SOUTHINGTON — While it only takes about a minute for personal-sized pizzas to cook in Mamma Mia restaurant’s oven, the handmade dough is prepared and left to rise for 48 hours before being topped with fresh ingredients.
Mamma Mia, 1765 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, held its grand opening Friday after finishing renovations and installing the pizza oven ordered from Italy. The unofficial opening was earlier in the week.
“People are coming in,” owner Luigi Camputaro said. “We’re very busy.
The former boxer, wearing a gold boxing glove pendant around his neck, greeted guests on Friday afternoon and chatted with his brother, nephews, daughter Marina Geraci and other family members who help run the restaurant.
They completely renovated the interior of the former diner with direction from Camputaro’s nephews, who run an upscale banquet facility in Italy.
While the restaurant offers fish, meat and pasta dishes along with desserts, Camputaro talks most about the pizza, cooked in a specially-ordered 6,000 pound oven.
The pies are cooked hot and fast, leaving the dough soft and light, according to chef Jonathan Atzeni.
“We want to introduce American people when they come here to the history of this pizza,” Atzeni said.
Tony and Emily Dattilo, Southington residents, ordered pasta rolls stuffed with prosciutto along with veal for Friday’s lunch. They were impressed with the food and glad to be greeted by the owner and his family.
“Very authentic, very Italian,” Emily Dattilo said.
The restaurant offers takeout in addition to dining in. Camputaro said they’re considering delivery.
Geraci said the restaurant will be a welcoming and lively place.
“I want everyone to feel like they’re eating with family,” she said. “It might seem loud and chaotic but you’re just in an Italian house.”