Meatballs “Polpette” (for 4 people)

First, don’t eat these with pasta! You eat them “alone” with bread instead.

This is a great dish loved by both children and adults.  It’s the perfect dish to get a child involved in cooking.


  • 1 cup breadcrumbs made from 2-day old bread
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. ground meat (I prefer Bison, but you can use any meat you like).
  • 3 oz. mortadella, minced
  • 4 egg yolks
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1 Tb. Freshly minced Italian parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce
  1. 1 box of Pomì chopped tomatoes
  2. 1 – 2 cloves of fresh garlic smashed
  3. 2 Tb. Chopped fresh Italian parsley or basil, whatever you prefer
  4. ¼ cup olive oil


Prepare the Meatballs
  1. Make fresh breadcrumbs by pulling apart the soft middle of 2–3-day old fresh bread. These crumbs need to be soft, not firm like those in a typical container of “breadcrumbs” sold at the supermarket.
  2. Mince the breadcrumbs and put them into a bowl with the milk.  Leave them in the milk for 3 – 5 minutes, then squeeze out the milk.  Add them to a large bowl containing all the other ingredients.
  3. Mix the meat, spices, breadcrumbs, etc. well, using your hands. Once the ingredients are mixed, form meatballs of about the size of a golf ball. Place the meatballs on a large plate as you prepare the sauce.

Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium.
  2. When the olive oil is warm, add the smashed garlic cloves.
  3. Allow the garlic to turn golden; then remove all the garlic, using a fork.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the basil and the meatballs, cover, and cook on medium.
  5. After about 10 minutes, gently turn the meatballs over. Re-cover and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. This cooking time may vary depending on how well-cooked you prefer your meat.
  6. Serve immediately with some good fresh bread.
  7. Buon appetito!


Italiano: Polpette con sugo di pomodoro


  • 1 tazza molliche di pane fatte con pane Vecchio di 1-2 giorni
  • 1 tazza di latte intero
  • 450 g carne macinata (preferisco il bisonte, ma qualunque carne magra va bene)
  • 80 g. mortadella, a pezzettini
  • 4 rossi d’uovo
  • 1 cucchiaino di caffè di noce moscata
  • La buccia grattata di 2 limoni
  • 2 cucchiai di prezzemolo tritato
  • 1 spicchi d’aglio tritato
  • 2 cucchiai di olio d’oliva extra vergine
  • Sale e pepe
Sugo di Pomodoro
  • 1 scatola di 11 Kg pomodori latterini o Pomì a pezzetti (meglio se avete la Conserva di pomodoro 1 kg)
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio, schiacciati
  • Circa ½ tazza di olio extravergine di oliva
  • 1 peperoncino piccante calabrese italiano o, tritato (facoltativo) o altro Thai peperoncino, etc.
  • Una manciata di basilico italiano fresco tritato
  • Sale e pepe a piacere


Prepare le Polpette
  1. Mettete le molliche a mollo in una tazza di latte, per circa 5-10 min, poi strizzatele -senza esagerare- e usando le mani mischiatele con tutti gli altri ingredienti in una ciotola capiente.
  2. Quando gli ingredienti sono mischiati bene, fate delle polpette della grandezza di una palla da golf.
Prepare il Sugo
  1. Aggiungere l’olio d’oliva in una padella fuoco medio alto.
  2. Quando l’olio d’oliva è caldo, aggiungere aglio schiacciato.
  3. Lasciare che l’aglio diventi dorato; quindi toglierlo.
  4. Aggiungere la polpa di pomodoro and cuocete 2-3 minuti a fuoco medio. Aggiungete basilico e le polpette. Coprite.
  5. Dopo 10 minuti, girate le polpette e coprite di nuovo, per 10 minuti. Sempre coperto -ma se il sugo vi pare troppo lento allora togliete il coperchio così si asciuga, sempre a fuoco medio. Le polpette sono pronte, buon appetito.
  6. Servire subito con pane fresco
  7. Buon appetito!

“Sticky” Potatoes, or Patate Impacchiuse (for 4 people)

This is an old Calabrian recipe, and I love it. My guests love it, too. I often prepare this as a hearty appetizer, particularly when the weather is cool.

Use a cast-iron skillet that has a good-fitting cover.

Use yellow (Yukon) potatoes, cut in slices of about ¼ inch (½ cm).  Use 1 or 2 potatoes per person -depending on size of the potato, what else you are cooking etc.


  • 2 – 8 Yukon potatoes, sliced about ¼ inch.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced.
  • 2 Tb. Extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2-3 hot peppers, for example Calabrian red peppers or Thai peppers.
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium.
  2. When the olive oil is warm, add the sliced garlic cloves.
  3. Allow the garlic to turn golden; then remove all the garlic, using a fork.
  4. Add the hot chili peppers and saute for a minute.
  5. Add the potatoes, mix them so that each has a light coating of olive oil, then fry on medium/high 2 to 3 minute per side (i.e., until they get a gold to slight brown patina on the outside, NOT black).
  6. Cover the pot and cook on low for about 15 minutes.  Do not stir or mix, let them stick (impacchiuse means sticky).  Mix the potatoes gently– -try not to break them—so that those that were on top go on bottom and cover again.  Continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, and if the potatoes released water and so there seems to be liquid in the skillet, cook on medium high 2 minutes per side until the liquid evaporates.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Italiano: Patate Impacchiuse


  • 2 – 8 potate, tipo “Yukon”
  • Sale e pepe a piacere
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio, schiacciati
  • 120 ml di olio extravergine di oliva
  • 2 – 3 peperoncino piccante calabrese italiano o, tritato (facoltativo) o altro Thai piccante, etc.


