Showing posts with label Italian American Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian American Cooking. Show all posts

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Italian Meatball Recipe

 Italian Meatball Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cup of bread crumbs ( this can be home made from toasted Italian bread or store bought) 
  • 1 pound of ground meat, (you can substitute any meat, we prefer Turkey 100% lean.)
  • 4 oz. grated cheese Pecorino and Parmigiana
  • 2 Tsp of salt
  • 1 Tsp of pepper
  • 2 Eggs 
  • 10 stalk or pieces chopped parsley 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 or 1/2 cup of water - depending on the quality of your bread crumbs. 

Mix all together, form balls (secret to keeping them nice and together, drip some warm water onto your palm of your hands as your rolling the balls.)  Then once you have your balls ready, fry them in a pan of very hot vegetable oil or canola oil. (some people like to substitute oils, we find this works best for us.)  Flip them till they are golden brown as you can see from today's meatball making.   

If you  have any questions, feel free to email me at 

Happy Sunday! 

Monday, October 17, 2022

Italian minestrone gluten free, vegan recipe

Italian minestrone gluten free, vegan recipe

  • Sautee onion, celery, carrots in large pot with olive oil. 
  • Add a few cups of water or vegetable broth depending on the size of your pot, don't put too much as this could water down the consistency.
  • Add tomatoes, cannellini or red kidney beans - I like to drain the beans first before adding.
  • Add your spices - oregano, salt to taste, garlic powder (you can put whatever you like)
  • Add your pasta - I cook my pasta first and then add to my soup mix for final boil. I make gluten free usually and it tastes just as amazing as regular.
  • I cook everything for about 30 minutes or till I feel all vegetables are soft, don't overcook if you've added pasta because then it can break apart. Just my suggestion.   Also I find with minestrone soup, I make it slightly different each time, because you can be creative with vegetables.   Happy soup season! 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Italian Style: Vegan Gluten Free Dishes - Grilled Vegetables & Air Fried Sweet Potatoes

Here's another great couple of dishes I've perfected over the last year while we hunkered down during the pandemic.  I discovered that using an air fryer is actually very convenient and cooks so many meals in no time and in a healthier way.   Here's a great post about the benefits of using an air fryer: (Read here) 

This week I made a grilled vegetable  (zucchini and eggplant) for this I used my trusty old George Foreman grill, which I love.  I slice the vegetables on my cutting board usually in circle shape of the vegetable not long ways to get more onto the grill. I lay them onto the grill and drizzle a tad of olive oil, I only use extra virgin oil btw.  I also lay a few garlic slices across the layer of vegetables to give it an extra great taste, I love garlic. 

For the stuffed mushrooms, I combined my 4C Gluten Free bread crumbs with Kosher salt, garlic salt, dried basil, dried oregano, some slices of fresh garlic.  I then mix that and insert inside my cleaned mushrooms, I remove the stems and save those for an upcoming chicken dish or omelet contents.  I then drizzle olive oil onto the tops put into the air fryer at lower temp and for about 20 minutes.  You can add mozzarella cheese to the tops.  

My sweet potatoes are amazing! Let's just start there. I wash the potatoes first just to get any dirt off.  I think cut them into French fries shape, it took me a while to figure out to cut potatoes so they would be better in the air fryer.  

I then put them all cut into another dish and drizzle olive oil, garlic salt and dried basil.  I cover the dish and shake it making sure everything is coated.  I then put into the air fryer at a low temp for up to 25/ 30 minutes. I flip the potatoes often because I like them golden.   

Once all your dishes are done cooking I plate them and wow! Healthy, quick and very satisfying!  


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Italian American Girl Recipe - Eggplant Polpettone - Meatless Version

There's nothing like meatballs to go with the traditional Italian American Sunday dinner, which includes pasta.  But one thing about summer, my mother always made an eggplant version of a traditional meatball. I shared this photo via Facebook and it literally went viral in minutes and I had many requests from our community to share my mother's recipe, so here it is:

Eggplant Polpettone -

  • 1 eggplant (light purple)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of bread crumbs
  • 5 spoons of grated cheese ( Romano preferred)
  • 1 tsp. of salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 7 leaves of basilica chopped
Boil the eggplant in cubes till tender, drain them and squeeze water out.  Combine the bread crumbs, eggplant, eggs and all other ingredients.  Mix until it's completely evenly combined.  Begin forming balls about 3 inches long and 2 inches thick.  Fry in vegetable oil till brown.  Si Mangia! Let us know how your versions turn out.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Authentic Italian Organic Zucchini Soup - Calabrese Style

I shared this picture on Facebook and the response was overwhelming, this is my mother's zucchini soup that  she makes all year round. To stick to the authenticity of my blog, I post things about my everyday Italian American life, so this is the real deal.  The soup is a combination of the actual organic zucchini, crushed tomato, boiled potato, garlic,  and onion.  So simple, yet complex in flavor.  I have to say, I can't believe my mother was so willing to give me the ingredients, usually it's TOP SECRET.   Enjoy! 


