Author Topic: Neapolitan Sauces  (Read 4213 times)

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Offline JimBob

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Neapolitan Sauces
« on: June 01, 2005, 10:06:39 PM »
This type of pizza is new to me but one that I am going to try.  I have been unable to find any discussion about sauces that typically go with this pie and was hoping for some input and/or recipes.

Thanks
JimBob


Offline scott r

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2005, 01:30:15 AM »
I just had a chance to learn from a master Neapolitan pizza chef, and his sauce was straight san marzano's crushed with a stick blender and salt.  Nothing else.  He was using LaRegina, what I have also found to be the best tasting brand.  I have noticed that the sauce will taste way better if it has been opened, crushed, and then put in the fridge for a day or two.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2005, 04:00:29 AM »
I also end up using canned tomatoes, but in the summer when my garden is producing plum tomatoes, nothing can compare. I simply chop them up coarsely and spread them over the dough. Sprinkle with some salt, toss on some basil leaves and mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil and maybe a little grated parmesano. Not too much of anything so the taste of the crust has a chance to star. I have been known to eat Pizza Margherita using fresh tomatoes for breakfast :).

Bill/SFNM

Offline JimBob

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2005, 07:16:48 AM »
Do you strain the excess water from the crushed tomatoes?
JimBob

Offline scott r

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2005, 12:23:56 PM »
You will find that every brand of tomatoes has varying amounts of water.  The LaRegina's cost more than most, but have a thick puree that the whole tomatoes sit in.  With these tomatoes as long as the oven is really hot you don't need to strain. The only other brand I have found that come in juice this thick are the La Bella, but they do not taste as good, and they are not authentic San Marzano's anyhow.  If you need to strain check out Jeff Varasano's website for a great step by step.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2005, 01:32:23 PM »
JimBob,

As you venture into the world of authentic Neapolitan style pizzas, you will learn that simplicity is at the heart of that style. By and large, the toppings for Neapolitan style pizzas are few and sparing in their application. Sauces tend to be very simple also--typically San Marzano tomatoes that are minimally processed. When they are used raw on pizzas that are baked in wood fired ovens at high temperature, those high temperatures will cook the tomatoes within a minute or two. I have seen recipes for more complicated sauces for Neapolitan pizzas, including in cookbooks devoted to Neapolitan pizzas, but they look to me suspiciously like what we would call "spaghetti sauce"--more like marinara sauces. If you'd like, I can give you an example or two of such sauces.

In addition to using the San Marzano tomatoes as mentioned above, the Neapolitan pizzaioli also use several types of cherry tomatoes, called pomodorini and piennolo. They are sweet tomatoes about an inch in diameter and are generally used uncooked (cut into thin slices or quartered) on pizzas. A local small tomato, called pendula, is also used on pizzas inasmuch as they can be used fresh and dried (they are often picked when still slightly green or yellow and hung in grapelike bunches from the rafters or balconies to mature, then quartered, salted and strewed with herbs before using on pizzas). As might be expected, these tomatoes are unlikely to be found fresh in the U.S., but there are a few Internet sources for imported canned Italian cherry tomatoes. The San Marzano tomatoes are now widely available in the U.S., but if you decide to use them you should search this site before buying since there are many different brands and they vary in quality, as fellow member scott has pointed out in earlier posts. You should also investigate those San Marzano tomatoes that carry the D.O.P certification (Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or denomination of protected origin) as being authentic San Marzano tomatoes (the varietal), which tend generally to be of higher quality (although not always) than those that do not carry that designation.

To give you an idea of the simplicity of Neapolitan style pizzas, I have cut and pasted below the pizza section of a menu of La Pizza Fresca Ristorante, a NYC restaurant that specializes in authentic Neapolitan style pizzas. This is an example only and is not intended to convey absolute authenticity. You will note, for example, that most of the La Fresca pizzas call for buffalo mozzarella cheese (bufala di mozzarella). But even in Naples you are more likely to see cow's milk mozzarella cheese (fior di latte) on pizzas. Buffalo mozzarella cheeses tend to have a lot of water in it, which may require draining before using, and it is also more expensive than cow's milk mozzarella cheese and generally reserved for use as an eating cheese. In restaurants in Naples, one generally has to ask for the buffalo mozzarella cheese version to be sure to get it. Also, seed oils are also commonly used in Naples instead of olive oil, as indicated in the LaFresca pizza menu.

Here is the La Fresca pizza menu, including the introduction to the list of pizzas:

                                                                          
                                                                          PIZZE
Our authentic pizza is crafted in the tradition of Napoli, Italia, the birthplace of pizza. We adhere to the standards set forth by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, using fresh ingredients. We use fresh imported Italian bufala mozzarella, our sauce is created with Italian San Marzano tomatoes, and our freshly prepared hand-pressed dough creates the authentic thin crust that made Neapolitan pizza famous.

Marinara $9
Tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

Margherita $12
Tomato sauce, fresh bufala mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, and olive oil.

