You may have seen the word “Napolità” on restaurant menus or on brightly coloured bags of chips at the store. But what does Napolità really mean? You didn’t type “Neapolitan” wrong; it’s something else. Napolità is a lively style of cooking that comes from Naples, Italy. Napolità food is known for its strong flavours, fresh products, and laid-back style. Every bite will take you to the busy streets of Naples. Foods like pizza, pasta, seafood, and desserts are often very easy but have a lot of flavour. You should learn more about Napolità if you like big, simple flavours and eating with gusto. This food is all about enjoying the good things in life and savouring each moment, ideally with good friends and a glass of wine or limoncello in your hand. Napolità is a way of cooking that makes you feel good inside and out.
How Napolità Pizza Came to Be
Napolità pizza comes from Naples, Italy, where simple toppings have been put on flatbread for hundreds of years. Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba opened around 1830 and began selling pizza with tomato sauce and cheese. A lot of pizzerias opened up all over Naples because of this simple recipe.
Pizza was an important part of life in Naples by the late 1800s. People bought it on the street and ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was named for Queen Margherita of Savoy, who, according to history, loved pizza with tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil so much that she asked for it to be made that way.
American soldiers who were stationed in Naples during WWII brought their love of pizza back to the United States. As pizza became more famous, different types like New York style, Chicago deep dish, and California artisanal pizzas started to appear in the United States. It is still thought to be the best by many, though, because it is made with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, fresh basil, and baked in a wood-fired oven.
To make real Napolità pizza at home, you need to use imported goods and bake the pizza on a pizza stone in a very hot oven (at least 450 F). For the best taste and chewiness, let the dough rise for at least 8 hours. Crush some San Marzano tomatoes and cut some mozzarella di bufala. Add some olive oil, salt, and fresh basil on top. Enjoy your meal!
It’s best to share and enjoy Napolità pizza. Enjoy a piece of Italy’s food past at your own pace.
What Makes Napolità Pizza Different?
What’s so great about Neapolitan pizza? A lot of things, in fact.
Real Food Ingredients
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association has tight rules that say real Neapolitan pizza can only have the freshest, best ingredients. You need to use 00 flour, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and yeast to make the dough. The only cheese that can be eaten is mozzarella di bufala, which is made from water cow milk. The standard margherita pizza is made with these parts.
Oven that burns wood
The wood-fired oven used to make Neapolitan pizza gets as hot as 450°C, which cooks a pizza in just 60 to 90 seconds. The crust is light and airy on the inside and crisp and burned on the outside because of the high, dry heat. The quick cooking also keeps the fresh toppings raw and not melted.
Made by hand art
Neapolitan pizzaiolos (people who make pizza) are very proud of what they do. The dough is kneaded by hand, carefully shaped, and then topped with a creative mix of ingredients. Every pie is a work of art and a part of our culture. A story says that margherita pizza was made to honour Queen Margherita of Savoy’s 1889 trip to Naples.
You’ll quickly understand why this famous dish is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage whether you go to Naples or try a real Neapolitan pizza in your own city. Fresh ingredients, a wood-fired taste, and an artisanal style make real Neapolitan pizza a prize around the world.
What Goes Into Napolità Pizza Dough
A few simple things are all you need to make the standard Neapolitan pizza crust.
Flour is what all pizza dough is made of. Tipo 00 flour is a highly milled soft wheat flour that has a lot of starch and gluten. It is used to make Neapolitan pizza. This flour makes a dough that is soft and stretchy, so it doesn’t tear when it’s stretched lightly. You can use all-purpose flour instead, but the effect might not be as light and airy.
To make the dough, water is added to the flour. Use water that is just warm, about 105°F. How much water you need can change based on the brand of flour and how hot it is. Start by adding about 60 to 70% of the flour’s weight in water. You can keep adding water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
Salt makes the dough taste better and helps keep it from rising too quickly. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt for every 4 to 5 cups of flour. Kosher salt might work, but the end result might be a little saltier.
The starch in the flour is fed to active dry yeast, which turns the sugars in the dough into carbon dioxide gas. This gas makes the dough rise. For every two to three cups of flour, use one gramme of yeast. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die. A thick crust will happen if there isn’t enough yeast.
