Italian pizza is a an oven-baked, flat bread covered with ingredients. Tomato-based pizzas are called pizza rossa ('red pizzas') and tomato-free pizzas are known as pizza bianca or white pizza. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference.
The pizza as we know it today originated in Naples, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world.
Pizza (Italian Pizza)
Types of Pizza
Broadly speaking there are two types of Pizza: neapolitan-style pizza (alla napoletana) and roman-style pizza (alla romana). The style refers to the type of bread or crust, not to the kind of topping or variant of pizza (pizza romana and pizza napoletana).
Neapolitan-style pizza is ticker, with a more bread-like crust, and is the typical pizza found in Naples. The pizza found in the US is based on the Neapolitan pizza. Roman-style pizza is much finer, with a crispy crust and is found mainly in Rome and the Lazio region.
Both types of pizzas are made with superior type of Italian wheat flour and baked in an open fire wood brick oven. The dough must be hand-made and hand-kneaded.
Pizza is usually round, but a take-away type of pizza (pizza al taglio) is baked in rectangle forms and cut in small rectangles that are folded along the middle. House-made pizza can be either round or rectangle in form.
Apart from the bread-type, Italians usually divide pizzas according to whether they do or do not contain tomato.
Tomato-based pizzas are called pizze rosse, while tomato-free pizzas are called pizze bianche and both types are usually listed separately. Pizza bianca is not just one variant of pizza, but any kind of pizza not containing a base of tomato. There are as many variants of white pizzas as there are of red pizzas. Famous examples of white pizza are pizza with four cheeses or pizza with spinach and ricotta.
A third type are closed pizzas or calzone pizzas that are first folded and then baked. Again, a calzone pizza is not just one variant of pizza, but any kind of pizza baked folded and a calzone type of pizza can be filled with any choice of ingredients.