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Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an excellent book, not just a recipe book packed with Italian inspired recipes, but with tales from the two authors, brothers and James (the good looking one) and Thom (the good looking one with a beard and moustache.....) Additionally watch the boys on You Tube/online as they map their way around Italy in a three wheeler van learning to cook the Italian way. Their passion for food and Italian cuisine shines, although they write in a very un pretentious way, and a dish with a posh sounding name which could appear complex seems doable with their interpretation, although surely boys you can toss a frittata!. They describe:a portion size two hungry or 4 normal people, and being over taken by jogger going up hill in their van carrying a 700kg piazza oven.. For the techies there's an ipad version of the book as well.

The book is beautifully illustrated. There are arty photos of the food (but not so artistically blurred that you cant decide what the dish should look like -a criticism I have of many recent cook books!) There are also photos from the boys travels. They describe the food production as well as cooking for example process and testing of Parma Ham. Not sure how Joan Collins will like being associated with the process though. They give instructions on how to build a piazza oven in the garden-fab! (sorry haven't tried it yet)

The recipes are well laid out mostly ingredients on the left and instructions on the right. As an experienced cook I could easily follow the methods but those new to cooking might find some areas lacking in a little detail. Ingredients of often translated into English or a local variant suggested as an alternative.

There are few negatives about this book. The boys knowledge of microbiology is not great, cleaning a jar/container with boiling water will kill some bugs but not sterilise it. (After cleaning it with boiling water put it in an over upside down at 200DegC for 20-30mins will go a long way further to it being sterilised.) Next take a tour round Britain and learn how to grow some of the ingredients in our climate, peas, pumpkin, squash, basil, lemons, san marzano toms- all much better fresh from the garden ☺

Recipes include:

Street food and snacks

Rissoto balls filled with mozzarella, mozzarella and anchovy sandwich, Fritto Misto (fried battered fish/vegatable bits)
Red onion jam (only one spoon of sugar so one could consider it like a relish/pickle as it contains vinegar/wine)
Roast chestnut spread (similar to the commercially available choc spread with hazelnuts beginning with nut.......)
Breaded porcini (mushroom)
Deep fried polenta chips
Venetian polpette with tomato sauce (meat ball type of dish)
Globe artichoke with anchovy dip
Salt cod pate
Porchette (a roast pork)
Salasa verde (a herb, anchovy/caper `sauce' to have with pasta or meat or what ever you choose)


Deep fried stuffed courgette flowers
Prawn pea and spaghetti frittata
Asparagus with egg and parmesan
Panzanella- stale bread chunks in salad with dressing
Gnocchi (cheese or potato base), with pumpkin fennel, and ricotta
Fresh pasta
Basil pesto
Peporanta on bruschetta (peppers and tomatoes on posh toast)
Tagliatlli with mushrooms and truffle oil
Mussels with lemon
Calamari in umido squid with tom and chilli
Minestrone soup
Shell fish with parsley and pepper crust-they reckon this is full proof but you have to clean the live fish first- not for everyone
Caponata-sounds a bit like ratatouille but with the courgette replaced by olives/capers,


Neopolitan pizza dough
Mararita- tomato no cheese!
Salsicce e friarielle fennel sausage with broccoli rapa (you can grow this from seed try DT Brown) is more closely related to turnip than calabresse/broccoli in mainline UK supermarkets. Also similar to the corn seed rape that colours the field bright yellow in May/June
Napoli salami


Sunday dinner
Cacciucco fish stew
Artichoke risotto
Nduja fusilli (spreadable spicy pork sausage pasta dish)
Parmigiana Di Melanzane (aubergine with cheese and tomato)
Risotto Nero (Squid Risotto)
Clam linguine
Ribollita Bread soup
Pancetta and squash pappardelle
Cheese and pepper spaghetti
Polenta with wild boar sausages
Spaghetti alla puttanesca sphagetti with tomato, anchovy and chilli
Tuscan chicken with olives (and more anchovy)
Shoulder of Pork
Sea Bass
Smoked scamorza chicken and pancetta tortellini
Roast leg of lamb with wait for it..... anchovies!
Braised rabbit Ragu
Bistecca all fiorentina (tea bone steak with lemon)
Bollito Misto (Chicken and sausage casserole)
Cheese ravioli
Italian meatloaf

