Everything else is dross

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Contradictions are not unknown in cookbooks though they are rarely as egregious as the one in Nikko Amandonico’s La Pizza (Mitchell Beazley). This exploration of the history and ingredients of the pizza concludes with 27 recipes including pizza with broccoli, with aubergine, with rosemary, with onion… Almost all would fall into the ‘dross’ category if the rigid specifications of travel writer Ian Thomson (see below) were applied. His views on the pizza, which appear in his foreword to La Pizza, are supported by Da Michele, the finest of all Neapolitan pizzerias. This legendary establishment restricts its output to the Marinara and the Margherita. However, if Nikko Amandonico had taken the same line, his book would have been a very slender volume indeed

There is just one authentic pizza. This is the tomato version in its two original varieties. Namely, the Marinara, with garlic, oregano and olive oil; and the Margherita, with mozzarella and basil. Everything else is dross, specially those doughy monstrosities with egg, pineapple or Wurstel toppings which tourists like to eat. Fortunately the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana sets out to defend the original from imitations.

From Ian Thomson’s essay Naples and pizza in Nikko Amandonico’s La Pizza (2001)