Utica

I used Roma Sausage—Utica’s most famous tomato pie—as my template when I set out to make a facsimile. In my opinion, what makes Roma’s pies so special is the sauce. The sauce is laid down in a thick layer, and one gets lots of that deliciousness in each bite. The sauce is simple and tomato forward. Its balance of salt and sweetness is nearly perfect.

Utica tomato pie is working-class fare. It’s supposed to be cheap eats. This is not gentrified fare we’re creating. I used inexpensive crushed tomatoes.

I added nothing to the tomatoes except some tomato paste for body, salt, and a little sugar to get the salty/sweet balance just right. I cooked it just long enough to thicken it up a bit.

I didn’t want the sauce to cook in the oven. I wanted a light, bright sauce, not one that’s concentrated and cooked down like an Italian gravy. The pizza will spend a reasonable amount of time in the oven, and the sauce will further cook during that time. When I baked the pie, I put only a very thin layer of sauce to prevent the crust from browning. I added most of the sauce post-bake.

I was delighted with the result. The eating experience and flavor profile were very similar to Roma’s.

My tomato pie is on the left. On the right is Roma’s tomato pie.

Homemade tomato pie.
Homemade tomato pie.

One thought on “Utica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s