My Favourite Food


Bruschetta Pomodoro


1 thin long bread loaf (i.e. French Stick)

3 diced medium sized 

½ diced onion

2 tbsp. virgin

Olive oil

1 clove of chopped garlic

½ tsp. oregano

Salt to taste

In mixing bowl add the above ingredients (except bread) and mix well.

Set aside.

Preheat oven to 200°c

Slice bread in 1-inch slices and lay out on cookie sheet and toast till golden.

Remove from oven and transfer onto serving tray.

Top toast with tomato mixture.

Serve immediately.


Bruschetta Mozzarella


1 thin, long bread loaf (i.e. French stick)

2 fresh mozzarella balls (in it’s own liquid)

2-3 fresh medium sized tomatoes

1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp.

Oregano salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 200°c
  2. Slice bread in 1 inch slices and lay out on cookie sheet and toast till golden.
  3. Slice mozzarella thinly and lay on bread.
  4. Top with thinly sliced tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle oil over slices.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano over each slice.
  7. Serve.

PRIMI (Firsts)

Sugo (Basic Tomato)


4 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion,

Finely chopped
2 cloves garlic,

2 x 400 gr. cans of peeled tomatoes

1-2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil 
(or oregano if you prefer)
salt to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft and transparent, 5-8 min.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
  3. Add tomatoes and juice.
  4. Season with salt to taste and add basil or oregano.
  5. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  6. To serve, stir a small amount of sauce into drained pasta.
  7. Pasta should always be cooked “al dente,” and served immediately.
  8. Spoon extra sauce over each serving.

Serves 6

PRIMI (Firsts)

Salsiccia (Sausage Sauce) 

Follow basic tomato sauce recipe using basil.

In step #2 remove skin from 1 pound Italian sausage, stir in with the garlic and brown.  Drain any excess fat.  Continue following the recipe beginning with step #3.


Ragu (Meat Sauce)

Follow basic tomato sauce recipe.

In step #2 add and stir in ½ pound mince meat with the garlic and brown.  Drain excess fat.  Then continue following the recipe beginning with step #3.


Polpette (Meat Ball Sauce)

Follow basic tomato sauce recipe.

After step #4 place uncooked meatballs (see Secondi/ Meat Dishes) into sauce.

Simmer for at least 1 hour.

Step 7 – Pour the sauce only over the pasta.

Reserve Polpette for the Secondo (see recipe for Polpette under “Secondo”).

Serves 6


PRIMI (Firsts)

Pasta Carbonara


500gr Fettuccini noodles

5 eggs

5 strips bacon,

4 tbsp or 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese.

4 tbsp Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh parsley, chopped coarsely

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Fry bacon, drain off grease and set aside.
  2. Mix eggs with salt, pepper, ¾ of the cheese, and parsley together.
  3. Cook pasta until ‘al dente’ in water salted to taste.
  4. When pasta is cooked, drain and add oil.
  5. Mix in raw egg mixture and bacon and stir through.
  6. Once mixed through serve immediately topped with the remaining cheese.

Serves 4 – 6



Pasta agli Zucchini (Zucchini Pasta)


500gr Fusilli Pasta

2 cloves chopped garlic

1/3 cup olive oil 1 cup heavy cream

5 medium zucchini

1 boullion cube, beef, chicken or vegetable

½ pound bacon, fried and drained OR ½ pound ham

1 – 1 ½ cup water (you want the sauce thin, but not watery)

Fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in large fry pan.  Over low heat fry garlic 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add peeled and coarsely grated zucchini, stock cube and water to pan.
  3. Bring to boil on high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is tender.
  4. While zucchini is cooking, heat salted water to boiling for pasta.
  5. Add cream to pan when zucchini is tender (do not boil).
  6. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until “al dente”, drain.
  7. Add zucchini mixture to pasta.  Stir in bacon.

Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese.

