From Napoli to Your Kitchen: Revealing the Art of Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

From Napoli to Your Kitchen: Revealing the Art of Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

Welcome to the world of authentic Neapolitan pizza! Whether you’re a pizza aficionado or simply a lover of this delicious Italian delicacy, this article is your guide to bringing the flavors of Napoli into your own kitchen. From the history and artistry behind Neapolitan pizza-making to the essential ingredients and techniques, we’ll uncover the secrets that make it a culinary masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Neapolitan pizza?

Neapolitan pizza, or pizza Napoletana, is a traditional style of pizza that originates from Naples, Italy. It is characterized by its thin, soft, and chewy crust, made from a specific type of flour and cooked at high temperatures in a wood-fired oven. Neapolitan pizza is known for its simplicity, with just a few quality ingredients that create a harmonious blend of flavors.

What makes Neapolitan pizza different from other styles of pizza?

Neapolitan pizza stands apart from other styles due to its unique characteristics:

  • Authentic Neapolitan pizza has a thin and soft crust with a slightly charred and blistered exterior.
  • The pizza is topped with only a few high-quality ingredients, such as San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil.
  • Neapolitan pizza must be baked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature, typically around 900°F (485°C), resulting in a quick cooking time of about 90 seconds.

What is the history behind Neapolitan pizza?

The origin of Neapolitan pizza can be traced back to Naples in the 18th century. It was initially a food for the poor, sold by street vendors. However, the pizza gained popularity among the working class, and eventually spread throughout Italy and the world. In 2017, Neapolitan pizza-making was certified as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, recognizing its cultural significance and traditional craftsmanship.

The Art of Neapolitan Pizza-making

The Dough:

The foundation of any Neapolitan pizza is the dough. Here are the key elements for crafting the perfect dough:

  • Use “00” flour, a finely ground flour with a low protein content, which results in a softer and more elastic crust.
  • Combine the flour with water, yeast, and salt, and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for several hours to develop its flavors and texture.

The Toppings:

Neapolitan pizza favors simplicity over complexity when it comes to toppings. Here are the essential ingredients you’ll need:

  • San Marzano tomatoes: These unique tomatoes grown in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius have a rich, sweet, and low-acid flavor that perfectly complements the pizza.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese: Opt for buffalo mozzarella if possible, as it adds a creamy and slightly tangy taste.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Drizzle a generous amount over the pizza before and after baking for added richness.
  • Fresh basil leaves: Add them as a final touch to enhance the aroma and freshness of the pizza.

The Oven:

Authentic Neapolitan pizza requires a blisteringly hot wood-fired oven to achieve its characteristic texture and taste. The extreme heat results in a quick bake, producing a charred, yet soft and airy crust. While it may be challenging to replicate a traditional wood-fired oven at home, a pizza stone in a conventional oven can still yield great results.

Bringing Neapolitan Pizza to Your Kitchen

Now that you have a glimpse into the art of Neapolitan pizza-making, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and recreate this culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Prepare the dough by combining “00” flour, water, yeast, and salt. Knead until smooth and elastic.
  2. Allow the dough to rise for several hours until it doubles in size.
  3. Preheat your oven and pizza stone to the highest possible temperature (typically around 500°F/260°C).
  4. Divide the dough into small portions and shape them into balls. Let them rest for a few minutes.
  5. Flatten each dough ball into a round shape, leaving the edges slightly thicker.
  6. Add your chosen toppings, starting with a thin layer of San Marzano tomatoes, followed by slices of fresh mozzarella cheese.
  7. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, slice, and savor the taste of Naples!


Neapolitan pizza is not just a dish; it’s an experience that encapsulates the rich culinary heritage of Naples. With a few simple ingredients, the right techniques, and a touch of passion, you can recreate the authentic flavors of Napoli right in your own kitchen. So, gather your ingredients, fire up your oven, and embark on a journey to the heart of Neapolitan pizza-making. Buon appetito!