Pizza Quest Globe

Close Menu

Fire Within Mobile Wood Fired Ovens

The Sonny Boy from Pizzeria Bianco

Written By Brad English
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 Written Recipes

A beautifully simple sauce – just tomatoes…

I had my large #10 can of the new Organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes and I had some pizzas to make.  I started with one from Tony Gemignani, who uses the tomatoes, and thought I’d do a couple from Chris Bianco himself.  I haven’t had the chance to make it to Phoenix yet to try Pizzeria Bianco, but I’ve read much about it.  It is high on my list of things to do, and you will all be the first to know about it, when I get there.

I found Chris’ Sonny Boy Pizza on his website and that sounded like something I wanted to make.  It’s a simple pizza, perhaps you could call it an artisan version of one of the more popular pizzas on earth:

I’m not alone in my adoration of salted pork products.

The Pepperoni Pizza.  We all grew up on pepperoni and, although I still love a good one today, I am happy to find that more and more pizzerias are experimenting with other salted pork products such as salami. 

Chris’ Sonny Boy has tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami and gaeta olives.  That’s just pure and delicious, simple and straightforward.  That’s good pizza!  I was at the store with my list; I tasted some salami’s at the deli counter for this and came up with one called a Finocchiona Salami by Creminelli. I couldn’t wait! When it came time to find the Gaeta olives they were not to be found!  It was hard to

Welcome the Kalamatas to the party.

believe with size of the olive bar I was standing in front of.  But, I had to find an alternative. 

Smart Phone:  Google — Substitute for Gaeta Olives = Kalamata Olives. Done. 

I love salted, brined olives almost as much as salted pork products.  I couldn’t wait for this pizza.



The salami tasted so good while I was making the pizza, I made sure to get good coverage on the pie.

My home version of The Sonny Boy Pizza from Pizzeria Bianco:

Pizza Dough
Hand Crushed Bianco DiNapoli Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella
Finocchiona Salami
Kalamata Olives

As you build any pizza, you sit there and have to find the balance of the flavors.  This is part of the performance art and fun of making pizza.  No recipe will properly tell you how much cheese, sauce, salami, olives, olive oil or salt to use.  You are given a list and it’s up to you to blend it together and find the perfect balance on your own.  That’s a pretty cool thing about making pizzas at home.  I always say it’s fun (I think I’ve said it a few times here).  This is another reason why.  

Slightly charred crust, crisped salami, softened olives, the cheese and tomatoes have become one..

You spread the sauce and think about how long it will bake, will it dry out, will it be runny?  You have to find a balance.

I was using these salty ingredients (salami and olives) so I didn’t salt the tomatoes at all. 

You pinch off the fresh mozz and lay it around the pizza.  You have to imagine how it will melt into the sauce.  Looking for balance…

You lay down a layer of salami.  Sometimes you may want it wall to wall, or other times, just a hint here or there. 

Atta Boy, Sonny!

Add the olives.  To me, these are there to provide bursts of flavor, so not too much.

Into the oven.


The Reward!

Enjoy (and it’s fun!).







That looks insanely good. I am having so much fun experimenting with different Italian salumi. If anyone lives here in Altnata The East 48th Street Market in Dunwoody carries an excellent selection cured Italian meats and I plan to work my way through the entier deli case.
Atlanta GA

Chris Chaney

Brad, molto buon! Love the cured meats with various olives and great mozzarella! As you mentioned, one of these days I’ll do a trip to Chris Bianco’s place, though I read he’s retired now? Our Forno Bravo wood fired oven is an a joy to use and I’m having a blast! Ciao, Chris
Joshua Tree, Ca.


Thanks for visiting with us. Keep in touch and keep letting us know about special places and your own adventures. My sister just went to Pizzeria Bianco and it rocked her world. Check out her guest column about the trip. It’s a fun story. My brother’s in Atlanta. I’ll let him know about the 48th Street Market.

I can’t wait to get my Forno Bravo oven! One day…


Add Comment

Pizza Quest Info


Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on