Tag: cooking

Bucatini alla Amatriciana (rossa)

Bucatini alla Amatriciana, Rossa (red)

Classic Roman recipe with too many variations.  It’s very easy to make, yet it’s difficult to find an excellent preparation in most restaurants.  Try my recipe – most of my friends love it.  It’s my youngest daughter’s favorite pasta recipe. As always, the quality of the ingredients is key.  You may need to go to a specialty grocer (such as Whole Foods) in order to find the guanciale or pancetta this recipe calls for.  You also need to get imported Italian Pecorino cheese, preferably in a small block that you can grate yourself.

This recipe relies on you cooking the Bucatini in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time specified on the box.  The reason for this is that you drain the almost-cooked Bucatini, then add it with the other ingredients and cook it on high heat for a couple more minutes. This allows the flavors from the sauce to absorb into the pasta noodle, creating a more flavorful pasta.  

Note: If you cannot find either guanciale or pancetta, you can use thick-cut bacon, but the flavor will not be as good.

Bucatini alla Amatriciana, Rossa (red)

Dr. Michele Carbone bucatini


  • 1 box of Bucatini, Spaghetti, or Rigatoni style pasta (500 grams)
  • 100 grams (4 oz) Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 125 grams (5 oz) of “guanciale” or if you cannot find it, “pancetta,” cut in thick slices of about (about ¼ of an inch thick by ¼ inch wide and ¼ long)
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes, or 2 fresh little hot peppers chopped very finely (put as little or as much red pepper as you like)
  • ¼ glass white wine
  • 400 grams of canned Italian tomatoes (home made, or can tomatoes, Pomi or similar) –for this recipe canned tomatoes are better than fresh tomatoes.


  1. Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove – it should be boiling by the time you get to step 4
  2. In an 8-inch skillet, add the guanciale (or pancetta), red pepper, and 1 spoon of olive oil.
  3. Start the heat at medium high and as soon as “sfricchiola” (means you hear it is frying), to low the heat for about 5-6 minutes to let the fat get out, then add white wine and turn the fire up for 30 seconds so it evaporates.
  4. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook on medium or medium/high (depends how powerful your stove is, should be just bubbling slowly, not boiling). Cook this sauce for about 10 minutes
  5. In the meantime poor the pasta into the boiling water.  As soon as the water starts to boil again after the pasta has been added, use a long-handled wooden spoon to stir the pasta so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
  6. Drain the pasta very al dente, poor in a past bowl, add the tomato/guanciale sauce, mix well and add the pecorino mixing well all the time and serve immediately.
  7. Buon appetito!

Italiano: Bucatini/Rigatoni Amatriciana


  • 1 pacco di bucatini o rigatoni
  • 100 g di pecorino romano grattugiato fresco
  • 125 g di “guanciale” o “pancetta”, tagliato a fette spesse di circa (circa ¼ di pollice di spessore per ¼ di pollice di larghezza e ¼ di lunghezza)
  • 1 cucchiaio di olio extravergine di oliva
  • Peperoncino rosso picante a piacere –io metto 2-3 peperoncini rossi calabresi
  • 1 sorso (1/4 di bicchiere) vino bianco
  • 400 grammi -1/2 scatola di pomodori pelati schiacciati, Pomì o simili


  1. Pancetta o guanciale a pezzettini, 1 cucchiaio d’olio, fuoco medio alto appena sfricchiola abbassa il fuoco e fai andare circa 5-6 minuti perche` rilasci il grasso –la pancetta non deve essere fritta! L’importante è fare cuocere il guanciale a fuoco vivo senza bruciarlo!!!
  2. Appena il guanciale comincia a essere un po’ croccante, aggiungete un sorso di vino binco, fate evaporare 1 minuto.
  3. Aggiungere 400 g pelati a pezzetti, alzare il fuoco a medio/medio alto, deve sobbollire, girare spesso.
  4. Allo stesso tempo calare la pasta, scolarla molto al dente, versatela in una zuppiera aggiungere il sugo, mischiare bene 2 minuti mentre aggiungete Pecorino e servire.
  5. La fine del mondo!
Bell Peppers

Bell Pepper Pasta

This is a wonderful summer sugo (sauce) made of a variety of different colored bell peppers.  It’s simple and easy to make, with a deliciously fragrant flavor.  While it is fabulous as the sauce for a pasta, it’s also great to serve just as a sauce on toasted Italian bread.  I often serve it as an appetizer.