  1. Aggiungere l’olio d’oliva in una padella fuoco medio alto.
  2. Quando l’olio d’oliva è caldo, aggiungere aglio schiacciato.
  3. Lasciare che l’aglio diventi dorato; quindi toglierlo.
  4. Add the hot chili peppers and saute for a minute.
  5. Add the potatoes, mix them so that each has a light coating of olive oil, then fry on medium/high 2 to 3 minute per side (i.e., until they get a gold to slight brown patina on the outside, NOT black).
  6. Cover the pot and cook on low for about 15 minutes. Do not stir or mix, let them stick (impacchiuse means sticky).  Mix the potatoes gently– -try not to break them—so that those that were on top go on bottom and cover again.  Continue cooking on low heat for another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid, and if the potatoes released water and so there seems to be liquid in the skillet, cook on medium high 2 minutes per side until the liquid evaporates.

Bon appetito!

Betti’s No-Knead Bread


No-knead bread

Home made bread is the best!

We started making bread at home when one of our favorite shops stopped making the type of bread we preferred — a crusty loaf with an airy middle.  After searching for recipes and a fair amount of experimentation, we found that this recipe works best for us.  We make it several times a week, with an extra loaf or two before friends come over for dinner.  It’s always a hit!

  • Yield One 1 loaf of bread (1/2 lb.)
  • Time 1 hour 30 minutes, plus about 20 hours’ resting time

This recipe is largely based on Mark Bittman’s original No-Knead bread recipe, one of the most popular recipes The Times has ever published, courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery (here’s the recipe link: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread).

While Mark Bittman’s original recipe did not require any kneading, the bread becomes airier when a small amount of kneading is done during the 20+ hour fermentation process.  See my variations on this great original Bittman recipe below.

Ingredients if Using Active Dry Yeast

  • 430 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 390 ml tepid water (I use my kitchen scale to weigh the water as I pour it into the bowl with the flour, salt, and yeast.  One ml of water weighs 1 gram, so it’s easy.)

NOTE: If you are making this with all whole-wheat flour, use 420 ml of water, because the whole wheat flour needs a bit more water.

Ingredients if Using Live Sourdough Starter

If you are using a live sourdough starter (lievito madre),  you need to “play” a little bit with adding the water.

Start with the all-purpose flour and the salt:

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Use a whisk to mix the all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl. Then, using damp hands, add the 150 grams of lievito madre.

  • 150 g of active starter
  • 300 – 325 ml tepid water (the amount of water depends on the consistency of the live sourdough starter, so you need to to play with it a little bit).

Mix gently with damp hands, adding tepid water until it reaches a sticky, shaggy consistency. You are now ready to follow the next steps, which are the same whether you use the active dry or lievito madre.


  1. In a large glass or metal bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt. Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Add the tepid water (120° – 130° F) and stir until blended; the dough will be shaggy and sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it has doubled in volume.
  4. Remove the lid, wet your hands with warm water from the kitchen faucet, and then pull the dough from the outside edge to the middle. Rotate the bowl as you pull until you have rotated the bowl completely around (360-degree rotation), and then quickly flip the dough upside down.
  5. Let the dough rise another couple of hours in the bowl, then repeat the “pulling” process.
  6. Cover the bowl and put it into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.  You can keep it in the refrigerator up to 36 hours, but I like it best after 12 hours.
  7. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator at least 8 – 10 hours before you plan to bake the bread.
  8. Lightly flour a silicone pad (or an airtight plastic proofing container, which I show in my video) and place the dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold the dough over on itself once or twice. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap (or with the proofing container’s lid) and let it rest about 15 minutes.
  9. Wet your fingers so that the dough won’t stick to them.  Gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Sprinkle the silicone mat/proofing container generously with flour, then put ball down on the silicone pad and dust it with more flour. Cover the container, or loosely place plastic wrap over it if you don’t have a container, allow it to rise at room temperature for 6-8 hours, until you plan to bake it.
  10. When it is ready, the dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  11. At least a half-hour before you plan to bake the bread, heat oven to 450°F. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. (This is especially important if you are using a ceramic pan because it will break if it does not heat in the oven from cool to 450°F).
  12. When the oven is pre-heated, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Wet your hands and quickly and gently lift the dough from the proofing pad and place it directly into the pot.  It may look like a mess, but that is okay. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover the pan/ceramic bowl with its lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 15 minutes (or so), until the loaf is beautifully browned.
  13. Cool on a rack.


Foccacia with rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes

Focaccia with rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes

This is a recipe from Kitchen & Craft, with some very slight modifications.  Check out the excellent video posted on YouTube called Amazing Focaccia Bread | How to make it in 6 easy steps.

Even though there are a lot of steps in this process, each step is easy, and the results are fantastic.

Cooking Time

  • 35 minutes, + start at least 12 hours in advance – for example, start the dough the evening before you plan to cook the focaccia.

Ingredients for one 9” by 13” loaf of focaccia

  • Total flour: 4 and ½ cups, or 600 grams: You can use all-purpose flour, or a combination of all-purpose and wheat flour. In the pictured version shown here, I used 400 grams of organic all-purpose flour and 200 grams of wheat flour.
    • All-Purpose Flour, 100% – 400 G
    • Wheat Flour – 200 G (total of 600 grams, or 4 1/2 cups of flour)
  • Warm Water, 75% – 450g (2 cups)
  • Coarse Sea Salt, 1% – 6g (3/4 tsp.)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3.3% – 20g (2 tbsp.)
  • Active Dry Yeast, 0.15% – 1/4 tsp
  • Handful chopped sundried tomatoes


  • Fresh shredded rosemary
  • Handful freshly grated Parmigiana cheese
  • Coarse salt