Serves 6


PRIMI (First) 

Pasta al Salmone (Salmon Pasta)


1/3 cup butter

250 gr. smoked salmon

1 lb. Butterfly (or bowtie) pasta

1/2 cup cooking cream

1/2 cup milk

4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta until al dente and drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in medium size frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Break salmon into fine pieces, add to butter and fry lightly.
  4. Mash salmon into butter, leaving a few small chunks of salmon (if desired).
  5. Add cream and milk, stir until smooth and creamy.
  6. Stir in cheese and remove from heat.
  7. Gently stir salmon sauce into pasta.
  8. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


PRIMI (Firsts)

Pasta al Pesto (Pesto Pasta) 


500 gr. linguine pasta

1 cup freshly grated  Parmesan cheese

1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 50 leaves)

1 tsp. salt

4 garlic cloves peeled

1/2 cup olive oil

4 tbsp. pine nuts pepper

  1. Place basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add cheese.  Add pepper to taste.
  3. Cook pasta until it is ‘al dente.’
  4. Just before draining pasta, add 1/8 cup of the pasta water to pesto sauce, stir into sauce.
  5. Drain the pasta and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
  6. Serve pasta in dishes with approx. ¼ cup of pesto on top of each serving.
  7. Each person can mix in the pesto with their pasta.

Serves 5-6


PRIMI (Firsts)

Summer Pasta


500 gr. penne pasta

50 gr. fresh parmesan cheese, grated

9 ripe medium tomatoes

¼ cup of fresh basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

¼  cup olive oil

200 gr. fresh ricotta cheese salt and pepper to taste

  1. Peel skin off tomatoes.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half.  Gently squeeze out and discard most of the seeds.
  3. Dice tomatoes into little pieces.  Put into a large bowl.
  4. Wash and dry basil and tear into pieces with fingers (do not cut!).
  5. Mix basil, ricotta, garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oil together (mix well as to almost crush it all together).  Do not cook. Let this marinate while you cook the pasta.
  6. Cook pasta, drain, and mix all ingredients together.
  7. Add parmesan cheese to the top of each dish, serve immediately.

Serves 6

SECONDO (Seconds)

Polpette (Meat Balls)


1 pound ground meat

2 eggs

6 tbsp. bread crumbs

2 tbsp. fresh basil or mint (choose one – my favorite is the mint)

3 tbsp. fresh parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Place all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
  2. Roll mixture into small balls approx. 1 ½  inches round.
  3. Gently drop into sauce for the Polpette Sauce recipe.

Serves 4-5



To serve as a secondo without using the tomato sauce,

fry the polpette in 4 tbsp. olive oil until brown.


SECONDI (Seconds)

Spezzatino di Manzo con Vino Rosso (Beef Stew with Red Wine)


5 tbsp. olive oil

2 ½ lbs. of  stewing beef (cut into 1 ½ inch cubes)

3 carrots chopped

3 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped

1 bay leaf

a few sprigs of fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)

a pinch of ground nutmeg

1 cup red wine

14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes in their juice

½ cup beef, vegetable or chicken stock

15 pitted black olives

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large red pepper cut into strips

Spezzatino di Manzo con Vino Rosso  – Continued

(Beef Stew with Red Wine)

  1. Preheat the oven 350° F.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in large heavy Dutch Oven and brown meat in small amounts on all sides.
  3. Remove meat and set aside.
  4. With remaining oil, cook onions and carrots until onions are soft.
  5. Add parsley and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes more.
  6. Return meat to pan raise heat and mix well.
  7. Stir in bay leaf, thyme and nutmeg.
  8. Add wine and bring to boil and cook, stirring 4-5 minutes.
  9. Stir in tomatoes, stock and olives and mix well.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Cover pot and bake 1 ½ hours.
  12. Remove from oven, add strips of pepper, cook uncovered in oven for additional 30 min. or until beef is tender.
  13. Serve with mashed potatoes or prepared polenta.

