1. That’s because Tod never brings anything but death and bad advice,” I snapped.
“That’s not true.” Tod tried to grin, “Sometimes I bring pizza.
2. My love is pizza shaped. Won’t you have a slice? It’s circular, so there’s enough to go around.
3. Sorry to hear about your Dad.”
He shrugged. “He was seventy, and we always told him fast food would kill him.”
“He was hit by a Pizza Express truck.
4. Really?” [Catarina] said when he opened the door. ” Two years and then you come back and don’t even call for two weeks? And then it’s ‘Come over, I need you’? You didn’t even tell me you were home, Magnus.”
“I’m home”, he said, giving what he considered to be his most winning smile. The smiling took a bit of effort, but hopefully it looked genuine.
“Don’t even try that face with me. I am not one of your conquests, Magnus. I am your friend. We are supposed to get pizza, not do the nasty.”
“The nasty? But I-”
“Don’t.” She held up a warning finger. “I mean it. I almost didn’t come. But you sounded so pathetic on the phone I had to.
5. There’s very little in my world that a foot massage and a thin-crust, everything-on-it pizza won’t set right.
6. You called me and said you were home and wanted to go out for a pizza.”
“I did? What time is it?”
“Time for pizza,” [Catarina] replied.
7. Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.
8. Christmas was definitely the best thing ever, even better than pizza. But instead of all her favorite toppings, Amitola was surrounded by all her favorite people.
9. Oscar inspected the gun. He seemed about as enthusiastic about learning to use a new weapon as Adrian was.
‘Come on,’ said Adrian, raising his gun again. ‘I’ll buy you a pizza if you hit a bull’s-eye before I do.’
Ten seconds later, he owed Oscar a pizza.
10. “We’ve been here three days already, and I’ve yet to cook a single meal. The night we arrived, my dad ordered Chinese takeout from the old Cantonese restaurant around the corner, where they still serve the best egg foo yung, light and fluffy and swimming in rich, brown gravy. Then there had been Mineo’s pizza and corned beef sandwiches from the kosher deli on Murray, all my childhood favorites. But last night I’d fallen asleep reading Arthur Schwartz’s Naples at Table and had dreamed of pizza rustica, so when I awoke early on Saturday morning with a powerful craving for Italian peasant food, I decided to go shopping. Besides, I don’t ever really feel at home anywhere until I’ve cooked a meal.
The Strip is down by the Allegheny River, a five- or six-block stretch filled with produce markets, old-fashioned butcher shops, fishmongers, cheese shops, flower stalls, and a shop that sells coffee that’s been roasted on the premises. It used to be, and perhaps still is, where chefs pick up their produce and order cheeses, meats, and fish. The side streets and alleys are littered with moldering vegetables, fruits, and discarded lettuce leaves, and the smell in places is vaguely unpleasant. There are lots of beautiful, old warehouse buildings, brick with lovely arched windows, some of which are now, to my surprise, being converted into trendy loft apartments.
If you’re a restaurateur you get here early, four or five in the morning. Around seven or eight o’clock, home cooks, tourists, and various passers-through begin to clog the Strip, aggressively vying for the precious few available parking spaces, not to mention tables at Pamela’s, a retro diner that serves the best hotcakes in Pittsburgh.
On weekends, street vendors crowd the sidewalks, selling beaded necklaces, used CDs, bandanas in exotic colors, cheap, plastic running shoes, and Steelers paraphernalia by the ton. It’s a loud, jostling, carnivalesque experience and one of the best things about Pittsburgh. There’s even a bakery called Bruno’s that sells only biscotti- at least fifteen different varieties daily. Bruno used to be an accountant until he retired from Mellon Bank at the age of sixty-five to bake biscotti full-time. There’s a little hand-scrawled sign in the front of window that says, GET IN HERE! You can’t pass it without smiling.
It’s a little after eight when Chloe and I finish up at the Pennsylvania Macaroni Company where, in addition to the prosciutto, soppressata, both hot and sweet sausages, fresh ricotta, mozzarella, and imported Parmigiano Reggiano, all essential ingredients for pizza rustica, I’ve also picked up a couple of cans of San Marzano tomatoes, which I happily note are thirty-nine cents cheaper here than in New York.
11. “Pizza burned the inside of my mouth and I don’t really understand why the things I love keep hurting me.
12. If you turn left at the next logging road, he said, and walk a quarter of a mile, you come to a dock on a lake, with an air horn hanging off it. You honk the air horn, and someone comes and picks you up in a boat, and they take you to this place where there’s pizza and showers and cold beer!
