A kind of pizza that has its roots in Sicilian food, tomato pie is associated with Sicilian-American populations. Neapolitan pizza, also with roots in Italian cuisine, is more directly related to New York-style pizza. Both of which can be found in Belmont.
Tomato pie’s recipe requires making a base of thick dough similar to focaccia, topping it with tomato sauce and adding a sprinkling of grated romano cheese. There are variations of this recipe among the pizzerias and restaurants that bake tomato pie. Generally, it is cooled for a period of time after coming out of the oven and eaten at room temperature. It may also be reheated. This type of pie, similar to Sicilian pizza, is made in an aluminum pan. It is usually served in square-shaped slices.
Tomato pie is a common dish in southern New York state, in New Jersey and in the greater Philadelphia area, particularly in Italian-American communities. Other locations serving tomato pie are Norristown, PA, Trenton, NJ, and Utica, NY.
Some in-store photos of the East Utica, N.Y. restaurant O’scugnizzo’s Pizza show that tomato pie was being offered around 1914. Tomato pie joins sausage and peppers, chicken riggies and “greens” as integral parts of Utica’s Italian-American cuisine.
Trenton Tomato Pie
Trenton, the capital of the state of New Jersey, is known for its tomato pie. Its version may have even come before the variety that hails from Utica. The now-defunct Joe’s Tomato Pie was founded in 1910, and Papa’s Tomato Pie, the operator of which learned to make the pies at Joe’s, started the business two years later.
Trenton tomato pie is a thin crust food item. In the Trenton version, cheese – generally mozzarella – goes on the pie first, before the sauce. The Chambersburg district of Trenton is home to several tomato pie restaurants, including Papa’s and Delorenzo’s locations on Hamilton Avenue and Hudson Street.