Recommended Eats: Pinsarke Italian Pinseria Restaurant brings ancient Roman dish to the heart of Southsea

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A Southsea Italian restaurant is thriving with customers wowed by a little known dish that's origins began in ancient Rome.

Pinsarke, in Clarendon Road, is Southsea's first ever Pinseria serving traditional pinsa's with toppings that are inspired by the different culinary regions of Italy. What are Pinsa's? While they look a bit like pizza's, they are a different type of dough which uses three types of flour, and 70 per cent water, making them healthier than a normal pizza. It is a recipe used in ancient Rome, but to save you a history lesson, we will just tell you this - they are delicious.

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Erika Lazzaro runs the restaurant with her mum and step-dad. She believes their unique dish sets them apart from other restaurants. Erika said: "We are different because we make pinsa. It's made in a really specific way with three different types of flour. Its made with 70 per cent water, so its very different from normal pizza. It's very light and the nice thing about pinsa is you can add lots of different toppings on it and it is very tasty. We are the first people in Portsmouth and Southsea to serve this product."

Similar to a pizza they can be served with different toppings and Pinsarke serves two varieties, red and white. The red pinsa's have a base of tomato sauce while the white ones have a base of cheese. The pinsa have been a hit in Portsmouth and there are more variation on the way as they launch a new menu.

Owners Laura Simbari, daughter Erika Lazzaro and husband Raffaele Vrenna opened Pinsarke Italian Pinseria Restaurant in Clarendon Road, Southsea in 2021, bringing a little known dish to the area for the first time. Owners Laura Simbari, daughter Erika Lazzaro and husband Raffaele Vrenna opened Pinsarke Italian Pinseria Restaurant in Clarendon Road, Southsea in 2021, bringing a little known dish to the area for the first time.
Owners Laura Simbari, daughter Erika Lazzaro and husband Raffaele Vrenna opened Pinsarke Italian Pinseria Restaurant in Clarendon Road, Southsea in 2021, bringing a little known dish to the area for the first time. | Sarah Standing

Erika said: "We are opening a new menu which we have started testing, it has seven red pinsa and seven white pinsa. All of them have different toppings and they are all from different regions in Italy. It could be Calabria, where we are from, or the north. The most popular I would say is probably number eight. That is a white pinsa made with burrata, a really nice creamy cheese, mozzarella and pistachios. People love it."

While the pinsa are the star of the show, Pinsarke offers much more besides including a selection of pasta and pizza dishes. The family are passionate about introducing the different cultures of Italy to people through their food. Erika said: "In our menu we have a good variety, different types of starters which come from different area of Italy.

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"On the Pinsa as well we use different types of cheese, some of them come from Sardinia, which is famous for its different types of cheeses. We are from the south, so we tend to have a lot of nice cheeses, spicy sauces like Nduja, and nice wines as well. We try to let English people know about our culture by serving them food from the south."

If it's previous menu is anything to go by, the new one will be worth tasting with the family keen to showcase more of Italy's unique flavours and traditions. Erika said: "We have just finished a new menu which will provide new toppings for the pinsa. It is good to change up the menu a bit and give people even more knowledge about our food in Italy.

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