Authentic Neapolitan pizza recipe

Pizza is the symbol of Italy along with macaroni, and making and eating pizza in Naples is serious business. There is even a governing body (La Vera Pizza Napolitana) that oversees the making of it according to set rules and here are some of them”

  • Only Tipo“00” flour such as Caputo flour can be used.
  • Only San Marzano tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic soil in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius can be used.
  • Only fresh mozzarella is permitted. This cheese was developed in Naples and has a rich, creamy texture.
  • Fresh herbs (basil and oregano) are key toppings in the making of Neapolitan pizzas.
  • The water used to make the dough must be free of chemicals.
  • Only fresh yeast is permitted.
  • Pizza dough must be made and stretched by hand, no rolling pins allowed.
  • The oven must be wood fired with the floor of the pizza oven at least five inches thick, and the pizza must cook directly on the oven floor.
  • When cooked, a pizza should be crisp on the bottom but slightly chewy on top. The crust edges should form a rim known as a cornizone and it should have just tinges of a blackened edge.
  • The cheese should be blistered and form rises and falls on the surface of the pizza.

Now for the toppings! Only four variations are allowed for authentic pizza:

Napoletana: Margherita, with crushed tomatoes, olive oil basil and mozzarella.  Marinara, with crushed tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, and garlic. Formaggio e Pomodoro with cheese, crushed tomatoes and olive oil. And Rpieno, a calzone filled with ricotta or mozzarella, olive oil, and salami.

As to how to eat a Neapolitan pizza, there is tradition to adhere to as well. First, pizza is never sold in a box. It is eaten at a pizzeria and it is not shared, or meant to be shared. You order and eat your own individual pizza because they are dinner plate size and very thin. Eat them with a fork or knife, or fold the pizza into a libretto, a little book.


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