What is Pizza A Ruota di Carro?
Just as there's no such thing as "Italian food," there is no such thing as just "pizza." But even within all the regional varieties of pizza found in Italy, you'll find a few unique specialties. Enter: la pizza a ruota di carro. Found exclusively in Napoli (well, almost – since you can get it at Eataly now too!), this unique style of Neapolitan pizza is extra thin, extra-wide, and has a delicious history to match.
REINVENTING THE WHEEL
The first description of this extra-wide pizza shows up as far back as the late 1500s, when Neapolitan poet Velardiniello described it seeming like “the wheel of a cart.” In fact, ruota di carro means exactly that – a cart wheel!
In the cucina povera tradition, the pizzaioli of working-class areas of Napoli would stretch their pizza dough to go further around the table – creating more slices for more mouths – and thus a way to make more dough. This is why many Napoletani will tell you that a pizza’s diameter can also tell you its provenance. Traditionally speaking, the wider the pizza, the poorer the neighborhood.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Today, the pizza ruota di carro is the calling card of many renowned and historic pizzerie in Napoli, from Da Michele to Sorbillo (and now, our own La Pizza & La Pasta at Eataly).
Typically made only using the most simple and classic pizza ingredients – tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil – this crispy, thin style of pizza is a pure expression of just a few simple ingredients. The only rule? The dough better extend over the border of your plate! But don't be fooled: just like every other traditional Neapolitan-style pizza, each pizza serves one person. So make sure to order hungry!