Pesto Pietro

1 cup walnuts
55 basil leaves torn in quarters
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
7 Italian parsley leaves and stems finely chopped
1.25 pounds of tomato cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of your best olive oil (extra virgin, first press)
1 pound linguine (de Cecco)

Place walnuts in mortar and press with pestle until they are well ground. Add basil, salt, garlic, and parsley; grind until you have a rough paste. Place mixture in a bowl with tomatoes and oil, then thoroughly combine all ingredients with a large spoon.

Cook linguine al dente, then drain and toss pasta with half of pesto sauce. Divide pasta onto four plates and place remaining sauce on top of each serving.

Riso Paradiso

2 onions
5 chive leaves
5 garlic chive leaves (or one small garlic clove)
10 raisins
1 sweet pepper
1 hot pepper
10 medium shiitake
7 sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons XV olive oil
1 cup forbidden rice (available at Whole Foods)

Coarsely chop all ingredients (except rice) and cook with oil over low heat (about 45 minutes) until onions are very soft and ingredients are well blended. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Cook rice in 2.25 cups of water for 30 minutes.

Toss and combine chopped ingredients with cooked rice. Place one basil leaf on top of each serving.

Serves 3-4.

Riso Capodanno

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot
1/3 head red cabbage
1 carrot
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
12 raisins
1 box frozen peas
1 cup black rice
1/2 cup brown rice
Parmesan cheese

Cook rice in 3 cups of water with tomato paste and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for about 40 minutes. In separate pan saut sliced shallot in olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add sliced carrot, raisins, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and shredded cabbage to pan and saut over low heat for 30 minutes. Add a little more oil or water as needed if mixture becomes too dry. When rice is almost cooked add to the saut pan along with thawed peas and stir all ingredients together over medium heat for 2 more minutes. Taste and add salt if desired. Ladle into shallow soup dishes with parmesan grated on top of each serving. Mangia!!!!!

Pane Pietro

Zucchini Pietro

1 medium onion
1 small clove of garlic or 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic chives
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large zucchini
1 mild hot pepper medium size
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of sweet paprika
grated parmesan

Slice onion and garlic and saute in olive oil for three minutes. Slice zucchini and pepper and add to onions with 2 tablespoons of water. Lower heat and simmer for twelve minutes or until vegetables are all cooked. Add rest of ingredients while vegetables are simmering. Turn vegetables over frequently while simmering. Add a little more water if vegetables start to dry out. When cooked serve on plates with a little grated parmesan on top of each serving. Serves three or four.

Porro Pietro

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 leeks
1/4 head red cabbage
1/4 head cabbage
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon curry powder

Cut leaves, roots, and outer layer off each leek. Cut leek in half lengthwise then slice into small 1/2″ sections. Slice cabbages like slaw. Add olive oil, leeks and cabbage to large heavy skillet and saut at low setting. While vegetables are cooking stir in rest of ingredients. Stir every two minutes to prevent burning and add a tablespoon or two of water if vegetables start to stick. Should take about 25- 30 minutes.

Fagioli Pietro

11 cups water
16 oz. dry Navy beans*
8 oz. dry green split peas
1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese
2 tbsp. sour cream

Rinse beans and peas in colander. Sort and remove any foreign matter such as stones. Put water, beans and peas in large saucepan, bring to rapid boil. Add rest of ingredients except toppings. Boil for five minutes then turn off heat and cover. Set aside for one hour or longer. Simmer until cooked about one hour. While simmering be sure there is always some water covering beans. Adjust seasonings. Serve in bowls topped with sour cream, olive oil or cheese.

*Substitute any bean or lentil.
Lentils require about 1/2 the cooking time.

Serves 6-8.

Anguila di Santpietro

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
2 lb. eel
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon flour
1 tablespoon cognac
bay leaf
Italian parsley

Saute sliced mushrooms for four minutes in little bit of olive oil with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon into pan and reserve for later. Melt butter with rest of oil in second pan. Slice onion and carrot and saute for five minutes. Add skinned and cut up eel and saute on high for eight minutes. Take eel from pan. Add to pan diced garlic, flour, cognac, wine, bay leaf and 7 oz. water. Cook covered for 45 minutes on low. Add back the mushrooms and eel and cook for five minutes on low. Remove bay leaf. Serve with chopped parsley sprinkled on each dish.