Add 1 quart of water to pot to boil:
  • 1 pound of zucchini cubed (organic or regular- I prefer organic)  
  • 1 small onion cubed
  • 1 clove of garlic (the whole thing - don't be cheap) 
  • 2 medium cut tomato or San Marzano from the jar/can (whatever works for you ) 
  • 1 medium sized potato cubed
  • 3 leaves of basil 
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (don't use low grade- olive oil can make or break a meal) 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Combine all ingredients in the boiling water, cook about 20 to 25 minutes to tender.   Serve and enjoy!

This is a regular meal I grew up on, ever wonder why Italians are so healthy?

8 Health Benefits of Zucchini

** As a side note, this ingredient list had to be deciphered from an ancient Calabrese coded recipe.. LOL**

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Italian Cooking- Cookies & Sweets-- Traditional Recipe Talk This Sunday - December 12 at 8:00 pm

Join me this Sunday -- December 12th for a hosted chat in the Italian American Girl group on Facebook, where we will be talking about traditional recipes for dinner and desserts. What are you making for Christmas Eve? The traditional seven fishes. Did your grandmother pass down the recipe for making zepole?

These traditions are slowly get lost in our Italian American community, let's work together for a little chat this Sunday at 8:00 pm and talk traditional Italian recipes.

Everyone is invited including all Italian American aficionados in the culinary arts, I encourage you to join the discussion so you can share you expertise.

To join the group you must be on Facebook:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Italian American, Serena Palumbo Competes in THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR

Food Network’s number one series, The Next Food Network Star, returns this June 6th with the most exciting and intense season to date. Shot in Los Angeles on a brand-new studio set, season six follows 12 hopefuls competing for the ultimate dream job: his or her own Food Network show.

This time around one of the contestants is one of our very own. Serena Palumbo, 31 a New York corporate attorney and former ballerina. She taught herself how to prepare food with unusual ingredients while growing up in southern Italy. She currently hosts an online instructional cooking show, “Cooking in Manhattan,” on YouTube and believes the cooking process should be simple and healthy.

Italian American celebrity chef, Giada De Laurentiis, kicks off the show with a two-hour premiere Sunday, June 6th at 9pm ET/PT as finalists get a taste of Hollywood with a trip to Paramount Studios and a six-course lunch for L.A.’s biggest celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck.

We sat down with Serena to find out more about her Italian American life and culinary expertise.

You’ve been selected as a contender for the Food Network’s very successful show, “THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR,” how big of an honor is this for you?

Being selected to be one of the 12 finalists on season six of The Next Food Network Star was a big honor! I have been a fan of the show since I moved from Italy to the US in 2004 and I followed every season. Just the fact of meeting Bobby Flay, Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman, the selection committee is fantastic and this season is really full of surprises, starting with the fact that it takes place in Los Angeles! It is a very exciting adventure and I cannot wait to see the premiere Sunday June 6th at 9PM ET/PT.

First things first! Where in Italy is your family from and could you tell us a little bit about your cultural/ culinary background?

I was born near Salerno, in Southern Italy and I have spent all my summers on the Amalfi Coast – there is no better culinary background, believe me, being Italian and from the South! I do not have a culinary training, as a matter of fact I am an attorney in New York and I am the in-house counsel for one of the biggest Italian Banks operating in North America. But I have seen all the women in my family cooking all my life and they taught me pretty much everything I know about food. Add to the family tradition the fact that I love to travel and eat new dishes and I am pretty fearless when it comes to experimenting in the kitchen and you understand why I am not afraid of the competition!

As an Italian American, do you feel a strong connection to the culinary arts and do you think there’s a fine distinction between Italian and Italian American cooking?

The common denominator is the same flavor combination. I really love Italian food in every way shape or form. My culture defines me so deeply that it really does not matter who is cooking and whether the person lives in Italy or learned from their “nonna” [grandma] like me: if there is respect for the flavors and the ingredients of Italian cuisine, I will surely appreciate the dish!

On the show, what types of dishes do you think you’ll be motivated to create? Italian dishes or do you have a love for other cultural flavors?

My inspiration is usually the Mediterranean diet. I am very fond of Italian flavors but I also love experimenting, so I will probably come up with dishes that have Spanish, Greek and Moroccan influences as well. I have a couple of aces up my sleeve - I am going to make my mother proud of all the hours we spent together in the kitchen when I was a child.

As you progress your culinary career, do you feel that expressing your known cultural background as an Italian American is an important factor to your success?

Being Italian or Italian American in the culinary world means having discerning taste, refined palate and respect for the ingredients and the traditions. I will definitely use these aspects to prove that my skills, innate in an Italian, can overcome the lack of proper culinary education: what I cannot do with knife skills I can do with the taste buds!

With the success of other celebrity Italian American chefs from Food Network, what skills and characteristics will make you stand out?