That’s all there is to it. A little olive oil is also called for in some recipes. It makes the dough taste richer and keeps it from drying out. It should take about an hour to two hours for the dough to double in size if it is left in a warm place. Hit it with your fist, knead it for a short time, and then roll it out or stretch it out thinly. Place on top however you like, and bake in an oven that is very hot (450 F) until the crust is golden brown. Have fun with your real Neapolitan pizza!
How to Make Real Pizza from Napolità at Home
To make real Napolità pizza at home, you’ll need to get a few important things together and do a few important things.
- 00 flour, also written as “doppio zero,” is finely ground Italian wheat flour that has less gluten, which makes the dough softer. You can use all-purpose flour instead.
- San Marzano tomatoes are sweet Italian tomatoes that go well with the sauce. Use crushed tomatoes if they are not available.
- Most people use mozzarella di bufala, but fresh mozzarella will also work well.
- It can be used to drizzle on the dough or put in the sauce.
- You can sprinkle sea salt on the dough and put it in the sauce.
- To put on top of the pizza after it’s baked, fresh basil.
How to Do It:
- Make the bread. Add yeast, salt, and flour to warm water. After kneading until smooth, let it rise for one to two hours.
- Put the sauce together. Put olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and crushed tomatoes on low heat.
- Cut and cover the dough. Press the dough down and knead it for a short time. Place the rounds on a floured surface and roll them out. Spread sauce on the dough, then add cheese and any other toppings you want.
- Put it in the oven at 450 F. As the oven heats up, put a baking stone in it. Once the stone is hot, carefully move one pizza at a time onto it. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown.
- Let it cool down a bit, then cut it up and enjoy your real Napolità pizza! Enjoy your meal!
By following these simple steps, you can make a traditional Neapolitan pizza with a fluffy, light crust and bright, fresh toppings. People in your family and friends will love that you brought a real taste of Naples into your home.
Where in the US You Can Get the Best Napolità Pizza
If you’re in the US and want to try real Napoli pizza, you have to know where to look. Some places bring the real thing from Naples, while others make the best pies in the Neapolitan way. Here are some of the best places to eat Napolità pizza:
A Naples-style pizza place in New York City
The US chef Anthony Mangieri opened Una Pizza Napoletana in New York City. He learned to cook in Naples. There is nothing from Naples that isn’t brought in, not even the dough or the fresh mozzarella di bufala. Like in Naples, the pizzas are baked in a Stefano Ferrara oven that was made by hand and gets over 900°F. There are only 5 pizzas on the menu at Una Pizza Napoletana, so the good products can really stand out.
The San Francisco pizzeria Delfina
It was one of the first pizza places in the US to get recognised by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association. Traditional Neapolitan methods and ingredients are used to make pies like the Margherita in a huge Acunto oven. You can get a real taste of Naples without breaking the bank at this place. It has a casual, laid-back vibe and its prices are low.
The Chicago Spacca Napoli Pizzeria
At Spacca Napoli in Chicago, pizzaiolo Jonathan Goldsmith learned how to make real Neapolitan pizza from Neapolitan masters. He makes pizzas with foreign ingredients and a 2,000-pound Stefano Ferrara oven that have a light, airy cornicione (the puffy edge) and a crisp but foldable centre. One of the best pizza places in the US is Spacca Napoli, which is a favourite of the city’s many Italian-Americans.
The US may not have the warm Mediterranean weather of Naples, but these and a few other pizzerias serve real Napolità pizza hearts and souls. Close your eyes and eat a slice. For a moment, you might think you are walking through the streets of Naples. That’s love!
That’s all you need to know about Naples now. You know it’s a tasty Italian ice cream with an interesting past in Naples. There is so much more to Naples than just the taste, though. It has to do with community, art, and national heritage. The next time you enjoy a cool scoop of napolità, think of all the Neapolitans who have done the same thing before you. Think about how much skill and care went into making that one scoop. Mostly, think about how something so simple can be so linked to a place and the people who live there. Napolità is sweet, but it has a much deeper effect. Going out there now to see it for yourself! Enjoy your meal!