I think the Marinara Pizza may be many pizzaiolos favorite to make. It is a pizza pie with no cheese and I think reflects the skill and passion of a pizza maker's ability to evoke deep flavors from such simple ingredients. I remember asking Pizzeria Basta's Kelly Whitaker what his favorite pizza was to make and he said, without hesitation that it was the Marinara. He said, "My favorite pizza goes back to the basic principle of being as simple as possible…the marinara."
Marinara sauce is said to come from the term Mariner's sauce. One of the folk legends about the history of this sauce says that it was invented after the Spaniards introduced the tomato to Europe and it quickly became the sauce of choice for those at sea because it was simple, easy to make, was flavorful and wouldn't spoil as fast as other sauces on their long journeys. No matter where it came from, it is a simple sauce that is full of the robust flavors of quality tomatoes.
The traditional Marinara Pizza has tomatoes crushed, or blended, sliced fresh garlic, fresh oregano, extra virgin olive oil and maybe some sea salt to taste. Some pizzerias may use basil instead, or in addition to the oregano. This pizza not only allows the skill of the pizza maker to come through, but really showcases the quality of the individual ingredients.
This is the perfect tomato based pizza for me to explore my skills, and experiment with these new Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes that I've been loving.
The Marinara Pizza
Dough - Central Mills 00 flour (or your favorite Napoletana dough recipe)
Bianco DiNapoli Hand Crushed Organic Tomatoes (or your favorite brand)
Thinly sliced fresh garlic
Fresh oregano leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
This pizza is all about balance. Since there is nothing on top of the tomatoes you have to layer enough sauce to ensure that the sauce doesn't dry up, or dry out in the oven. I think the longer bake times in a home oven can make this more of a dance, than if it were done with a 90 second bake in a wood fired oven. Top with the ingredients keeping balance in mind. This pizza is all about the tomatoes. The garlic, oregano and oil are there as accents.
Add your sauce - in this case simply hand crushed tomatoes. I didn't add any sea salt to any of my pizzas using these tomatoes. There was no need. There might be, however, if you use a different brand (especially since Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes are only available to a few pizzerias and not to the public--sorry!!)
Add the thin slices of garlic
I added a little olive oil prior to baking.
Into the oven!
When it comes out, add the oregano leaves and drizzle with a little more oil.
Cut, serve and Enjoy!