• Potato and cheese pancake (frico) (Paola Bacchia)Source: Paola Bacchia
Let's just say you'll want a 'pizza' this action.
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14 Oct 2021 - 1:28 PM  UPDATED 14 Oct 2021 - 8:00 PM

It all started back in 997 AD in Lazio, southern Italy when some guy flattened his focaccia and spread it with passata.

Or does pizza belong to kosher Roman Jews who ate hararah, flatbreads made of matzo meal that translates to four simple Hebrew letters: peh, yud, tzadi and heh?

Or further back with the Trojans, as documented by Virgil in the Aeneid when Aeneas and his men eat round cakes topped with cooked vegetables?

Or is pizza actually of German origin and we should all be calling it flammkuchen?

Wait, no, it's got to be Lebanese man'oushe, right? Turkish pide or gözleme? French tarte flambée or pissaladière?

It's little wonder that so many cultures want to claim pizza as their own. Pizza is life. It's also fast, cheap, nutritious and so yummy you'd happily sell your firstborn for another slice.

Everyone wants a piece of its history, however, if you want to get entirely technical about what we generally know as 'pizza' today, it's hard to go past Raffeale Esposito in Naples in 1889. He's the guy that first layered tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese (the colours of the Italian flag) on a pizza to honour Queen Margherita with the world's first Pizza Margherita.

With such a rich history, it feels like rounding up all the ways to pizza is the yeast we can do.

L'originale

As we've established above, the use of 'original' is tenuous, however, the margherita is where so much of pizza joy began. So let's start there.

Frying pan Neapolitan pizza

Baking your pizza in a super-hot cast iron pan will give a beautiful, golden base and crust, though it's hard to mimic a true Neapolitan pizza, which has been named a national treasure of Italy.

The true Neapolitan pizza

During our trip to Italy, we visited one of the oldest pizzerias in Naples, Sorbillo, where people queue around the block to sample their classic pizza margherita. You get so many varieties of pizzas these days, and there are so many bad versions and recipes out there, that I know why some Italians want to make it DOC, like wine...

French-ish

Pissaladière originated in Nice, which was actually part of Italy at the time. So both cultures can happily claim this style of olive pizza with extra, extra anchovies as their own. And often do.

Spanish style

Not to be outdone by either the Italians or the French, the Spanish have their coca trempó. Cocas were and are traditionally made in Mallorca and the Balearics once a week on bread-making day to use up any excess dough. Delicious AND practical.

Catalan flatbread

Known by the Catalan locals as coca, these leavened flatbreads are indeed similar to pizza but you'd better not tell them that! While this version by chef Frank Camorra is topped with thinly sliced summer vegetables, you can use whatever is in season. They're just as good room temperature as they are warm, so they make great appetisers and picnic fare.

Shaped for sharing

Stefano Manfredi's Roman-style zucchini pizza

But back to the Italians for a moment. Roman pizza is pizza made in a rectangular shape (as opposed to Sicilian pizza which is square and all other pizzas which are round). It's generally bought by the slice when you're out and about, but you can keep this whole pizza for yourself if you want. 

Roman pizza with eggplant parmigiana

Everybody loves a good eggplant parmigiana. This is a homage to that great dish, albeit in the shape of a Roman pizza.

Pizza three ways

These days I prefer to keep my pizzas simple and let veggies take centre stage.

Pine for this

Ah, the joy that is the alpine pizza. Not a trace of tomato sauce here, a little crème fraiche, then gruyère cheese and sliced salami on top. Proof once again that when food crosses cultures, it's so often a journey worth making.

Do the fugazza

The Argentinian version of pizza is derived from Argentina's strong Italian descent. Basically, focaccia got squashed and cheese and onion got piled and the whole thing gets devoured in seconds because that's what happens when something tastes amazing.

Manakish on the lips

Man'oushe (plural manakish) is how the middle east gets its pizza on. Get excited because za'atar is generally involved and, in Hoda Kobeissi's case, Vegemite and cheese.

A1 Bakery's za'atar manouche

These flatbreads really bring together the best of Middle Eastern cooking, with a hint of sweetness from the honey and an aromatic array of spices like sumac, oregano and nutmeg.

Lebanese za'atar pizza (man’oushe bi za'atar)

Taking its name from the Arabic word for ‘engraved’ because of the indentations on the dough, this pizza is a breakfast favourite.

Argentinian barbecue

Yes, you can cook pizza on the barbecue. No surprise that the Argentines have it down to a fine art. It's especially good when topped with their famous matambre - barbecued flank steak.

Chickpea pizza (fainá)

Most pizzerias in Argentina will serve this 'fainá' as an ‘entrada’ (appetiser) option or it sometimes comes served on top of your pizza order!

