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Neapolitan Pizza Sauce
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The Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Sauce based on the AVPN Neapolitan International Regulations that states an authentic Neapolitan Pizza Sauce is made simply of crushed San Marzano Tomatoes & Sea Salt.

Pomodoro Sauce

The Mother Tomato Sauce of it all is Pomodoro or Neapolitan Tomato Sauce. I know it’s extremely simple, consisting only of Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes & Salt. The genius behind it however, is that it creates a Base Sauce to which other ingredients can be added directly to the Pizza instead of the Sauce. Like Basil for the Margherita Pizza or Garlic & Oregano for the Marinara Pizza.

This allows the same Sauce to be used with different ingredients going on the pizza itself to shape the flavors of the overall Pizza. Same Sauce, different ingredients added to the Pizza to in effect create countless version of a Pizza Sauce or Pizzas depending on how you look at it.

The amount of Pizza Sauce that goes on is so thin that anything you add will shape the overall flavors of the Sauce. Just Brilliant!

Italian Pizza Sauce
Italian Pizza Sauce

Neapolitan Pizza Sauce Ingredients

An Authentic Neapolitan Sauce is made from peeled Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes & Sea Salt only, as stated by AVPN.

Tomatoes for Neapolitan Sauce

According to AVPN, the following variations of Fresh Tomatoes can be used;

  • S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-nocerino D.O.P.
  • Pomodorini di Corbara (Corbarino)
  • Pomodorini del piennolo del Vesuvio D.O.P.
  • The recommended tomato is the Pomodoro Pelato S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino D.O.P.

“If peeled tomatoes are used they should be strained, broken up and preferably homogenized by hand. This technique gives the product a different consistency and prevents the breaking of the seeds that would give a typical bitter taste.”

“The use of fresh or industrially prepared “Roma” tomatoes (“Pomodoro Lungo Tipo Roma”) is allowed.”

“All peeled tomatoes that are genetically modified or altered to increase desired traits, resistance to herbicides or increased crop render are not accepted as they have undergone cultivation and / or conservation treatments acting on DNA and / or ionizing radiation.”

“The use of mechanically crushed tomatoes if coming from long Italian tomatoes and industrially treated as peeled tomatoes is allowed as long as there is no further heat treatment. The tomato juice or concentrate possibly added to the crushed tomato must also come from a long Italian tomato.”

Canned San Marzano Tomatoes

The Tomatoes are emptied into a bowl with Fine Sea Salt added and crushed by hand. Depending on the consistency, the Tomatoes can be used straight from the can or strained through a fine sieve to get rid of any excess water to create a thicker Sauce.

I picked mine up at Vincenzo’s, a really fantastic Italian grocery store in the local Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario area with just so much to offer.

Strianese San Marzano Tomatoes

Strianese San Marzano Tomatoes

Pomodoro Pelato S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino D.O.P.

Martelli San Marzano Tomatoes

Martelli San Marzano Tomatoes

S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-nocerino D.O.P

Straining Tomatoes

While most times the Tomato can be used straight from the Can. The Tomatoes can be strained to get rid of excess water and create a slightly thicker Sauce. Don’t throw away the strained Tomato Water or Juices. This can be frozen into ice cubes for Cold Tomato Drinks, Tomatoes Sauces and other recipes.

Neapolitan Tomato Sauce Consistency

Checking the Consistency of Tomato Sauce

Spoon the Crushed Tomatoes on a plate and wait a few minutes. If you see excess water around the edges, you can place the Tomato Sauce in a fine sieve and allow it to sit there to strain off the excess water.

San Marzano Tomatoes

Straining Whole Tomatoes

Another methods is to remove the Whole Tomatoes, crush & strain and then combine with the Tomato Sauce or just use the crushed Tomatoes themselves. But in this case adjust the Sea Salt for the actual amount of Tomatoes you are using.

Sea Salt

As stated by AVPN; “For 1 kg of peeled Tomatoes the amount of Salt to add is 10-12 g, which is about 2 tsp of Sea Salt. In the case of the S. Marzano tomato, which is already a more savory product. The amount to be added is about 7-10 g per kg. or about 0.7 – 1 %. “

For a 28 oz. which is about 794 g, this is between 5.55 g – 7.94 g or about 1 tsp – 1 1/4 tsp and a pinch more of Sea Salt. Canned Tomatoes will usually have Salt added to them. Usually about .5 %. so staying around the 1 tsp of Sea Salt per 28 oz. can is ideal. Use a bit more if making with Fresh peeled Tomatoes.

Sea Salt

Sea Salt

1 tsp of Sea Salt added to 1×28 oz. can of peeled whole San Marzano Tomatoes. A bit more if using Fresh peeled Tomatoes.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is not added to the Sauce itself, but drizzled over the final Pizza in a number 6 motion. Traditionally it is drizzled over the Pizza using about 6-8 g with a +20% variance that is allowed. The type of Oil to use is specified by AVPN;

“The Olive Oil obtained from the cold pressing of the olives and has not undergone refining processes is used, i.e. Extra Virgin Olive Oil”.

“Oils with delicate characteristics are preferred, avoiding those with a harsh-pungent aftertaste.”

Saporito EVOO

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Use Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is drizzled over the Pizza to finish. It is not included in the Sauce.

