Neapolitan pizza, or pizza Napoletana, is a type of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. Neapolitan pizza is prepared with simple and fresh ingredients: a basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil — no fancy toppings.
Neapolitan pizzas are generally pretty small (about 25cm – 30cm) and cooked at very high temperatures (up to 450 – 500 Celsius) for no more than 90 seconds.
History of Neapolitan Pizza
Pizza as we know it today (dough topped with tomatoes and cheese) was invented in Naples, Italy.
Marinara pizza, which does not have cheese, is so named because it was traditionally prepared by “la marinara,” the seaman’s wife for her husband when he returned from fishing trips in the Bay of Naples.
Baker Raffaele Esposito, who worked at a Naples pizzeria is generally credited with creating Margherita pizza, now known as the classic Neapolitan-style pizza. In 1889, King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy visited Naples and Esposito baked them a pizza named in honour of the queen whose colours mirrored those of the Italian flag: red (tomatoes), white (mozzarella), and green (basil leaves).
Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Requirements
An authentic Neapolitan pizza has a crust made from a dough that is made with highly refined Italian type 0 or 00 wheat flour, Neapolitan or fresh brewer’s yeast, water and salt. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer and formed by hand, without the help of a rolling pin. The dough is topped with raw, pureed San Marzano tomatoes from Italy, fior di latte, which is mozzarella cheese made from cow’s milk, or mozzarella di Bufala, which is mozzarella cheese made from the milk of water buffalos. It’s topped off with fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil. The ingredients must be all-natural and fresh.
The pizza is baked for 60-90 seconds (baking time cannot exceed 90 seconds) in a 425-degrees Celsius (minimum temperature) wood fired oven.
Neapolitan Pizza Variations
There are three official variants:
• Pizza Marinara, which is topped with tomato, garlic, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil.
• Pizza Margherita, which is topped with tomato, sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.
• Pizza Margherita Extra, which is topped with tomato, sliced mozzarella di Bufala, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.