No sauce necessary: An ode to white pizza

Obviously, we love our tomatoes here at The Sauce. Yet, we are large. We contain multitudes. We butcher Walt Whitman quotes. And, we have a deep appreciation for white pies.

Tangy tomato sauce is often a pillar of a great pie. Slightly sweet and loaded with umami goodness, it’s the component that ties most of our favorite pizzas together. Still, white pies will forever have a place in our hearts and bellies, and a spot on our table. 

Long before he was a Vice superstar and world traveler, the white pizza is what helped make Frank Pinello famous. Dotted with his signature sesame seeds, Best Pizza’s white pie with fresh ricotta, housemade mozz, pecorino, and caramelized onions quickly became a must-have for every foodie in NYC. No sauce necessary.

Pinello isn’t the only purveyor of perfect white pies – mom & pop shops everywhere are doing it justice on the daily. And, each one has its own unique flair. 

In Manhattan, Luzzo’s offers up a pie with salsiccia (Italian sausage), patate (roasted potatoes), onions, rosemary, and a generous drizzle of EVOO. Roughly 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles, Vito’s covers their white pie with heavenly clouds of ricotta and still blankets the base with a generous layer of mozzarella. No sauce necessary. That’s also the case in western Europe where they love their tarte flambée (a.k.a. flammkuchen a.k.a. flammekueche), a rich pizza-adjacent delicacy.

White pies aren’t just a good call for your next delivery – they’re actually the perfect call. Without tomato sauce, the crust is ensured to hold up in the box. Never soggy and always delicious, exceptional white pies prove that tomatoes aren’t mandatory for pizza.

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