  1. Watch the video for a quick tour of the whole process.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and active dry yeast. Use a whisk to mix the yeast and flour.
    • If you are adding chopped sun-dried tomatoes or chopped olives, add them now and give the flour, yeast a quick mix to distribute them through the dry ingredient bowl.
  3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine the tepid/warm water with the salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour the water and salt into the large bowl containing the flour, active dry yeast, and the optional sundried tomatoes or olives. With a wooden spoon, mix the combined ingredients together in the bowl for a minute or two until you have a doughy ball that is slightly damp.
  5. Add the 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, then use your hands to knead the dough for a couple of minutes. You can pinch the dough with your fingers as you gently knead it together until it forms a soft, damp ball.
  6. Coat another large bowl with a bit of olive oil and transfer the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow the ingredients to rest for a half an hour.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the ingredients to rest for a half an hour.
  8. Now, for a total of 4 times, every twenty minutes, “pull” or “fold” the dough in a rotating fashion until you have rotated/folded the dough 360°. Re-cover the bowl and allow it to rest until another 20-30 minutes have passed.
  9. After you’ve completed the rotation/folding process at least 4 times, re-cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, or a couple of hours before you plan to bake it, take the bowl out of the refrigerator.
  10. Coat a 9” by 13” baking pan with a layer of extra-virgin olive oil. Transfer the dough into it and gently stretch the dough evenly until it is spread through the whole pan.
  11. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and put it into an un-heated oven with its light on. The temperature needs to be around 80- 90°F, which is generally the temperature of an oven with its light turned on. If you aren’t confident of the temperature, you can boil a small pot of water and put the steaming pot into the bottom of the oven beneath the bread. Leave the dough to proof for about an hour. This is the second proof.
  12. Remove from the oven, take of the plastic wrap, and with wet fingers, gently press into the dough to dimple it. Re-cover with plastic wrap and pop it into the unheated oven for another 45 minutes.
  13. Take it out of the oven. Bring the oven to 450° F. While the oven is pre-heating, you can finish the focaccia dough by sprinkling the top with fresh rosemary leaves. Add some sea salt on top and then sprinkle some olive oil over the entire surface (I use a plastic squeeze bottle to spread the olive oil evenly).
  14. Put the dough into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  15. Remove from the oven and put the hot pan onto the top of the stove or a rack. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then gently remove it from the baking pan and let it sit on the rack. (If you wait too long, it will stick, and it’s a devil to get it out of the baking pan!)
  16. Add a little more olive oil to the top surface. Now — avoid temptation and let the focaccia rest on the rack for another 15 minutes.

Enjoy the results!

Linguine or Spaghetti with Broccolini (“cime di rapa” in Italian) for 5 people

This is a variant to the classic recipe “spaghetti con le cime di rapa” that I developed recently and love. Hopefully, you will like it too. Is very simple to make.  Here’s a very detailed recipe so you get it right the first time.

Ingredients for 5 people

  • 1 box of linguine (use brands Seggiano, Rummo, or any top quality Italian pasta for best results).
  • About 30 – 40 filets of anchovies (so, 15-20 whole anchovies depending on how big they are), cut in about ½-inch pieces.
  • 3-4 spicy Calabrian peppers minced (or 1-2 Thai or Hawaiian hot peppers (the difference is that the Calabrian peppers are hot and also have an aroma).
  • Two cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and smashed.
  • ½ lb. of sea-fish filet (swordfish, grouper, corvina), whatever looks fresh, it should be about ½ – 2/3 inches thick (1.5 -2.0 cm). Chop into 1 x 2 inches.
  • 1 bunch (1/2 pound) of broccolini cut into small pieces: divide them so that the distal part of the stem of the broccolini -i.e., the base of the stem, the hardest and largest part, is separate from the upper part of the stems and florets. Put the chopped florets and the soft stems in one bowl and the distal chopped hard stems, in another.
  • Fresh Italian parsley, about 1/3 cup, minced.
  • 5 oz. freshly grated Italian Pecorino cheese (either pecorino romano, or pecorino calabrese or sardo stagionato -i.e., hard pecorino not fresh soft pecorino).
  • Extra-virgin Italian olive oil.


  1. Put a large pot with water for the pasta on the stove on high heat, and immediately add the chopped distal hard stems of the broccolini.
  2. Next, pour olive oil to cover the bottom of a 10–12-inch diameter pan, preferably a cast iron skillet, or similarly heavy skillet. Add the filets of anchovies, the two cloves of garlic, and the hot peppers. Do not turn on the heat until the water in the pasta is boiling.
  3. When the water in the pot for the pasta comes to a boil,
    1. Turn the heat for the skillet containing the anchovies, peppers, garlic and oil, to high. Using a wooden spoon, move around the filets of anchovies till they start to melt (about 3 minutes).
    2. Remove the garlic from the skillet with a fork.
  4. Now you can put the linguine into the pot of boiling water. Add salt to taste and allow it to boil vigorously.
  5. Now that the pasta is starting to cook, you add the chopped pieces of fish to the skillet. Use a wooden spoon to gently mix the fish with the anchovies, olive oil, and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes as the fish takes on color from the heat (but is not yet fully cooked).
  6. Add the chopped broccolini florets and soft stems them, stirring around with the rest of the ingredients as the pasta continues to boil. After about 3 minutes, add a ladle of the water from the pan of boiling pasta to the skillet with the fish and broccolini. You can continue to add “pasta water” to the skillet as needed, in order to create a liquid consistency in the skillet. It’s not a broth, but more of a smooth sauce.
  7. About two minutes before the linguine are fully cooked, take one cup of boiling water from the pot and set it aside. Quickly drain the linguine and broccolini stems in a colander, and then add the drained linguine/broccolini stems to the skillet containing the fish, anchovies, and broccolini florets.  The heat should still be on high.
  8. Moving fast, mix the linguine together with the other ingredients in the skillet. Mix the linguine and sauce constantly until the sauce reduces a little bit and is smooth – about 2 minutes. If the sauce looks a little too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water to the skillet.
  9. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the minced parsley and grated Pecorino to the skillet. Mix well for another minute or so, and then enjoy this delicious pasta!