Serves 5-6

SECONDI (Seconds)

Pollo al Chianti (Chicken with Chianti wine)


3 tbsp. olive oil

1 ¼ cups Chianti (dry red) wine

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 ¼ cups water

1 medium red onion, peeled salt and pepper

2 tbsp. tomato paste

4 oz. red  seedless grapes, halved

  1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan, add chicken and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes until color changes on all sides.
  2. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. Cut onion in ½ through the root.  Trim off root, peel and slice onion halves lengthwise into thin wedges.
  4. Heat remaining oil in pan, add onion wedges and tomato paste.
  5. Cook gently, stirring constantly for approx. 3 minutes until onion is soft, but not brown.
  6. Add Chianti and water to the pan and bring to boil, stirring.
  7. Return chicken to pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender, stir occasionally.
  9. Add grapes to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until heated through.
  10. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately. Serves 4


SECONDI (Seconds)

Bistecchine alla Pizzaiola  (Pizzaiola Steak)


1 lb. sirloin or ribeye steak, sliced thin

3 tbsp. flour, for coating meat

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 can of cut and peeled tomatoes
with juice

2 tbsp. chopped basil or parsley

  1. Pat steaks dry with paper towel and coat lightly in the flour.
  2. In a large heavy frying pan, heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil with garlic.
  3. When garlic turns golden, push to side of pan.
  4. Raise heat and add steaks, brown quickly on both sides.
  5. Remove the meat to a dish.
  6. Add tomatoes, remaining oil and herbs to pan.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes.
  9. Discard garlic cloves and return steaks to pan.
  10. Stir to cover with sauce and cook 4-5 minutes more.
  11. Serve immediately. Serves 4


RISOTTI (Rice Dishes) 

Basic Risotto


5 ½ cups chicken stock

1 ½ cups white rice

2 tbsp. butter

½ cup white wine

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

1 onion, freshly diced

1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped


  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Add rice, stirring until the rice is well coated in oil.
  5. Add wine and stir until absorbed, stirring constantly.
  6. Add approx. ½ cup of the simmering stock, stirring constantly, until stock is absorbed.
  7. Continue stirring and adding the liquid a little at a time until the rice is tender. Approx. 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the risotto from heat. Stir in butter and cheese.
  9. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


RISOTTI (Rice Dishes) 


Risotto con Zucca (Pumpkin Risotto)

Follow basic Risotto recipe

After step #3, add 3 cups of 1/2 inch cubed pumpkin, partially cooked.

Stir, cover and cook for approx. 10 min.

Continue following recipe through step #9.


Risotto con Asparagi (Asparagus Risotto)

Follow basic Risotto recipe

After step #5, add 1 pound of fresh chopped asparagus (cut into 1 ½ inch pieces) to rice.

Continue following recipe through step #9


Risotto alla Milanese (Milan Risotto)

Follow basic Risotto recipe

In a small bowl, dissolve ½ tsp. saffron powder using 1 cup of the prepared stock (see step #1).

Use this stock first before using the rest of the stock.  Continue following basic recipe.


CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

Carote al marsala (Carrots with Marsala)


6 tbsp. butter

1 ½ lb. carrots peeled and thinly sliced or baby carrots

3 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

½  cup Marsala wine

  1. Melt the butter in medium sauce pan and add carrots.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Add sugar and salt.  Mix well.
  4. Mix in Marsala and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  5. Pour in just enough water to cover the carrots.
  6. Cover the pan and cook over medium low heat until carrots are just tender.
  7. Remove the cover and cook until the liquid evaporates almost completely.
  8. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 – 6


CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

 Broccoletti saltati con aglio 

(Broccoli with Oil and Garlic)


2 lbs. fresh broccoli

6 tbsp. olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Wash the broccoli.  Peel the broccoli stems.  Cut wide stalks in half.
  2. Boil water and cook broccoli for 5-6 minutes or until stems are tender.
  3. In a large frying pan, gently heat the oil with garlic.
  4. Add broccoli and cook over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn carefully to coat with hot oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve hot or cold.