“La Pizza Fresca” $13
Tomato sauce, fresh bufala mozzarella, Italian cherry tomatoes, black olives, Parmigiano Reggiano, and basil.

Salame Piccante $14
Tomato sauce, fresh bufala mozzarella, spicy pepperoni and black olives.

Quattro Stagioni $17
Prosciutto, mushrooms, fresh bufala mozzarella, tomato sauce and artichoke hearts.

Quattro Formaggi $14
Fresh bufala mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Fontina and Parmigiano cheeses.

Primavera $14
Grilled eggplant, zucchini, roasted peppers and portobello mushrooms
with fresh bufala mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Rustica $16
Sauteed pancetta (Italian bacon), onions and fresh bufala mozzarella.

Emilia $13
Tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar topped with shaved Parmigiano cheese.

Funghi $13
Sauteed mushrooms with fresh bufala mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Prosciutto di Parma $16
Tomato sauce and fresh bufala mozzarella topped with thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma.

Acciughe $13
Anchovies, fresh bufala mozzarella, tomato sauce and fresh oregano.

Cime di Rapa $15
Broccoli rabe, sausage, and fresh bufala mozzarella.

Puttanesca $12
Anchovies, capers, black olives, tomato sauce, garlic and fresh oregano.

Salsiccia $15
Tomato sauce, sausage, sauteed mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

Focaccia alla Nevi $17
Lightly toasted pizza bread with an inner layer of tangy Robiola cheese
topped with fresh arugula, thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma.

Peter



Offline JimBob

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2005, 02:52:54 PM »
Amazing information!!!  :o

Thank you very much for your time.
JimBob

Offline giotto

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2005, 12:39:17 AM »
You'll find simplicity at A16 as well, where Chef Christophe who was trained and certified in Naples uses ITALBRAND Italian Peeled Tomatoes (available at Whole Foods).  What's amazing about these tomatoes is that they produce an absolutely perfect consistency once blended-- no oil, water or any other filtering agent needs to be added-- only salt is added. 

If I want to purchase tomatoes directly from farms here in CA, I'll do it as a topping; but no need to replace the cans for sauce, since canned tomatoes can be picked red, rather than green where they often must be flashed before being placed in the produce section of stores. 

You'll find some excellent canned tomatoes, and other great toppings, out there under the topic of Ingredients & Resources.  Their applications are discussed as well. You'll see comments regarding the thickness of Escalon 6-in-1 tomatoes, for example, which is widely available and has a great taste; but definitely should be filtered to match something like ITALBRAND for Neapolitan or even NY pizzas.  Otherwise, you end up with that pasty look on the outside of pizzas.

Regarding bufala, it may easily become part of the sauce if you're not careful.  Our pizzas are not always done in 2 minutes, and buffalo mozzarella can be very wet and will run depending on the quality.  I've certainly heard many comments from those who have worked with it in Italy, and many keep it's excellent taste to their appetizers.  I like to use fresh cow's mozzarella; but when working with bufala on pizza, at $1 an ounce (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Small Italian places, etc.), it's best sometimes to add it to your pizza during the last couple of minutes in the oven to get the most out of it and avoid the need to play with ways of drying it out.  The topics under Ingredients & Resources have plenty to share on this as well.

Regarding A16, you'll find their preference for tomatoes and other items here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg12887.html#msg12887
« Last Edit: June 07, 2005, 01:02:54 AM by giotto »

Offline jkandell

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 07:07:38 AM »
You'll see comments regarding the thickness of Escalon 6-in-1 tomatoes, for example, which is widely available and has a great taste; but definitely should be filtered to match something like ITALBRAND for Neapolitan or even NY pizzas.  Otherwise, you end up with that pasty look on the outside of pizzas.

Can you say more about this?

Offline scpizza

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2007, 08:25:19 AM »
Excess moisture is only a problem when people try to use an insufficiently hot oven (<750F), too much sauce, or too many toppings.  Absent these errors, straining the tomatoes through a fine mesh sieve is more than enough to reduce excess water.  In Naples the entire can contents, water and all, is used for the sauce.

Compared to the amount water in the sauce, the minor amount of residual water in Bufala presents no problems.  Wet, soft cheese that slightly integrates with the sauce on the edges and brings lactic brine to the pizza flavor palette is a desirable thing.  < 2 minute bakes won't damage the cheese.


Offline jkandell

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2007, 05:43:36 AM »
Excess moisture is only a problem when people try to use an insufficiently hot oven (<750F), too much sauce, or too many toppings.  Absent these errors, straining the tomatoes through a fine mesh sieve is more than enough to reduce excess water.  In Naples the entire can contents, water and all, is used for the sauce.

Ah, filter out the water.  I do that with the lid of the can.  Or with whole tomatoes, just use the tomatoes and leave the juice/puree.  I was wondering because he said if you don't filter 6-in-1 the results are "pasty".  Why would that be so?

Offline scpizza

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Re: Neapolitan Sauces
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2007, 09:33:46 AM »
I only use whole tomatoes which I then puree so there is juice inside the tomatoes which gets incorporated and thus no problem with pastiness.


 

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