What Is Neapolitan Pizza?

What Is Neapolitan Pizza?

Pizza is a food that transcends cultural boundaries. It’s one of the few foods that can be enjoyed both as a quick bite on the go or as part of a fancy dinner. From Chicago-style deep-dish to New York-style thin crust, there’s a pizza for everyone’s taste buds. But have you ever heard of Neapolitan pizza? Neapolitan pizza is a type of pizza that originates from Naples, Italy, and is famous worldwide for its simplicity and deliciousness. In this blog, we will explore what Neapolitan pizza is, its origins, and the true art of making it.

What Is Neapolitan Pizza

History of Neapolitan Pizza and its Origins

According to legend, pizza was invented in Naples back in 1889 by a local pizzaiolo named Raffaele Esposito. Esposito was tasked with creating a pizza for Queen Margherita of Savoy, who had grown tired of the extravagant French cuisine she was accustomed to and requested something more simple. Esposito created a pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil, designed to represent the colors of the Italian flag. Queen Margherita was reportedly delighted with the dish, and the rest, as they say, is history.

However, the history of pizza in Naples goes back much further than just the 19th century. The ancient Greeks are believed to have introduced a primitive form of pizza to Italy in the 6th century BC. They would top flatbreads with olive oil, onions, and herbs, and then bake them in mud ovens. The pizza we know today is believed to have evolved from this basic version over time.

Despite its humble origins, Neapolitan pizza soon became a popular street food in Naples, thanks to its affordability and delicious taste. Pizza ovens were set up in streets and piazzas all over the city, cooking up delicious wood-fired pizzas for the masses. The pizzas were typically sold by the slice, making them a popular lunchtime option for workers and students.

Over time, Neapolitan pizza began to spread beyond Naples, with pizzerias popping up all over Italy and beyond. However, the strict rules and traditions of Neapolitan pizza remained intact. To be considered a true Neapolitan pizza, the dough must be made with 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella cheese. The pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired oven at 485-500 degrees Celsius for no more than 90 seconds, resulting in a soft, chewy crust with a slightly charred flavor.

So, what is Neapolitan pizza? Simply put, it is a style of pizza that originated in Naples and is renowned the world over for its unique flavor and texture. To be considered true Neapolitan pizza, it must be made according to the strict rules described above.

To this day, Neapolitan pizza remains one of the most beloved and iconic dishes in the world. Its origins may be humble, but its place in the culinary world is anything but. The next time you bite into a delicious slice of pizza, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and traditions that have gone into creating this amazing dish. And if you ever find yourself in Naples, be sure to indulge in a true Neapolitan pizza experience – you won’t regret it!

Three Different Types of Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan pizza, originating from Naples, Italy, is known for its crispy crust, simple ingredients, and fresh flavors. However, did you know that there are different types of Neapolitan pizza? That’s right – the Marinarra, Margherita, and Marinara con Formaggio are three of the most popular types of Neapolitan pizza, and each one is unique in its own way. We’ll explore the differences between each type of Neapolitan pizza and what makes them stand out.


First up, let’s explore the Marinarra. Arguably the simplest of the three types, the Marinarra pizza features tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil. That’s it! This pizza is perfect for those who prefer a lighter pizza with minimal toppings. The secret to a perfect Marinarra pizza lies in the quality of the ingredients and how they are combined. The tomato sauce should be made with San Marzano tomatoes, which are sweeter and less acidic than other tomatoes. The garlic should be thinly sliced and added to the sauce before cooking, and the oregano should be fresh and fragrant. When it comes to the dough, it should be allowed to rise for at least 12 hours to achieve the perfect texture.


Moving on, the Margherita is perhaps the most well-known type of Neapolitan pizza. It features tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. Legend has it that the pizza was created in 1889 in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy, who visited Naples with her husband. The pizza was designed to represent the colors of the Italian flag, hence the use of red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese, and green basil. To make a perfect Margherita, the tomato sauce should be smooth and not too thick, while the mozzarella cheese should be sliced and evenly distributed on top of the pizza. The fresh basil should be added after the pizza comes out of the oven to ensure that it retains its flavor and aroma.

Marinara con Formaggio

Finally, we have the Marinara con Formaggio. This pizza features tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, and, as the name suggests, cheese. However, unlike the Margherita, which uses mozzarella cheese, the Marinara con Formaggio uses pecorino romano or parmesan cheese. The cheese should be grated and sprinkled on top of the pizza before cooking, which helps to create a crispy and flavorful crust. The key to making a perfect Marinara con Formaggio pizza is to use high-quality cheese and to ensure that it is evenly distributed on the pizza.

