slice the meat ourselves on site daily. It doesn’t matter how good the dough is - if the cheese is $^&t the pizza won’t be as good and you’ll feel like you’ve had greasy takeaway."

Tutto Vero, Oatley
Tutto Pachi $27

We both adore the tutto pachi pizza. Monica comes from Emilia Romagna where mortadella comes from and we both love it. Here it is sliced into handkerchief thin slices and folded like a flower and paired with fior de latte, fragrant lemon zest and a generous pistachio crumb. The ricotta stuffed crust is a delightful surprise too.

Tutto Vero, Oatley
Capricciosa $26

The Capricciosa has a bit of everything from the deli counter including San marzano tomato, fior di latte, grana padano, basil, double smoked ham, olives and mushrooms. It's a tasty pizza especially with the generous amount of olives and ham.

Tutto Vero, Oatley
Tutto Bene $27

However both our favourite pizza is the Tutto Bene with San marzano tomato sauce, garlic oil, Grana Padano cheese, fior di latte, basil, red onion, salami, n'duja (hot calabrian salami paste), honey, fresh ricotta and garlic oil. It's the perfect balance of flavours with the spicy nduja and salami and cooling fresh ricotta.

Tutto Vero, Oatley

There are also gelato and desserts available but I'm happy finishing on pizza!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you think you could open a business with your best friend? Is there a pizza topping that you always order?

This meal was independently paid for.

Tutto Vero

Unit 5/12A Oatley Parade, Oatley NSW 2223

Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday 4:30–9 pm

Friday & Saturday 4:30–9:30 pm

Monday closed

Phone: 0483 139 925

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