  • 10 mixed bell peppers, red, green, yellow, and orange
  • Dried Italian oregano –the Italian/mediterranean oregano is a different herb than the US oregano!
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Olive oil
  • Black olives, chopped (good olives!, preferably not canned)
  • ½ – 1 cup Italian Parmigiano cheese, grated
  • Capers
  • 1 Italian can of crushed tomatoes (Pomì or similar) or your own canned tomatoes


  1. Start by washing and deseeding the bell peppers, and cut them into chunky pieces.
  2. As they dry, pour Italian extra-virgin olive oil into a large, heavy pan, and heat on medium.
  3. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté gently until golden, then remove the garlic.
  4. Put fire to high, add the bell peppers to the pan and toss, making sure they are evenly coated, 1 minute.
  5. Lower the fire, cover the pan and cook on “low” until the peppers are soft, which should take about 45 minutes.
  6. Remove the cover and turn the heat up to medium high to reduce the liquid. Be careful not to evaporate all the water in the pan.
  7. Once most (70%) of the water evaporated, add about ½ a container of Pomì chopped tomatoes along with a few TB of dried Italian/Mediterranean oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.
  8. Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes uncovered at medium high heat.
  9. Once the mixture is to your liking, add as many chopped black olives as you prefer and add a few teaspoons of capers, adjust for salt, cook 2 more minutes and turn it off.
  10. Poor in a warm pasta bowl, add the grated Parmigiano cheese, stir, and poor the pasta in, or serve 1 spoon of this sauce on top of a small piece of toasted Italian bread.
  11. Buon appetito!

Italiano: Sugo di Pepperoni

Questo è un meraviglioso sugo estivo a base di una varietà di peperoni di diversi colori. È semplice e facile da preparare. Mentre è favoloso come condimento per la pasta, è ottimo anche da servire come salsa su pane tostato come antipasto.


  • 10 peperoni misti, rosso, verde, giallo e arancione
  • Origano italiano essiccato
  • Sale e pepe
  • 2 – 3 spicchi d’aglio, schiacciati
  • Olio d’oliva
  • Olive nere, tritate (preferibilmente non in scatola)
  • 250 g di Parmigiano grattugiato (prodotto di alta qualità, da Whole Foods o importatore italiano)
  • Capperi (facoltativo)
  • Pomodori Italiani in scatola (preferibilmente Pomì schiacciati) oppure fatti in casa (circa 500grammi)


  1. Lavare e togliere i semi dei peperoni, e tagliarli a pezzi grossi (6 fette per peperone).
  2. Mentre si asciugano, versare l’olio extravergine di oliva italiano in una padella grande e scaldare a fuoco basso.
  3. Aggiungere l’aglio nella padella e rosolare delicatamente fino a doratura, rimuoverlo
  4. Aggiungere i peperoni nella padella, mescolare, fuoco alto 1 min
  5. Abbassare il fuoco, coprire, fuoco lento finché i peperoni sono morbidi, circa 45 minuti.
  6. Scoperchiare, fiamma medio-alta fare evaporare circa il 70% dell’acqua.
  7. Aggiungere circa 500 g di Pomodori schiacciati, un cucchiaio di origano secco italiano / mediterraneo, sale e pepe a piacere.
  8. Continuare la cottura per circa 10-15 minuti senza coperchio a fuoco medio-alto.
  9. Aggiungete quante olive nere tritate desiderate e 1 cucchiaio di capperi e aggiustate di sale. Cuocere 2 minuti, e versare in una zuppiera.
  10. Aggiungete il parmigiano grattugiato, mescolate e versate la pasta, o se servitor come antipasto mettete un cucchiaio di sugo su un po di pane tostato.
  11. Buon appetito!

