over two centuries ago, pizza was born on the streets of Naples, where
vendors peddled golden wedges topped only with hand-pressed olive oil
and coarsely chopped garlic. Pizza has since become Italy's most popular
export, and the world's love affair with it has inspired literally thousands
of recipes. But now that the afterglow of new romance has dimmed, the
birthplace of authentic pizza beckons us to taste its greatest culinary
gift - pizza napoletana - in its purest form.
Springing to life from fire and stone, authentic pizza is characterized
by thin, soft crust and spare but especially flavorful toppings of the
finest ingredients. The classic Pizza Margherita (named in 1889) for its
first fan, Queen Margherita of Savoy) is topped with tangy San Marzano
tomatoes, creamy mozzarella di bufala, and pungent basil, while the ever-popular
Pizza Marinara is garnished simply with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and
fragrant olive oil. These two pizzas define pizza napoletana and must
be made according to strict guidelines established by the Italian government,
but they have also spawned countless other pizzas made in the same spirit
and style, such as:
- Pizza Quattro Stagioni, or Four Seasons Pizza (featuring asparagus
for spring, zucchini for summer, olives for fall, and potatoes for winter)
- Pizza Pescatore, or Seafood Pizza (with shrimp, squid, sea bass, and
- Pizza Bianca, or White Pizza (with only garlic, fresh rosemary, and
Join award-winning author Pamela Sheldon Johns as she wanders through
the venerable kitchens of Naples, retracing the history and traditions
of pizza. You'll visit the oldest pizzerias in the world, along with Neapolitans'
present-day favorites, and discover the artisan pizza-makers' secrets.
With photographs of 50 classic Neapolitan and regional pizzas, and images
of the people and places from whence the come, Pizza Napoletana! transports
you to Naples, where passion and pizza are forever entwined.
Pizza Napoletana! by Pamela Sheldon Johns - Ten Speed Press, October
1999 - Hardcover - 112 pages