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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!