Bolognese Sauce  (serves 6-8)
Olive oil  (about 1/4 cup)
1 head or 5 large garlic cloves chopped
1 med-lg onion chopped
2 stalks of celery diced
2 carrots diced
2 lbs ground chuck
1 lb bulk sausage or ground pork
bay leaf
2 cans chunky crushed tomatoes 
1 can of tomato paste
salt & freshly ground black pepper
dried oregano 
1/2 cup milk or cream(optional)
fresh basil & parsley (handful of each)
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano
In a large heavy bottomed pot add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom
add the chopped onions, garlic, celery & carrots, as the vegetables begin to cook add about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
Stir til tender over medium heat about 10 minutes
Add the ground beef & pork & mix well over med-high heat with the vegetables, break up any large pieces of the meat with the back of the spoon
Add about 2 teaspoons of salt & about 5-6 turns of the pepper mill
Continue stirring so that the meat does not stick to the bottom of the pot, add a little more oil if necessary (some meat will release more fat than others)
Cook & stir over med-high heat until meat is no longer pink, about 10-12 minutes
Add tomatoes & tomato paste, bay leaf, dried oregano & salt 
Lower the stove to med-low heat until the sauce starts to thicken, about 30 minutes
After sauce has thickened & is just about done add the milk or cream at the end 
Add fresh chopped basil & parsley, remove pot from stove and finish with freshly grated pecorino romano

*Serve over penne pasta or any other pasta your family prefers
*This sauce is also very versatile, if going gluten free it may be serve over Wild Rice Blend (Four Seasons) or Quinoa or just simply served over a bed of steamed broccoli!
*If you wish to also use ground veal as in many traditional bolognese recipes just cut back on the amount of ground beef
*If you like spice add about 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
(serves 4-6)
1 lb elbow pasta 
8 ounces mascarpone
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese packed
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese for the topping
1/2 cup 2 % milk
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
In a pot of salted, boiling water cook the pasta according to the package but remove from boiling water about 2 min before completed
In a separate saucepan over medium flame stir together the mascarpone, nutmeg, & 1 cup parmesan cheese until all melted together 
Stir in the milk, salt & pepper to taste & keep over a low flame to keep warm
Drain the pasta & place into ovenproof dish & pour the sauce over, mix together
In a bowl combine the 1/2 cup parmesan & breadcrumbs & sprinkle over the pasta in the baking dish, also dot the top of the dish with the butter before putting into the oven.  
Bake for about 15 min & you will never eat boxed mac & chz again!!

Portobello Mushroom Parmigiana
4 portobello mushroom caps
Marinara sauce (recipe to follow)
Fresh Mozzarella cheese
Parmigiano Reggiano
olive oil 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees for at least 15 minutes
With a dry paper towel wipe off the mushrooms & trim the stem off
Massage olive oil on each one top & bottom 
Add salt & pepper
Put into preheated oven for about 10 min (check if ready after 7)

To make marinara sauce:
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes or chunky crushed
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil
Heat olive oil add garlic & sauté (careful not to burn)
Add tomatoes & stir (if whole peeled use a potato masher to smash as its cooking)
Season with salt & fresh ground pepper, stir well
Bring to a boil, lower the heat & simmer for about 25 minutes

To arrange the mushrooms:
Remove from oven (if theres a lot of liquid in the pan please drain)
Turn the oven on high broiler
Top each mushroom with about 2 tablespoons of sauce
Add grated parmigiano cheese
Top with thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
Put into the broiler for about 6-7 min
Remove from oven top with fresh basil & sprinkle with Maldon salt (coarse salt)

Salmon Puttanesca

(serves 4)
4 Salmon filets
Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup Kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers
4 cloves of garlic
1 med onion 
1/4 cup of good white wine
pinch of oregano
salt & pepper
basil & parsley (fresh or dried)

To make the Tomato Sauce:
Saute garlic & onions in olive oil til translucent,  add 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes w/ juice & all, start to break up the whole tomatoes w/ the back of a spoon or a masher.  
Once the sauce is made add your filets of Salmon & other ingredients(except the fresh herbs add those at the end of cooking) to the pan & put on low to med flame w/ lid on to cook the Salmon in the sauce.
This should take about 15 min.
Variations:  Add raw shrimp, scallops, clams or mussels to the pan w/ the Salmon & cook together
Served w/Short grain brown rice & steamed green beans