Hot Octopus Soup/Sauce (for 4 to 6 people)

There are few dishes that chefs screw up as much as this one. Too often, octopus served in restaurants tastes like bland rubber. Yet, if cooked well, this is one of my preferred dishes. For that I have to cook it myself.

To stat it helps to get a few  small octopus rather than a large one.


  • 1 to 1¼  pound of small octopus—this means at least 2 small octopusbetter if you need 4 or 5 to get to this weight
  • ½ bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 or more hot Italian, or Hawaiian, or Thai peppers, minced
  • 13cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine for cooking
  • Juice from 1 or 2 lemons (depending on how much juice they have)

Make sure you have the octopus cleaned by the fisherman or fish vendor if you don’t know how to clean it yourself. Then, separate the legs and cut them transversely at ½ inch intervals. Slice the head ¼ inch transversely.

Use a pot with a lid that seals perfectly.  If you have an enamel pot (such as a Staub or Le Creuset pot), use that.


  1. On medium to medium-low heat, fry the garlic cloves in the olive oil.  Remove the garlic from the oil as it becomes golden. Do not burn it!
  2. Add parsley, hot pepper, the octopus and salt. Turn the heat to high, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the ½ cup of white wine and cover the pot. Lower the flame, and continue to cook on medium-low heat for 35 minuteswithout ever removing the cover to look at it.
  4. Mince 1 more TB. of parsley.
  5. After 35 minutes, open the lid and add the parsley and the juice of 1 or 2 lemons (depending on how juicy they are and how much you like the lemon flavor). Keep on the heat for 30 seconds, mixing well.
  6. Turn off the heat and serve the octopus as a “soup,” over toasted bread—you need good Italian bread! I prefer olive bread, but any crusty bread will be great. You’ll want to use the bread to sop up the flavorful broth (sugo) created by this recipe.
  7. Buon appetito!

Italiano:  Polpo (o meglio polipi come tutti li chiamano in barba allo Zingarelli)

Ne pescavo uno al giorno quando ero piccolo, più di cento a stagione, al Blu 70.  Poi li portavo a casa dove li ammazzavano la seconda volte perché non li sapevano cucinare.  Erano duri e gommosi, affogati nel pomodoro.  Per molti anni ho continuato a pensare che I polpi erano un piatto di seconda qualitá, finchè ho imparato a cucinarli: oggi sono fra i miei piatti preferiti.  Procedete come segue.  Per 3 persone circa 300 g di polipetti piccoli, almeno 2 meglio 3 – 4, o anche meglio moscardini che sono i polipetti con 1 sola fiala di ventose.

Usare una pentola con coperchio a chiusura perfetta-se non lo avete mettete un peso sul coperchio.

  1. Fatevi pulire il polipo dal pescatore se non sapete pulirlo, e imparate come fa!
  2. Separate le gambe e la testa.  Tagliate le gambe trasversalmente ogni cm, e la testa a rondelle ogni mezzo cm.
  3. Soffriggere in ½ bicchiere di olio d’oliva 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati, togliere come prendono colore.
  4. Aggiungere ½ pugno di prezzemolo tritato e 1 o più secondo i gusti di peperoncino calabrese (o di altro tipo piccante tritato (a me piacciono molto piccanti) e il polipo.  Fuoco forte soffriggere 1 minuto.
  5. Aggiungere ½ bicchiere di vino bianco e coprire.  Abbassare il fuoco a medio-basso e cuocere 35 minuti senzamai scoperchiare per guardare-altrimenti mangerete un polipo duro e gommoso.
  6. Aggiungere il succo di 1 – 2 limoni-dipende da quanto succo fanno, vi serve circa 13 di bicchiere di limone.
  7. Cuocere per altri 30 secondi.
  8. Servire su fette di pane abbrustolito.
  9. Buon appetito!
Michele Carbone pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro (for 6)

This evening, I made the “pappa al pomodoro”, a simple, wonderful Italian soup that my mother used to make.  It’s made with stale bread, tomatoes, basil and vegetable broth. It was great! 