13. But beyond the extravagance of Rome’s wealthiest citizens and flamboyant gourmands, a more restrained cuisine emerged for the masses: breads baked with emmer wheat; polenta made from ground barley; cheese, fresh and aged, made from the milk of cows and sheep; pork sausages and cured meats; vegetables grown in the fertile soil along the Tiber. In these staples, more than the spice-rubbed game and wine-soaked feasts of Apicius and his ilk, we see the earliest signs of Italian cuisine taking shape.
The pillars of Italian cuisine, like the pillars of the Pantheon, are indeed old and sturdy. The arrival of pasta to Italy is a subject of deep, rancorous debate, but despite the legend that Marco Polo returned from his trip to Asia with ramen noodles in his satchel, historians believe that pasta has been eaten on the Italian peninsula since at least the Etruscan time. Pizza as we know it didn’t hit the streets of Naples until the seventeenth century, when Old World tomato and, eventually, cheese, but the foundations were forged in the fires of Pompeii, where archaeologists have discovered 2,000-year-old ovens of the same size and shape as the modern wood-burning oven. Sheep’s- and cow’s-milk cheeses sold in the daily markets of ancient Rome were crude precursors of pecorino and Parmesan, cheeses that literally and figuratively hold vast swaths of Italian cuisine together. Olives and wine were fundamental for rich and poor alike.
14. Using a newspaper, sugar packets, and animated hand motions, Callegari reenacts the creation of the Trapizzino, a pocket of crispy dough that eats like the love child of pizza and tramezzino, Italy’s triangular sandwich. Skeptics might see in the Trapizzino the sad pizza cone found on food trucks in the United States and beyond, but this is no half-hearted gimmick: crispy and tender, light but resilient, it is an architectural marvel of pizza ingenuity. Not content with traditional pizza toppings, Callegari instead ladles slow-cooked stews of meat and vegetables- tongue in salsa verde, pollo alla cacciatora, artichokes and favas with mint and chili- that perform magnificently against the crunch and comfort of this warm pizza pocket. “The best of old Roman cooking is like great ethnic food- slow-cooked, humble ingredients with big flavor.
15. So I march into this pizzeria, and smell hot cheese and basil and oregano and garlic and onions and maybe pepperoni in the air, and notice some youngsters and loud cowboys eating pizzas and drinking beer at wooden tables, and start studying all the scrumptious pies in the display case in front of the big oven. There’s one with sausage and mushrooms and three cheeses, and one with bacon and charred peppers and black olives and shrimp, and another with tiny meatballs and broccoli and whole garlic cloves, and one called the Super Deluxe, with everything but the kitchen stove.
16. All I can say is the bubbling pizza tasted as spectacular as it looked, and I didn’t even fool with fixin’ a salad to go with it. Since Sugar and Spice were begging and whining, I picked off a few pieces of sausage and pepperoni and tossed them to the dogs while I kept watching Emeril roll out and stretch some dough and trying not to think about Vernon and Sally and the way they’d deceived me. What I really wanted to do was scream at Emeril that his dough was too thick and more like the Chicago style than the crisp classic Neopolitan one I was eating. But, instead, I finished munching on the slice, and looked at the meatballs and pieces of bacon and golden mushrooms and shiny olives and onions nestled in all the melted cheese on the next slice, and started nibbling on that one. By now, Emeril was chopping herbs while he sautéed onions and garlic in olive oil, and when I wasn’t concentrating on him, my thoughts shifted again to Vernon and Sally, and the humiliating stunt they’d pulled on me, and how I’d really like to take my gun and blow both their brains out. Then I wondered why in hell Emeril would dog up his pizza with so much tomato sauce, and Sugar was driving me crazy begging for more meat, and before I realized it, I was sinking my teeth into a third slice loaded mainly with red peppers and sausage that had a wonderful fennel taste and telling myself how much better this pizza was than the one Emeril was fixin’.
17. The pizzas keep coming: parmigiana di melanzane, planks of eggplant mixed with tomato and Parmesan, roasted in the wood-fired oven until dense and sticky with flavor, then used to crown a pillow-soft disc of dough; la pinsa conciata, a poetic union of pork lard and fig jam and an ancient goat cheese once on the brink of extinction; calzone con scarola riccia, a featherweight shell of blistered impasto stuffed with wilted escarole and anchovy and a tickle of dried chili.
18. Pineapples without pizza is a sin.
19. Pineapples and Pizza were made by Jesus’s Son himself.
20. Just programmed my Alexa to order a pizza if I shout incoherently for more than 10 seconds.
21. Jake takes the warm pizza from the oven, spreads it with a wedge of softened, oozing Taleggio, scatters a few slices of apricot, some prosciutto, and a handful of the arugula over the top. He anoints it with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon. The combination is one of my recipes, and it’s been a seasonal favorite at the restaurant for years.