Biscotti Maria

2 cups flour (I use Spelt but all purpose works well too)
1 cup sugar
1 cup unblanched, lightly toasted, almonds finely ground (toast before grinding, use food processor)
1 cup whole unblanched almonds lightly toasted
1 tsp. baking powder
baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water

Mix dry ingredients. Add honey and water (dough will be sticky). Divide dough in half. Roll into 2 logs 15 inches long (use well floured surface). Bake 30 minutes (I bake on Silpat, you can also use parchment paper). Cool, then cut diagonally into 3/4- inch slices. Return the biscotti to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes cut side down, then turn slices over and bake 10-15 minutes more.

Pizza Pietro

The Equipment:
Pizza Stone
Pizza Peel
Dough Scraper

The Ingredients:
1 packet active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached flour
1.5 cups water
2 drops molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons cornmeal
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 medium-size can whole plum tomatoes (pelati)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon capers
pinch hot pepper flakes
6 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
8 basil leaves

Although the pizza can be cooked in a regular oven, a convection oven most closely replicates the wood burning stoves of Naples. In either case be sure to put a pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees F. at least one half hour before baking.

Prepare the dough by stirring the yeast, salt and molasses into the water. With a wooden spoon mix in the oil and flour a cup at a time. Mix until you have a bread-like dough (you may add a bit of water if the dough becomes too dry to work). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until double (several hours). Punch down then remove dough onto a floured board and divide in half with dough scraper, putting half back in bowl for second pizza. Sprinkle dough with flour and start to roll out into pizza shape, making it as thin as possible without tearing the dough.

Sprinkle corn meal on peel then place rolled-out dough on peel. Scatter half of the garlic, salt, hot pepper, Parmesan, mozzarella and capers onto dough. Cut up half of the tomatoes and distribute over the other ingredients. Drizzle half of olive oil over pizza. Open oven and slide pizza off peel onto the pizza stone. It should take about 15-20 minutes to bake. Keep an eye on it! You’ll know when it looks right!!! While the first pizza is baking prepare the second pizza. When the first pizza is ready, remove, place four basil leaves on top and cut pizza into four pieces with a scissors. Put in second pizza, open bottle of red wine and mangia!!!!!

Penne Paradiso

3 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Canadian bacon (diced)
10 porcini
4 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tomato
10 oz. mushrooms
2 T. marsala
1/4 cup pecorino Romano (grated)
3/4 lb. penne

Soak porcini and sun-dried tomatoes in 1 cup water. Saute sliced garlic for 2 minutes in oil, add bacon and saute until slightly brown. Rinse porcini and sun-dried tomatoes and reserve soaking liquid after straining through cheesecloth or paper filter. Chop and add porcini and sun-dried tomatoes to pan. Chop tomato and add to pan. Saute for 2 minutes. Wash, trim, and halve mushrooms, then add to pan. Add reserved soaking liquid and Marsala to pan, simmer for 2 minutes and let sit. Drop penne into boiling water. One minute before pasta is done, reheat pan mixture. Remove half of pan mixture and reserve on side. Drain pasta and add along with Romano to remaining pan mixture, tossing all together over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle onto three plates and add reserved pan mixture to top of each serving.

Pasta Pietro

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic
35-oz can peeled tomatoes
1 small dried hot pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. capers
large bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 lb. imported Italian pasta (e.g. DeCecco)
10 sun-dried tomatoes

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Chop garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Drain juice from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and hot pepper and add to pan. Add salt, capers and black pepper. Cut each sun-dried tomato into 8 pieces and add to pan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cook and drain pasta, preferably a short shape such as penne or fusilli. Remove half of sauce from pan. Toss pasta in pan and mix well with sauce and chopped parsley. Move pasta to 4 plates and ladle remaining sauce on top of each serving. Serves 4. Mangia!

Pietro’s Zuppa di Pane

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
28-oz can peeled tomatoes
2 leeks
pinch hot-pepper flakes
pinch salt and pepper
1 lb. stale Italian bread (three days old)
3 c. chicken broth
5 fresh basil leaves

Dice the white part of the leeks and saute for 10 minutes in olive oil. Drain the tomatoes, chop and add to pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and two peppers. Tear bread into pieces and add to pan with broth, simmer for 15 minutes. Mix well and let stand covered, away from stove, for 30 minutes. Whisk while gently reheating; add water if necessary to keep from sticking to pan. Adjust salt to taste. Finished zuppa should be thick like mashed potatoes. Serve in bowls with one basil leaf and a little olive oil drizzled on top. Serves 5. Mangia!