For some reason, in the U.S., I have never seen this delicious meal in any Italian restaurant. Actually, unless I go to Florence, I cannot even find it in Italy because it’s a Tuscan soup.

The soup is very easy to make, and I substitute Pomì tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes that are traditionally used. Kids love this hearty soup, and adults like it even more! It takes 30 minutes to make, and the amounts suggested in this recipe easily feed 6. If you double up the ingredients, in 30 minutes, you feed 12 or more.


  • 300 grams Italian “rustic type” bread (ciabatta, for example) — old bread is fine — cut into thin slices
  • 500 gram peeled Italian tomatoes, a box of Pomì chopped tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes put in a food processor and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 liter broth, either vegetable (traditional recipe) or chicken (my preference)
  • 1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A bunch of basil, chopped
  • Salt to taste


  1. Fry garlic in oil on low heat until it takes on a golden color. Remove the garlic from the olive oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook on medium/high for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, bring the broth to boil in a separate pen. When you’ve cooked the tomatoes and basil for 15 minutes, add the broth bring fire to high/max.  Add the bread and let it cook 10 more minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust with salt as needed.
  4. Turn off the heat, mix and let it sit for at least 1 hour. Mix again and serve, or if you are eating it many hours later, heat it up on low/medium flame.
  5. Serve the pappa at a warm (not hot) temperature. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to each bowl of soup as you serve it. Do not add parmesan cheese.

Italiano: Pappa al Pomodoro


  • 300 grammi di pane di casa tagliato a fettine sottili
  • 500 grammi pomodori pelati, meglio conserva fatta in casa
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati
  • 1 litro di brodo- la ricetta originale suggerisce brodo vegetale, io preferisco brodo di pollo, vedete che preferite voi
  • 80 ml di olio buono
  • Un mazzetto di basilico tritato (meglio un pò di più che di meno!)
  • Sale


  1. Friggete aglio in olio toglierlo come prende colore aggiunge i pomodori pelati e basilico e cuocer a fuoco medio alto 15 minuti.
  2. Intanto avete portato il brodo a bollore, aggiungetelo alla salsa di pomodoro, alzate il fuoco al massimo e mettete il pane tagliato a fettine.
  3. Fate cuocere 10 minuti rimestando spesso e spegnete il fuoco. Aggiustate di sale. Fate riposare un’ora.
  4. La pappa si serve tiepida –non bollente!- con un filo d’olio e niente formaggio per carità. Se e` fredda potete riscaldarla, coperta a fuoco medio basso.

Suggested Wine Pairing

A simple Rosso di Montalcino or a Chianti pairs very well with this hearty soup.



Skillet Bruschetta with Beans and Greens

I read cooking magazines and cookbooks, and, every once in a while, I find something good.  This recipe improves a recipe that I learned from a friend in New York City.

Recipe from bonappetit.com


  • 8 ¾-inch thick slices crusty bread
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Two cans of 15 oz each of cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 bunch kaleor mustard greens, ribs removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Brush the pieces of bread on both sides with 4 tablespoons of oil total, and place in a large preheated skillet over medium heat.
  2. Working in 2 batches, cook the bread, pressing occasionally to enhance the crispiness until golden brown, which should take about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Season the toasted pieces of bread with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  4. Now, increase the heat to medium-high and heat the remaining 2 TB.s of olive oil in the same skillet. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes, and stir until fragrant. Then, add the cannellini beans, stirring occasionally, until they begin to blister, which should take about 3 minutes.
  5. Using a spoon, lightly mash half of the beans, and add kale and broth, tossing frequently until the kale has been wilted.
  6. Add lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the now finished beans and greens mixture over the toasted bread.

Italiano: Bruschetta con fagioli e verdure

Leggo riviste o libri di cucina e ogni tanto trovo qualcosa di buono. Questa ricetta migliora quella che usavo prima che avevo imparato da un amico a New York.