Cooking is the most important outlet for my creativity. I am a corporate attorney by trade and as such, I do not really have a creative job (actually it would not be appropriate to be creative in my day job), so I convey all my creativity in the kitchen. I love to create new recipes, sometimes tailored to my friends’ requests and needs, and I love to teach people how to cook. I started my very own homemade webisodes about homemade food called “Cooking in Manhattan” and I cannot describe how great it is when one of my viewers drops me a line to say that the recipe was a success!

Who is your favorite celebrity Italian American chef and why?

My favorite Italian American Chefs are Giada De Laurentiis because she is the “Grace Kelly” of Italian food and Mario Batali because his food is honest, rustic and delicious!

Lastly, the show; THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR premieres this summer, June 6th on Food Network—why should the Italian American audience watch? What can they expect from you as their representing Italian American?

I hope the Italian American community will root for me because I am Italian, of course, but also because I believe I represent the real hard-working Italians and Italian Americans that succeed on the basis of their own merits and strength. These are the real Italian and Italian Americans, strong willed, creative, hardworking and charming people who are pursuing their American dream. Sadly they have not been very well represented on television recently. I want to show America what we are really made of!

I would like to thank the Food Network and Serena for this interview! Grazie Serena!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Italian American Cuisine--- Eating At Cafe Martorano In Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

As some of you may have noticed, I've been off the blog a few days due to a work obligation and what I like to call work-a-tion, which led me to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Let me tell me you what a beautiful time I had in Florida, sun in the mornings and by one, two o'clock-- rain, got to love the beginning of hurricane season.

While exploring the night-dinner scene, I was led to Cafe Martorano by a family friend, who lives in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I've actually heard of Cafe Martorano before but never dined there. For those of you who don't know about Cafe Martorano, its run by Steve Martorano, an Italian American, originally from Philly. The restaurant is also very frequented by major celebrities. Steve's bio is pretty interesting from beginning to end where he began selling sandwiches from his apartment to DJing at the most popular clubs during the 70s. He now owns two very famous restaurants locations in Ft. Lauderdale and now Las Vegas. A true entrepreneur's story.

The restaurant itself was full of atmosphere and customers excited to dine. I kind of felt like I was in Jersey. (Don't laugh there is something very comforting for we Jersey peeps.) I ordered the chicken cutlet with arugula, which was very good. Now, I don't like tons of goop and pomp & circumstance with or on my food and I will say this was very light and exactly what I expected. I should preface this part by also letting you know as we waited for our main course, someone, not the waiter, brought out a dish, which we did not order and told me, "this is from Steve." OK, so at this point, I thought "wow, how nice."

Our dinner was great, as I mentioned I was at the restaurant with family friends and it really turned out to be a pleasant experience. So, at the end of the dinner, I saw the owner, Steve Martorano standing behind the cooking counter, working and staying on top of things, I walked over and said, "thank you" for the extras and shook his hand. A super nice guy with a fabulous and trendy restaurant.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Making Polenta, The Other Italian Cooking Staple.

I am honored to have a guest blogger this week, food extraordinaire and lover of all things Italian, Paula, the creator of Paula grew up as an Air Force brat and had the privilege of living in many countries including Italy. While living in Italy, Paula developed a love for the Italian culture and especially food. Her passion includes cooking and sharing her recipes on all things Italian. Here Paula shares the history and recipe behind the well known Italian dish, Polenta.


I spent many years in the region of Friuli -Venezia Giulia in Northern Italy and have quite a love for the region, its food, people and culture. When I think of a traditional Friuli dish, naturally I could name several dishes, but the one that stands out in mind is Polenta. If you're not familiar with this chameleon type food, Polenta is made with ground cornmeal. It can be ground coarsely or finely depending on the region and the texture desired. Polenta can be served creamy (softer) or in a cake like (denser) consistency. In the denser consistency, it can also be fried, grilled, made into balls, patties or sticks - making it an extremely versatile food.

Polenta was originally considered a dish for peasants, but is no longer seen in this light. What makes it so versatile is its ability to work together with other ingredients. It can be served with nearly anything on top. This includes cheeses, sauces, vegetables, meats, etc. The toppings, as always, depend on the region. Some examples are: Polenta con salsiccie (sausage), Polenta con funghi (mushrooms), Polenta Pasticiatta (a lasagne type Polenta dish), and Polenta e gorgonzola.

Polenta is an incredibly easy dish to make, not to mention hearty and very economical. In these tough economic times it's a perfect dish. I hope you'll give it a try. Do as the Italians do and use local ingredients that are abundant in your region. Visit your local farmers market and use your seasonal ingredients to spice up this dish.

To make Polenta simply:
  • Bring water to a rolling boil.
  • Add 2 tsp of kosher or sea salt to your boiling water.
  • Using a whisk, slowly add in 2 cups of cornmeal flour.
  • Reduce heat to low & simmer slowly for 50-60 minutes.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon!

I topped my Polenta with a mushroom, butter sauce and garnished with freshly grated Pecorino cheese.

Buon Appetito!