Chef-Owner Adriano Piazza
Catania, Sicily, the town we come from
Pronto Italian Deli is my vision of authentic good Italian food. I was born and raised in Italy and, after a few years in the food and wine industry, I knew what I wanted to do: share the flavors I was born with.
I remember waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread, eating it right away, still hot! I want everybody to try the eggplant parmigiana I was raised with, the lasagne we only cooked for the holidays and the coffee that fills the room with its aroma.
Pronto means ready and I want to be ready to serve the beautiful community of San Clemente I learned to love together with this city, kissed by the sun, from the colorful stores on Del Mar, to the sandy beach where every sunset seems as if it was painted by the greatest artist.
ATribute to Italian Americans
In creating the menu for our deli we have decided to bring our Italian taste and classical recipes but also pay a tribute to the early Italian immigrants who found a new and better life in the USA. This is why you will find the Meatballs Sandwich, a traditional American-Italian recipe which has its origin in the kitchen of the early 20th century Italian immigrants. They had nothing to put in their cardboard suitcase but food they brought for comfort and for living during the long trip. Olives, cheese, salame, were some of the items that were brought across because they could stand the long times and the weather. In the US, Italians, like all other migrants, not only found a job and started earning money but also they found an abundance of ingredients that in Italy they could experience maybe two-three times a year, above all meat and cheese. The immigrants, many of whom worked in the Chicago slaughterhouses, started eating meat like never before but they were not buying steak or filet mignon, they were buying beef to re-create the recipes that made them feel at home, what has come to be defined comfort food, just richer. Nothing more so than meatballs. Originally, they were very small and made with 50% breadcrumbs soaked in water or, for those who were better off, with milk, and 50% meat. In the US they wanted larger quantities, so these meatballs became very large and abundantly covered with cheese. Spaghetti and meatballs symbolized the combination of home and never-before-experienced abundance and wealth, they became the symbol of Italian culture in the US. In Italy, on the other hand, this experience was never had so meatballs, polpette, remained smaller and a dish by itself, never added to pasta, except in some cases where tiny polpette are added to broth.