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Wood Fired Roasted Spicy Seafood Pizza

Roasted Seafood Pizza

Roasted Seafood Pizza

I have not always been a seafood lover. As a kid, back in the day, we loved shrimp of course. It seems most people do –  even non-seafood fans will eat some shrimp. We also grew up on fish sticks! I haven’t seen a fish stick in a long long time. I guess I graduated to loving a good fried cod as Fish and Chips. I won’t get off track long, but have to give a shout out to the best Fish and Chips place on earth called Go Fish up in Vancouver, BC. If you are ever there, you have to add it to your places to visit. Try the Cod, but they also do Halibut. I also highly recommend their fish tacones which is a sort of taco burrito shaped with a flour tortilla into a cone shape – sort of a taco hand roll. These too are the bomb!

Growing up on the Jersey shore I was surrounded by water, fishing boats and true seafood lovers. As I got older, I ate more seafood and liked it, but it always fascinated me that all of these people loved seafood and craved it. I went on for years simply liking seafood – even really liking it. One day in my 20’s I was visiting the shore again and my uncle Greg had a small aluminum motor boat. We took the boat out one day in the Matedeconk River near Point Pleasant and while we were sight seeing, we spied a seafood restaurant we could dock the boat and grab a bite to eat. I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, but I remembered my fascination as a boy that people around here loved seafood so much that they craved it like someone might crave a good steak.

I can mark the change in my relationship with seafood to this day. It didn’t take long after this that I found myself craving seafood. I suppose it was always there – part of my life experience that matured maybe…


I was browsing around to look at some recipes for inspiration and stumbled onto a wood fire recipe from one of my favorite celebrity chefs – Jamie Oliver. I love Jamie’s recipes. Everything he does has a realness to it which focuses on the the simple ingredients and how to enhance them through the cooking process. One of the notes in his recipe is to serve with “hunks of fresh bread for dipping…”. What is pizza? Pizza is the freshest bread, right out of the oven with all of the sauce and toppings already included. That was all I needed to set me in motion. I had a seafood pizza to make.

For this pizza I decided to bake a simple pizza with a red sauce and finish it with wood fire roasted shellfish after it came out of the oven. The beauty of this is you can roast up as much seafood as you want – right before you do the pizza and maybe fire up some doughs without anything to be used to eat your seafood and sop up the juices.

The Shellfish Roast:
– Shrimp
– Muscles
– Clams Cherrystone, or any small clam
– Scallops
– Squid
– Garlic
– Fresno Chilies – thinly sliced
– Spanish Chorizo – thinly sliced
– Chopped Italian Parsley
– Lemon(s)
– Salt and Pepper
– Red Pepper Chili Flakes
– Paprika
– Beer

Rinse the shellfish and place in a bowl.

Rinsed assortment of shellfish

Rinsed assortment of shellfish

Drizzle with Olive Oil add some chopped garlic, chilies, chorizo and seasoning. Zest your lemon into the bowl and then squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and toss the lemons in with the bounty. After it was going for a bit, I added a little beer to create more of a broth in the end.

Shellfish dressed up and ready to hit the oven

Shellfish dressed up and ready to hit the oven

Fish pan in the oven

Fish pan in the oven

Get your dough ready, but we’ll roast the seafood and when it’s done, throw the pizza in and then top the finished pizza with the seafood and serve. Since the pizza should bake in about 1 1/2 to 2 Minutes the seafood will still be plenty warm.

Dough rolled

the stretched dough

The Fresh Bread – The Pizza:
– I used a Caputo 00 Pizza Flour to make an authentic Vera Pizza Napoletana dough
– Peter’s simple delicious hand crushed tomato sauce

I had my oven fired up and hot as hot can be. Since the pizza would cook in about 90 seconds, I decided to roast the seafood right before throwing the pizza in. The pizza goes in (use a little extra sauce and olive oil to keep it from drying out as it bakes) and 90 seconds later it comes out. The seafood is still hot in the cast iron pan. I added the seafood onto the pizza, drizzled a little of the shellfish liquid all over and then topped with the chopped parsley.

Put it on

Put it on

Cut and serve!

This was amazing! I made enough seafood to make the pizza and have plenty for picking and dipping my crusts in after the pizza was gone. Delicious!


Bob Radcliffe

Brad – Haven’t heard “Matedeconk River near Point Pleasant” since I was a kid. My folks took my brother and I there often to swim and fish (for flounder). Memories of sunburn that, now that I am older, I wish I had avoided. Anyway, your creation sounds delicious, but I’m just a Tomato Pie kinda-guy. Saturday a week ago, had over 60 folks here and made 56 Tomato Pies – that’s about all I can stand to do outside in the heat at my wood-fired oven in NC. – Bob Radcliffe

Bob Radcliffe

Brad – Haven’t heard “Matedeconk River near Point Pleasant” since I was a kid. My folks always took my brother and I there to swim and fish (for flounder). I only wish I had avoided the sunburn, now that I am older. Your creation sounds delicious, but I’m just a Tomato Pie kinda-guy. Saturday a week ago, I baked 56 BreadWorks Tomato Pies – about the limit of what I can stand in the heat outside at my wood-fired oven – for over 60 patrons at my Log Cabin; but great weather and Durham Bluegrass Band Magnolia Still (on the Cabin front porch). Hope you all don’t run out of water. Fortunately, we have had a hot, but wet, summer here in the Carolina Piedmont. – Bob Radcliffe

Big Expo Coming Up and You're Invited (And Other News too)! – Pizza Quest with Peter Reinhart

[…] But, the big news is that the Forno Bravo Expo is now officially happening, on September 19th and 20th in Salinas, CA, at Talbott Vineyards. It’s open to the public, and it’s free! (but you need to register in advance, see below), and will include some great demonstrations and tastings. I’ll be there along with the Pizza Quest team and an all star program of guest chefs.  My producer and Pizza Quest partner Brad English is coming up from LA; I’m flying in from Charlotte; John Arena, owner of Metro Pizza and a regular columnist here on PQ is coming in from Las Vegas.  Chef Todd Fisher (of the famous Tarpey’s Roadhouse, and voted as Monterey’s Favorite Chef), champion baker Nicky Giusto, who will be representing the United States at the upcoming Coupe du Monde World Championship of Bread (showing us his unique sprouted grain pizza crust as well as one of his signature breads), and noted cookbook author, culinary blogger, and cooking teacher Brigit Binns will all be there too. There will also be a mobile Forno Bravo wood-fired oven (fabricated by The Fire Within), from Stella Pizza, cranking out free pizza for everyone. Brad and I are going to demonstrate, among the other surprises we have planned, how to make the fabulous oven roasted spicy seafood pizza that we recently featured here on Pizza Quest ( […]

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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

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