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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The New York City pizza-making commandments

By Tolly Wright

There are some rules about pizza that every New Yorker knows: Deep dish is for suckers in Chicago, dollar slices are a perfectly respectable meal any time of day or night, and Mayor de Blasio betrayed our city when he used a fork and knife instead of the slice folding method. The most important thing we know, however, is that Gotham has the best pizza.

To figure out what makes the pizza so good here we spoke to several of our favorite pizzerias about their unbreakable commandments for making a perfect pie.

1. Thou Shalt Be Patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a Italian-American culinary masterpiece needs at least a couple of hours. According to Caesar from Fiore’s Pizza, "To have thin crispy pizza, you have work on the dough for more time than usual." While Tony from Bleecker Street told us the secret to his sauce: "Make it from scratch—it takes three hours"

2. Thou Shalt Use Only the Best Ingredients
Remember those old Lunchables where you basically were eating a chewy piece of pita with ketchup and cheap knock-off mozzarella? Yeah, ingredients matter. Tony from Bleecker St. told us that the cheese "is probably the most important part." They only use real parmigiano-reggiano. Speedy Romeo's secret to yumminess is, "Real DOCG San Marzano tomatoes and sea salt are the only ingredients in true Neapolitan pizza sauce." Which brings us to:

3. Thou Shalt Be Sparing in Thy Recipe
Are you one of those bozos who pays for “extra cheese” when you call for delivery? Well when it comes to good pizza let the masters decide the proportions.  Mike from John's Pizzeria explained that you need, "quality ingredients and not too much of anything—less is more."  While Margaret from Di Fara said, "focus on quality over quantity when it comes to choosing ingredients. We would never put sugar in the sauce either."

4. Thou Shalt Throw Thy Pizza in the Correct Fiery Pit
Plenty of people can tell you about how much the cheese should boil, the correct brownness of the crust, and the best pizza temperature, but the folks at Patsy’s Pizzeria are also concerned about the oven. Drita told us, "Less is more when it comes to ingredients; pizza dough, crushed tomatoes, grated mozzarella, and of course, an eighty-three year old coal-fired brick oven."

5. To Thy Own Pizza-Loving-Self Stay True
Not liking what you're reading? Don't worry, Emit from Percy's Pizza has this to say, "Everybody has a different point of view—all you need is flour, sauce, cheese!"


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