  • 8 fette di pane croccanti, spesse 1 cm
  • 6 cucchiai di olio d’oliva, diviso
  • Sale e pepe macinato fresco
  • 2 spicchi d’aglio, tagliati a fettine sottili
  • ½ cucchiaino di peperoncino rosso tritato
  • 2 lattine di fagioli cannellini sciacquati (800 grammi in totale),
  • 1 mazzo di cavolo nero (1/2 kg), le foglie tagliate a pezzettini
  • 250 ml di brodo vegetale o di pollo
  • 1 cucchiaio di succo di limone fresco


  1. Spennellate il pane da ogni lato con 4 cucchiai di olio in totale e mettetelo in un’ampia padella preriscaldata a fuoco medio.
  2. Cuocere il pane, premendo di tanto in tanto per esaltarne la croccantezza fino a doratura, che dovrebbe impiegare circa 3 minuti per lato.
  3. Condire i pezzi di pane tostati con sale e pepe e mettere da parte.
  4. Aumentare la fiamma a medio-alta e riscalda i restanti 2 TB di olio d’oliva nella stessa padella. Aggiungere l’aglio tagliato a fettine sottili e le scaglie di peperoncino e mescolare fino a renderli fragranti, 1 min. Quindi, aggiungere i fagioli cannellini, mescolando di tanto in tanto, fino a quando non iniziano a formare bolle, circa 3 minuti.
  5. Usando un cucchiaio, schiacciare leggermente metà dei fagioli e aggiungere il cavolo nero e il brodo, mescolando spesso finché il cavolo non è appassito.
  6. Aggiungere il succo di limone e condire con sale e pepe. Servire fagioli e verdure sul pane tostato.

Photo from http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/skillet-bruschetta-with-beans-and-greens

Michele Carbone fried potatoes 2

The Best Fried Potatoes in the World

This recipe, like most of my recipes, is based on having a good extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh ingredients.  Another thing many of my recipes have in common is that they don’t feature too many ingredients.  This one, for example, just has the following ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – You will need enough oil in the pan to cover the potatoes
  • Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and with the skin on: about 1 – 2 potatoes per person
  • A sprig or two of fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt

We grow our rosemary in pots so that we can clip off springs whenever we need them.  But, if you need to buy the herb packets from your supermarket, keep in mind that you can freeze whatever you don’t use.  The color may get a little dark if the sprig has been in the freezer for a while, but it retains its fresh flavor when you use it later.

You need a pan that can handle a lot of heat, and depth which allows the potato slices to stay under the oil in a single layer when cooking.  We love using the old-fashioned cast-iron skillets for this, but you can also use any pan designed for high heat which distributes heat evenly.

This recipe is fun to cook when your guests are keeping you company in the kitchen.  Because I’m Italian, I like serving this dish as an appetizer because it’s best when the potatoes have come right out of the skillet.  But, you can also serve it at the same time you dish up an entree, such as lamb chops or steak.


  1. Slice the potatoes into thick strips, each one about 1 cm thick.
  2. Pour enough olive oil into your skillet/pan to cover the potatoes.  This means you may use close to a bottle of olive oil, but don’t worry — you can save the oil to re-use for this recipe another time.
  3. Heat the oil moderately high, but not enough to bubble or fry.
  4. When the oil has gotten moderately hot, carefully place the potato slices and rosemary sprigs into the skillet.  There should be enough oil to cover the slices.
  5. Cook the potatoes at moderate heat for 15 minutes, moving them gently in the skillet.
  6. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the skillet and place them on a layer of paper towels.
  7. While the potatoes drain and cool off on the paper towels for 2-3 minutes, bring the heat up in the skillet to high.
  8. Carefully add the potatoes back into the now very hot oil.  Allow them to cook for another 8-10 minutes, moving them gently to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
  9. After 8-10 minutes, the potatoes should be a dark golden color.  Take one out and let it cool enough to taste it.  If you judge that it’s ready, remove the rest of the potatoes with your slotted spoon (or tong) and put them on a serving plate that has been lined with paper towels.
  10. Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt to taste.  We’ve been using Hawaiian black sea salt to finish dishes, and we love the color and flavor, but any salt will do.  Serve immediately.