About salt: Add at the end after you taste the pasta. There is always a risk of over-salting when using anchovies, pecorino and water from the pasta that already contains salt.

Italiano: Linguine con cime di rapa


  • 450 – 500 g. linguine
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati
  • 30 – 40 filets alici, cioè 30-40 alici intere, tagliati a pezzetti di 1-2 cm.
  • 3-4 peperoncini calabresi -o meno se non vi piace il piccante.
  • 230 g. circa di filetto di pesce da taglio – corvina, pesce spada, cernia, ecc. -quello che preferite basta che è fresco.
  • 1 mazzo (circa 225 g.) di cime di rape tagliate a pezzetti, mettete la parte del gambo più dura direttamente nell’acqua di cottura il resto gambo morbido e cime mischiati insieme andranno in padella.
  • Un pugno di prezzemolo
  • 130 g. grattato (Pecorino Romano, o Pecorino Calabrese o Sardo stagionato -quello che preferite, a me piace di più quello calabrese


  1. Mettete l’acqua sul fuoco -insieme ai gambi tagliati a pezzetti.
  2. In una padella preferibilmente di ferro coprite il forno con olio d’oliva e poi mettete a freddo, le alici, l’aglio, il peperoncino. Quando l’acqua inizia a bollire, allora accendete il fuoco sotto la padella al massimo.
  3. Con un cucchiaio di legno mischiate un po’ le alici col resto finche` non si cominciano a sciogliere – circa 3 minuti. Togliete l’aglio.
  4. Calate la pasta.
  5. Aggiungete il pesce in padella e rigirate per circa 3 minuti -quando prende colore.
  6. Aggiungete le cime di rapa e i gambi “morbidi” a pezzetti. Continuate a rigirare e dopo 3 minuti aggiungete un mestolo di acqua della pasta, fuoco sempre alto.  Come si va asciugando aggiungete altra acqua.
  7. Quando la pasta è molto al dente, cioè circa 2 minuti prima di toglierla, prendete una tazza di acqua dalla pentola, e mettetela da parte, subito dopo scolate la pasta e mettetela in insieme ai gambi che avete cucinato con la pasta, nella padella in cui state cucinando pesce e cime di rape. Rigirate per circa 3 minuti aggiungendo acqua se necessario.  Deve essere una salsa, ne troppo liquida ne asciutta.
  8. Togliete la pentola dal fuoco, spostatela su un fornello freddo, aggiungete pecorino grattugiato e prezzemolo e rigirate bene, senza fermarvi per 2 minuti.
  9. Aggiustate di sale.
  10. Buon appetito.


Beef Roast Brasato, or Brasato di Manzo (for many people)

I love this recipe, it is easy to make and feeds easily 10-14 people or more. It’s perfect if you busy and have little time to prepare a dinner, it takes about 45 min to put it to get into the oven, then it cooks on its own for 2 hours: you will impress your guests for sure.


  • Beef roast with 3 – 4 ribs (about 9-12 pounds) , depending on how many people will be over for dinner.  You need to make sure you have a big enough roasting pot for the roast – for a 4-rib roast, you need a 12 inch cast iron skillet with a cover
  • 3 – 4 celery stalks, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 – 4 carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion cut in small pieces
  • A bunch of fresh thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and bay leaves tied into a bunch (I use a tea bag to hold the fresh spices in a sack).
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • ½ box (about 400 grams) of Pomì chopped tomatoes or homemade canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) of meat broth
  • 1 bottle of a good red Italian wine, for example a Nebbiolo (use a good quality wine)


  1. Put salt and pepper on the roast and massage it in with your hands.
  2. Put a half cup of all-purpose flour into a large brown bag and put the roast into the bag. Shake it up so that the entire roast is lightly covered with flour.
  3. Melt 1 stick of butter with 1 TB of olive oil in the skillet.  Put the floured roast into a pan.  Use high heat, rotating every 2 – 3 minutes, allowing the roast it take a nice gold color all around.
  4. Once the entire roast is lightly browned, add the onion, carrots and the celery 3 minutes.
  5. Keeping the heat on medium-high, add the herb sac and 1 bottle of Nebbiolo (or other good strong Italian wine) – look, if you use a wine of high quality, you will have a dish of high quality, and vice-versa. Allow about 1/5 of the wine to evaporate.
  6. Add 1/2 box (400 grams) of crushed Pomì tomatoes -or better if you have them home made canned tomatoes) let it cook 5 minutes and then add the homemade meat broth. Cover and put in the oven for 2 hours.  Turn the roast only once.
  7. During the last 30 minutes or so, remove the cover so the sauce becomes denser.
  8. After 2 hours turn off the oven and leave the pot in the cooling oven: Ideally let it “sit” in the oven 4 hours or so before you serve it (just warm if up before serving it).

Italiano: Brasato di Manzo


  • Arrosto di manzo o vitello 3 – 4 costole, circa 3-5 kg dipende quanti siete.  4 kg bastano per 12-14 persone.  Prima di comprarlo misurate la pentola da forno che deve avere il coperchio, per essere sicuri di comprare un arrosto che entra nella vostra pentola e nel vostro forno.
  • 3 – 4 gambi di sedano a pezzetti di circa 2 cm
  • 3 – 4 carote, a pezzetti di circa 2 cm
  • 1 cipolla rossa grande a pezzetti
  • Un mazzetto di timo, maggiorana, rosmarino e lauro legato insieme o mezzo in una bustina da te, oppure “libero” se non avete bustina o come legarlo
  • Sale e pepe nero
  • 3-4 pugni di farina
  • 1 bastoncino di burro
  • 1 cucchiaio d’olio d’oliva
  • ½ pacco di Pomi (circa 40o g), meglio se avete la costra conserva di pomodoro fatta in casa
  • ½ litro di brodo di carne
  • 1 bottiglia di Nebbiolo, Barbera, Cirò o altro vino rosso di qualità`.


