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Tony Gemignani’s Original Tomato Pie w/Cheese

Written By Brad English
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 Written Recipes

Cheese on the bottom, use a good amount of crushed tomatoes…

How do you celebrate, or explore a new ingredient you are looking to use?  If your ingredient is a can of Bianco DiNapoli Organic Tomatoes you got your hands on, you don’t need to look too much further than Tony Gemignani’s Orginal Tomato Pie with Cheese.  I remembered this pizza and thought it would be the perfect platform for these tomatoes to shine.  I was on a tomato quest after all.  This pizza is simply a celebration of the tomato.  Tony’s Pizzeria Napoletana even offers a limited number of pies per day be made with the Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes for an additional charge.  It’s worth it!

It’s a sauce pizza.

Tony has a couple versions of this pizza: The Original Tomato Pie, Original Tomato Pie with Cheese, and Jersey’s Original Tomato Pie. The basic concept is Tomato – hand crushed tomatoes spread on the dough.  It is finished with a little pinched italian sausage, fresh oregano, olive oil and sea salt.  The Jersey version uses sliced mozzarella and adds some parmigiano as well.  They all deliver tomatoes to you on a platter, or pizza crust.  Delicious!

I mention this in some of my other recipes from this day, but it is worth repeating.  My son was eating one of the pizzas I had been making that day.  For all of the pizzas I was making, I was only using these tomatoes hand crushed – nothing added.  He sat at the table as I made this pizza and out of nowhere he said, “Dad.  Great sauce!”  He had no idea what I was doing.  The sauce stood out that much. That’s impressive.

Everything is there to support the tomatoes.

You can see that for this pizza, I used a lot of sauce.  I wanted the tomatoes to melt into the cheese base, but not loose their juicy tomatoey-ness after baking in my oven for 8-10 minutes.  It came out just right.  Because the tomatoes were hand crushed, they still had some thickness, which was nice to bite into as they held their moisture.  You sort of got explosions of tomato flavor in every bite.  The sauce in this pizza – the way you lay it out and top it – becomes the key note of the whole thing.  With a little mozzarella underneath, you still get that cheese fix, which I think helps set the tomatoes up for your enjoyment even more.  And, with a little spicy italian sausage you have the perfect accent for enjoying the tomato pie.

Tony Gemignani’s Original Tomato Pie with Cheese:

Brad’s Original Tomato Pie with Cheese

Pizza Dough
*I was using a Central Mills Germania Flour Dough (any dough will work)
Grated Mozzarella
Bianco DiNapoli Organic Tomatoes
Pinched Italian Sausage
Fresh Oregano
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Sprinkle a little mozzarella on the dough.
You don’t want this pizza to be about the cheese.  It’s there on the bottom layer for a reason.  It’s performing a supporting role.

Almost as a compulsion, I have to point out the charred tips of the sausage. I love that, especially when I get there in my home oven.

Add a good amount of your hand crushed tomatoes.
*Note:  I didn’t add anything to the tomatoes, just some fingers and some squeezing.  You want enough tomatoes to make sure it stays moist after cooking for 8-10 minutes.

Pinched Italian Sausage
The pinching creates a thin piece of sausage that will fully cook in the oven.  Since I’m making this at home and my oven only hits 550 degrees, I saute my sausage first leaving it a little pink in the middle so it will finish in the oven.

I put a little oregano on prior to cooking the pizza and then more after – just so I could get a little cooked into the sauce and then some fresh leaves as a finishing accent after.

After snapping a few pictures, the pizza went into the oven.

Slice and serve. So good.

Give it about 8-10 minutes and out she comes.

I drizzled a little olive oil and dropped a little more fresh oregano on top and got this one to the table, where the family was waiting in line (behind Owen, who had by now identified a new favorite sauce and was using his muscle to make sure he was first in line).  I didn’t add any sea salt and found that it was perfect without it. 

This is a great pizza. Thanks Tony!






Excellent stuff. DeLorenzos in Trenton has an outstanding tomato pie. Also love the version of tomato pie they sell around Philly. Cooked in a sheet pan with olive oil. Topped with a nice tomato sauce, a little romano and maybe some oregano and eaten at room temperature. Really like the ones from Coropolese bakery in Norristown PA. I’ve come close to theirs at home but not quite.


Hi Brad,
I cook with my WFO in my backyard. Do you know what oven Tony G. uses to cook his tomato pie? I’d like to try making one but I’m thinking the crust would burn and the rest may be soggy due to the hotter oven temps (and shorter cooking time). Would I be better of using the kitchen oven or maybe let the wood oven cool down a bit? Also, thanks much for all the detailed pizza photos! Seeing those details you explained, in pictures, really teaches everyone looking to learn, exactly how you do it! Please keep taking tons of pics!


Hey guys,

I’ll add DeLorenzos to the list for next time I’m in my home state of Jersey! Try this pie. It is amazing. I was pretty happy with my version at home. I was using the rockin Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes. So, that alone put this over the top.

I had one at Tony’s 900 Degrees in NYC (which I understand he is no longer a part of). I am almost certain it was cooked in the WFO. I’ll see if we can get an answer from Tony on that.

Thanks for the comments on the photos! It’s a lot of fun – although, you should see me covered in flour, sauce while cooking and running back and forth taking pictures. It turns the process more into a sport!


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