Italiano: Le migliori patate fritte del mondo

Questa ricetta, come la maggior parte delle mie ricette, si basa sull’avere un buon olio extravergine di oliva e ingredienti freschi. Un’altra cosa che molte delle mie ricette hanno in comune è che non contengono troppi ingredienti. Questo, ad esempio, ha solo i seguenti ingredienti:

  • Olio extravergine di oliva – Abbastanza per coprire le patate
  • Yukon patate –patate gialle-, con la buccia: circa 1 – 2 patate a persona
  • Uno o due rametti di rosmarino fresco
  • Sale

Noi coltiviamo il rosmarino in un vaso così è sempre a disposizione e mi piace il profumo. Ma, se lo compri a; supermercato, tieni presente che puoi congelare tutto ciò che non usi. Il colore diventerà un po’ scuro se il rametto resta nel freezer per un po’, ma mantiene il suo sapore fresco quando lo usi in seguito.

Serve una padella che possa sopportare molto calore e una profondità che permetta alle fette di patate di rimanere sotto l’olio, meglio in un unico strato durante la cottura. Le padelle in ghisa vecchio stile sono perfette per questo, ma puoi anche usare qualsiasi padella buona.

Questa ricetta è divertente da cucinare quando i tuoi ospiti ti tengono compagnia in cucina. Mi piace servirlo come antipasto perché le patate sono più buone quando sono appena uscite dalla padella.


  1. Tagliare le patate a listarelle spesse di circa 1 cm.
  2. Versare abbastanza olio d’oliva nella padella per coprire le patate. L’olio puoi riutilizzarlo per questa ricetta un’altra volta.
  3. Riscaldare l’olio a una temperatura moderata,
  4. Quando l’olio sarà moderatamente caldo, mettete con cura le fette di patate e i rametti di rosmarino nella padella. Dovrebbe esserci abbastanza olio per coprire le fette.
  5. Cuocere le patate a fuoco moderato –sobbollire, per 15 minuti, muvendole delicatamente nella padella ogni 3 minuti circa.
  6. Usando una pinza o una schiumarola, togli le patate dalla padella e adagiale su carta assorbente.per 2-3 minuti.  Alza il fuoco al massimo.
  7. Rimettere le patate nell’olio bollente e cuocere per altri 8-10 minuti, muovendole delicatamente perché non si attacchino al fondo.
  8. Dopo 8-10 minuti, le patate dovrebbero assumere un colore dorato scuro. Tirane fuori una e assaggiala. Se ritieni che sia pronta, togli il resto delle patate con il cucchiaio forato (o la pinza) e mettile su un piatto da portata rivestito con carta assorbente.
  9. Aggiungi sale in abbondanza. Se usi il sale nero Hawaiiano il piatto è molto più bello (lo trovi su Amazon).\
  10. Servire immediatamente.


Image credit: http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2013/01/thick-cut-fries.html

mixed heirloom tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes – A Cooking Basic

Although many recipes are very good when you use store-bought canned tomatoes (like Pomì), they reach the next level of excellence when you can use tomatoes you have canned yourself.  My wife and I discovered this when we lived in the Chicago area, and found many varieties of beautiful heirloom tomatoes at a local farmer’s market. We found that the yellow, green, and orange heirlooms provided a lovely balance for fish recipes requiring tomato, while the red heirlooms were milder and more tasty than the store-bought tomatoes. Now, we always keep a supply of canned tomatoes on hand.


  • Ball mason jars and new lids (you can buy these jars at Walmart and in many supermarkets) – washed and drained
  • Fresh basil
  • Lots and lots of mature, clean tomatoes – we typically buy 50 pounds of them from the market and spend the weekend cleaning and canning.

