We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with famed New York pizza chef Bruno DiFabio as part of our FoodSided Chef Series. As part of our interview, Bruno generously shared some tips for our readers on how to make a better home pizza. While he admits it is tough to do without a professional pizza oven, making a better version of this favorite is possible, and here’s how:
- Get a great pizza dough recipe and stick to it exactly. Here is Bruno’s 45 minute dough recipe. And a video Bruno teaching how to make New York style pizza dough on YouTube.
- Go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and get a pizza stone. They should be like $14.99, but it’s well worth the investment.
- Preheat your oven to its maximum temperature. Not broil, just bake.
- Take a damp rag and wipe the surface of the stone down to prevent scorching of your crust.
- Get everything to room temperature before you start. This is huge, especially with the dough.
- On Tomatoes:
- The choice of tomatoes in your sauce are key.
- Sometimes the best ingredients are from other places so you are hard pressed to use local tomatoes. As a substitute you can used canned tomatoes from Naples, Italy or Modesto, California.
- Never used processed tomatoes. No preservatives. Just picked and packed tomatoes are best, you have to read the labels. Sauces like Ragu, are using the cheap stuff, all skins and stems. Sure, it’s tomatoes, but it’s crap and they are leaving out all of the goodness.
- Don’t get the pre-spiced and nothing you can’t pronounce in the ingredients.
- Peeled canned tomatoes make for a fine sauce if you know how to use them.
Sauce ideas for home
- Canned, crushed tomatoes
- Good olive oil
- basil leaves
- a clove of garlic
- sea salt
Let everything sit overnight in a covered bowl. Strain the sauce, removing anything solid.
New York Style Sauce:
Follow the same process above but add your choice of the following ingredients. New York pizza is famous for a spicy sauce, not hot spicy, but well spiced.
- Pecorino Romano
- Cracked Black Pepper
Any combination will create a stronger seasoned sauce like New Yorkers are used to!
Here is a recipe from Bruno for Buffalo Wing Pizza and his 45 minute dough.
Check out more on Bruno at his website.