Anna Verlezza & Rose Scotti’s TraditionalItalian Sunday Gravy
(serves 6-8)
Garlic - about 13 cloves or 2-3 heads
Country Style Ribs (3)
Sweet Italian Sausage (1 1/2 lb cut into 2 in pieces)
Braciole (beef, ask butcher to slice 4 pieces)
Ground Chuck (about 2 lbs or 2 sm pkgs)
Red wine (1/2-3/4 cup)
Fresh Parsley
S & P
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Grated cheese about 1/4 cup (parmigiano, romano or reggiano)
3-4 eggs
2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes (pref. Cora brand)
1 can tomato paste
Pignoli nuts (optional) about 1-2 tablespoons
Raisins (1-2 tablespoons)
Italian breadcrumbs (about 1 cup)
Kitchen twine
Large Stockpot 
Step 1 Peel 7 garlic cloves & press firmly to release the juices & then rub inside the entire bottom of the pot & leave in pot
Step 2 Turn the heat on to medium flame & add the ribs & sausage, stirring to cook slowly but careful not to burn
Step 3 To make the Braciole, slice garlic & place on top, fresh chopped parsley & basil, sprinkle grated cheese & salt & pepper.  Roll & tie each one into little bundles
Place into pot w/other meats & continue gently moving the meat around so not to burn
Add 1/2-3/4 cup red wine
Step 4 In a food processor or blender add the tomatoes & paste & lightly pulse to blend together(don’t rinse the cans out yet)
Now add the pureed tomatoes to the meat, with each can of whole peeled tomatoes add about 3/4 can of water to the pot.
Step 5 Turn heat to high for everything to begin to come together, once incorporated lower again to medium
3 -4 tablespoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees/or 350 for convection oven
Step 6 To make the Meatballs,  ground chuck (2 pkgs) add 4 eggs, 4 large cloves of chopped garlic, fresh basil, parsley, salt & pepper
3 tablespoons raisins
2-3 tablespoons of pignolis (optional)
3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
Add 6-7 spoonfuls of sauce to the meatball mix, when cool enough mix together & form the meatballs (larger than a ping pong ball but smaller than a tennis ball)
There will be extra meatballs but everyone loves snacking on the extras while the sauce is still cooking
Step 6 Into oven for 25-35(depending on your oven) minutes, then place about 8-10 meatballs into sauce & continue stirring gently
Continue cooking the sauce about 45-60 minutes longer til it begins to thicken.
Entire meal should take at least 2 1/2 hours to cook & the sauce to thicken
Serve with your favorite pasta! Mangia!!
The night before:
Take out:
 *the pots ( large stockpot for the meat sauce & 1 for the water to cook pasta)
 *food processor
 *2 cans of tomatoes & 1 tomato paste
 *A bowl to mix the meatballs
 *String or toothpicks for the braciole
 *Sheetpans for meatballs 

Lentil Soup with Sausage (serves 8-10)
3 tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil
3 stalks of celery diced
1 onion diced
1 head of garlic or 4 lg cloves chopped
Salt & Pepper 
Bay leaf
2 lbs sausage 
3 cups of dried organic french green lentils(rinsed)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes 
2-3 carrots diced
2- 32oz containers of Chicken Broth or water
Kale- torn into small pieces about 2 cups

