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Italian Pizza Recipe

    Want to prepare authentic Italian pizza at home? We’ve even traveled to Italy on a few occasions to bring back secrets from Rome and Naples. Want to make the tastiest pizza crust and pizza sauce from scratch? Want to bake it perfectly on a red-hot pizza stone? We’ll teach you how to accomplish it all. Together, let’s cook Italian pizza!

    What is Italian pizza?

    Before we begin: what is authentic Italian pizza? American-style delivery pizza is nothing like Italian pizza. Like with any popular food, however, there are regional and method-based variations of Italian pizza. For instance:

    In Rome, a pizza cook named Bonci created a name for himself by creating rectangular pizzas with incredibly vivid toppings.

    In Naples, the pizza dough is thin and elastic! Naples is the birthplace of pizza, and here the pizza crust is thin and supple! Typically a margherita pizza, is topped with acidic tomatoes.

    Here is our description of Italian pizza: a pizza with simple flavors, a tender, thin crust, and a very hot oven. (We also use this definition for our Neapolitan pizza.) The recipe we’ll provide below is elegantly straightforward: a crisp crust, tangy tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and a handmade basil pesto that is a vibrant shade of green.

    What you need: the tools for Italian pizza

    Italian Pizza Recipe

    Before beginning to make Italian pizza, you will need a few specialized tools. Are you competing to win? Next, you’ll need these two ingredients to make authentic Italian pizza:

    Pizza stone:  A pizza stone is what makes the crust of an Italian pizza crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. Here’s a pizza stone we recommend, with a bit more on the finest pizza stones and pizza stone upkeep.

    Pizza peel: A pizza peel is used to slip the pizza onto the heated pizza stone in the oven. Consider using either this basic pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel. The conveyor is a worthwhile investment because it facilitates the effortless removal of pizza from the oven.

    How to make Italian pizza dough

    Italian Pizza Recipe

    It all begins with the dough for the pizza. Alex and I spent ten years perfecting our dough recipe. We’ve learned a few things from some of the best pizza cooks in the United States, who have studied pizza in Naples. Here is some advice:

    If you can, use great flour (Tipo 00). Our flour is Tipo 00 flour, which is used by Neapolitan pizza establishments. It produces a lovely, flexible, and airy dough. Our Tipo 00 flour is purchased online. If you cannot locate it, general-purpose will suffice.

    Use the right recipe. This Pizza Dough Master Recipe is the optimal technique! We use a stand mixer, but you may instead knead the dough by hand. Or, try our Simple Thin Crust, which produces a thinner, rollable dough.

    Top with easy Italian-style pizza sauce

    This Italian pizza is prepared using our finest pizza sauce recipe. It is truly the best due to its robust flavor and premium components. Even better, it takes only five minutes to prepare! It produces the most delectable pizza sauce you’ve ever tasted, evocative of Naples-style pizza. (We believe, at any rate!) Here are some tips:

    In a blender, combine fire-roasted canned tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and a pinch of salt. That is all! 5 minutes, tops.

    Ensure that you use fire-roasted tomatoes. Fire-roasted tomatoes are increasingly available in the majority of U.S. supermarket stores. If unavailable, use tomatoes of the highest grade available.

    Dollop with homemade pesto (or best quality store-bought)!

    Italian Pizza Recipe

    In this Italian pizza dish, we’ve gone incredibly simple: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and homemade pesto. The elegance of the flavors lies in their simplicity. Add the pesto after baking the pizza for the most vibrant color and flavor. These are some remarks about the pesto topping:

    Homemade pesto makes the brightest green color. This particular pesto recipe is our Finest Basil Pesto. Fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil are processed in a food processor until vibrant green paste forms.

    Try one of our variations for a twist. Try our Basil Cashew Pesto, Basil Walnut Pesto, and even our Vegan Basil Cashew Pesto.

    Or, use the highest quality store-bought pesto. The flavor of homemade pesto is superior to that of store-bought pesto, but there are already many excellent choices available for purchase. Sometimes the color of pesto sauces available for purchase appears more brown than green. Homemade pesto is the greatest option if you desire the photo’s vibrant hue.


    • 1 ball of Best Pizza Dough (or Food Processor Dough or Thin Crust Dough)
    • ⅓ cup Best Homemade Pizza Sauce
    • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese or 2 to 3 ounces fresh mozzarella
    • 3 tablespoons Best Basil Pesto or Basil Cashew Pesto
    • Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel


    • Prepare the pizza dough by following the instructions for Best Pizza Dough. This requires approximately 15 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to rest.
    • Put a pizza stone in the oven and warm it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, heat your pizza oven (here is our pizza oven).
    • Prepare pizza sauce by Preparing the Pizza Sauce in 5 Minutes.
    • Prepare the cheese: If using fresh mozzarella, cut it into 1/8-inch thick slices (see the photo). If the fresh mozzarella is extremely watery (brands differ), you may need to let it sit on a paper towel for 15 minutes to absorb excess moisture and then dab it to remove any remaining moisture.
    • Prepare pizza: When the oven is ready, sprinkle cornmeal or semolina flour on a pizza peel. If you do not have a pizza peel, you can use the back of a rimmed baking sheet or a rimless baking sheet. But, a pizza peel is a worthy investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; for directions, see How to Stretch Pizza Dough. Then, arrange the dough carefully on the pizza peel.
    • Pour a thin coating of pizza sauce over the dough using the back of a spoon. Add the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a few pinches of kosher salt on top.
    • Use the pizza peel to transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone with care. Bake the pizza for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese and dough are well browned (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
    • Spread with basil pesto. Immediately slice into pieces and serve.
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