Neapolitan pizza is a delicacy enjoyed all over the world, and understanding the differences between the various types can give you a unique perspective on this delicious dish. Whether you prefer a simple tomato sauce with minimal ingredients or a cheesy explosion of flavor, there’s a Neapolitan pizza type that’s right for you. So the next time you visit a pizzeria, make sure to ask about the different types of Neapolitan pizza on the menu, and choose the one that best suits your taste buds.

What Makes Neapolitan Pizza Unique?

Neapolitan pizza is known for its thin crust and simple ingredients. But what truly makes Neapolitan pizza different from other types of pizza is the “al taglio” baking method, which involves cooking the pizza in a wood-fired oven at high temperatures for a short period of time (90 seconds or less). This unique cooking method contributes to the pizza’s tender and airy crust, as well as its classic smoky flavor. The short baking time also allows the toppings to retain their freshness and flavor.

Neapolitan pizza is a delicious and unique dish that is sure to satisfy any palate. Whether you prefer traditional or unconventional toppings, Neapolitan pizza is sure to be a hit! So next time you’re looking for something new, why not give it a try? You won’t regret it!

How To Make The Best Neapolitan Pizza At Home?

Making the perfect Neapolitan pizza at home is easier than you think! With just a few simple ingredients and some practice, you can make a delicious pizza that will rival any restaurant. Here’s how to do it.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Flour – You’ll need 2 ½ cups of Italian “00” flour or all-purpose flour for making the dough.
  • Yeast – You’ll need 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons of instant dried yeast.
  • Water – You’ll need 1 cup lukewarm water. The temperature should be between 110-115°F (43-46°C).
  • Salt – Just add 1 teaspoon of sea salt or 2 teaspoons of table salt.
  • Olive Oil – You’ll need 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil for the dough.
  • Tomato Sauce – Use a high-quality tomato sauce such as San Marzano tomatoes, strained and diced finely.
  • Mozzarella cheese – Choose a higher fat content mozzarella cheese to ensure it doesn’t dry out in the oven.
  • Toppings (Optional) – Feel free to add your favorite toppings such as mushrooms, pepperoni, olives, anchovies, etc.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast and salt until combined. Then slowly add in the lukewarm water and olive oil.
  2. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface until it’s smooth and elastic. Then place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Once the dough has risen, divide it into two equal pieces and roll each piece out into thin rounds, about 12 inches in diameter. Place both rounds onto pizza pans that have been lightly greased with olive oil.
  4. Spread an even layer of tomato sauce over each round, followed by an even layer of mozzarella cheese (and any other toppings you may like).
  5. Bake the pizzas in a preheated 500°F (260°C) oven for 8-10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and bubbly.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Make sure to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes before letting it rise to ensure that it is smooth and elastic.
  • Preheat your oven at least 30 minutes before baking the pizzas as this will help them cook more evenly.
  • For an extra smoky flavor, try cooking the pizzas in a wood-fired pizza oven if you have access to one.
  • If you want to make your own sauce, use San Marzano tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • For the best results, use high-quality mozzarella cheese with a higher fat content so it doesn’t dry out in the oven.
  • Don’t add too many toppings as this can make the dough soggy and prevent it from cooking evenly.
  • Let the pizzas cool for at least 5 minutes before serving to ensure they stay crisp and flavorful.

Making Neapolitan pizza at home is not only easy but also fun! With these tips, you’ll be sure to get delicious results every time. So don’t forget to get creative when choosing your toppings – who knows what flavor combinations might emerge? Enjoy!

How Is Neapolitan Pizza Different?

Pizza is a food loved by many around the world. People tend to have their own preferences when it comes to what style of pizza they like and where they like getting it from. One popular style of pizza is Neapolitan pizza, which originated in Naples, Italy. But how is Neapolitan pizza different from other styles of pizza? Here, we’ll explore the key differences between Neapolitan pizza and other styles of pizza.

Neapolitan vs New York Style Pizza:

New York style pizza is a pizza that originated in New York City. It has a thin and crispy crust that is foldable and can be eaten on the go. Neapolitan pizza, on the other hand, has a thicker crust that is chewy and has a softer texture. The crust is also a bit doughy at the center, creating a flavorful taste.

