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Tomato pie/sheet pizza in Hartford, CT?

pane Dec 26, 2006 09:02 PM

Hounds,

I am in Middletown, CT visiting family and would love to find a specific type of pizza. A hound friend, who is from upstate NY, calls this pizza "tomato pie," though I've always known it as sheet pizza. It is thick crust pizza with a layer of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese, usually sold cold in thick slabs out of a bakery.

I recall having this type of pizza on Franklin Avenue in Hartford some years ago and would love to pick up a few slices to surprise the hound back in CA (who hopefully is not reading this).

Any recommendations on where I can go for a great rendition of this specific type of pizza?

Thanks!

  1. s
    shanac21 Jan 5, 2007 03:03 PM

    Hi!

    I am originally from CT - and have to say that NARDI'S Bakery in South Windsor has some great Sheet Pizza.

    I live in Atlanta now - and miss this pizza so much. Does anyone know how to make it? I will put a seperate post up for Sheet Pizzas or Italian Bakeries in the Atlanta area.

    1. c
      CuzinVinny Dec 31, 2006 01:04 AM

      Tomato pie is often referred to as "pizza di casa", since it is regularly featured in Southern Italian-American homes. This is essentially a more rustic, homemade version found in many Italian bakeries as well, as it is quite similar to both the Roman and Sicilian-styles of pizza. This type of pizza is baked in an oiled pan, which produces a thicker, chewier crust with a subtle crunch. It can be topped in any number of ways, although it is more authentic prepared with fewer toppings. Most feature nothing more than a simple tomato sauce and a sprinkling of Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano, though some may even be topped with a ragu of ground meat or mushrooms. A common Sicilian preparation is Sfinciuni, a thick-crusted pizza with the toppings baked into the bread itself, anchovies being the traditional condiment. It is often topped with a sweet tomato sauce and sprinkled with bread crumbs before baking. Also exists another version exclusively from Palermo, known as "San Vitu's Sfunciuni". This is an entirely different preparation altogether as it is traditionally round, not square or rectangular. It is composed of two dough layers enclosing a "conza", either meat or vegetable, often broccoli.
      You may find the classic tomato pie in Venda Ravioli, Providence, RI on Atwells Ave. Buon appetito!!!!!

      1. pane Dec 28, 2006 01:23 AM

        Thanks for all the replies! I picked up slices at DiBacco's, and it was exactly what I wanted for this type of pizza. Good cheese/sauce ratio, chewy bread, etc. As for Jerry's, I am a Middletown native and never liked it, but it's all a matter of personal taste.

        I'll post soon with a complete report of my trip back east, interesting new discoveries and all. Thanks again!

        1. f
          fosco g Dec 27, 2006 09:08 PM

          If you're in search of unusual (and great) pizza, you might want to try the famous white Sicilian at Middletown's own Jerry's Pizza. Very intense flavors - garlic, anchovies, parsley, lovely crust. You need to order it two hours in advance, but it's worth it (I like it better than the sheet pizza at Mozzicato's, but that's just me, though it might not travel so well)

          1. masha bousha Dec 27, 2006 08:51 PM

            Ditto on Mozzicatos! My sister lives in Jersey and my mom used to send these sheet pizzas to her there and I believe Mozzicaot's may have shipped them for her.

            good luck!!

            1. w
              westie Dec 27, 2006 08:45 AM

              Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery and Pastry Shop at 329 Franklin Avenue. Three types (cheese, brocolli and spinach) are available.

              Di Bacco Food Import at 553 Franklin Avenue also offers sheet pizza.

              1 Reply
              1. re: westie
                goodbyeohio Dec 27, 2006 02:30 PM

                i second di bacco's. excellent sheet pizza.

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