  1. Massaggiare la carne con sale e pepe
  2. Infarinarne la carne, senza esagerare.
  3. Squagliate il burro con l’olio nella pentola, alzate il fuoco a medio alto o alto -dipende dalla potenza dei vostri fornelli- e rosolate la carne 3-4 min per lato finche` si colora bene.
  4. Aggiungete cipolla, sedano e carote e cucinate per latri 3-4 min.
  5. Aggiungete il mazzetto aromatico e 1 bottiglia di vino rosso, fate evaporare circa 1/5 del vino poi aggiungete il pomodoro e appena bolle, il brodo di carne.
  6. Coprite e infornate per due ore girando l’arrosto dopo un’ora
  7. Verso la fine, cioè a circa 30 minuti dalla fine scoprite per fare condensare il sugo.
  8. Spegnete il forno ma lasciate la pentola scoperta nel forno per altre 2-4 ore, la carne prenderà più sapore.
  9. Buon Appetito!

Confit of Cherry Tomatoes

This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes I’ve tried. I think the reason it’s so delicious is because the flavor of the cherry tomatoes is dominant, and the combination of sweet and tart reminds us of summer days at any time of the year.  It’s great on its own, as a simple sauce for pasta, gnocchi, or a slice of crusty bread.  But it can also be used as a basis for many other recipes, including a mussel soup.

The confit can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks, so I always buy several pounds of the cherry tomatoes and make a big batch. I’ve never actually made it to the two-week mark without using all the confit in one recipe or another.

Tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and garlic

The ingredients all go into one pot at the same time.


  • 4 lbs. of cherry tomatoes (I use a mix of red, yellow, and orange tomatoes because they each have different levels of acidity. The brand “Wild Wonders,” available almost anywhere in the US, works very well.)
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 full head of garlic, skin on, sliced horizontally
  • 2 bunches of fresh basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

If you want to prepare a lot, just buy more tomatoes, and use a larger casserole dish!


Pre-heat your oven to 250° F.

After cooking, the cherry tomatoes are still whole. the sauce is a combination of juice and olive oil.

Cooked confit of cherry tomatoes. After cooking, the cherry tomatoes are still whole. the sauce is a combination of juice and olive oil.

  1. Wash the cherry tomatoes and put them into a deep-dish casserole or a Dutch oven.
  2. Pour enough olive oil to fill about 1/3 of the casserole containing the tomatoes.
  3. Add salt and black pepper, then mix the tomatoes gently so that each one is coated with oil and the salt and pepper are distributed.
  4. Now insert the garlic heads and basil into the casserole, covering them with the tomatoes.
  5. Put the casserole into the oven uncovered and cook for about one and a half hours.
  6. Cover the dish without disturbing the contents and let them cook for another 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the casserole dish from the oven. You’ll see that the tomatoes remain whole, but a lot of the juice from the tomatoes will fill mix with the olive oil, creating a delicately flavored sauce. Allow to cool and then remove all the garlic cloves from the mixture. (Leaving in the garlic will change the flavor of the dish because it overpowers the tomatoes.) That’s it!  I like it best when I prepare the confit the day before and then refrigerate it overnight.  The flavors combine into a more subtle sauce.

Mussel Soup with Cherry Tomato Confit

This is a wonderful, fast recipe. I recently hosted a dinner party, and everyone loved it and asked for more!


  • Confit of cherry tomatoes (4 cups)
  • 3 lbs. fresh mussels, cleaned and bearded
  • Fresh minced parsley (as a garnish)
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil


  1. In a medium-sized pot with a tight lid (for example, a 15-quart pot), add the confit of cherry tomatoes.
  2. Bring them to a gentle boil on medium heat. As soon as they start to boil, add the fresh mussels and the basil. Gently stir to combine them with the confit. Cover the pot.
  3. Allow them to boil, covered, for 3 minutes. Open the lid and stir the mixture again, trying not to break too many tomatoes. Re-cover the pot cook another 3 minutes or so – you can tell when they are ready: when they all open their shells. Be careful to avoid overcooking them!
  4. Ladle into soup bowls, sprinkle with minced parsley, and serve with a crusty bread.

Confit di Pomodori

Ricetta semplicissima, con questo sugo potete farci tante cose, di sotto suggerisco una zuppa di cozze buonissima.


  • Circa 2 kg di pomodorini piccoli (latterini).
  • 2-3 mazzi di basilico, lavato e fatto a pezzetti con le mani
  • Olio d’oliva di ottima qualità
  • Sale


  1. Forno a 125 C
  2. Mettete i pomodori e il basilico e un po’ di sale in una pentola da forno, aggiungete olio d’oliva a coprire fino a 1/3 dalla base della pentola I pomodori -cioè tanto olio!) e infornateli scoperti per un ora e mezza, poi togliete il coperchio e cuocete per altri 30 minuti.
  3. FATTO! Vedrete che i pomodori sono ancora interi.
  4. Togliete l’aglio, poi potete farli raffreddare e conservare in frigo per 1-2 settimane, o surgelarli per uso future.