22. It took several months of being on a gluten free diet before I started to see chronic fatigue reactions to pizza, tempura and fruit drinks that would last several hours.
23. Freedom is the best pizza you could have.
24. Ann enjoyed baking and loved to cook, but the times when she didn’t cook, we would go out for a pizza. As far as I was concerned, the best pizzas were made in Portland, and the best Italian Grinders came from Brunswick. With all of the carbohydrates the two of us consumed, I have no idea why we didn’t bloat out and get fat, but youth was still on our side. Besides, we did get enough exercise.
The cardboard box I had struggled with in the blizzard was now defrosted. The ice had melted and the cardboard was wet and soggy, however the ingredients were still intact. Even the large bags of sugar and flour were still dry. Ann didn’t need a recipe and mixed the ingredients together professionally, using a large wooden spoon. She worked in the butter and thinned the mixture with the small containers of milk I had brought. Before long, the mixture was of the right consistency. She then poured the batter into a deep metal pan, and baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 or 30 minutes.
It’s amazing how serious the two of us could be when it came to getting this kind of important work done. While we were at it, we also made chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Although Ann did most of the work, I was the hero when I returned to the ship with all the goodies. There was something to be said for having a beautiful girlfriend who also knew how to bake delicious cookies!
25. Shigureni is a variety of stewed meat where ginger has been added to the traditional soy sauce-and-sugar simmering sauce.
Thick, sweet and accented with ginger’s uniquely spicy tang, there are layers of flavor to please the tongue!
Light yet thick, tangy yet sweet… all the various flavors patter across the tongue like a short afternoon drizzle- thus its name, shigure, which means “fall shower.”
“It’s a dish renowned for its exceptionally deep and compelling flavors.”
“Ooh, you just know it’s gonna be good. That’s Takumi-chi for ya! He’s a master of both Italian and Japanese cooking!
26. There are four cheeses! It’s a ‘Quattro Formaggi’ Pizza!”
“A ‘Four-Cheese’ Pizza? Well, duh. That’s a standard pizza topping, even in Italy. There’s nothing special or even unusual about that! So why the big reaction?!”
“Because the four cheeses were blended together and balanced with absolute perfection!
The deliciousness of most cheeses is rooted in their mellow richness and sharp saltiness. With those flavors as his baseline… he took four cheeses and balanced them so that their quirks and strengths play off each other brilliantly! That sharp, salty battle is a stark contrast to the thick sweetness of the shigureni beef- the gap between them creating a full-bodied and indescribably delicious flavor!
Then there’s the texture contrast of the gooey cheese and the crisply fragrant crust…”
“And you can’t forget the tingly bite of the black pepper sprinkled across the top. What a marvelous accent! All the various flavors blossom to their full potential inside the mouth, each making the salty cheese stand out more and more…”
We came out of the blocks with the bitterness of the artichokes…
then we jumped to the cynarine-boosted sweetness of the shigureni beef…
… and ended with a leap to a salty Quattro Formaggi Blend!
27. Dinner that night was pizza, homemade by her father. It had slices of green pepper on it and, of all things, pineapple chunks. Coraline ate the entire slice she was given. Well … she ate everything except for the pineapple chunks.
28. In the restaurant kitchen, August meant lobsters, blackberries, silver queen corn, and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. In honor of the last year of the restaurant, Fiona was creating a different tomato special for each day of the month. The first of August (two hundred and fifty covers on the book, eleven reservation wait list) was a roasted yellow tomato soup. The second of August (two hundred and fifty covers, seven reservation wait list) was tomato pie with a Gruyère crust. On the third of August, Ernie Otemeyer came in with his wife to celebrate his birthday and since Ernie liked food that went with his Bud Light, Fiona made a Sicilian pizza- a thick, doughy crust, a layer of fresh buffalo mozzarella, topped with a voluptuous tomato-basil sauce. One morning when she was working the phone, Adrienne stepped into the kitchen hoping to get a few minutes with Mario, and she found Fiona taking a bite out of red ripe tomato like it was an apple. Fiona held the tomato out.
“I’d put this on the menu,” she said. “But few would understand.
29. I’ve made their old favorite, pizza strudel, a recipe I invented in high school. It’s essentially pizza dough rolled out to a long rectangle, covered in a combination of mozzarella and provolone cheese, studded with chunks of sweet Italian sausage and slices of pepperoni, and then rolled up strudel-style and baked.
