The lump of dough is the size of a bowling ball and almost as heavy: working it requires real physical effort. Over and over again the pizzaiuolo heaves it onto the marble counter, forcing air into the mixture. Then he takes a chunk the size of an orange, flattens it with a push of his fist, and twirls it on his fingers until, magically, it seems to open up like a cowboy's lassoo into a shimmering, spinning saucer a few millimetres thick, hovering over his hand. 
This is la gestualità, 'the movement': as important a part of making a genuine pizza as choosing the right ingredients - which only ever consist of San Marzano tomatoes, oil and oregano, or, if you are making a Margherita instead of the more traditional Marinara, some mozzarella and a few torn basil leaves.
Once the toppings are in place, the pizzaiuolo takes a long paddle not unlike a lollipop lady's sign and slides the pizza into the glowing mouth of a wood-burning oven. Three minutes later it's done; the toppings still liquid, the crust light and airy, the base mottled with ash from the burning logs. 




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