Neapolitan vs California Style Pizza:

California style pizza is known for having a thin and crispy crust and is often topped with non-traditional pizza toppings like arugula or goat cheese. Neapolitan pizza, on the other hand, has a simple topping list that includes fresh tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and basil. Neapolitan pizza is served with light toppings, giving you an opportunity to taste the flavorful crust.

Neapolitan vs Italian Style Pizza:

Italian-style pizza is any pizza that is made in Italy – it could either be Neapolitan or Roman style pizza. Both Neapolitan and Roman pizzas have a thin crust, but Neapolitan pizza is a bit thicker, making it more doughy and chewy. The dough also contains less yeast than Italian-style pizza, making it easier to digest.

Neapolitan vs Chicago Style Pizza:

Chicago-style pizza is a deep-dish pizza that is famous for its tall crust and heaps of toppings. Unlike Neapolitan pizza, which is served with minimal toppings, Chicago pizza is a loaded pizza. Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven, while Chicago pizza is baked in a deep-dish pizza pan, giving it its unique doughy texture.

Neapolitan pizza is different from other popular styles of pizza. Its thick crust, soft texture, and minimal toppings make it a unique pizza that stands out from the rest. When it comes to comparing Neapolitan to other styles, it’s clear to see that Neapolitan pizza is the perfect choice for those who enjoy a simple pizza with a focus on the crust. So the next time you’re craving pizza, try Neapolitan pizza, and experience the difference yourself!

FAQs about what is Neapolitan pizza

What is Neapolitan pizza?

Neapolitan pizza is a style of pizza that originated in Naples, Italy. It has a thick, chewy crust and is topped with minimal ingredients such as tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and basil.

How is Neapolitan pizza different from other styles?

Neapolitan pizza differs from other styles of pizza in that it has a thicker and softer crust. It also contains less yeast than Italian-style pizzas, making it easier to digest.

What is the best way to cook Neapolitan pizza?

The best way to cook Neapolitan pizza is in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature for around 90 seconds. The dough should be stretched thin and not too many toppings added so as to prevent it from becoming soggy or preventing even cooking. Letting the pizzas cool for 5 minutes before serving will ensure they stay crisp and flavorful.

Are there any special ingredients used in Neapolitan pizza? 

Neapolitan pizza usually uses buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil as topping ingredients. Other toppings could include olives, anchovies, tomatoes, garlic, or oregano.

What is the best way to serve Neapolitan pizza?

The best way to serve Neapolitan pizza is on a preheated plate with a few drops of olive oil added for flavor. The pizza should be eaten shortly after it comes out of the oven so that the crust remains chewy and flavorful.

Is Neapolitan pizza soggy in the middle?

No, Neapolitan pizza should not be soggy in the middle. It should have a thin and crispy crust with a bit of doughiness at the center. If it is soggy, this could mean that too many toppings were added or that the oven was not hot enough when cooking.

Are there any health benefits to eating Neapolitan pizza?

Yes, Neapolitan pizza has several health benefits due to its fresh ingredients and quality crust. Eating a slice of Neapolitan pizza can help boost your immune system as it contains antioxidants from the tomatoes and basil, along with protein and fiber from the dough. Additionally, since it is made without processed ingredients it is relatively low in calories compared to other styles of pizza.

Conclusion on what is Neapolitan pizza

In conclusion, the classic Neapolitan pizza is a distinct Italian delicacy that is estimated to be over two centuries old and still loved today. It is a thin crust pizza shape with minimal toppings designed to provide a balance of flavors while also emphasizing freshness and authenticity. Though it can vary slightly depending on the region of Italy in which it is crafted, Neapolitan pizza is generally made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt and basil leaves. Whether enjoyed in its classic form or topped with inventive ingredients, one thing’s for sure: Neopolitan Pizza is definitely a delicious treat worthy of bragging about. So put down your forks and knives and explore this scrumptious slice of Italy! If you haven’t tasted the authentic taste of Neapolitan Pizza yet – what are you waiting for? Go ahead and satisfy your appetite like an Italian! Buon Appetito!


Neapolitan pizza – Wikipedia

How to Make Pizza Dough (with Pictures)

History and Legends of Pizza

Phenomenology of Neapolitan Pizza Baking in a Traditional Wood-Fired Oven

Leave a Comment