Puddings and drinks:

Lemon and bergamont granite
Rum baba ( the good bakers off the Great British bake off even found baba tricky hmm...)
Sfogliatelle frolle (pastry with a semolina and ricotta filling)
Cannoli with moscato (tubes of fried dough with sweet cheese filling)
Hazelnut truffles
Cantuccini (the boys call it bread with almond and cinnamon)
Chcolate and amaretti puddings
Italian rice pudding
Limoncello semifreddo with raspberries
Vanilla icecream with coffee, olive oil (yes but no anchovy..)
Pannacotta with honey and pine nuts (Milk, cream and sugar held together with gelatin)
Zuppa Inglasse Italian version of English triffle
Limoncello (lemon peel steeped vodka with added sugar)
Various cocktails......
0Comment19 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 January 2014
The recipes in here all look lovely but this is NOT a pizza book. Buy it for good ideas for Italian food in general but definitely not if you're specifically after pizza recipes.
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Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have reviewed many cookbooks for the Amazon Vine programme. Some have been very good, others reasonable and most have been unusable and dire. This book falls into the very good category, its full of beautiful photos with many wonderful and tasty dishes. This is a great book for those wanting to cook rustic, original Italian food.

The book represents the journey of two English friends collating recipes from a trip around Italy for use in their London eatery. What they bring to this book are great, sometimes unusual recipes for so many different Italian dishes. The book even looks at preparing chillies and home-made Limoncello. The authors also look at how to create wonderful Pizza's but it so much more than a pizza recipe book.

Having lived for extended periods of time in Foggia, Puglia, Southern Italy and have experienced many different home made and restaurant bought dishes, which are not found outside of the Puglia area of Italy, I found this book refreshing and enlightening. Travelling around the country, you soon realise that the Italian food we eat in the UK is a far cry from that found on the streets of Italy. This book tries to bring those types of dishes to a wider audience. I adore Italian food and I adore this quirky well written cookbook.

Highly recommended.
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on 15 June 2013
We all know that sometimes you buy a recipe book and it just sits on your shelf covering the rising damp and after 41 shots you promise you'll make something from it, but you know that when the wrecking ball comes to knock down your flat the book will still be sat there like the ghost of Tom Joad... I'm glad to say that this one's different! My copy is already covered in tomato sauce (from the aubergine parmigiana), squid ink (from the risotto) and olive oil (from pretty much everything...) - and I've yet to find a dud recipe!

The story behind it is certainly inspiring, two guys who were born to run a pizza business working on a dream through the backstreets of Italy and who are now opening a pizza restaurant on Dean Street in Soho. I'll admit I'm a little jealous! However, this book delivers on the promise with delicious, simple recipes for everything from pizza and home-made pasta through to more unusual delights such as magic fritto misto, drinks like a negroni and even Italian rice pudding!

If it's just pizza you're after then this gives you great tips on how to make it in your own oven (something I definitely didn't think was possible) - my friend Rosalita was born in the USA and has always claimed that the best pizza comes from the streets of Philadelphia, but even she was impressed that you could make pizza of this quality at home! Just don't go thinking it's all about pizza, because this book has so much more... the only downside might be its impact on your waistline - calorie-wise this book takes no surrender!

I'm sure this review will get lost in the flood of people saying good things, but all I can say is that if you want a recipe book that you'll actually use then buy this one!
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on 29 July 2013
After having paid a visit to the chaps earlier this year on a whistle stop tour of London I was waiting for them to produce a cook book not knowing if they were going to or not.

As a proud Neapolitan, Pizza IS life™ to us so to find a good eatery is hard enough. Home made pizza can be a hassle, especially getting the form right, as well as good cooking instructions. The book is simple, beautifully illustrated and gives you great ideas as well as a brilliant written guide to how to shape and cook the pizza.

