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Food & Recipe

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Mediterranean Eggplant

A couple of months back we watched Jamie Oliver make this delicious eggplant dish in Italy with Gennaro. Naturally, we had to try our hand at it from what we recalled from memory. Here is the recipe but keep in mind it's all about tasting as you go, if you need more or less spice, feel free to adjust. I didn't take any good pics but I will update the recipe with one next time we make it. :) What you'll need: 1 large eggplant1 tsp of cumin1 tsp of paprika1 clove of garlicSalt & pepperRed onion (chopped)2 cups cherry tomatoesPinch of parsley Half a lemonYour favorite couscous Your favorite tzatziki Optional naan bread! Directions: Cube the eggplant (skin on)Heavily salt and let sit for an hour (takes the bitterness away) Prep couscous while the eggplant is salting.Boil 1 cup (approx.) water,...

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Almond Twists

    It seems everyone is making two things in isolation, bread, and cinnamon buns. I understand why, I have definitely enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, it's one of the only exciting things happening during the quarantine. If you already made cinnamon buns and are wondering what to try next, try these almond twists, they're basically a cinnamon bun cookie. They are perfect to keep in the freezer for guests (when we are able to entertain again lol) and to enjoy with your coffee. My mom is known for these cookies and often makes them for any family occasion like baptisms, showers, etc. Ingredients Dough: 2 cups of flour 2 tablespoons of sugar 1 tablespoon baking power Pinch of salt 1/2 cup of soft butter 1 beaten egg (with the fork ) 1/2 cup of milk Filling: 1 bag of chopped pecans 3 tablespoons of cinnamon 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar Icing: 2 cups of...

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Nocatalli – Italian Christmas Donuts

Christmas time means fresh Nocatalli, an Italian sugar donut, paired with your choice of coffee for dunking, homemade cured sausages or just as is. A memory I have of Nocatalli was from the church Christmas pageant at St.Rita's. My cousins and I would star in the play and on the show night all the parishioners would bring baking. My nonna always brought the fresh Nocatalli and we would rush to the table post-show to snag a couple. This is a pretty difficult dessert to make, I joined my mom making them for the first time and couldn't believe that my nonna's and aunts would make them by themselves and for the whole family. We used my aunt Teresa Fabrizio's recipe from her cookbook which features all the traditional goods. Watch this video to see how it turned out and if...

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Hot Pepper Potatoes

Watch my aunt Zia Laura share traditions about her mother, Filomena's, signature hot pepper potatoes. This recipe and tradition comes all the way from Pesche, Italy where my aunt and her family grew up. At any family function, you can be sure to see these hot pepper potatoes on the table, and they taste like perfection every time. Side note, if you are not one for the heat, you may want to stay away from this recipe. :) https://youtu.be/hSTb41wAgyg You will need: Four medium red potatoes, use red because they're firmer Salt ¼ cup olive oil2 dry red chili peppers 1 tsp red chili flakes  Instructions: Boil the potatoes skin on Once potatoes are cooked peel the skin offSlice them very thin Season with salt Sautee olive oil in a pan with chili peppers roasted the pepper a bit and then add chili flakes Pour the mixture on the potatoes Mix...

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Caprese Salad by (Zia) Teresa Fabrizo

My aunt, Teresa Fabrizio is an amazing chef and baker. Together with her husband, Sabatino, they ran an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Fabrizio for many years. So many fresh homemade dishes were featured on their menu.  From cannelloni to spaghetti and meatballs and chicken parmiggiana, you name it, they made it all fresh in-house! As kids, my cousins and I absolutely loved going to the restaurant because it meant we could snack on all of the delicious cookies and gelato you could ask for! Plus, it always entailed a trip to the super fun toy store down the street. ;)  Zia Teresa & Zio Sabatino ran cooking and baking classes, as well as hosting many parties and dinners at the restaurant.  They even published two cookbooks which features all the traditional foods and the stories behind them. She is...

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The Endive Series

Endive + Potato This is a light and refreshing dish that uses produce from the garden or market. It’s so simple, and yet so tasty! Bookmark this recipe as a go-to-summer recipe.  To start, boil the endive (quantity TBD on how much you want to cook), remember to salt the water first. Once boiled, strain and soak in an ice water bath right away to help take away the bitterness.  Up next, boil the potatoes. Again the quantity is TBD based on how much you want to cook but 4-5 potatoes should suffice.  Once cooked, crush potatoes with a fork into pieces and heat oil in a pan. Once heated place the endive and crushed potatoes in the oil.  Add a handful of diced tomatoes, preferably fresh from the garden, add garlic, salt and pepper and tada! There you have it, a quick...

Patelli Zucchini

Any event at our house would consist of patelli zucchini. My mom is known for these and she often makes a couple of batches for friends for their dinner parties. It’s like a frittata and great as an appetizer.  There’s nothing better than making them from that first summer zucchini harvest from Nonno’s garden. 4 medium zucchini 4 eggs 1 cup of flour ¾ cups of grated cheese Salt and pepper 4 leaves of chopped basil Slice zucchini (you can use the cheese grater on the big size) Add salt and pepper, let stand for a few minutes Add eggs, cheese whisk with a fork Add flour & basil Mix with fork until a pancake consistency Using a tablespoon to drop the mix into the hot oil- ensure there is enough batter to coat the zucchini Flip once when brown Don’t prick it with a fork as the oil will seep through...

Sguti – Italian Easter Bread

During Easter time, we always make Sguti. These are also known as Italian Easter bread which is made of dough that is designed and wrapped around hard boiled eggs. On the Figliomeni side, we always have competitions to see who can make the best Sguti.  Those who were not in the competition, were lucky enough to be on the judging panel. My aunt Laura was the winner last year, her secret, she adds Lemon Emolation to the recipe for a twist. On the Commisso side, we always get together at Nonna Pina’s house with the whole crew:  aunts,uncles and cousins. We usually make a big batch, either after Good Friday mass or on Holy Saturday. The challenge is always to add a creative look to your egg, but sometimes we fall back on the more traditional braided look....