Culinary Arts

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7 thoughts on “Culinary Arts”


    4 Large round steaks pounded between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to enlarge and thin-out
    1/2 Pound thinly sliced prosciutto
    1/2 Pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
    4 Hard-boiled eggs sliced
    1 Small package frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out -or- freshly cooked swiss chard, chopped and excess liquid squeezed out
    2 Cloves garlic very finely minced
    Chopped parsley to sprinkle adequately over each steak
    1 Cup red wine
    1/2 Can of Italian plum tomatoes – put through food processor or squeezed -or- 1 quart jar of home-canned tomatoes similarly processed
    Romano or Parmeggiano cheese (grated)
    Salt & pepper to taste

    On a large work surface, make an assembly line of all the dry ingredients.

    Lay out the 4 round steaks. Lay 1 or 2 slices of the prosciutto on each, followed by 2 slices of provolone, followed by hard-boiled egg slices (1 egg per steak), sprinkle of some of the garlic and parsley, salt & pepper, followed by grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, followed by some of the greens. Press down gently with hands.

    Begin to roll the steaks and either secure by wrapping and tying with string. Once all the meat rolls are prepared. Heat a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil and sear the meat on all sides. Transfer the meat to a baking dish/pan. Mix the tomatoes with the red wine and pour over the meat.

    Bake uncovered in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning and basting the meat every 20 minutes or so. If the sauce becomes too thick, you may add and stir in a little water.

    Place meat rolls on a large platter and drizzle with the sauce. Serve the remainder of the sauce into a bowl for those who want extra sauce.


  2. recipe: PASTA PUTANESCA

    This recipe is not Gagliatese nor Calabrese, but I’ve never met anyone I’ve served this to that did not love it.

    2 Anchovie filets (optional; however, you do not taste them in the sauce, but they add a “punch” )
    1 Large can Italian plum tomatoes – put through a food processor/mill
    2 Fresh basil leaves or a sprinkling of dried basil
    1/2 Carrot very finely minced
    1/2 Small onion very finely minced [all of these can be put through a food processor]
    2 Cloves garlic very finely minced
    1/2 Pound Kalamata, Gaeta or mixed olives, pitted and roughly chopped
    1 Handful of capers
    Peperoncino (red pepper flakes) to taste
    Salt & pepper to taste
    Romano or Parmeggiano cheese (grated)
    Extra virgin olive oil

    In a large skillet, add olive oil and gently sauté the anchovies, stirring them around until they melt. Add the carrot, garlic and onion and sauté until soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, olives, capers, pepperoncino, salt & pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1/2 hour.

    In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt and add about 1/2 pound pasta (penne, ziti, gemelli or spaghetti are great choices). Cook to al dente, drain. Place in large bowl and top/mix with the sauce. Serve with the Romano or Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 as a first course or 3 as a main course with a salad following.


  3. recipe: PASTA e PISELLI

    1/4 Carrot, finely minced
    1/2 Small onion, finely minced (all of these can be put into food processor
    2 Cloves garlic, finely minced as well)
    Handful of parsley, finely minced
    1/2 fresh cherry pepper, finely minced or 1 teaspoon dried peperoncino flakes
    1 Tablespoon tomato paste
    1/2 Cup chicken broth
    2 Large handfuls of frozen peas
    3 Handfuls of ditalini pasta
    Romano or Parmeggiano Cheese (grated)
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    In a large skillet, add the olive oil, carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, hot pepper, salt and sauté about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and stir to break up. Add the peas, stir well, then the chicken broth. Lower heat to low and let simmer.

    Bring a pot of water to a boil. While boiling, salt the water and add the ditalini pasta; cook 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl, topping with the sauce from the skillet. Mix well. Serve in bowls, sprinkle cheese and add a small drizzle of olive oil.

    Serves 3 as a main dish with a salad and cheese. Serves 4 as a primo piatto followed by meat or fish.



    One of my cousins in Gagliato made this sauce one night. It’s a quick sauce that I have made myself on many occassions.

    2 Cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 Handful parsley, finely chopped
    1 Small container of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes – sliced in half
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Sprinkling of dried peperoncino flakes or a finely chopped fresh hot, red cherry pepper
    Romano or Parmeggiano cheese
    Pasta of your choice (about 1/2 pound)

    Add olive oil to a large skillet. Over medium heat, sauce the garlic and peperoncino, add the sliced tomatoes and parsley. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then lower heat to simmer.

