Taste of the best: Members of the U.S. Pizza Team share 8 mouthwatering competition recipes

The U.S. Pizza Team (USPT) fielded a powerhouse lineup of pizzaioli for this year's World Pizza Championship (WPC) in Parma, Italy. Although the major trophies went, as usual, to Italian pizza makers, USPT competitors acquitted themselves nicely, as Dan Uccello of Flo's Pizzeria in Grand Rapids, Michigan, won the award for the Highest Ranked American in all categories and Ali Haider of 786˚; in Sun Valley, California, earned the Highest Ranked Indian award. For this year's post-show wrap-up, our USPT members generously agreed to share recipes for some of their best WPC competition pizzas with our readers. Buon appetito!

Shrimp Tuscany

Ali Haider, 786°

Sun Valley, CA

Dough

4 c. Antimo Caputo 00 Americana Pizza Flour
1½ c. plus 3-4 tbsp. hot water (105° to 115° F)
2 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. dry active yeast
Allow dough to ferment for 12 hours, then ball for three hours at room temperature

Ingredients

Cilantro Pesto Chutney base
1 c. (about 4 oz.) shiitakemushroom caps, thinly sliced
1 c. (about 4 oz.) creminimushrooms, sliced
1 c. (about 4 oz.) portobellomushrooms, sliced to¼” thickness
4 oz. (about 2/3 c.) shreddedFontina cheese
4 oz. fresh mozzarella
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
½ tsp. truffle oil
1 oz. (about ¼ c.) freshParmesan cheese, grated
¼ tsp. sea salt or flake salt
Arugula leaves, for garnish
16 medium shrimp, peeledand deveined
Chopped garlic
Olive oil

Cilantro Pesto Chutney

1 c. fresh cilantro leaves with stems
1 tsp. mint powder
¼ c. parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, coarselychopped
2 tbsp. pine nuts
¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
½ c. olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the Cilantro Pesto Chutney base, combine all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Spread the chutney over the crust, then build the pizza by adding all three types of mushrooms, Fontina cheese, fresh mozzarella, thyme, truffle oil, Parmesan and salt. Bake the pizza in a wood-fired oven at 750°F for 3-4 minutes. While the pizza is baking, grill shrimp in a skillet with olive oil and chopped garlic until pink. Remove the baked pizza from the oven, top with grilled shrimp and garnish with arugula.

NEXT: PEAR-A-DICE PIZZA

Pear a Dice Pizza

John Zozzaro, Downtown Cafe & Pizzeria
Glen Coe, NY

Ingredients

10-oz. dough ball, stretched to about 12”
2 oz. Fontina cheese, sliced
1 caramelized pear, thinly sliced
½ oz. Gorgonzola cheese
2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced
½ oz. baby arugula
½ oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano
Drizzle of Guinness Stout glaze

Caramelized Pear

1 Bartlett pear, cut in half and thinly sliced
½ tbsp. butter
½ tsp. sugar
Saute the pear in the butter and sugar mix until caramelized.

Guinness Stout Glaze

12 oz. Guinness stout beer
1¼ c. brown sugar
½ c. honey
Pour all ingredients into a saucepan and whisk together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by half. Let cool a bit, then put the mixture into a squeeze bottle.

Directions

Add Fontina cheese, caramelized pear and Gorgonzola cheese on the dough and fully bake the pizza. Top it off with the prosciutto, baby arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Guinness Stout Glaze.

NEXT: THE MAD MUSHROOM


The Mad Mushroom

Dave Sommers, Mad Mushroom
Lafayette, IN

Ingredients

500g dough, stretched to 35cm
Morel mushrooms, cleaned and blanched
Green and white asparagus spears, blanched and trimmed to size
5 oz. Fontina cheese
3 oz. mozzarella
Garlic-infused olive oil

Directions

Quick-fry the mushrooms in olive oil, then pat dry. Drizzle a light layer of olive oil on the dough and spread evenly. Cover with a mixture of the two cheeses. Top with one asparagus for each slice. Bake the pizza at 480°F until 65% to 70% done. Remove from the oven. Top with one mushroom per slice and finish baking the pizza.

NEXT: PIZZA D'ITALIA

Pizza D’Italia

Dan Uccello, Flo’s Pizzeria
Grand Rapids, MI

Ingredients

12” dough ball
2 tbsp. fig preserves
1 tbsp. Asiago cheese
1 tbsp. Gorgonzola cheese
4 slices of fresh mozzarella
1 oz. arugula
4 slices of prosciutto
1 tsp. black balsamic pearls
1 tsp. white balsamic pearls

Directions

Stretch out the dough ball on a 12” pizza screen. Spread the fig preserves on the dough, leaving a 1”-wide crust. Evenly sprinkle on the Asiago and Gorgonzola cheeses and add fresh mozzarella slices, placed with about 1” of space in between. Bake at 550° to 600°F in a deck oven for 7-10 minutes until the dough turns golden brown. Place the arugula on top, then add prosciutto and black and white balsamic pearls.

NEXT: THAT'LL DO, PEPPA, THAT'LL DEW

That’ll Dew, Peppa. That’ll Dew

Kyle Rosch, Brenz Pizza/Il Forno
Chapel Hill, NC

Ingredients

12-oz. dough ball, stretched to a 13” pizza
3 oz. crushed tomato sauce (San Marzano style), seasoned to tastewith sea salt
4 oz. fresh ciliegine mozzarella
14 whole peppadews, marinated in balsamic vinegar at least 8 hours
Ricotta cheese
4 oz. fennel sausage, hand-pinched and cooked
Parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish

Directions

Stuff peppadews with ricotta. Sauce the pizza and add fresh mozzarella. Fill in the gaps with the stuffed peppadews and fennel sausage. Bake the pizza in a wood-fired oven at 730°F for 2 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

NEXT: SALSICCIA PISTACHIO

Salsiccia Pistachio

Leonardo Rago, Panino’s Pizza
Chicago, IL

Ingredients

280g to 300g pizza dough (for a10” to 12” pizza)
7 oz. (1½ c.) unsalted, roasted,shelled pistachios
½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped basil
½ c. Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ c. Italian sausage
½ c. Chianti wine
Fresh mozzarella, torn into dollops
Lemon zest

Directions

Combine the pistachio nuts with oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil, and puree in a blender. Sauté the Italian sausage in Chianti wine and drain the excess. Stretch out the dough. Spread the pistachio basil puree over the crust. Add sausage and more fresh basil, then top with fresh mozzarella. Bake the pizza in a wood-fired oven for 90 seconds at 800° to 900°F until golden brown. After baking, add more fresh mozzarella and sprinkle with lemon zest.

NEXT: ROASTED THREE-PEPPER PIZZA

Roasted Three-Pepper Pizza

Anthony Gordon, Casa Ristorante Italiano
Fort Wayne, IN

Ingredients

9 oz. pizza dough
3 oz. roasted red pepper hummus
1 oz. fresh spinach
2 marinated artichoke hearts,quartered
6 marinated cherry tomatoes,halved
1 fire-roasted jalapeno, sliced
2 oz. fire-roasted red, yellow andgreen bell peppers, sliced
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano/Asiagoblend, grated
Pinch of oregano and pepper
Drizzle of olive oil

Directions

Spread the hummus on the crust. Top with spinach, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño slices, peppers and the cheese blend. Bake at 350°F in a wood-fired oven. Sprinkle oregano and pepper on the pizza and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.