Pizza Rossa- An Unusual Pizza Recipe for You

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Romans are famous for many things: the city, the language, and the pizza. However, Italy is not limited to a Margherita only; there have been a lot of new creations. For instance, pizza Rossa.

The sauce-on-bread look may raise doubt about the taste and flavor of traditional pizza, but this unique pizza is rich, tasty, and a fresh delight to your palate.

So, pizza Rossa – what’s so special about it?

Pizza Rossa is a striking red pizza where the tomato puree rules. It has tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, basil, and seasonings, with some tomato paste. The crust has regular pizza dough but is thin and flat, with no cheese or toppings. Like bread with spreading, pizza Rossa comes in squares with sauce.

How is this pizza so delicious and famous? Learn about exquisite Roman pizzas, some quick recipes, and other details. 

Pizza Rossa- What is It?

Pizza Rossa

Pizza Rossa was made in Rome, where a crispy, flat bread is used for the base with a lot of tomato sauce on top of herbs. The pizza is served in square shapes with only a lot of rich red sauce and herbs like oregano, thyme, garlic, onions, basil, etc. That’s it!

Even with this small number of ingredients, pizza Rossa feels so gourmet on a plate. But don’t make the sauce too thick as it might look. You need to keep a balance between acidity and taste.

Originally, a fisherman’s wife put some sauce on bread. She is the founder of the classic marinara sauce we love. It had all these herbs and some olive oil, so the sauce didn’t turn stale. Today we make the same old thing using a cold fermentation process.

Moreover, the pizza base is quite thin but still soft and airy.

How to Make Pizza Rossa? The Best Recipe

How to Make Pizza Rossa The Best Recipe

If you wonder how to make the perfect pizza Rossa, here we have a detailed recipe. Check for yourself the flavor of this delicacy.


As tomatoes are the king of pizza Rossa. So, you need very few ingredients besides tomatoes to make this delicacy.

  • 5 cups 00 flour or white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of dried yeast
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup Passata or sieved tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • Pepper.

Pizza Rossa Recipe

Follow my footsteps.

  1. Make your dough with flour, yeast, salt, and warm water.
  2. Knead well and add some olive oil all over.
  3. Let it rest for at least 2 hours to rise.
  4. Prepare your sauce with tomato passata, olive oil, and all the seasonings.
  5. Mix them well and spread them on the crust.
  6. Add some more if needed.
  7. Now bake the pizza at 350 F for around 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Slice the pizza into squares and serve. 

Pizza Rossa vs. Pizza Bianca

If a red pizza is Rossa, then a white one is Bianca. But besides color, there are a lot more differences between these two famous pizzas in Italy. However, if you are up for vegetarian pizzas, both are great options.

Learn more about them and see which one suits your taste.

Pizza RossaPizza Bianca
A pizza with red sauce with no cheese.A pizza with white cheese but no sauce.
Thin and crispy crust.Thick and chewy crust. 
Usually baked in ovens.Usually baked in fired-wood ovens.
Olive is added to the sauce. Olive oil is drizzled as a topping.
No extra toppings.Different cheese and a little basil also work as toppings.

Pizza Bianca Recipe

Pizza Bianca Recipe

This pizza is typically a counterpart of pizza Rossa. As a white pizza, this one is rich with cheese like ricotta, mozzarella, or parmesan. To make one, check out this easy recipe.


You don’t need much to make pizza Bianca.

  • 3 cups of white bread flour  
  • 1 packet dried yeast
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • ½ cup olive oil 
  • 1 cup mozzarella or blend of cheese.


The pizza Bianca recipe is pretty simple.

  1. Make dough with flour, yeast, salt, and sugar.
  2. Mix and knead for some time.
  3. Keep it to rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Now, make the crust.
  5. Add the cheese blends on top with a little seasoning, like garlic powder and oregano.
  6. You can even add a little white sauce to the cheese for more flavor.
  7. Now, bake the pizza in a preheated oven for around 10 minutes until the cheese melts.
  8. Keep an eye on the pizza while baking to ensure you have a nice, crunchy brown crust.

Pizza Rossa Alla Romana

Pizza Rossa Alla Romana

A fancy term for the classic red pizza Rossa – Pizza Rossa Alla Romana. It is more like a pizza made from scratch with ingredients available in your pantry. A good amount of rich tomato puree is enough for the pizza, but you can add extra toppings.

While the recipe is easy, it’s simply delicious to the tastebuds.