If you love Pizza and want to make your own, you can't go wrong with this book, great to have on the book shelf and brilliant for pizza party ideas. I really wish these guys all the success when they open their store! Bravi!
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VINE VOICEon 30 July 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I first opened this book it had a rather horrible chemical smell that irritated my asthma so I'd caution anyone with breathing difficulties to let it air for a few days first.

As one of many Italian cookbooks on the market `Pizza Pilgrims' needs to stand out and be a little different: this is achieves partially though its odd premise of two young men travelling through Italy in a green Italian version of Del Boy's three wheel van. It works by allowing the Elliots a reason to move around Italy, collecting different recipes and doesn't take over the book: it's still about the food rather than the van or the cooks.

The brothers say they love the `cucina povera' or simple cooking of the poor from the Southern regions, but they include examples from most of Italy. Recipes start with the basics like making your own fresh pasta, pizza dough and gnocchi, cooking polenta, street food, pizza toppings, roast meats, puddings and cocktails. Most things should be manageable by any average cook and there is little in the way of specialist equipment needed (save a pizza oven for some recipes,) though some of the ingredients (like the highly recommended Calabrian Nduja sausage) may be a little hard to find in the UK or be eye wateringly expensive. It may be ! You are bound to find a few things you've not come across before and I am especially grateful for the `build your own pizza oven' directions, though it could have done with better photography.

The book is colourful with no white pages and lots of photographs, which are split fairly evenly between "holiday snaps" of the trip and rather arty, blurry photos of the food. It's a shame that not every recipe is pictured so you don't always know what something is supposed to look like and there are few showing the stages of making something. Oddly they did find room for series of photographs showing one Eliott brother shoving a pizza into his gob and allowing you to inspect his teeth afterwards so `Pizza Pilgrims' is not what you might call dainty.

The chapters are well designed, the index works properly (it has recipes listed by both their English and Italian names for a start) The fonts are very clear and mostly avoid the hard to read faux-handwriting many cookbooks adopt. The language used may be a little modern for some but with two young authors this is to be expected. I really like it, have enjoyed reading it and really like the recipes in it!
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on 16 March 2014
I was intrigued by this book, especially about the story of these two young guys who decided to quit their job and travel along the Italian peninsula in search of traditional recipes. The story is good, the pictures are good but unfortunately the love for this book ends here. A seasoned cook, with a good solid background, would have no problem in identifying the many faults hidden among the pages of this book. First, it very obvious that these two guys are clueless about cooking techniques and food hygiene. Page 17 of the book describes how to make mayonnaise for the fritto misto, suggesting, and here I quote exactly what is written in the book, "This mayonnaise will keep in an airtight container for a good couple of weeks". Fresh home made mayonnaise, after it is made, should go straightaway in the fridge and consumed the same day. They should have given this advice, and the other advice is that people should use pasteurized eggs to limit the risk of salmonella (alternatively, they should have warned people about the problem, when using normal eggs bought in the supermarket). If you want to run the risk of seriously harming young kids or elderly people, than follow this book's suggestion; it is entirely up to you (I really wonder why the editor didn't check this hygiene issue, before publishing the book). Page 34 of the book gives an interesting recipe for salsa verde, suggesting the use of basil. This is not a traditional Italian recipe; there's no such thing as basil in salsa verde. The fresh pasta recipe at page 52 is a joke; the page shows the ingredients and briefly describes how to make the pasta dough, but nothing is said about how to make the pasta by using a rolling pin or the classic Imperia (or similar models) pasta machine. In the fresh pasta recipe you can also read, and here I quote exactly what is written in the book, " It's important not to over-knead your dough as you can damage the proteins that give the pasta that all important 'al dente' texture".....well, I am sorry to say that, again, these guys are clueless about cooking techniques. Cooking pasta al dente have nothing to do with breaking the proteins; kneading by hand doesn't do any harm to the pasta dough (the over mixing can be a problem only in bread making when using a stand mixer, because it could over oxidize the dough...but I don't want to enter into such details here). The pizza chapter in the book is mediocre, the recipe for the basic pizza dough shown at page 80 is goodish; it's based on fermenting the dough for 24 hours. The next day you will have "old dough" (the French call it pâte fermentée and the Italian call it pasta di riporto); 24 hours at 19-22C could work in the winter but with hot weather it is better to retard the fermentation at approx. 10-15C. Using a pan to cook pizza it’s a novelty introduced time ago by the great British chef Heston Blumenthal, in his book "In search of perfection" and in that book there's an excellent chapter about pizza. Coming back to the Pizza Pilgrims book, page 136 shows the recipe for Caciucco (a very famous Tuscan fish stew) but unfortunately the authors got it completely wrong, suggesting to add octopus (as alternative to squid) in the last 5 minutes. They should have said "moscardini" (baby octopus) and you sauté them at the start. I could go on and on but the main point here is if you are thinking this is a very good book, then re-think, because some of the recipes are tweaked to suit who-knows taste and some recipes should not be mentioned in the book at all, like the Pissaladière in page 111. Definitely a book I won’t keep in the shelf.

