It’s quality over quantity at Lindenhurst’s new Italian eatery, Villa Pizza.
So don’t expect any tomato paste in the red sauce, says manager Joe DelPrete.
“Many people don’t know this but tomato paste is actually made from leftover tomatoes on the field,” said Joe, who was born Naples, Italy. “We only use fresh tomatoes in my sauce.”
Joe, who opened the restaurant with his brother Tony, is bringing that Old Country cooking expereince to Long Island.
“[In America] people miss out on real Italian cooking,” said Joe, who moved to the states in his late teens. “In Italy, everything is very simple; no preservatives, just fresh.”
The DelPretes launched Villa Pizza earlier this month at 255 South Wellwood Avenue. The establishment has 32-seats in the pizzeria with room for 36 more in the dining area.
Before this, Joe previously owned Stella’s Pizzeria down the road in the village, while Tony owns several restaurants on Long Island, including Villa Monte in Old Bethpage.
“Tony is very knowledgable and owns very successful restaurants,” said Joe.
Together, the two decided to team up once Joe began looking for a new space in town last year.
“I really liked Lindenhurst and I wanted to stay after my lease was up,” said the Massapequa resident. “It’s a great community with great people and history.”
Like his old restaurant, Joe serves up popular Italian-American dishes like New York-style pizza, chicken parmigiana, and baked ziti. But with this move, he wants to continue to incorporate more of his family recipes.
One of those dishes on the dinner menu is the Shrimp Toscano, which features cannellini beans, rosemary, white wine, grape tomatoes, and toasted bread.
“This is something our mother would make,” said Joe, who grew up in Monte di Procida, a small town in Naples.
Another family plate at Villa Pizza is the Chicken and Sausage Giambotta, which is covered with oven-roasted mushrooms with fresh herbs and potatoes.
“We would eat Giambotta almost every night,” Joe recalled with a smile.
Joe and Tony aren’t the only DelPretes to run Italian restaurants in the U.S.
“Almost all of my brothers and sisters own their own pizzeria,” said Joe, who has 9 siblings.
And they all stay in touch, sharing recipes they remember from back in the old days.
“We all own our own things, but we all work together nicely,” said Joe.
To learn more about Villa Pizza, make sure to follow them on Facebook.