In a large stockpot add the oil & sauté the onions, celery, garlic & salt til translucent add bay leaf
Remove sausage from casing add to vegetables pressing with the back of spoon to crumble, continue stirring in with vegetables to cook the sausage(don’t cook too much just til its no longer bright pink) keeping the flame on the stove about medium, add another drizzle of oil if its getting too dry, 
Add 3 cups of lentils & stir well into the vegetables & sausage 
Add 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes with the juice & additional 1/2 can of water, add the diced carrots, continue stirring then add the chicken stock or you may also use water.  Let this simmer & check for taste & adjust as needed w/salt & pepper
Once its at a full simmer add the torn kale, and if you have chopped fresh parsley at the end!  The lentils will take a good 1-1 1/2 hours to cook, check lentils after 45 min for tenderness.
Add chopped Butternut Squash
Instead of Kale you can add spinach but do it at the end of cooking because it wilts easily
Add 1/2 a fresh bulb of Fennel thinly sliced or chopped, towards the end of cooking
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary give a nice flavor & remove before serving
If you like a little spice you can also use Sindoni’s hot italian sausage or you may add some cayenne powder (1/8 teaspoon or to taste)
Add a scoop of Basmati Rice then serve your lentil soup over! YUM!!
Shopping List:
Organic French Green Lentils & organic Kale, Basmati Rice(Four Seasons Natural Food Store)
Sindoni’s Sausage (Price Chopper Butcher) *I’ve tried many sausage brands & this has been my favorite!!
Basmati Rice - bring 3 cups of water to boil add 2 cups of basmati rice lower to a simmer & allow to cook covered for about 20 minutes

Salmon with Fennel

(serves 4-6)
Preheat oven to 400
Whole Salmon filet 
1 large fennel bulb
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic sliced 
1 - 1 1/2 cups of good white wine
1/4 cup of olive oil
Freshly ground pepper 
1 whole zucchini sliced diagonal

about 6-8 cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
1/2 chopped parsley
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 lemon sliced 

Slice the fennel bulb & sauté to soften in a pan with a little olive oil then 
arrange the Salmon filet in a large baking dish with the fennel & all the above ingredients, also include some of the fronds from the fennel.
Wrap the pan tightly in foil & place in the oven for about 15-20 (make sure the oven has been preheated & is nice & hot)
Served with Basmati Rice & Brussel Sprouts sautéed in garlic & oil

Agostino loving the Crispy Kale!!!

"My son Graham (8 years old) would never have tried Kale until he had it first at Lisa's house!  He absolutely loved it! His older brothers were shocked and since he was able to bring the simple recipe home with him, we make it all the time."

Escarole & White Beans
(serves 4-6)
2 large heads of Escarole
1 head of garlic or 4-5 cloves 
olive oil
1 can of Great Northern Beans or 3/4 cup dry
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional)
Cut up & wash Escarole as you would lettuce(do not have to spin totally dry)
In a med/large stockpot saute garlic & olive oil, add the chopped escarole when the garlic has gotten a little soft & the pan is nice & hot
It will at first seem like too much greens but will quickly wilt to less than 1/2 
Rinse & add the can of beans or if the dried are cooked then use those
Add about 1/2 cup of water & season with salt & crushed red pepper
Cover the pot & keep the flame on low til all the escarole has wilted
Can be served as an appetizer or side dish alongside a nice crusty piece of bread, add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese & a lemon wedge(optional)

Pork Tenderloin with Radicchio, Fennel & dried cherries
(serves 6)
1 pork tenderloin (usually 2 come in a pkg)
1 head of radicchio
1 large fennel bulb or 2 small
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 salt
ground pepper (about 7-8 turns on pepper mill)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a pan that can also go into the oven place on stove to heat (you’ll know when its hot enough to sear the pork when you place your hand over the top & can only keep it there 2 seconds)
As the pan is heating season the pork, having rinsed & dried it first massage it with about 1/2 of the olive oil, granulated garlic, oregano, salt & pepper
Place into the heated pan to sear on all sides (it should sizzle loudly when 1st put in)  Begin to slice the radicchio & fennel removing the inner rib when slicing
Place radicchio & fennel in a bowl with the dried cherries & add the other 1/2 of the olive oil & toss like a salad
Once the tenderloin is seared on all sides surround it with the “salad” & place into a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes (rotate & stir up vegetables after 20 min)or until the internal temp reaches 150
Remove from oven & let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing & serving

Cavatelli pasta with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe & Cannelini beans in garlic & oil
(serves 4-6)

