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Posted 03/02/2015

THE TUSCAN GUN DINNER SERIES #05 – DeLILLE CELLARS, REDMOND, WA –

I am extremely happy to announce another round of dinners on the West Coast. This time I will have the pleasure to cook and entertain in a fantastic setting, the DeLille Cellars Chateau in Redmond, Washington. The event will take place on the weekend of April 17th: it will consist of an intimate dinner for 40 people served on Friday 17th to launch the festivities and two major events (not seated) on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/10/2015

Baked Pasta with Tomato and Chard Sauce

Debi and I were truly impressed with our girls eating attitude when we started traveling to Italy to visit family. In their early years, Evelina and Giulia were absolutely fantastic eaters, they would try everything without showing any sign of fear… but things have changed. My daughters are growing older and have discovered soon enough that food emancipation is a wonderful conquest, and that debating (and refusing) their parents’ taste of certain foods is actually a battle they can sometimes win. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/10/2015

Budino al Cioccolato

My grandmother never did anything special to “buy” my love. Well, I actually persuaded her once to buy me a new bicycle, but that is another story (of childhood and hustle). She always knew she could touch people with her food, and she always played it cool… She has always been super strict and had her set of rules me and my brother had to go by, but at end the reward has always been appropriate and delicious! Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/04/2015

THE TUSCAN GUN DINNER SERIES #05 – LOS ANGELES -

After 3 sold out rounds of dinners in Brooklyn this past fall I am coming back to the city where it all begun a decade ago. I am honored to be hosting a five dinners event next March at Mauro’s Café in Fred Segal Hollywood, which is the first spot Debi and I had a date when I arrived from Florence; it was summer of 2001. I must (as always) express apologies to my vegetarian friends… this menu has pork in three items out of a five course menu. Join me for a night of Super Tuscan Food and Selected Wines*. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/04/2015

Extra Virgin Season 5 – “Girlfriends”

I love my friends. I have friends that derive from all over the world, but it’s my NYC girlfriends that I really have a special thing for. We all know one another since we’re young and we pretty much speak the same “language”. Getting together isn’t easy as we are all busy with work and family. Today I was able to wrangle up a few of my ladies for lunch at our home, and funny enough, everyone coming by happens to be Italian! Today’s discussion will be to go back in time and talk about our family history, and our memories of food and good times. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/04/2015

Beef Cutlets “Alla Pizzaiola”

I used to be served this dish for lunch at my school when I was a kid. I always thought that adding sauce and cheese to our beef cutlets was a way for the school to have kids finish their meat… Now as a father I do understand the simplicity and efficiency of hiding healthy ingredients in the recipes I prepare for my daughters. In all honesty I prefer adding spinach to a frittata than sauce and cheese to a meat cutlet as I believe it makes for a somewhat heavy dish but….

Since I arrived in the US I have noticed a quite considerable amount of recipes that for some strange reason all go under the name “Parmigiana”; Meatballs, Beef Cutlets and Chicken are often available drowned in a red sauce, asphyxiated with a slab of cheese and finally snowed in with a few generous tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Continue Reading…

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Posted 02/02/2015

Spinach and Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Cheese Sauce

I remember a Sunday, long long time ago. I was about 8 years old, standing on a chair in my Nonna Lola’s kitchen, I don’t really remember what we were getting ready to celebrate, but all the farmers’ wives were in the kitchen as well.

All counters had been cleaned properly and then dusted with some flour, next thing I knew my grandmother placed a ball of green marbleized dough in front of me and went straight to the point :”Make me some Gnocchi!”.  It took me a few moments to process her request, then the obvious response  just poured out of my mouth: “Gnocchi? Nonna, I have no idea!”

“You don’t need to know much about it, all I need is your little hands, just start rolling!”  Continue Reading…

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Posted 01/27/2015

Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana

Today’s recipe is a classic of Roman cooking: the name comes from Amatrice, a town in Lazio; from here the farmers that travelled down to Rome with their produce, including fresh ewe’s milk cheese (pecorino) and mountain pigs, also imported this way of cooking maccheroni and bucatini. In our house this is in absolute our favorite sauce! Continue Reading…

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Posted 01/21/2015

Beets, Cucumber and Bottarga Salad

In Italy salad is one of those food items that makes it into your stomach just because “Mom has told you so!” You will rarely encounter a list of salads on our restaurant menus and in fact a handful of greens and a few chopped (or grated) carrots are all you can hope for to be served as a side dish to your steak or “rosticciana” ribs. Tuscans favor sautéed greens, roasted potatoes or vegetable stews like “Peperonata” to accompany their proteins.

Then I met Deb, and moved to Los Angeles where “People really eat salad before pasta???” The whole notion of considering salad as a stand alone dish still quite does not resonate with me, but as you can see I am adapting and making progress. However, don’t u dare ask me for salad to start your meal, you will rub me the wrong way! Continue Reading…

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