How to Make Pizza the Italian Way

Pizza, glorious pizza. The eighth wonder of the world, as far as we’re concerned. It can be argued where exactly it originated, but it’s suggested that Roman soldiers created it by adding olive oil and cheese to matzah. It’s been a savoury dish for centuries, usually always involving tomato and cheese. But nowadays, you can get every type of pizza imaginable, including dessert-style. We’re not exactly sure how an ice-cream pizza would work, but we can’t wait to find out! Today’s post is how to make pizza the traditional way, going through each step from an age-old Italian perspective.

Pizza dough being kneaded with flour

The Base

To nail the perfect Italian base, there are three things you have to aim for: thin, crispy and light. When making up the dough, you’ll get to re-enact that typical scene on TV or in movies. You know the one, where someone tosses it in the air and it gets stuck to the ceiling or lands on their face… We just hope that this doesn’t happen to you! It requires specialized kneading, so get plenty of practice in! It’s a win-win: you learn a new skill, and you get to eat pizza as much as you like until you get it right. Seems like a good deal to us!

Spreading tomato sauce onto a pizza base

The Sauce

A bit of a strange one, but traditional pizza sauce isn’t cooked at all. This fresh sauce is made using peeled tomatoes, salt, olive oil and basil. Sounds simple enough, right? With a small list of ingredients, it’s easy enough to make… Once you get your proportions right. If you don’t, this is where things get a little tricky, as you’ll have to start again from scratch until it’s right. Best to aim for perfection from the get-go, am I right?

Sprinkling cheese onto a pizza

The Cheese

The cheese that’s used to flavor traditional Italian pizza is fior di latte. Or in other words, buffalo mozzarella. It gives the pizza its distinctive texture, which is a perfect contrast to the light, crispy base. One note on this though – always use a good quality cheese. We don’t mean to be dramatic, but it could make or break your pizza… And nobody wants a broken pizza, now do they? The point is: if you want a nice pizza, use nice ingredients. Your health will thank you too!

A flat lay photo of pizza and a range of toppings

The Toppings

And now for the fun part! Toppings let you in on someone’s personality and tastes (get the pun? We like to think we’re funny), but they’ll also divide relentlessly. I’m not saying that I’d judge someone for putting pineapple on pizza… Okay, I lied, I’m totally judging. Regardless, let’s get back to what’s the norm in Italy, shall we? Typically, an Italian pizza will have basil leaves, mozzarella and the tomato sauce, with a hint of oregano and fresh olive oil. But there are numerous other toppings for you to create your perfect pizza: tomatoes, onion, ham, parmesan, bacon, and a wide selection of other meats and vegetables… Just to name a few!

So what're you waiting for? Get creating! If you happen to be in Rome to try some traditional Italian pizza, why not take a tour while you're there? Our wide selection of tours can be found here.

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