Ricetta con le Cozze


  • 5 Kg di confit di pomodori
  • 5 Kg di cozze
  • 1 mazzo di basilico fresco
  • Pane di giornata


  1. Portate a ebollizione il pomodoro, aggiungete 1.5 Kg di cozze e un mazzo di basilico fresco, e coprite.
  2. Girate dopo 3 min, aspettate altri 3 minuti circa, appena le cozze si aprono portate a tavola e buon appetito (serve naturalmente pane fresco da intingere nel sugo).

Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese (with saffron)

There are many “interpretations” of this risotto. I found this recipe in an old 1950s magazine and maybe over the years I modified it a little bit.  It is one of my preferred risotto dishes, and best made together with Ossobuco (see recipe) since for an outstanding risotto you need the veal bone marrow – buccbut is excellent without it, too.

Time: it takes about 22 minutes from the time you pour the rice in the casserole pan.

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • About 500 ml of either meat broth – that is what I usually use; or chicken broth, which also works also very well. Bring to a boil before you start cooking then lower heat to a simmer.
  • 50 grams of butter and 1 TB olive oil
  • 500 grams of risotto, “Carnaroli” best, alternatively “Vialone nano.”
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • ½ cup dried porcini – which you will put in a cup of warm broth before you start cooking – or 50 grams or so of fresh porcini or some good fresh mushrooms cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 1 cup of red wine (Nebbiolo grape is best)
  • About 2 grams of saffron dissolved in 1 cup of warm broth. You will dissolve the saffron before you start cooking as it takes some time to completely dissolve
  • Bone marrow from about 3-4 osso buchi
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano (about 50 grams); more can be grated on the plate


  1. In a good round pot, La Creuset, Staub, etc., or in a copper pot, melt the butter and oil.
  2. Bring the heat to medium-high and add the minced onions. As soon as they start to soften, add the risotto. While constantly stirring it, cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, stirring constantly for 1 more minute.
  4. Add 1 cup of red wine, and allow it to evaporate almost entirely
  5. Add the hot broth, 1 ladle at time. As it is incorporated into the risotto, add more.  You need to stir continuously as the risotto, mushrooms and onions cook in the hot broth.
  6. When you are close to 20 minutes of cooking time, add the broth in which you have dissolved the saffron. How much saffron? Well different saffron have different power, so 2 grams/500 grams of rice is a suggestion that may need to be modified depending on the type of saffron you use.  Anyway it is pretty simple: The rice should turn yellow orange: if is pale yellow you need to dissolve more saffron in broth and add more, if it starts turning orange, as soon as that happens, stop adding broth with saffron and continue instead with broth without saffron
  7. Once the rice is ready –taste it to know when is ready–add the bone marrow, mix well, turn off the heat and move the pot on a cold burner.  Add the Parmigiano, mix well, taste for salt and eventually add more as needed (it depends if the broth had or did not have enough salt).  Black pepper? Tell your guests to add it if they like.
  8. Buon appetito!


Italiano: Risotto alla Milanese

Tante “intepretazioni” questa ricotta l’ho trovata in una vecchia rivista degli anni 50 a casa dei miei nonni, l’ho copiata e probabilmente modificata un po’ nel corso degli anni.  È uno dei miei risotti preferiti.  Suggersco di offrirlo insieme all’ossobuco, perchè per un risotto alla Milanese perfetto serve un po di midollo di vitello, ma va bene anche senza, non perfetto, ma ottimo.

Tempo: Ci vogliono circa 22 minuti dal momento in cui buttate il riso in casseruola.

Ingredienti per 6 persone:

  • Circa mezzo litro di brodo di carne o se non lo avete di pollo che mettete sul fuoco finchè bolle, poi abbassate al minimo
  • 50 grammi di burro e 1 cucchiaio di olio d’oliva
  • 500 grammi di risotto, “Carnaroli” oppure “Vialone nano”.
  • 1 cipolla media a pezzettini
  • 1-2 pugni di porcini secchi messi a mollo in circa 200 ml di brodo tiepido
  • meglio circa 50 grammi di porcini freschi o altri funghi buoni a pezzetti
  • 1 bicchiere vino rosso (nebbiolo meglio)
  • Circa 2 grammi di zafferano dissolto in circa 250 ml di brodo tiepido –ci vuole un po perchè i dissolva perciò mettetelo a dissolvere appena cominciate, quando mettete il brodo a scaldare.
  • Il midollo di 3-4 ossi buchi
  • Circa 50 grammi di parmigiano –poi chi vuole ne mette altro



  1. In una buona pentola rotonda, La Creuset, Staub, etc., o di rame, squagliate il burro con olio –fuoco basso.
  2. Alzate il fuoco e aggiungete cipolla a pezzetti e riso girando costantemente, 3 minuti.
  3. Aggiungete i funghi, girare 1 altro minuto.
  4. Aggiungere 1 bicchiere vino rosso fare evaporare quasi completamente.
  5. Aggiungere 1 mestolo di brodo per volta fino a cottura – circa 20 minuti.
  6. Quando il riso è quasi cotto, 5 minuti prima di spegnere il fuoco, aggiungere il brodo in cui avete dissolto lo zafferano. Quanto zafferano? Quando il riso è giallo/arancione (colore mandarino) è la quantità giusta: se è solo giallo serve più zafferano, come diventa un po’ arancione, fermatevi.
  7. Quando il riso è quasi pronto aggiungere il midollo di vitello che avrete preso dagli ossibuchi mischiare, spegnere il fuoco spostare la padella su fornello freddo aggiungete il parmigiano e mischiate. Sale? Dipende se il brodo lo aveva, comunque assaggiate e se necessario aggiungetelo. Pepe nero? Un po’ ci sta bene, ma fate fare ai commensali a gusto proprio.
  8. Buon Appetito.


