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.

Lemon Vinaigrette
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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 that are pushed to one side of the grill, for 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer steak to the cooler side of the grill and cook an additional 6 to 7 minutes
Check with an instant-read thermometer for a temperature of 130 to 140 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

Friday, June 24, 2016


50th wedding anniversary. They were married in 1897 in Picerno, Italy.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016


This is a very popular pasta dish on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. I had this several times in Praiano and Positano. Lemon, Parmigiano cheese, and extra-virgin olive oil are a trio made in heaven.

1 lb spaghetti
1 large garlic clove, cut in half
Zest of 1 lemon, for garnish
Juice of 2 lemons
cup extra-virgin olive oil

¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 T chopped Italian parsley
2 T chopped basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil spaghetti in salted water until al dente (about 8 minutes).
Save about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, rub the garlic around the inside of large warm pasta bowl. This adds a hint of garlic without being overpowering.
Pour in the lemon juice and while whisking, drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil and most of the Parmigiano cheese.
Add the warm, drained spaghetti, pasta water, parsley, and basil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide between 4 warm pasta bowls, sprinkle with a little more Parmigiano and add a little lemon zest on top.

Serves 4