Pizza with onions and cheese (fugazza)

A fugazza is topped with just onion or onion and cheese. In our version, we have cooked the onions first to give them a caramelised taste.

Bella vita

Back to the Italians because you need to try this pizza rustica. It's when pizza met an olive oil calzone and they had spinach and ricotta babies and life was good.

Deep and crisp and even: Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is worth trying
Meet the Sydney bar serving up these meaty slices.

Grandma pizza

This pizza originated with Italian-American grandmothers in Long Island, New York in the late 60s. It's a Sicilian-style square pie, but with a much thinner, crispier crust. It's also got cheese right to the very edges of the crust - which seems like the kind of thing your grandma would do for you, doesn't it?

Grandma pizza

Sprinkling the cheese right to the edges makes it nice and crispy – you like crispy cheese, don't you?

Kinda pizza

Is it pizza if there's no dough? Hmmm... let's assume it is because this mushroom-based version brings all the pizza flavour without the pizza carbs.

Prosciutto and rocket cauliflower pizza

A cauliflower crust takes the stress out of making pizza at home for those eating gluten free. This recipe makes one large pizza.

Gluten-free sweet potato pizza

With the arrival of cooler months comes cosy nights under the doona, the generosity of more clothing coverage and, of equal importance to The Life Holistic, the start of the sweet potato (otherwise known as kumara) season. This recipe combines the deliciously nutritious vegetable with a dish that no one needs convincing of… pizza! Yes – a gluten-free pizza with a vegetable-based base!

Frico good

Potato and cheese pancake (frico)

But back to the Italians and this time we're visiting frico. It's made with potatoes, onion and cheese, cooked and flattened into fried pancake-meets-pizza form. It's usually eaten with a glass of red, which seems like a very sensible way to enjoy pizza.

Pizza potatoes

Frank Pinello's aunt shares their family recipe for a potato casserole that embraces the spirit of pizza.

Göod-leme

Sonsa seriously knows how to serve up gozleme.

Perhaps the last word here should be the Italians, but we feel the Turkish have also earned a say. Gözleme has made breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-betweener so much better for so many. The Turkish version of pizza is right up there as the definitive version. Just don't tell the Italians we said that... shhh.

Gozleme: a love story
You might know this popular Turkish dish as a market stall favourite, but for Dilvin Yasa, the emotions run a little deeper.
Lamb, silverbeet and feta gözleme

This filled Turkish pastry has become a staple at markets across Sydney and Australia. Made with soft dough rolled out until thin, it is then filled with any number of things, including the ever-popular spinach and feta. Here, we’ve used lamb, silverbeet and feta for a spin on the classic.

Duck and mushroom gözleme

Everywhere I went, Turkey was full of surprises and I had no doubt I’d find a few more Fethiya. Sure the place was heaving with English tourists, but I also found heaps of game, wild mushrooms and other fresh produce. It reminded me a lot more of Europe than Anatolia. These savoury stuffed flatbreads have become a staple at Aussie festivals and markets, but the one made for me was a cut above the rest.

Pizza your heart
Pinsa is 'the pizza of the future'
Sydney’s Casa Mia Osteria sells pinsa. This pizza has unusual origins, but also offers the best of Naples and Roman-style slices.
Broccoli and sausage pizza

The broccoli is raw when it goes on but shaved really thinly so you get some deliciously charred edges with some tender crispness.

Ricotta crostata (pizza di ricotta)

This tart is typically made for Easter and is best eaten when the ricotta has completely cooled, allowing you to really savour the aniseed liqueur in the pastry and the orange zest in the filling.

Pizza fritta

Pizza fritta, or fried pizza, is exactly that: fried pieces of fresh pizza dough ready to top with your favourite flavours that's slightly chewy and crunchy.

7 genius things to do with pizza dough
Doughnuts and garlic knots! And plenty of other reasons to get inventive with your pizza dough.
Chocolate pizza

We all have a kid that lives inside of us ... whether you are a kid at heart or a real life kid, this chocolate pizza is for you. It's got caramelised white chocolate, dark choc ganache and cherries!

Every kind of pie you need at a pizza party
Gather your friends, crank that oven to high and share a pizza to watch all the NBL Finals action.
Vietnamese food crawl: in search of Vietnamese pizza
This pizza-inspired street food originating from Dalat is all the rage among Vietnamese students.
Tricolore vegan pizza

This pizza has flavor on top of flavor! Pesto, red sauce and a melty mozz sauce on top. Plus, cherry tomatoes that roast right into it (use multicolored ones if you can find them) and fresh basil leaves to complete your entire world.

Cherry and chocolate dessert pizza

A barbecue twist on dessert, this pizza is features the creaminess of mascarpone, freshness of lemon and cherries, and richness of dark chocolate.