The Art of Italian Traditional Pizza: A Step-by-Step Recipe

The Art of Italian Traditional Pizza

Italian traditional pizza, with its thin, crispy crust, flavorful tomato sauce, and quality toppings, is a culinary delight that captures the essence of Italian gastronomy. This article guides you through the authentic recipe and techniques to create a classic Italian pizza at home, reminiscent of the pizzas enjoyed in Naples and beyond.

The Art of Italian Traditional Pizza
The Art of Italian Traditional Pizza

Ingredients for Italian Traditional Pizza

Pizza Dough:

  • 300 grams of Italian “Tipo 00” flour (or bread flour)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of instant yeast
  • 200 ml of lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 cup of tomato passata (strained tomatoes) or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)


  • 150 grams of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or torn into small pieces
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Equipment Needed:

  • Pizza stone or baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Pizza peel (optional)


1. Prepare the Pizza Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil into the well of the flour.
  4. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
  5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

2. Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Pour in the tomato passata or crushed tomatoes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add torn basil leaves if desired.
  4. Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let it cool.

3. Assemble and Bake the Pizza

  1. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature possible (typically around 475-500°F or 245-260°C) for at least 30 minutes, placing a pizza stone or baking sheet inside to heat up.
  2. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into two equal portions (for two pizzas). Shape each portion into a ball and let it rest for 10-15 minutes, covered with a clean towel or plastic wrap.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a round shape, about 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) in diameter, for a thin crust. Use a rolling pin to achieve an even thickness.
  4. Transfer the rolled-out dough onto a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal or flour to prevent sticking.
  5. Spread half of the tomato sauce evenly over each pizza base, leaving a small border around the edges.
  6. Arrange slices or pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top for added flavor.
  8. Using a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet, carefully slide the pizzas (with the parchment paper) onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and melted.
  10. Remove the pizzas from the oven using the pizza peel or a large spatula. Sprinkle torn basil leaves over the hot pizza for a fresh aroma and flavor.

4. Serve and Enjoy

Slice the Italian traditional pizzas into wedges or squares and serve hot, allowing everyone to savor the authentic flavors and textures. Pair with a crisp green salad, a glass of Italian wine, or enjoy on its own as a satisfying meal.

Tips for Success

  • High Heat: Preheating the oven and using a pizza stone or baking sheet helps achieve a crispy crust similar to that from a wood-fired oven.
  • Quality Ingredients: Use fresh mozzarella cheese and Italian tomatoes for the best flavor. Fresh basil adds a fragrant touch to the pizza.
  • Resting Time: Allowing the dough to rise and then rest after shaping helps develop flavor and texture.


Mastering the art of Italian traditional pizza at home is a rewarding culinary experience that brings the authentic flavors of Italy to your kitchen. By following this step-by-step recipe and using quality ingredients, you can create pizzas that rival those from your favorite pizzeria. Whether shared with family and friends or enjoyed solo, Italian pizza celebrates simplicity, quality, and the rich culinary heritage that has made it a beloved dish worldwide. Embrace the tradition, savor each bite, and enjoy the journey of creating delicious pizzas that pay homage to Italy’s gastronomic legacy.