How to make this recipe


  • Put a very large pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil
  • Carefully drop the clean tomatoes (in batches) into the water
      1. Leave them there for a minute or two until the skin begins to split
  • Use a slotted spoon to lift the tomatoes from the water and put them on a large flat serving dish to cool
  • Do steps 2 and 3 multiple times until all the tomatoes are ready
  • Peel the tomatoes and put them into the canning jars, filling to near the top (you could also look at the instructions on the Ball Canning website
  • Add one leaf of clean, fresh basil to the jar
  • Use a wooden tool to make sure that there are no air bubbles in the jar
  • Screw on the top of the jar, finger-tight
  • Place the jars into a large pot of cold water or a pressure cooker, with at least 3 inches of water covering the jars.  
    1. You can follow the instructions on the Ball Ball Canning website for cooking.
    2. I do not follow instructions and do as I saw my grandmother did: At sea level, since the water boils, I wait 20 minutes, then I turn off the fire and leave the pot on the stove until it cools down (about 16 hours). Then you can store the jars for several years. However, the time it takes to cook the tomatoes is influenced by the altitude. So, if you live on top of a mountain, you may want to wait 30 minutes or so before turning the fire off.


Come fare la conserva: Tanti pomodori maturi, bollire 1-2 min appena la pelle si spacca metterli in uno scolapasta. Farli raffreddare. Sbuccciarli e metterli in barattoli di vetro per fare conserva -si vendono ovunque, precedentemente lavati in lavastoviglie -che disinfetta molto meglio che lavando a mano. Riempire fino all’olrlo e mettere una foglia di basilico fresco -togliere bolle d’aria con una forchetta. Chiudere il barattolo con gli appositi coperchi. Mettere in un grande pentolone e coprire d’acqua fredda. I barattoli devono essere interamente sommersi. Accendere il fuoco al massimo, da quando bolle, aspettare 20 min. poi spegnere il fuoco e lasciare raffreddare fino al mattino successivo. Pomodori pronti: si conservano vari anni.

Coyote Cafe’s Yucatec Stuffed Turkey

When I came to the United States in 1989, I had never eaten turkey.  For the first few years I was here, I had several great Thanksgiving dinners at the houses of American friends.  Then, one year in the early 1990s, I decided to try cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself.  My wife and I had been to a restaurant called the Red Sage, in Washington, D.C., run by Chef Mark Miller.  We loved the restaurant and bought his book Coyote Café. That book had the recipe for a Tex-Mex flavored turkey that was different from any other turkey recipe I had ever eaten.  I decided to try it, and now it’s been my family’s traditional turkey recipe every Thanksgiving.  

Here’s a link to the recipe on the Food and Wine website:


Over the years, I have made a couple of small variations to this recipe:

  1. I use a roasting bag to keep the turkey moist as it cooks.
  2. I use the Chipotle in Adobe sauce (from the Mexican section of the supermarket) instead of the recipe’s recommended Cascabel chilis, hot peppers, and achiote.

Suggested Wine Pairing

The added spice and heat that the peppers give this turkey recipe require an assertive red wine.  I suggest you serve it with a Barbaresco or a Cirò Rose.

Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Mediterranean - Blog Title (2)

One of the world’s most palatable styles of food is Mediterranean cuisine. With a historic trinity of basic ingredients in olive, wheat, and tomato, the foundation for this approach to cooking has greatly expanded throughout the years, while still remaining true to its culinary roots. The key to these recipes is using good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (preferably from Italy), Italian plum tomatoes (Pomì is a brand easily available in most supermarkets), and fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Pasta with Tuna Sauce


  • Pomi crushed tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Canned tuna, preferably with olive oil
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Grated Pecorino cheese
  • Basil leaves, to taste
  • Salt, red and black pepper, to taste
  • Pasta (your choice of style)


Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and heat on low to medium. Add roughly half of a box of Pomi tomatoes, sauteing them for about 4-5 minutes. Then, add the tuna, salt, and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. After that, turn off the heat and add the chopped black olives and basil leaves.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta of your choice in a boiling pot. Once that is ready, add the sugo and mix. Then add the grated Pecorino cheese to taste.

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