Sunday, April 25, 2021


Fra Diavolo is an Italian-American creation which translates to 'brother devil'.

All'Arrabbiata is an Italian creation from Rome which translates to 'angry'. They are both spicy, using red pepper flakes and have a tomato base. 
You can serve shrimp fra diavolo with pasta or without. Serve this with a green salad, and a glass of vino rosso.

12 extra jumbo shrimp (16-20 per lb), peeled, deveined, tails removed
3 T olive oil, divided
½ t sea salt
½ to 1 t red pepper flakes
¼ t fine ground black pepper

½ medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced or minced
½ t dried oregano (I used freeze-dried)
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups crushed Italian tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

½ lb spaghetti

2 T chopped Italian parsley
2 T chopped fresh basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

In a bowl, combine the shrimp, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and ground black pepper.

In a large skillet, over high heat, add the shrimp mixture and cook until lightly brown on both sides, about 2 minutes, each side.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, over medium heat, add the last tablespoon of the olive oil, and cook the onion until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.  
Add the garlic and oregano and cook another minute.
Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to break up any brown bits.
Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer over low heat for 15 to 18 minutes, until sauce slightly thickens.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in boiling salted water, until al dente, about 8 minutes.
Take out about ¼ cup pasta water to add to thin the sauce.
Scoop up all of the pasta using a spaghetti fork and add to the sauce in the large skillet. Combine well the add the shrimp to the sauce including any juices in bowl and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through.

Stir in the parsley and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the spaghetti between 2 warm pasta bowls.
Spoon on sauce and 6 shrimp per bowl.
Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 2

Thursday, April 22, 2021


Tiramisù roughly translated means "pick me up" or "lift me up". It is a traditional dessert from Italy made with espresso, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, Savoiardi (ladyfingers), and a custard called zabaglione. Every Italian mamma has her own recipe. I was fortunate enough to enjoy one made by my friend Giuseppina Cappiello in Positano.

Espresso Syrup
1 cup brewed espresso, or 2 T instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
¼ cup marsala wine or brandy


6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
2 T marsala wine or brandy

2 cups mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 cup heavy whipping cream

24 Savoiardi Ladyfingers 

Cocoa powder, for dusting
Chocolate shavings, for garnish

In a medium bowl, mix together the espresso and marsala or brandy and let 

Make a double boiler by placing a heat-resistant bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

Do not let the bowl touch the simmering water.
Beat egg yolks and sugar in the double boiler using a hand-held electric mixer until tripled in volume, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Carefully remove bowl from heat and place on a tea towel.
Beat in the marsala wine or brandy and mascarpone until combined.

In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream until well combined.
Spread a thin but even layer of mascarpone mixture on bottom of a 9-inch pan.

Quickly dip both sides of each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture.

Place the ladyfingers on top of the mascarpone mixture. You will have to cut some to completely fill the pan.
Spread half of the mascarpone filling on top.
Dip the rest of the ladyfingers in coffee and arrange over the filling.
Spread the remaining mascarpone filling on top.
Cover and refrigerate 6 hours.

Let tiramisu stand a room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Dust with cocoa and garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Serves 9

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


I don't know the reason but East Coast scallops are the sweetest scallops I have ever tasted.  This is a simple and delicious way to pan fry them.

10 East Coast sea scallops
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 T unsalted butter, divided
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
3 T white wine or white vermouth
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Snipped chives

Dry scallops with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.
Add scallops and brown on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Do not flip over until at least 3 minutes to get a nice brown color.
Flip over and brown on the other side.
Add the garlic and cook another minute. 
Place scallops on two warm plates. 
Add the wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the rest of the butter to the skillet. 
Reduce the liquid for a couple more minutes. 
Pour over scallops and garnish with snipped chives.  
Serve with mashed potatoes or risotto.

Serves 2