Neapolitan Nostalgia: Recreating Authentic Italian Pizza

Embark on a journey to Naples, the birthplace of pizza, as we delve into the art of crafting authentic Neapolitan pizza! In this guide, we’ll uncover the secrets to creating a pizza that honors tradition, from the dough to the toppings, transporting you to the streets of Italy with every savory bite.

Embracing the Tradition of Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan pizza holds a special place in culinary history, with its origins dating back to 18th century Naples. Characterized by its thin, chewy crust, simple toppings, and blistered edges, Neapolitan pizza represents the essence of Italian cuisine and the spirit of la dolce vita.

Mastering the Art of Neapolitan Pizza

Let’s dive into the steps for recreating authentic Neapolitan pizza in your own kitchen:


  • 2 1/2 cups “00” flour (high-protein Italian flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the “00” flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the well of the flour mixture. Using a fork, gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid until a rough dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature setting (usually around 500°F or 260°C) and place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the middle rack.
  7. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into two equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, gently stretch and shape each portion into a round pizza crust, about 10-12 inches in diameter.
  8. Transfer the pizza crusts to a pizza peel or lightly floured pizza peel.
  9. Spread a thin layer of crushed San Marzano tomatoes over each pizza crust, leaving a small border around the edges.
  10. Arrange slices of fresh mozzarella cheese over the tomato sauce, followed by torn basil leaves.
  11. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the pizzas and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Carefully transfer the pizzas to the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.
  13. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is bubbly and melted.
  14. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve hot.

Tips for Perfect Neapolitan Pizza

  • Use “00” flour for an authentic Neapolitan pizza crust. This high-protein Italian flour creates a light, airy crust with a chewy texture.
  • Keep the toppings simple and fresh. Neapolitan pizza traditionally features minimal toppings to allow the quality of the dough and tomatoes to shine.
  • Invest in a pizza stone or baking steel to achieve a crisp, evenly cooked crust. Preheating the stone or steel in the oven helps replicate the intense heat of a wood-fired pizza oven.


In conclusion, Neapolitan pizza is a culinary treasure that celebrates the rich tradition of Italian cuisine. With its thin, chewy crust, vibrant tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese, this pizza is a testament to simplicity and quality ingredients. So why not channel your inner pizzaiolo and recreate the magic of Neapolitan pizza in your own kitchen? Buon appetito!

FAQs About Neapolitan Pizza:

1. Can I use regular all-purpose flour instead of “00” flour?

While “00” flour is preferred for its high protein content and fine texture, you can use regular all-purpose flour as a substitute. However, the texture and flavor of the crust may differ slightly.

2. What is the best type of tomatoes to use for Neapolitan pizza sauce?

San Marzano tomatoes are widely regarded as the best choice for Neapolitan pizza sauce due to their sweet, rich flavor and low acidity. Look for canned San Marzano tomatoes for the most authentic taste.

3. Can I add additional toppings to my Neapolitan pizza?

While traditional Neapolitan pizza is minimalist in its toppings, you can certainly customize your pizza with additional ingredients if desired. Just keep in mind that less is often more when it comes to Neapolitan pizza.

4. How do I achieve a crispy crust without a pizza stone?

If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can achieve a crispy crust by baking the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven directly on a preheated baking sheet. This helps transfer heat to the bottom of the crust, creating a crispy texture.

5. Can I make the pizza dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the pizza dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. Simply wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping and baking.

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