The Flavorful Delight of Cheeseless Pizza

Pizza Marinara is a unique Neapolitan pizza that stands out with its cheeseless allure. Topped with thinly sliced garlic, a sprinkle of oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil, this pizza may seem simple, but its flavor is anything but ordinary.

A Slice of History

Believed to have originated at Pizzeria Port’Alba in Naples, Italy, in 1734, Pizza Marinara is one of the three official variants of traditional Neapolitan pizza. It has become a symbol of the rich culinary history of Naples and the art of pizza-making.

Neapolitan Pizza Variants

In addition to Pizza Marinara, there are two other official variants of Neapolitan pizza:

  • Pizza Margherita: Topped with tomato, sliced fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Pizza Margherita Extra: Topped with tomato, sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, and extra-virgin olive oil.

The Name’s Misconception

Contrary to its name, Pizza Marinara has no seafood in it. The name actually refers to the historical association with poor fisherman who consumed this style of pizza due to its easily preservable ingredients. It’s a pizza for everyone, regardless of their love for seafood.

Simple Ingredients, Bold Taste

The beauty of Pizza Marinara lies in its simplicity. The dough is topped with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and extra-virgin olive oil—no cheese or other embellishments. These basic ingredients come together to create an explosion of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

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Bringing the Neapolitan Spirit to Your Kitchen

While traditional Neapolitan pizza is cooked at extremely high temperatures in wood-burning dome ovens, you can still achieve a delicious result at home. Although your pizza marinara may not have the exact texture and appearance, it will still be a treat for your taste buds.

Ingredient Notes

To make a Neapolitan-style pizza, you would typically use type 0 or type 00 wheat flour, fresh yeast, water, and salt for the dough. However, you can use any homemade or store-bought pizza dough as a shortcut. Look for canned San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy for an authentic taste. Fresh garlic and oregano add their own aromatic touch to the pizza.

Crafting Your Pizza Marinara

Preheat your oven to the highest temperature possible, around 500°F (260°C), or even hotter if your oven allows. Crush the tomatoes and add salt to create the sauce. Stretch out the pizza dough and transfer it to a pizza peel. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, followed by the sliced garlic. Carefully slide the pizza onto a preheated pizza stone and bake until the crust is nicely browned. Finish it off with fresh oregano, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Expert Tips

Different types of pizza dough can result in different textured crusts. American-style pizza dough will give you a crunchier and chewier crust compared to the soft and chewy crust of Neapolitan-style dough. Don’t worry if the tomato topping initially seems watery—the heat of the oven will evaporate the water, leaving a thick and intensely tomato-flavored result.

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The Right Equipment

While a pizza oven is ideal, a pizza stone in your regular oven will suffice. Preheat the stone and use a pizza peel to transfer your pizza. A rectangular pizza stone is recommended, as it can accommodate two pizzas. Invest in a thick stone for better heat retention. If you have a small stone, bake one pizza at a time and stretch the second dough while the first one is in the oven. If you’re serious about homemade pizza, consider a dedicated pizza oven like the Ooni pizza oven.

Explore the World of Pizza

Pizza Marinara is just one of the many fantastic pizza options out there. If you’re feeling adventurous, try Corn and Tomato Pizza, Radicchio Pizza, or Italian Stromboli with Soppressata, Rapini, and Provolone. Or, if you prefer pasta, check out Meatball Calzones, Penne all’Arrabbiata (Spicy Tomato Pasta), or Pasta e Piselli (Pasta and Peas). There’s a world of flavors waiting for you to explore!

Treat your taste buds to the delightful simplicity of Pizza Marinara. With its aromatic garlic, fragrant oregano, and tangy tomatoes, this cheeseless pizza will take you on a flavor-packed journey to Naples. So, why not try it out and experience the timeless charm of Neapolitan cuisine?

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