Thursday, June 30, 2016


This dish was originally from Tuscany, but I have had it in two different restaurants in Positano, Italy. To me, the perfect accompaniment is a plate of crispy French Fries. Tagliata translates to "cut" in Italian.

1 ½ lbs boneless sirloin steak (or any steak of your choice)

2 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 t freeze-dried or chopped fresh oregano
1 clove garlic, pushed through a garlic press or minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 T extra-light olive oil

Place the above marinade ingredients in a large zippered plastic bag.
Pat steak dry with paper towels, then place in the bag, squeeze out most of the air and swish around to coat the steak evenly with herbs and oil.

Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ t Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and Dijon mustard; season to taste with salt and pepper.
While whisking, slowly add the olive oil in a stream and continue to whisk until the dressing thickens slightly. Set aside.

1 (10 oz) bag baby arugula (enough to fill 4 plates)

Balsamic vinegar
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shaved
4 lemon wedges

Grill steak over hot coals for 5 to 8 minutes each side, turning once.
Check with an instant-read thermometer for a temperature of 120 to 125 degrees F for medium rare.
Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.

While the meat is resting, put the arugula in a bowl and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette.
Toss to coat with dressing and distribute onto 4 individual plates.

Slice the meat thinly across the grain and place the slices over the beds of arugula.
Pour on any accumulated meat juices, sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar, top with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and add a lemon wedge.

Serves 4


Elisabetta & Ernesto Noviello c1965

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Traditionally, sgroppino is a refreshing aperitif that is said to have originated in Venice, Italy and is served blended, but this is another way to serve it as a dessert. With the abundance of lemons on the Amalfi Coast, I think it could have been invented there. This is so refreshing on a warm summer evening.

1 cup chilled Prosecco
¼ cup chilled plain or lemon-flavored vodka 
Good-quality lemon sorbet

Fresh mint leaves

Pour ½ cup Prosecco into each champagne flute or Irish coffee glass. 
Equally divide the limoncello and vodka into each flute or glass.
Add 2 to 3 scoops of lemon sorbet.

Top with mint and serve immediately.

Serves 2 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Italians love raw fennel because it is absolutely delicious in salads. Fennel is super rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. Vitamin A and C are powerful antioxidants. Aniello Pallone from Positano, Italy, introduced me to using fennel in salads. 
I used a mixture of different greens from my garden, including cress, arugula, and a mesclun mix.

1 small clove garlic, pushed through a garlic press
2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
3 T raspberry or champagne vinegar
1 t Dijon mustard 
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Enough mixed green lettuce for 2 servings
1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1 navel orange, peel cut away and sections removed with a sharp knife
1 T chopped fennel fronds, for garnish

In a jar, shake together the dressing mixture and set aside until ready to dress the salad.
Drizzle as much dressing as you desire on salad, toss, and serve.
Top each plate with fennel fronds.

Serves 2

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Classic Pizza Genovese has a topping of thinly sliced potatoes. My version contains spicy Genoa salami and a few spoonfuls of pesto sauce. To make it even easier, buy a good quality pesto sauce at your supermarket or Italian market. I made 3 (8-inch) personal pizzas.

Follow my directions for Pizza Dough on my post for Pizza Calabrese.

Simple Pizza Sauce
1 T extra-light olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 (24 oz) bottle strained tomatoes 
1 t fresh or freeze-dried oregano
1 t chopped fresh or freeze-dried basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the garlic for one minute.
Pour in the strained tomatoes and add the oregano and basil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

Pizza Assembly
Simple Pizza sauce
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb fresh mozzarella, broken into pieces
15 to 20 thin slices spicy Genoa salami 
Pesto sauce (store bought or homemade)
Fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Preheat a pizza stone on the bottom rack of oven for 15 minutes. 
Alternatively, you can just bake pizzas on pizza pans.

Spread a ladle of tomato sauce on each pizza dough.
Sprinkle each with a tablespoon or two of Parmigiano cheese.
Add about 6 chunks of the fresh mozzarella to each.
Add 5 slices of spicy Genoa salami to each.

Place one pizza pan on the middle rack and bake for 5 minutes.

Slide the crust directly onto the stone and bake for another 10 minutes.
In the meantime, place another pizza on the middle rack after the first pizza has been cooking on the stone for 5 minutes.
I do an assembly-line of pizzas this way, definitely using a timer.

Remove from oven and add a few tablespoons of pesto sauce and garnish with basil leaves.

Makes 2 to 4 pizzas