Serves 6


CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

Piselli (peas)


4 tbsp. olive oil

1 pound frozen peas

1 chopped onion

1 bouillon cube, beef, chicken or vegetable,

dissolved in ½ cup water

  1. Heat oil in medium sauce pan.
  2. Add onions to pan and cook until just tender.
  3. Add peas and stir well to coat completely.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
  5. Add stock and simmer until peas are tender.
  6. Salt to taste and serve hot or cold.

Serves 4 – 6


CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

Fagiolini con Peperoni

(Green beans with bell peppers)


1 lb. Frozen or fresh green beans

½ lemon

1 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips

salt to taste

1 onion peeled and chopped

¼ cup olive oil

  1. Slowly sauté onion in olive oil until al dente in large sauce pan.
  2. Add the red pepper and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add the green beans and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add enough water to cover ½ of the green beans.
  5. Bring water to a boil.
  6. Stir occasionally until the beans are ‘al dente’ and most of the water is boiled off.
  7. Pour into serving dish and squeeze lemon juice over beans.
  8. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4 – 6


CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

Patate al forno (oven potatoes)


7 medium potatoes cut into quarters

5 tbsp. olive oil

4 sprigs fresh or 1 ½ tbsp. dried rosemary

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place potatoes in baking dish.
  3. Pour olive oil over potatoes, sprinkle on rosemary and salt to taste.
  4. Bake for about ½ hour or until potatoes are just tender, turning once or twice while baking.
  5. Serve Immediately.

Serves 4 – 6

CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

Pomodori e Mozzarella con Basilico 

(Tomatoes and Mozzarella with Basil)


½ lb. mozzarella balls in liquid

1 lb. cherry tomatoes cut in half

10 basil leaves torn

4 tbsp. olive oil


  1. Thinly slice mozzarella.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients above.
  3. Add salt to taste.

Serves 4 – 6

CONTORNI (Side Dishes)

Zucchine alla Mamma di John Pirrotta

(Zucchini dish by John’s mother)


6 sliced zucchini

1 chopped onion

1  14 oz. can diced tomatoes

10 basil leaves

3 tbsp. olive oil


  1. Put zucchini, onion, tomatoes, basil, oil and salt to taste in sauce pan.
  2. Cover and simmer for approx. ½ hour or until zucchini and onion are tender.
  3. Serve.

Serves 4-6


DOLCI (Desserts)



2 ½ cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

1 ½  cup butter or stick margarine at room temperature

2 cups jam (any flavor)

1 tsp. grated lemon rind

6 egg yolks

2 ½   tsp. Baking Powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375°/190°.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, except baking powder and Jam, and knead lightly. (If the pastry is too dry you can add a little milk.) When all ingredients are mixed in, set aside 1/3 of the dough for decoration and refrigerate.
  3. Add the baking powder to the remaining 2/3 of the dough.  Mix gently.
  4. Place dough onto greased and floured 12” round pan and spread out with your hands.
  5. Spread jam over pastry.
  6. Roll out and cut in strips the 1/3 of the dough that was set aside for decoration.  Decorate the top in a criss-cross pattern.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 30 min. until golden.

Serves 6


DOLCI (Desserts)



4 eggs (separated)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

5 tsp. cocoa

16 oz. mascarpone cheese at room temperature

Lady finger cookies (about 18)

1 cup of VERY strong coffee, preferably espresso coffee (or more if you need it)

½ cup Kahlùa (optional)

  1. Prepare coffee and cool.  Then mix with Kahlùa.
  2. Mix mascarpone, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff and then gently fold them into the above mixture.
  4. Give the lady fingers a quick dip in the cooled coffee mixture (must be covered but not soaked).
  5. Place a layer of lady fingers on the bottom and sides of a serving bowl.
  6. Spread a layer of mascarpone over the cookies and sprinkle with cocoa.
  7. Repeat this procedure (lady fingers, mascarpone and cocoa).  Discard any remaining liquid.
  8. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least for 5 hours.

Serves 6