30. Rachel reappeared with a wooden peel holding a free-form pizza heaped with vegetables, its edges blackened by the flame. Melody’s mouth practically watered at the sight of it. The moules on Saturday had been amazing, but after the day she’d had, pizza and wine and butterscotch bars- hopefully with good coffee- would feed her soul as much as her body.
Her friend cut the pizza into diagonal strips with a dangerous-looking mezzaluna, and then it was a free-for-all to grab the crispiest slices.
Melody closed her eyes to savor the perfectly tender vegetables on top of the crisp pizza crust and sighed with happiness. “You did a garlic Parmesan cream sauce.”
“I figured I was allowed to deviate from traditional primavera since it’s pizza.”
“It’s good Parmesan.”
“Local. Makes up for the fact it’s not Italian.
31. What is life, it comes to me, without the occasional risk of pizza?
32. Life is mostly pain and struggle; the rest is love and deep dish pizza.
33. Wow. That’s sort of pretty. In a Jaws kind of way.
34. A Pizza Slice a day keeps Sadness Away.
35. Michael Wants Another Slice.
36. Pizza is good medicine for disappointment.
37. In America we have gone way beyond sustenance. Eating is an activity. ‘Why don’t we get lunch, and then we’ll grab some pizza.
38. Having Monday be Pizza Day subverts the natural order of things.
39. wine! pizza! pasta!’ V.I.
40. Jetzt eine Pizza, niemand kann tagelang Streuselkuchen essen.
41. I am the most pious person in the room. Even though I have no pie – I have pizza, and what can be more virtuous than eating all by yourself?
42. Pizza is like the entire food pyramid!
43. The desolate rocky terrain, the bone-chilling dampness, the low moaning carried by the wind—they seemed too real to be just a dream. Real, and frightening. Somehow I had entered another world. I’d heard that eating pizza before bedtime can cause nightmares, but I didn’t think it could transport a person.
44. Eating pizza is like having a little heaven in your nose. Wait, that’s not what you eat pizza with. I always get it confused with pizza-pie.
45. Eating pizza is like having a little heaven in your nose. Wait, that’s not what you eat pizza with. I always get it confused with pizza-pie.
46. Sex is like pizza: if you’re going to use BBQ sauce, you better know what the fuck you’re doing.
47. He Liked Pizzas, she Burger.
He Liked Italian, she Continental.
He Liked muffins, she puffs.
Poles apart they had no chance,
but cheese kept them together.
48. Everything it’s has it’s own benefits if you buy frozen pizza you go fat. If you buy well made pizza you will keep your weigh, even you won’t get fat!
49. At the same cost spent on occasional pizzas or dine outs, one can cover premium costs – for lasting protection – with insurance.
50. When life give you pizza, eat it quickly before anyone realizes that you have it.
51. If you were an Italian pizza, how would you consider a Portuguese one?
52. Warm, enticing scents were floating down, basil and oregano and tomato. It made Wes long for something, something he couldn’t place. A happy childhood, a home.
53. It looks like to watch a film without little horror is like to eat a pizza without the extra stuff on it. Like the sauces!
54. The universal logo for a pizzahut is eight slices painted cross a disc of yellow plywood mounted in the mouth of a taxidermic hippopotapus.
55. We’d be the Joystick Order. Out motto would be High Score for One, Pizza for All.
56. Why just order a pizza, when you can get a restraining order for the delivery guys, make them come to you, sue them, and get all the profit?
57. A little-known fact: Next to nothing is impossible. Actually, nothing itself is impossible. Nothing is the absence of all things. But that absence is, itself, a thing, and—well, the logic’s so screwy you could uncork a wine bottle with it.
The point is, most of the stuff people say is impossible is not at all impossible. Starting a car that’s already started, that’s im- possible. Traveling to where you are is impossible. Sleeping through Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” is impossible (and so is listening to it).
And that’s the list. Taking a neon-blue dump? Well… You’d think, but really it’s just improbable.
To sum up a wildly unmanageable concept: most things we call impossible are actually just things that require more effort than we’re willing to give. And even when it comes to impossible, it’s really only the Rick Astley that nobody will try if they’re given a few slices of pizza.
58. I love Pizza thicker, when the crust is thinner!
59. Good chefs started with a pizza.
60. Time for lunch. Take me somewhere good. Somewhere Italian.”
She chose Vine, one of the cafes on the main plaza, and ordered a burrata and squash blossom pizza. The fluffy soft cheese, drizzled with fruity olive oil, paired beautifully with the crisp blossoms and homemade crust. Eaten with chilled elderflower soda, it was exactly what she’d been craving.