THE THING that I find the most interesting about Italian cuisine is that each dish can usually be traced back to a place, and a time, and will often have an interesting back story.

Different regions of Italy boast different dishes, with many being responsible for many of the foods we know and love today.

The region of Calabria, for example, has not only influenced the way certain dishes are made, but the Italian names for them too - for example gatò, meaning cake, which comes from French word gateau.

They are also known for their seafood (swordfish, shrimp, lobster), their Frìttuli (a poor dish), their different spicy sausages (nduja, capicola), as well as a few foods we may not be as used to here in the UK, like goat and snails.

What they are probably the most famous for of all is the Calabrese pizza.

Known and loved all over the world, the Calabrese pizza starts with fresh tomato sauce and cheese. However, what makes this pizza truly stand out from all the other spicy pizzas out there is the fact that it doesn’t rely on its heat for appeal, it boasts many delicious flavours too.

Ingredients used when making a Calabrese pizza include salami (usually soppressata, a very dry salami), hot capicola sausage, hot peppers and creamy, fresh mozzarella.

If you trace pizza back, it actually originated in Naples. Flatbreads have been eaten in Naples since ancient times - most likely having been brought back to the area from the Middle East.

Interestingly, ovens have actually been discovered in the ruins of Pompeii that look a lot like the wood burning pizza ovens that are used today.

It was apparently not until the 1760s that adding tomato to the top of these flatbreads became popular.

According to the stories King Ferdinand of Naples, who was known for not keeping very classy company or having very good taste, often enjoyed a meal of flatbread baked with tomatoes, olive oil, oregano and garlic.

With that, pizza alla marinara, one of the simplest yet most delicious pizzas, was born - although at the time, the dish was looked down upon.

By the 1830s, pizzerias were popping up in Naples, and The Port’Alba Restaurant and Pizzeria (thought to be the very first pizzeria) is still there, and still popular, to this day.

In 1889, Queen Margherita, wife of Umberto I the King of Italy, decided she might like to try a pizza, and called for the best pizza chef, Raffaele Esposito from the now called Pizzeria Brandi, to make one for her.

Apparently, to honour the queen, Raffaele added some mozzarella cheese and basil leaves to make the pizza appear to be green, white and red.

The queen was so impressed and the Margherita was born - probably the most famous pizza there is - and if you visit Pizzeria Brandi you will find a marble plaque celebrating the spot where the Margherita pizza was created.

For my recipe this week, I’m going to tell you how to make your own pizza dough, so that you can create your own delicious pizzas at home, and top with whatever you like – maybe you could invent your own pizza.