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VINE VOICEon 15 August 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although called Pizza Pilgrims this book offers so much more than pizza recipes, the selection of Italian recipes that are included within here are many and varied, my personal favourite being Aubergine Parmigiana which is something I would regularly have ordered in a restaurant but can now create at home.

There have been some complaints that this book doesn't include enough pizza recipes, I've got to disagree with that, once you've got the basic's then the only difference is the topping and seriously, you don't want a recipe book which just focuses on various pizza toppings, I'd have been really disappointed if this book had done that.

As well as the delicious recipes this book serves as an autobiography of the journey Thom and Jame have been through in their quest to open their Soho restaurant, I really liked this bit and found their tales fascinating.

All in all a really good recipe book covering a variety of Italian meals, the only thing I would say which could have been improved was the quantity of photo's to accompany the recipes, but that's just me (given the chance I'd have photo's at various stages of the prep so I knew my attempts were on track).
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really like the Pizza Pilgrims. This book however is much more than just recipes for Pizza, in fact pizza recipes and technique probably makes up only around 20% of the book. This is one of the new-mode cookery books which are just that tiny bit alternative and I suspect aimed at getting men cooking; not a bad thing, this book certainly appeals to me and this book sings to my love of good Italian food.

Pizza Pilgrims is a nicely packaged book, sturdily printed in hardback with plenty of colour pages focused on the food (not the writers). It is broken down into sections on Italian Street food, Starters, Pizza, Mains and Puddings. As expected we find typical recipes within each, although each shines with a new twist and is clearly written and described. There is some "jargon" in that this book refers to the Italian name for certain ingredients which is nice in that it is precise and therefore relatively authentic. However these ingredients are explains and working out a decent substitute is easy (tip: make friends with your local butcher)

In all a great cookery book with a beautiful range of recipes which will appeal to lovers of Italian food. Recommended
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I ordered this because my partner loves Italian food, especially thin crust pizza and ice cream. I was really just expecting a collection of pizza recipes but was pleasantly surprised to see a wide variety of Italian recipes. Yes, the pizza recipes are in there too - there are even instructions on how to build your own pizza oven in the garden if you so desire! While the book is truly stuffed with recipes, there is just as much to read about the authors' travels through Italy and some of the history and opinions around the food as there are ingredient lists.

The book is well made and brimming with food photography (good quality images are a must for all cookbooks in my opinion) and the authors' passion for Italian cooking really comes through. That said, I did find the title somewhat misleading and, while I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of non-pizza recipes, I ordered it with the expectation of more pizza recipes (and variations thereof) rather than general Italian cookery. However, I don't feel that's enough of a nitpick to knock a full star off the rating (I would take off half a star if Amazon allowed). Recommended.
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