My Favorite Roasted Rabbit Recipe

Roasted Rabbit

One day a few years ago, my wife Betti called me from Whole Foods. “They have frozen rabbit,” she said. “Didn’t you tell me that you wanted to cook something different?”  I told her to buy it, and then began looking through my cookbooks for a good recipe.

After going through several of my favorite books, including the one my mother gave me in college (Il Cuoco Gentiloumo), I decided that none of them were quite right.  I decided to create my own recipe, and it turned out to be one of my best.


  • 1 rabbit cut in 8-12 pieces (ask the butcher to do it if you do not know how)
  • Extra virgin Italian olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into in 8 wedges
  • 1 large ripe tomato, Heirloom preferred, sliced into 8 wedges
  • 2 teaspoons of capers
  • 2 tablespoons of good-quality green olives (pitted)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, just the leaves
  • ¾ of a cup white wine
  • Juice from 3 lemons
  • Balsamic vinegar, ¼ of a cup
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 hot spicy pepper



  1. Marinate the rabbit with:
    • 1/3 of cup olive oil
    • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
    • The juice of 3 lemons
    • 2 sprigs of rosemary –needles only
    • 8-10 basil leaves
    • The green bell pepper in 8 pieces
    • Salt and black pepperTurn the pieces over every 20 minutes or so, for about 1 hour.
  2. Start oven convection roast 475 – 480 F
  3. In a roasting pan, or Dutch oven (for example, Staubb or Le Crueset), add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 minced red pepper (for example, a Calabrian red pepper or a Thai pepper), 2 cloves of smashed garlic, some coarse salt. Add the rabbit pieces and half of the marinade.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes on high, mixing every so often to brown the rabbit.
  5. After 10 minutes, add the rest of the marinade and continue to brown for 5 more minutes.
  6. In the meantime, get a medium sized bowl and mix together ¾ of a cup of white wine, ¼ of cup of balsamic vinegar. Add half of the remaining minced parsley.
  7. Remove the pan from the fire, and add ½ cup of flour, the wine and balsamic vinegar mix, and 1 cup of water to the pan. Mix the liquid well and then add the slices of tomato and the rest of the parsley.  Put the pan into the oven and lower the heat to 400 F.
  8. After 15 minutes, add the 2 teaspoons of capers and the 2 tablespoons of green olives. Cook for 5 more minutes.The total roasting time is 20 minutes, or 25 minutes if you cook a large rabbit or double this recipe.
  9. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the remainder of the minced parsley, a handful of fresh basil and serve with excellent, crusty bread.
  10. Buon Appetito!


Italiano: Coniglio di Miguel

Ricetta che ho inventato perché tutte quelle che trovavo non mi piacevano.  È venuto il miglior coniglio che ho mai mangiato e da allora è uno dei miei piatti preferiti.


  • 1 coniglio intero tagliato in 8-12 pezzi. Se non sapete tagliarlo chiedete al macellaio di farlo per voi
  • Olio extravergine di oliva italiano
  • 1 peperone verde, tagliato in 8 spicchi
  • 1 pomodoro grande maturo, preferito Heirloom, tagliato in 8 spicchi
  • 2 cucchiaini di capperi
  • 2 cucchiai di olive verdi di buona qualità (denocciolate)
  • 5 spicchi d’aglio
  • 1 mazzetto di prezzemolo italiano
  • 4 foglie di alloro
  • 1 mazzetto di basilico
  • 2 rametti di rosmarino fresco, solo le foglie
  • ¾ di bicchiere di vino bianco
  • Succo di 3 limoni
  • Aceto balsamico, ¼ di tazza
  • ½ tazza di farina per tutti gli usi
  • 1 peperoncino piccante


  1. Mettere il coniglio a marinare per circa 1 ora in una pentola con: 3 limoni spremuti, 3 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati, ½ tazzina di caffè di olio d’oliva, 1 peperone verde tagliato in 8 pezzi, 4 foglie di lauro, 1 rametto di rosmarino (solo gli aghi), un pugno di basilico, sale e pepe nero. Girare ogni 20 minuti circa.
  2. Accendere forno a 250C.
  3. In una buona pentola di alluminio o di ferro, 1/3 di tazzina di caffè d’olio d’oliva, 1 peperoncino piccante, quelli calabresi sono i migliori, 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati, un po’ di sale grosso. Aggiungere il coniglio e mezza marinata, fuoco forte fate rosolare per 10 minuti.
  4. Passati 10 minuti, aggiungete il resto della marinata e continuate a rosolare per 5 minuti a fuoco forte.
  5. Preparate 1 bicchiere 3/4 di vino bianco 1/4 di aceto balsamico e tagliate in 4 pezzi un grosso pomodoro. Tritate 1/2 mazzetto di prezzemolo.  Prendete la farina.
  6. Spegnete il fuoco, aggiungete due pugni di farina, il bicchiere vino e aceto, e lo stesso volume di acqua, rimestando per sciogliere la farina, aggiungete metà del prezzemolo e il pomodoro a pezzi, infornate scoperto abbassando il forno a 200.
  7. Dopo 15 minuti aggiungere 2 cucchiai di capperi e due di olive verdi (buone non olive in barattolo.) Infornate per altri 5 minuti (tempo totale in forno 20 minuti che diventane 25 se il coniglio è grosso o se state cuocendo due conigli).
  8. Togliere dal forno spruzzarci sopra un po di prezzemolo, e basilico fresco e buon appetito!

Tiramisu by Betti

Tiramisu is one of the classic Italian desserts, a delicious combination of cream, coffee, sugar and egg.   A good tiramisu is difficult to find, but I’ve been able to prepare this one for very large crowd…just a little piece goes a long way!


A delicious slice of tiramisu

This is based on Giancarlo Gottardo’s recipe, but it has less sugar and  adds whipped egg whites to the custard for the tiramisu.