1 head of garlic (4-5 cloves)
2 tbls olive oil
1 1/2 lb sausage
1 bunch of broccoli rabe
1 can cannelini beans
1 bag of fresh frozen cavatelli pasta
salt & pepper 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper(optional)
Put a large pot of salted water to boil for the cavatelli (but don’t add pasta yet)
Another pot of water for the broccoli rabe to quickly blanch which reduces the bitterness (you can also cook the rabe the day before then add to the pan once the sausage is just about cooked)
In a large saute pan pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil & sauté chopped fresh garlic, as the garlic cooks add the sausage, removing it from the casing by squeezing out to then crumble in the pan with the garlic & oil
Once the sausage is no longer pink add the broccoli rabe & the rinsed can of cannelini beans & crushed red pepper
If its looking a little dry add a little of the salted pasta water
Cook the cavatelli (about 8 min) When cooked take out with spider strainer & put directly into pan with other ingredients. Mix together, add grated parmesan cheese, an extra drizzle of olive oil & serve.
Shrimp instead of sausage
Vegetarian just add more greens
Shopping list:
Cavatelli pasta (Roma Foods)
Sindoni’s sausage (Price Chopper/Market 32) *delivered fresh on Thursdays

Chicken Marsala (serves 4)

2 whole chicken breasts
3-4 tbls olive oil, safflower oil or grape seed oil 1/2 cup flour
S & P
1/2 large Vidalia onion
10 oz package of white mushrooms
2 cups approx of Marsala wine
2 tbls butter
1/2-1 cup chicken broth

-Wash & pat dry the chicken w/paper towels
-Lay them on the cutting board & slice the breast starting at the thick end parallel to the cutting board cutting in 1/2 lengthwise
-Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cutlets & pound to an even thickness (about 1/2 inch)
-Heat the oil in a large skillet 
-Season the flour with a generous amount of Salt & Pepper
-Lightly coat with flour on both sides & place into skillet cook til sides turn white & flip same on other side about 3 min per side
-Put cooked chicken on a separate dish & now add about 1more tbls of oil

, add the butter & cook the sliced onions & mushrooms till they get nice & juicy(about 5 min)
-Add about 2 cups Marsala wine & on med flame let reduce to about 1/2, add the chicken broth & put the chicken breasts back into the pan(its ok if it gets overcrowded) & reduce the broth again by 1/2
-Once done sprinkle fresh chopped parsley over the top & serve! Yum!

Potato Leek soup (serves 6-8)
2 tablespoons of butter
3 large leeks (about 2lbs) sliced & washed
9 medium yellow potatoes (3 lbs)
48 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth or use a regular 32 ounce container of broth & additional water
salt & freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg or 1/8 teaspoon
1/2 cup more or less of milk or cream to create desired thickness
*Slice the leeks & place into a bowl of fresh water to rinse (I like to use an old salad spinner w/o lid or use a strainer set into a larger bowl filled w/water)
*Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed pot & add the leeks, cook to soften
*Wash & cut the potatoes into about 1 inch pieces
*Add diced potatoes to the leeks & butter & stir around a few minutes adding some salt now
*Add the broth to cover potatoes & leeks, turn up to med-high heat bring to a boil then lower to a simmer
*Cook until potatoes are soft but not mushy
*Use a blender or immersion blender (handheld) to puree the soup, using caution it will be very hot 
*Begin adding the milk or cream to desired thickness
*Add more salt & pepper to taste & nutmeg

Crispy Kale

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Remove kale from stalk 
Massage with olive oil & place on sheet pan in one layer & sprinkle with sea salt or Maldon salt
Bake in oven 12-15 minutes

Sauteed Spinach  (serves 4-6)

2 large bags of spinach or 4 fresh bunches (rinsed)
Olive oil 
3 cloves garlic chopped or sliced
In a large pan heat the oil & cook the garlic careful not to burn on med-high heat
once the garlic appears golden in color add the spinach to the pan
It will seem like too much at first but spinach will wilt very quickly & will look like barely any left!
Keep adding the spinach into the pan & stir around with the garlic & oil 
Once all spinach is in cover the pan lightly with another pan or a lid & lower the heat to med-low
Serve on a platter & sprinkle with coarse Maldon sea salt