    In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. While boiling, add salt to water and add the pasta, stirring occasionally.

    Drain pasta and mix with sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of Romano or Parmeggiano cheese. (For a little “twist”, try crumbled Greek feta cheese instead of Romano or Parmeggiano.)

    Serves 2 as a main dish with salad and cheese or 4 as a primo piatto.



    2 Handfuls of breadcrumbs (plain, not flavored)
    2 Cloves garlic, finely minced
    Sprinkling of dried peperoncino flakes or 1 small red cherry pepper, finely minced
    Handful of minced fresh parsley
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Romano or Parmeggiano cheese

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While boiling add salt and pasta of your choice (about 1/2 pound).

    In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic and pepperoncino and sauté for about 1 minute. Lower the heat to simmer and add the bread crumbs and parsley. You want the breadcrumbs to toast and not burn, so keep an eye on them. If the sauce becomes too dry, add olive oil to the skillet, to your liking.

    Drain pasta and mix with breadcrumb/oil sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of the cheese.



    When my husband and I lived in his town in Abruzzo, one of the dishes was Pasta e Patate. From what I gathered, it is a loose sauce-based broth made with potatoes, with pasta added and eaten as a soup.

    Being Gagliatese, I decided, when there, to create this dish with a Calabrian twist and the results were phenomenal! My husband loved it, and a few of his cousins who tasted it loved it. It is thicker and spicier and makes for a “…looked-forward-to supper” on cold, winter evenings. So here goes…

    2 Slices of prosciutto Parma, very finely minced
    2 Large garlic cloves, very finely minced
    1 Carrot, peeled, very finely minced [If you are not adept with a cutting board/chef’s knife
    1 Small onion, very finely minced the proscuitto, garlic, carrot,onion, parsley & hot pepper
    1 Handful parsley, very finely minced can be put through a food processor.]
    1 Fresh hot pepper, very finely minced OR
    1 Teaspoon dried peperoncino
    2 Large potatoes, peeled and shredded
    28-30 Ounces chicken broth
    40 Ounces water
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1 Tablespoon tomato paste
    3 Handfuls of ditalini pasta

    To a medium-sized sauce pot, add extra virgin olive oil. Heat over medium heat and add all the minced ingredients. Add salt & pepper. Sauté until translucent. Add the shredded potato, stirring often to coat potatoes well and prevent sticking to bottom of pan. Add the chicken broth, water and tomato paste and stir well. Simmer over low heat for about 1/2 hour; then cover pot and cook for another 1/2 hour. Shut off heat, cover and let stand for about 1 hour.

    At this point, the soup base can be cooled off and put into a covered bowl, then reheated the next day, add the pasta and serve that evening.

    To eat the pasta e patate the same day, after the soup base has sat on the stove for that hour, take some of the potato from the soup and put through a food mill then return the milled potato to the pot. Reheat the broth to gentle boil, then add the ditalini and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked.

    Serve topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, and garlic bread or bruschetta.



    1 Bunch of fresh broccoli rabe washed thoroughly
    3 Cloves of garlic finely minced
    1 Very small onion finely minced
    1 Teaspoon of dried peperoncino flakes
    1/4 Cup chicken broth
    4 Hot italian sausage links (remove from casings and break up)
    Extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 Pound of penne pasta
    Salt to taste

    Wash the broccoli rabe. Remove the large/thick stems. Take the broccoli rabe and slice crosswise then put into a collander.

    In a large skillet with sides about 1-2″ high, add olive oil, garlic, onion, pepperoncino and sauté over low heat until tender. Add the sausage meat and stir over low heat until pieces are cooked through. Rinse again the broccoli rabe in the collander and immediately put into the pan and stir. Add a sprinkling of salt (not too much), the chicken broth and cover and let simmer until broccoli rabe “melts” down. Be sure to stir occasionally.

    Once the broccoli rabe has been put on to cook, boil a large pot of water. Once water is boiling, add a handful of salt and the pasta. Cook 8-10 minutes to “al dente”. Drain.

    Either in the skillet or in a large bowl, mix the pasta with the broccoli rabe and sausage. Serve with a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and Romano or Parmeggiano cheese.

    Serves 4 (you may double the recipe to serve 8).


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