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Why San Marzano Tomatoes Make The Best Sauce, According To A Master Pizza Maker

Freshly cooked Neapolitan margherita pizza

Freshly cooked Neapolitan margherita pizza – Melissa Gaman/Tasting Table

Excellent pizza sauce does not require a ton of ingredients or time, but it does require good tomatoes. According to pizza master Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana in New York City, the best sauce starts with Italian San Marzano tomatoes. Mangieri knows a thing or two about making excellent pizza, which led to Una being named the No. 1 pizzeria in the world by 50 Top Pizza for 2022.

Neapolitan pizza is not a heavily topped pizza with so many add-ons it’s hard to taste them all. Mangieri tells us that it is pretty much the opposite: “There should be a nice light coating of sauce. Maybe more if you aren’t adding cheese. It’s not about specific quantities but about creating balance and tasting each element on the pizza.” At Una, Mangieri keeps his sauce very simple, not even adding salt, instead seasoning the assembled pizza, so the tomato flavor is fresh, pure, and easier to pair with whatever goes on top. On a Neapolitan pizza, he adds, “The basic sauce is never cooked before going on the pizza. The idea is that it cooks in the oven and cooks and fuses together into a perfect balance.” Cooking the tomatoes would result in “a flavor that isn’t bright and popping,” Mangieri says.

So, only the best and most flavorful tomatoes will make the best sauce and pizza, and that all comes back to San Marzano tomatoes from Italy.

Read more: 19 Popular Pizza Chains, Ranked From Worst To Best

Use Italian Tomatoes

Large cans of Italian tomatoes

Large cans of Italian tomatoes – Melissa Gaman/Tasting Table

San Marzano is a type of tomato and a region in Southern Italy. These tomatoes are prized for having a thin skin, few seeds, and a flavor

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