Amador met his wife in Naples in the late 1990's while she was stationed there working for the U.S. Navy. "Through connections in Naples, we got linked up with Roberto Caporuscio, who is our mentor," says Amador. Their relationship with Caporuscio was formative since he owns the number one and two Zagat-rated pizzerias in New York state, and serves as U.S. President of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli (APN- Association of Neapolitan Pizza Makers). The APN is the elite Italian governing body that teaches the 150-year-old art of Neapolitan pizza making and also offers the much coveted certification of authentic procedures.
Caporuscio's services are sought by numerous restaurants. He also conducts an intensive, ten-day Neapolitan pizza class at which he issues APN certification to industry professionals around the world. "He taught us everything [about] pizza, and comes to visit every couple of years to check on us," endearingly says Amador of Caporuscio.
Almost all of Amore's ingredients are locally sourced from the tightly knit community of Albuquerque farmers and producers. His beer selection is primarily made up of New Mexican brews, while the wines are fittingly Italian. The secret of their pizza is the crust, says Amador. It's what gives his pizza its distinct, lightly charred flavor. Amador adds that the flour they use, Caputo 00, is the most characteristically Neapolitan flour that is ground slowly, the old-fashioned way, without adding any chemicals, preservatives, or enhancers.
Amador takes pride in making a healthier pizza, and he achieves that in several ways. Amore's flour is considered some of the purest, made entirely of wheat and naturally lower in gluten than regular flour. Their house-made mozzarella is literally made freshly every morning, which certainly enhances the overall flavor of their pizzas. There are no preservatives in their core ingredients, Amador emphasizes, which sets them apart from other competitors.
They source very high quality toppings locally when possible as well as from Italy. The Margherita pizza packs about 650 to 700 calories, about a third the calories of a twelve inch American or New York-style pizza, with half of the fat, and yet very rich in protein.
Only grandfathered locations can make use of such ovens. While Amador still uses the old-fashioned method, he supports the change to gas as it is cleaner and there is virtually no difference in how the dough tastes. "I support this change very strongly, because with new, digitally controlled torches, we can mimic a real wood flame," he says. The pizza cooks in seventy to ninety seconds, which is not enough time to absorb flavor from the smoke, but does get charring from the flame which achieves the same result.