The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani review

A comprehensive guide to making pizza, covering nine different regional styles–including standards like Neapolitan, Roman, and Chicago, as well as renowned pizza sub-specialties like St. Louis and Californian–from chef, 11-time world Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani.

Everyone loves pizza! From fluffy Sicilian pan pizza to classic Neapolitan margherita with authentic charred edges, and from Chicago deep-dish to cracker-thin, the pizza spectrum is wide and wonderful, with something to suit every mood and occasion. And with so many fabulous types of pie, why commit to just one style? The Pizza Bible is a complete master class in making delicious, perfect, pizzeria-style pizza at home, with more than seventy-five recipes covering every style you know and love, as well as those you’ve yet to fall in love with. Pizzaiolo and eleven-time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani shares all his insider secrets for making amazing pizza inhome kitchens. With The Pizza Bible, you’ll learn the ins and outs of starters, making dough, assembly, toppings, and baking, how to rig your home oven to make pizza like the pros, and all the tips and tricks that elevate home pizza-making into a craft.

TONY GEMIGNANI is the chef and owner of seven restaurants: Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Capo’s, and Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza in San Francisco, Pizza Rock in Sacramento and Las Vegas, Tony’s of North Beach and Slice House by Tony Gemignani in Rohnert Park. He’s also the co-owner of the International School of Pizza in San Francisco. Gemignani has been making pizza for over 20 years and holds an impressive set of awards.

The Pizza Bible is a book built for beginners. Filled with a lot of technique and step by step pictures. This book should help any jump head first into the world of great homemade pizza at home. I have been pretty impressed with the amount of information that is presented. Especially going as far as telling us what brands of product that we should buy to succeed.

For those who have been making pizza at home for a while I think this book will be useful for them as well. There are a wide variety of different pizzas presented in the book. Many of the pizzas I have never seen or heard of before and I look forward to giving them a try.

I would recommend this book for everyone. I think beginners will be quite impressed while more experienced cooks will still have something new to learn.
“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”


Flour + Water Pasta by Thomas McNaughton

An elevated guide to the craft of pasta-making by rising star chef Thomas McNaughton of San Francisco’s hottest Italian restaurant, flour + water.

From San Francisco’s wildly popular Italian restaurant, flour + water, comes this complete primer on the craft of pasta making. Chef Thomas McNaughton shares his time-tested secrets to creating simple, delicious, and beautiful artisan pasta—from the best fresh doughs to shaping and cooking every type of pasta. A true celebration of Italy’s pasta traditions, flour + water includes fifty seasonally influenced recipes for home cooks of every skill level. The recipes cover the flavor spectrum from well-loved classics to inventive combinations, such as Tagliatelle Bolognese; Pumpkin Tortelloni with Sage and Pumpkin Seeds; Tomato Farfalle with Chicken Polpettine, Roasted Peppers, and Basil; and Asparagus Caramelle with Brown Butter. With guidance from McNaughton and the secrets of flour + water’s dough room, anyone can learn to make amazing pasta at home.

THOMAS MCNAUGHTON is the executive chef and co-owner of flour + water, Central Kitchen, and Salumeria in San Francisco. He has worked at some of the most respected restaurants in San Francisco, including La Folie, Gary Danko, and Quince. He has twice been nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.

I have only begun making pasta by hand within the last couple of months. I scoured websites, books and ask for tips from friends but still kind of struggled. My pasta machine set on a storage shelf for over a year until I got the nerve to give it a try. With the third try my pasta was decent but I am still looking for more.

When I first laid eyes on this book I knew that I was going to be in for a real masterclass in the art of making pasta. Whether you are a novice or an expert I truly believe this book will have something for you. Every topic you could want from mixing, rolling and cooking are covered. The recipes look truly impressive and I can’t wait to give them a try. Granted some are above my skill level, there is still something for everyone.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to try making pasta from scratch.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Angel hair pasta with spinach and shrimp


I tend to make this pasta dish when I need to put together an easy lunch. Just a few ingredients make this dish come together very fast.

1/2 lb frozen shrimp thawed
1/2 lb angel hair pasta
1T olive oil
2T butter
1 shallot minced
2 cloves garlic minced (I like mine garlicky)
Handful of baby spinach
Handful of cherry tomatoes sliced or half a can of diced
1/4C white wine
1C chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes
Freshly grated Parmesan

Cook angel hair according to package and set aside save pasta water to add to dish
Add olive oil and butter to pan
Cook shrimp until it begins to turn pink
Add spinach and tomatoes to pan cook until spinach wilts
Deglaze pan with white wine and let reduce to 1/4
Add chicken stock and reduce by 1/3
Season with salt and pepper to taste
At this point add pasta and small amount of pasta water to thicken the sauce
Red pepper flakes can be added if chosen
Grate Parmesan over top of pasta

A new adventure

I’m Aaron and this is my first foray into blogging. Ive always been hesitant, but finally figure why not just give it a try. This will be a place for me to keep track of the success and failures that I have with the cookbooks that I try.
I currently have around 300 cookbooks and constantly add to my collection. I also get new books from my library to preview.
I won’t publish recipes unless I have received permission or the recipe can be found online. I’m really looking forward to this and hope you will as well.

Trying my hand at new and old cookbook recipes