  1. Chop some fresh tomatoes and use them to make the sauce.
  2. Add some oregano or any other herb, some salt and pepper, and blend.
  3. Spread this sauce in a generous amount on top of the crust.
  4. Bake at 475 F for a nice-smelling pizza.

Pizza Ripieno: A Beautiful Blended Pizza

Pizza Ripieno A Beautiful Blended Pizza

How about a pizza that is a blend of Rossa and Bianca?

Ripieno is your traditional Neopolitan pizza with a different cheese and a tomato base. It has a unique taste and a chewy, soft crust to blow your mind. But the most interesting thing is that it is a pocket pizza!


Let’s see what you need to make this unique pizza.

  • Pizza flour
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Bacio cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chili oil
  • Fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Chili flakes 
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper.


Are you ready for the adventure of Pizza Ripieno?

  1. Prepare a pizza crust.
  2. To the base, add some tomato sauce.
  3. Then drizzle garlic oil on top.
  4. Now, sprinkle your cheese.
  5. Fold the pizza to resemble a calzone.
  6. Now, bake at 500ºF for around 7 minutes.
  7. Add more sauce and cheese on top and bake again to melt the cheese.
  8. Top off the warm pizza with some fresh basil.

Neopolitan vs. Roman Pizza

All pizzas come from Italy, but not all are the same. This is true for a Neopolitan pizza and a Pizza Romana. So, how are they different? Let’s see.

Neapolitan PizzaRoman Pizza
The dough has water, flour, salt, and yeast but no oil.The dough has flour, salt, yeast, water, and also a little olive oil for stretching. 
Soft, thick, and chewy crust.Crispy, thin, and crunchy crust. 
High heat is used in the range of 750 to 1000 F.The temperature is 500 to 600 F. 
Toppings include sauce, cheese, and basil.Other than tomato sauce, any topping can be used.
Baked in a traditional fired-wood oven.Baked in a conventional oven or grill.
Usually circular.Sliced into squares for serving. 

4 Types of Roman Pizza

4 Types of Roman Pizza

Romans have distinctively made and popularized four pizzas.

1. Pizza Al Taglio

The pizza was invented by the Roscioli family. A fluffy and light dough is used and baked on a pan in slices. You can add various toppings of choice and up to ten. A bake-and-serve ready pizza. 

2. Pinsa Romana

It’s an exception to pizzas all over, where the dough has different grains like rice, whole wheat, and spelt for flavor and easy digestion. This pizza is also thick and airy, with basic ingredients such as toppings. 

3. Pizza Alla Pala

There is also a way to use up leftovers. So, the extra dough in bakeries is made into a pizza with some simple toppings. The pizza is then tossed into the fired-wood oven.

4. Pizza Tonda Romana

This pizza is similar to the Neopolitan pizzas we are familiar with in Italy. The basic circular dough is used with some olive oil to make the crust very thin. It turns out very crispy but not burnt. The toppings and sauce cover the entire area with no space.

The toppings are various, each separately placed into sections within a single pizza. 

3 Different Roman Pizza Dough

The dough for each Roman pizza is also different.

  • Pizza al Taglio – Very moist, with olive oil and a longer fermentation process. 
  • Pinsa Romana – Different flours and grains used, including whole wheat, spelt, rice, barley, oats, etc. The fermentation is for a whole day. 
  • Pizza Tonda – Least hydration and a little dry. The dough is fermented for only 6 hours.


  • What is a red or white pizza?

A red pizza has a red tomato sauce base. On the contrary, white pizza has both white cheese and sometimes a little white sauce. Red pizzas might not have any cheese like pizza Rossa. It seems that this pizza is healthier than a white pizza. 

  • How do you define a Roman-style pizza?

Romans make some unique pizzas that are usually thin and flat. There is a range-topping choice with a tomato sauce base. But cheese is optional or not used for some of them. Anchovies, salami, artichokes, etc., work great for these pizzas.  

  • Where to get pizza Rossa?

Pizza Rossa is now very common worldwide. Check your nearest pizza restaurants to order one. But the recipe is very simple to try at home as well.

Closing Remarks

Pizza Rossa or Italian red pizza has enhanced Italian cuisine with its style. Such simple ingredients make the pizza so plain yet very gourmet. Well, it’s true for all kinds of Roman pizzas.

The secret is in the sauce-making process. From the choice of sauce ingredients to fermentation, everything is thoroughly done. For this reason, the pizza doesn’t seem simply like sauce on bread.

As we make one at home to taste, we can feel the difference, texture, flavors, and also how healthy the pizza is for special occasions.