Neapolitan Pizza Sauce Seasoning

Traditionally and when shopping for Italian Pizza Sauces, a Neapolitan Pizza Sauce will contain other ingredients such as Olive Oil, Basil, Oregano, Garlic and Onions, sometimes with Black Pepper and call it a Neapolitan Pizza Sauce. While the Authentic version will be called a Pomodoro Sauce, which just means Tomato Sauce. In both cases the types of Tomatoes is San Marzano Tomatoes.

In fact my local Italian grocery store classifies the Tomatoes & Salt as Pomodoro Sauce and the version with added Basil and maybe other ingredients as a Neapolitan Pizza Sauce. The Margherita Pizza contains Basil and the Marinara can contain Basil, both are a Neapolitan Pizzas. This would suggest that a Neapolitan Sauce can be made up of Tomatoes, Salt & Basil and still be called a Neapolitan Sauce. Although in accordance with AVPN, an authentic version is only Tomatoes & Sea Salt or a Pomodoro Sauce.

The Italian way of Seasoning a Pizza is to add it directly to the Pizza being made. This is absolutely Brilliant since you can have the same Tomato Sauce for all Pizzas, yet create different flavors simply by adding in additional ingredients to the Pizza itself and not the Sauce.

  • Marinara Pizza use 1 clove of Garlic thinly sliced & Fresh Oregano, sometimes with Fresh Basil
  • Margherita Pizza uses only Fresh Basil

How Much Pizza Sauce to use

  • Marinara Pizza use 70-100 g of Tomato Sauce
  • Margherita Pizza use 60-80 g of Tomato Sauce

The amount of Sauce used is directly proportionate to the type of Dough. Use more Sauce for thicker types of Dough, like the Classic Hand Tossed or more for the Thick Crust and less Sauce for thinner types of Dough, like the Thin Crust.

Types of Neapolitan Pizzas

The two most iconic Pizzas are the Margherita & Marinara. Both of which are established on the Base Tomato or Neapolitan Tomato Sauce with a Neapolitan Pizza dough prepared in accordance to AVPN Standards.

A Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil is used last to drizzle over the Pizza in a figure 6 shape before cooking the Pizza. Additional Oil can be drizzled over top the Pizza after it has cooked for health reasons.

How to make a Neapolitan Margherita Pizza

According to AVPN; “Using a spoon place the pressed peeled tomatoes in to the center of the
pizza base, then using a spiraling motion, cover the entire surface of the base with the sauce excluding the crust (the addition or substitution of peeled tomatoes with fresh tomatoes are allowed). If the mozzarella is small in size it should be cut into slices or crescent, the fordilatte or mozzarella of large size should be cut into not very thick strips, the spread will be evenly distributed on the surface of the tomato.
Grated cheese, if added, should also be spread in a uniform manner over the base. A few basil leaves should then be placed on top of this, from the center outwards. The extra virgin olive oil is laid with a spiraling movement, starting from the center towards the periphery (if necessary, forming the number six for simplicity as per tradition).”

Neapolitan Margherita Pizza

Pizza Margherita

  • Tomato Sauce 60-80 g
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil (Virgin or Extra Virgin cold pressed) 6-7 g (variance of +20% tolerated)
  • Mozzarella/Fior di latte 80-100 g
  • Fresh Basil A few leaves
  • Hard cheese (grated) 5-7 g

How to make a Neapolitan Marinara Pizza

According to AVPN; “Using a spoon place the pressed peeled tomatoes in to the center of the
pizza base, then using a spiraling motion, cover the entire surface of the base with the sauce excluding the crust (the addition or substitution of peeled tomatoes with fresh tomatoes is allowed). Remove any hard or dry sections of the clove of garlic and slice finely. Scatter the slices using the same circular motion over the tomato. Scatter a pinch of oregano in an orderly manner over the surface. Using a traditional copper oil canister or inert food storage with spiraling motion, starting from the center and moving out, pour Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the pizza.”

Neapolitan Marinara Pizza

Pizza Marinara

  • Tomato Sauce 70-100 g
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cold Pressed) 6-8 g (variance of +20% tolerated)
  • Garlic One clove (3 g)
  • Oregano 0.5 g (a pinch)
Neapolitan Pizza Sauce

Neapolitan Pizza Sauce

An Authentic Neapolitan Tomato Sauce for Pizzas. Any other ingredients such as Basil, Oregano or Garlic are added directly to the Pizza and not in the sauce. With Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled on top.
Servings: 1 portion
Prep5 minutes


  • 1 Stainless Steel Bowl


  • 28 oz. San Marzano Tomatoes - Whole and peeled
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt - .7 – 1 % of Sea Salt


  • Empty the Tomatoes into a bowl and crush by hand. Add in the Sea Salt and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


For a thicker Sauce, place the canned tomatoes into a fine sieve fitted over a bowl and let rest, strain out excess water and then weigh and add the Sea Salt.
For a Crushed Tomato texture, remove just the whole Tomatoes and crush and strain as above.  The leftover juices can be frozen into ice cubes for other recipes. Weigh out the Tomatoes to add the correct amount of Sea Salt. 
Course: Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Authentic Italian Pizza Sauce, Italian Pizza Sauce, Margherita Pizza Sauce, Marinara Pizza Sauce, Neapolitan Pizza Sauce
Author: JAH

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