This weekend was my first attempt at making authentic “Naples” style pizza – dough from scratch, sauce from scratch, fresh mozzarella and freshly grated parmesan, fresh basil – everything as authentic as I could make it.
The sauce and cheese ingredients came mostly from G.B. Russo’s in Grand Rapids, MI – if you live in the area you should definitely consider visiting this awesome Italian grocery store – more on this cool place in another article/review.
My pizza dough recipe came from Peter Reinhart’s book “American Pie – My Search For The Perfect Pizza.” It’s the very first pizza dough recipe in the book, and fairly simple and straightforward. The hardest part is letting the dough ferment overnight – but I’m here to tell you, it’s well worth the wait. This dough makes the most authentic Italian pizza crust I’ve ever had – reminiscent of the crusts I remember from Palermo’s Pizzeria on 36th Street in Wyoming MI from back in the late 60’s-early 70’s (before pizzerias became “commercialized.”)
I used San Marzano tomatoes (whole, peeled, from the can, imported from Italy) for my crushed tomatoe sauce. Again, I used the recipe from Peter Reinhart’s pizza “bible.” Again, very simple, but the flavors combined to create what I thought was one of the best pizza sauces I’ve ever tasted.
Finally, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh Mozzarella cheese, topped with the fresh basil, baked in a 500 degree oven on a Pampered Chef bar pan (that’s my substitute for a pizza stone, and it worked like a dream) – 9 minutes later, HOWMP!!! I’m ready to thaw my leftover dough and have another go! Excellente!