NEPA Pan-fried Sicilian-style Pizza Sauce
Pan-fried Sicilian pizza is a Wyoming, Pennsylvania invention that combines the crunch of pizza fritta with the chew of a classic New York City Sicilian. Born and bred at local eatery Victory Pig Pizza and BBQ, it’s a pizza style the community loves.
This pizza sauce was created by Jim Mirabelli, the owner and chief pizza officer at NEPA Pizza Review, a guide to all things Northeastern Pennsylvania-style pizza, to mimic his favorite peanut oil pan-fried pies. With such an unctuous crust — Jim says it should be as crispy as fried pork rinds — the accompanying sauce is acidic and simple.
Because it’s so simple, quality matters. Great canned tomatoes and a very slightly chunky texture are key. Jim likes to use Stanislaus Alta Cucina, but Bianco DiNapoli will make an excellent sauce. He notes Jersey Fresh, RedPack and Cento as suitable tomatoes but if none of these are available, go with the best canned tomatoes you can find.
This sauce was designed with a particular pizza style in mind, but it works well whenever you’re looking for a fresh sauce option. Use it on a Pan-fried Sicilian Pizza or try it out on a Neapolitan-style pizza. However you use it, it’s an easy and flavorful sauce that’s great to have in your repertoire.
This recipe appears in A Love Letter to Northeastern Pennsylvania-style Pizza by Jim Mirabelli.
Notes: This recipe calls for crushing tomatoes by hand to create a textured sauce. If you prefer, you can use an immersion blender or food mill for a smoother consistency.
830 grams of sauce, suitable for 10 pizzas
medium mixing bowl
food mill or immersion blender
2 X 400-gram can whole peeled tomatoes
10 grams (1 ¾ teaspoons) fine sea salt
5 grams (2 ¼ teaspoons) freshly ground black pepper
3 grams (1 teaspoon) granulated garlic
Pour whole peeled tomatoes into a medium mixing bowl. Crush tomatoes thoroughly by hand, leaving some very small chunks for texture.
Mix in salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
If not using the sauce right away, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It’s best if used within 24 hours.