The pizza alla marinara is considered, together with the margherita, as the most traditional pizza. Created in Naples, this pizza is seasoned with tomatoes, garlic, oregano and oil.
“Marinara” is the italian word for seafaring, so why is it called like this if none of its ingredients has anything to do with the sea?
The name is actually related to the origins of this pizza. The first pizzas were seasoned with only tomato and oil; then, with the time, other ingredients were added on them.
Someone started to flavor the pizza with anchovies and “cecinielli” (a mixture of small discarded fishes), but their price was too expensive, especially in times when fishing was poor and sailors could not afford a pizza so seasoned..
Therefore, the pizza chef added a bit of oregano to the tomato sauce, to give more taste to the pizza, and the fishermen had to settle for it.
It is reported that a pizza chef in the port of Naples, tired of the constant complaints of its customers who sought to taste the pizza, found a new ingredient that could give flavor but did not affect the price: garlic.
The fishermen went crazy about this new recipe and the voice spread quickly. When the customers started asking to the pizza chefs the same pizza, they asked for the pizza “alla marinara” to be sure to have that of sailors.
The pizza alla marinara, then, takes the name from the sailors who used to carry it and consume it at sea.