Lots of people consider themselves a dab hand at pizza, but Australian chef John Lanzafame can claim to be a true expert.

After winning several competitions in his home country, John headed to New York to compete against seasoned pizza chefs from across the globe - and won the prestigious America's Plate, the world's top accolade for pizza makers.

"When I hear the words 'pizza champion', I just laugh," John says, explaining that he fell into pizza making by accident when the pizza chef at the restaurant he worked in was running late.

"I went over to set up, thinking to myself 'How hard can this be?' I'm Italian after all!"

While John credits his mother with teaching him the basics, he's also drawn inspiration from friends and fellow chefs.

He's now collected these recipes in a new book, Pizza Modo Mio (Pizza My Style).

This mouth-watering book includes two recipes that put him on the road to pizza stardom - Filled River Calamari Pizza and Salmon Carpaccio Pizza - but there are plenty of other tasty options to choose from.

Traditionalists will love his recipes for old Italian favourites like Pizza Margherita or a Sopressa Salami Pizza, but there are plenty of choices for more adventurous tastebuds. Anyone for Foie Gras Pizza, or a Chilli Prawn And Salsa Verde Pizza?

Lastly, John proves that pizzas can also double as dessert. You might have to be a real pizza addict to eat a pizza main course and a pizza pudding - but his dessert pizzas look pretty tempting!


Makes 170g (6oz) dough - enough for one 30cm/12inch pizza 1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) warm water
2 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
160g (5 1/2 oz) plain all-purpose flour, sifted
Put the yeast, salt and warm water in a small bowl and whisk until just combined. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to bubble.

Add the flour and knead for 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Rub the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Roll the dough around in the bowl to coat it with oil, then place in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave in a draught-free spot for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough to expel trapped air. (At this stage, the dough can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or frozen. Bring back to room temperature before continuing.) Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover and leave in a draught-free spot for 15 minutes, or until risen by half again. The dough is now ready to use.

Coarse semolina, for dusting
1 quantity pizza dough
1 tbsp olive oil
10 thin slices white prosciutto (lardo)
4 anchovy fillets
1 large desiree potato, unpeeled, cut into wafer-thin slices 2 tsp rosemary sprigs
75g (1/2 cup) grated mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp shaved pecorino cheese
3 garlic confit cloves, cut into 4 (recipe follows)
Place a pizza stone or heavy-based oven tray in the oven and preheat to 250C/Gas mark 9.

Lightly dust your workbench with semolina, then roll out the dough into a 30cm (12 inch) round, place on a pizza tray and prick all over with a fork. Drizzle the oil over the base, then scatter with the prosciutto and anchovy fillets. Place the potato over the top, in slightly overlapping layers, scatter with rosemary sprigs, cheeses and garlic confit in that order. Place on the preheated stone or tray and bake for 5-8 minutes, or until the base is golden and crisp.

This pizza can also be served with slices of leftover roast lamb scattered over the top.


Makes 250ml (9 fl oz/1 cup)
200g (7oz) garlic cloves (about 30), peeled
150ml (5 fl oz) olive oil
Preheat the oven to 120C (235F/Gas 1/2). Put the garlic and oil in a small ovenproof dish and bake for two hours, making sure the garlic does not colour. Remove from the oven, cool, then store in a 250ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) capacity sterilised jar, seal and refrigerate for up to three months.


(Makes two 6-inch pizzas)

50g caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
25g (1oz) butter
1 tsp cream
Coarse semolina, for dusting
1 quantity sweet pizza dough or pizza dough
2 bananas, thinly sliced
vanilla bean ice cream to serve
hundreds and thousands for sprinkling
To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar and lemon juice in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until it becomes a light caramel. Add the butter and cream and whisk to combine well, then remove from the heat.

Place a pizza stone or heavy-based oven tray in the oven and preheat to 250C/Gas 9.

Lightly dust your workbench with semolina, then roll out the dough into two 15cm (6-inch) rounds or free-form shapes, place on pizza tray and prick all over with a fork. Scatter the bananas over the bases then place on the preheated stone or tray and bake for four to six minutes, or until the bases are golden and crisp. Remove the pizzas from the oven, top with the ice cream, drizzle with the caramel sauce, sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and serve.

If making your own pizza seems like too much bother but getting one delivered seems too expensive, you might like to try a DIY version using a Big Dom's Pizza Kit.

Each kit contains a roll of pizza dough, tomato sauce and cheese - and is ready after just five minutes in the oven.

The kits make up to eight portions and will stay fresh for over two weeks if kept in the fridge.

Big Dom's Pizza Kits are available from Tesco (look in the chilled section) for £2.99 per pack.