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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read with some excellent recipes esp if you like anchovy!
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...
Published 23 months ago by Sue H

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a pizza book
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.
Published 18 months ago by Currie


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read with some excellent recipes esp if you like anchovy!, 3 Aug. 2013
By 
Sue H "Sunshine Suzzy" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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)

Starters:

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,

Pizza:

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

Mains:

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......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pizza book I've been searching for., 5 July 2014
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This is the book I've been searching for! For the first time since moving from Italy to Shetland I've had pizzas that tastes the way they should. I'd long since given up on the idea that I could buy a pizza that in any way resembles a genuine Neapolitan pizza. Every Friday used to be 'pizza night' and we were spoilt for choice when we lived in Italy. Over the past few years I've been tweaking the way I made pizza at home and the results were getting better.
Last night they took a leap forward when I used the method described by the Elliot brothers. My family thought I'd gone mad when they came into the kitchen and there was a cast iron frying pan heating up on the hob and the grill was on full blast as well. They were gearing up for bitter disappointment until they had their first bites 'this is just like being back at Cisco's' - our favourite pizzeria. They were pleasantly surprised at the results, amazed more like.
This book is so evocative, the recipes remind me of days in a sunnier clime, where life is taken at a slower pace, where students would argue about about who grew the best cherries and where old men would sit for hours in the local bars clutching a single Prosecco whilst they put the world to rights. The kindle format isn't brilliant and the list of ingredients appear as long columns with only a couple of words on each line, longer words being split over two lines. However the recipes themselves are a good selection of the things my family like to eat, that being said I probably have most of these recipes in other books. What sets this book apart from all the others is the method of cooking pizza, it's ingenious, it works, the pizzas were simple and delicious.
Thanks to the 'Pizza Pilgims' Pizza night had been reinstated and I've just bought another heavy pan so as one pizza is being finished under the grill the next one can start cooking on the hob.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a pizza book, 2 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 28 July 2013
By 
C M Cotton "Chris Cotton" (Europe and USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those with a hungry heart!, 15 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly impressed Neapolitan!, 29 July 2013
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying, even if you consider yourself a pizza expert!, 17 Dec. 2014
By 
Marius Gabriel "Author" (London) - See all my reviews
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You wouldn't think there was much new to be said about pizza, but these two lads have produced an excellent and innovative book, and I can't wait to visit their restaurant.

One of the astonishing things about Italy is how culture varies from town to town and even from street to street. And that applies to food, too. Travelling the minor restaurants and trattorias, Thom and James Elliot have picked up a lot of interesting new angles, not only on pizza, but on backstreet food in general.

Well worth buying, even if you consider yourself a pizza expert!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great way to broaden your knowledge of Italian food and cooking methods - lots of ideas to try yourself at home!, 30 July 2013
By 
G. Wake "gregwake" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Full range of Italian recipes, 15 Aug. 2013
By 
Tried and Tested (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Pizza perfect, 7 Aug. 2013
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy (Hardcover)
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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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Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy
Pizza Pilgrims: Recipes from the Backstreets of Italy by James Elliot (Hardcover - 23 May 2013)
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