We don’t feature a lot of recipes here on the blog, but every once in a while something comes along that just begs to be shared. This time around, we’ve got a real treat: Tony Gemignani’s recipe for his award-winning Cal-Italia Pizza.

If you’re a local, you already know who Tony is–and chances are you might have eaten this pizza. The Cal-Italia is one of the most popular pizzas at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, and according to Tony, there are customers who come in for that pie alone. If you haven’t, you really ought to try it–and now you’ve got more than one way to do that. 

A delicious combination of asiago, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheeses, Croatian fig preserve, prosciutto di Parma and balsamic glaze, the Cal-Italia is one flavorful and unique pie. It has five very traditional Italian ingredients, but combined in a very California way–and it won Tony a Gold Medal at Food Network’s Pizza Champion Challenge in 2006.

I’ve included the complete recipe below.


Tony Gemignani’s Cal-Italia Pizza

1 twelve oz. (340 gram) dough ball 

3 parts flour mixed with 1 part semolina, for dusting

2-ounce (55-gram) piece Asiago cheese, cold, for shaving

6 ounces (170 grams) whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1-1/2 cups)

1-1/2 ounces (45 grams) Gorgonzola cheese, broken into small pieces

2 to 3 tablespoons (40-60 grams) fig jam, preferably Dalmatia brand

3 ounces (85 grams) thinly sliced prosciutto (about 6 slices)

1 cup (255 grams) balsamic reduction

Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

Tony Gemignani’s Cal-Italia Pizza waits at the pass at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. | Photo: Sarah Inloes

Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator and leave wrapped at room temperature until the dough warms to 60°F to 65°F. Meanwhile, set up the oven with two pizza stones or baking steels and preheat to 500°F for 1 hour.

Balsamic Reduction
Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once steam is rising from the surface, reduce the heat to the lowest setting to keep the vinegar below a simmer. No bubbles should break through the surface. If the lowest setting is still too hot, place the pan over a diffuser. Once the vinegar has reduced by three-fourths, remove it from the heat. The glaze can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for several months.

Dust the work surface with the dusting mixture, then move the dough to the surface and dust the top.

Sprinkle a wooden peel with the dusting mixture.

Roll out the dough into a round 15 inches in diameter. Using a pizza wheel, trim the dough to a 13-inch round, flatten the edge, then dock the surface of the dough.

Move the dough to the peel. As you work, shake the peel forward and backward to ensure the dough isn’t sticking.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Asiago over the surface of the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Mound the mozzarella in the center of the pizza and use your fingertips to spread it out evenly over the Asiago.

Slide the pizza onto the top stone.

Bake for 7 minutes. Lift the pizza onto the peel and distribute the Gorgonzola pieces evenly over the top. Rotate the pizza 180 degrees, transfer it to the bottom stone, and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom is browned and crisp and the top is golden brown.

Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut into 6 wedges. Spoon small dollops of fig jam (about 1/4 teaspoon each) around the pizza. Tear the prosciutto slices lengthwise into 2 or 3 strips and drape the pieces over the pizza slices. To finish, squeeze a thin spiral of balsamic glaze onto the pizza, add shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and serve.


Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
1570 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Pizza Bible: The World’s Favorite Pizza Styles, from Neapolitan, Deep-Dish, Wood-Fired, Sicilian, Calzones and Focaccia to New York, New Haven, Detroit, and more by Tony Gemignani, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.