Pizza Marinara is a true Neapolitan pizza.
The most ordinary pizza is made with salt, garlic, olive oil and oregano. The Marinara pizza is also really basic but with lots of oregano ,garlic and tomato added.
It is called a type of Neapolitan pizza but does not have cheese. It is reputed to date from 1735 when it was prepared with cherry tomatoes. 1734 was the year Naples was conquered by Spain, but this is only part of approximately six centuries of tussling between France and Spain, other European and Arab powers over the ownership of Sicily and Naples, with its interesting effects on local cuisine.
Called Marinara as it was ordered by poor sailors, as marinara means seafaring in Italian, the name is also given to the tomato sauce used. Today the sauce often includes braised onions. A variant also with no cheese, well known today, is made with anchovies, capers and olives, all three optional. There is also the elaborate not very traditional pizza which goes overboard (pun intended) on the 'sea' or 'mare' as an element in its name. With all the bells and cockles the seafood marinara pizza is served with mussels, prawns and other crustaceans and two kinds of cheese. The 18th Century sailor by contrast had little choice, little variety and no luxury in his daily fare. Fresh meat was unlikely aboard ship, and food rations could be supplemented by fresh line fish, or the ubiquitous rats. The simple mariner's or sailor's pizza of old with tomato and herbs would have been a pleasant change indeed. It could be made aboard ship as its ingredients could be preserved in a dried or pickled form.
The strong herby flavor and natural sweetness from the onions and tomato, of the cheese-less marinara pizza is lovely today too, healthier for those on low cholesterol diets who should avoid cheese, while not compromising on piquancy and flavor. It can be enjoyed plain, with the salty foods (not so healthy) or with greens.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: at least 12-13 minutes
Resting time of dough: 8 hours
Total time needed: at least 8 H 45 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard
- 1 ball of thin crust pizza dough
- 5 to 6 tbsp. of pizza sauce
- mozzarella cheese either sliced or grated
- Fresh or dried oregano leaves
- extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper freshly ground (optional)
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped or to taste
- anchovy fillets (optional)
- Some capers (optional)
- Some black olives (optional)
- 500 gram / 1.1 pounds wheat flour (optional - Use brown bread wheat flour instead)
- 300 ml lukewarm water (It should ideally be chlorine free. So either use spring water or let your tap water stand open for 24 hours so the chlorine can evaporate)
- 1.5 tsp. ground sea salt
- 1.7 gram / 0.6 oz. dry yeast
How to prepare the pizza dough
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and knead them for at least 20 minutes into a smooth and elastic dough. If you have use a electrical dough kneading machine alternatively share the kneading time with 2 or 3 other family members otherwise it might get really hard on your hands :-). Don't take shortcuts here it is really worth it
- Cover the dough ball with a moist cloth and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Cut dough ball into 4 equally sized balls, cover them again with the damp cloth and let them rest for at least another 6 hours
Pizza Marinara Sauce
- 400 gram / 14.1 oz. can of quality peeled Italian tomatoes. Ideally you should look out for San Marzano tomatoes that are grown at the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and that are regarded as the best tasting, canned tomatoes that could be used for pizza sauce. They are usually marked with the DOP stamp which is the certificate that they are from this region in the south of Italy. However as those tomatoes are really expensive and not easily available in many parts of the world you might want to go with another Italian peeled plum tomato instead. Just have a look at the bottom or the top of your can to see the stamp that explains to you when the tomatoes have been harvested and processed, The harvest day number should be between 200 and 250
- Secondly you will need 2 tsp. of ground sea salt
- 5 fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped, (optional replace with 2 tsp. dried oregano)
How to prepare the
Pizza Marinara Sauce
Best Pizza sauce in a tub
- Open can and pore tomatoes into a flat bottomed glass bowl or stainless steel pot
- Add salt and 2 tsp. of dried or 3 tsp. of fresh oregano leaves
- Use a your hands and carefully mash the peeled tomatoes till there are only a few small lumps left in the sauce
- Use a whisk to mix the ingredients well
- Now pour the sauce into a sieve and let the excess moisture drain off into a storage container.
- Place the sauce in a glass jar with lid and use for your pizza as needed
- This recipe should yield enough sauce for 4 to 5 pizzas.
- Leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge or freezer for later use.
How to prepare
- Pull each dough ball into a thin base (3 to 4 mm / 0.11 to 0.15 inch), leaving the edge slightly thicker and place on a baking tray that is covered with backing paper
- Add pizza sauce and using the bottom of a ladle or tablespoon evenly cover the surface of the dough with it
- Sprinkle garlic over the sauce,
- Add a few anchovy fillets, black pitted olives and or capers (all optional)
- Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper
- Sprinkle surface of the pizza with some virgin olive oil
- Bake in the preheated oven on the middle shelf at 250 degrees Celsius / 482 Fahrenheit for 12 to 13 minutes. "Note - The hotter the oven the less time the pizza will need to bake
- Remove from oven and enjoy Pizza Marinara hot
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