I also add a chocolate-flavored rum to the zabaglione (custard) that is the basis for the tiramisu. The alcohol in the rum cooks off, but it leaves a delicious flavor.

The tiramisu has a layer of custard on the bottom, topped by a layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, with another layer of custard, another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, and then topped with a final layer of custard sprinkled with powered chocolate.  This recipe makes enough of the custard for a 13.5 inch by 9 inch  rectangular baking pan.

Because it’s so rich, a small piece is just right, and this recipe can serve 40 people easily.  That said, I always give the leftover tiramisu from a smaller gathering to my mom, who eats a couple of pieces each day for almost a week.  She assures me that the tiramisu seems to get better with each passing day.  So don’t worry, even if this seems like a lot of tiramisu, none will go to waste.

When you assemble the ingredients, you need to make sure that you make each part separately and then combine them quickly into the baking pan.

Make the recipe one day in advance so that the ingredients combine together fully before serving it.


  • 5 egg yolks, with 3 TB sugar for the zabaglione
  • 3 egg whites, with 3 TB sugar (or just use all 5 egg whites, using 1 TB sugar for each). You can reserve the extra whipped egg whites for your coffee the following morning.
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 packages of ladyfingers: You need enough to create two layers of ladyfingers in the baking pan
  • 3/4 cup fresh espresso, mixed with 2 TB sugar. You can optionally add 1/4 cup of chocolate-flavored rum to the coffee if you are okay with serving a dessert that has a small amount of alcohol in it.
  • 2 cups of mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate-flavored rum (optional) for the zabaglione, plus an additional 1/4 cup that you can add to the coffee if you are okay with
  • 1/4 cup of ground dark chocolate (I use my coffee bean grinder to create the powder that dusts the top of the tiramisu)


You will need several large mixing bowls ready for this recipe, as well as space in your refrigerator to store each bowl as you complete the steps below.  I have found that it’s best to start with the zabaglione, then whip the heavy cream, followed by the whipped egg whites.

Start by taking the two cups of mascarpone from the refrigerator so that they are at room temperature when you mix everything together.


  1. Make 3/4 cup espresso and add 2 TB sugar. You an optionally add about 1/4 cup of chocolate-based rum, if you and your guests are okay with having some alcohol in the dessert.  If you prefer it non-alcoholic, make about 1 cup of espresso.
  2. Refrigerate until you need to assemble the tiramisu.


The zabaglione is the egg-yolk-based custard that is key to making an excellent tiramisu.  You need to be prepared to devote at least 15 minutes of your full attention – and both hands – to the process of making zabaglione.  Turn off your phone, make sure you are listening to some good music!

  1. Prepare a Dutch boiler by putting water high enough to cover the bottom of the inserted pan. If you don’t have a Dutch boiler, select a pot that can hold a heavy Pyrex bowl comfortably, with the bottom part of the bowl immersed in the water.It’s best if you have a pan or bowl with a curved bottom, because you will need to whisk the eggs and sugar, and the curved surface makes the task easier and prevents sticking.
  2. Turn on the heat to medium/medium high to start heating the water. In the top pan, combine the 5 egg yolks with 3 TB sugar. With a large whisk, begin whisking the egg yolks and sugar, as the water comes to a light boil/simmer.You want to regulate the heat so that the water doesn’t boil too hard.  The goal is to make sure that the zabaglione cooks into a thick sauce over the next several minutes.
  3. Using a whisk, rapidly froth the egg yolks and sugar. Continue mixing over the Dutch oven for about 10 – 14 minutes. If you wish to add the chocolate-based rum, add it in 2-3 increments as you continue to whisk the eggs, sugar, and rum.If you don’t add the rum, add about 1/4 cup of the boiling water in small increments.
  4. When the mixture becomes thick, like a mayonnaise, the eggs have become pasteurized, and the zabaglione is ready.
  5. Remove the top part of the Dutch oven (or the Pyrex bowl) from the heat and continue to whisk for a couple of more minutes. This allows the custard to cool down and become slightly thicker.  Once it has cooled to a tepid temperature, you can stop whisking and place the bowl/pan you’re your refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Whipping Cream

  1. In a cold mixing bowl, add the whipping cream and vanilla extract.
  2. Mix until the whipping cream is light and fluffy.
  3. Put into the refrigerator. Clean the blades on your blender before starting the next step.

Egg Whites

  1. Just before combining ingredients for the tiramisu, make the egg white mixture. In a mixing bowl, add the 3 egg whites and 3 TB sugar.
  2. Whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks.

Combining All Ingredients

  1. With a silicon/rubber spatula, lightly fold—by hand—the mascarpone with the whipping cream in your largest bowl. Do not overmix – the mixture should be a combination of lumpy and fluffy, like summer clouds.
  2. Now fold the zabaglione mixture into the combined mascarpone/whipping cream.
  3. Next, gently fold approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of the whipped egg whites into the mixture.
  4. Spoon a layer of the zabaglione/mascarpone/egg white mixture into a rectangular baking pan.
  5. Now add the first layer of coffee-soaked ladyfingers. I usually line up the ladyfingers, a flat-bottomed bowl containing the coffee, and the rectangular baking pan.Working quickly, one ladyfinger at a time, I dip a ladyfinger into the coffee, then place it gently on the layer of custard.  I create a layer of ladyfingers, lined up like little soldiers, over the custard.
  6. Add a layer of custard over the ladyfingers.
  7. Next, add a second layer of ladyfingers, following the same process as above – dip each ladyfinger in coffee, then gently place it over the custard in the baking dish.
  8. Layer the last of the custard over the ladyfingers.
  9. Sprinkle the powdered chocolate over the top of the pan.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator at least 8 hours to allow the custard to set.


Page 1 of 9

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén