Pasta and Fagioli


3 15 oz cans pinto or cannellini beans
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
oz pancetta or approx 5 slices bacon, diced
2 tbsp minced FRESH rosemary, thyme, basil or parsley
cups beef broth
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 ¾ cups small pasta shells, uncooked
Salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Parmigiano cheese

  • In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and pancetta and saute until onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and herbs and saute about 4 additional minutes. Then combine the beans, the broth and cook for five minutes.
  • Transfer the pot ingredients to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender and that will be easier.
  • Add the pureed mixture back into the pot.  Add salt, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, remove from heat.
  • Taste, and add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve, topped with red pepper flakes and cheese, if you like.


Limoncello and Strawberry Charlotte

24-26 ladyfingers

For the strawberry mousse:
½ lb (500 g) strawberries
¼ cup + 2 tbsp (75g) sugar
2 packets powdered Gelatine (14g)
1 ¼ cup (300 ml) whipping cream (30%)

For the limoncello syrup :
5 oz (150 ml) limoncello
1 lemon
¼ cup + 2 tbsp (75g) sugar

1 – Make the strawberry puree.

1.1 - Wash the strawberries and cut the tails off. Set aside about 15-16 strawberries (the best looking ones), and puree the rest in a blender. If needed, strain the puree through a fine meshed strainer to discard the seeds. 

1.2 - In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat up about a third of the strawberry puree with half of the sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons/75g) and the gelatine. Boil for 1 minute, whisking continuously (to avoid lumps), until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly. 

1.3 - Remove from the heat, whisk in the rest of the strawberry puree, and set aside to cool to room temperature. 

2 – Make the soaking syrup. 

2.1 - In a small saucepan, heat up the limoncello with the sugar and the zest of the lemon. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

2.2 - Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 

3 – Make the strawberry mousse 

3.1 - In a large mixing bowl, whip up the cream to a firm peak. Gently fold in the strawberry puree, using a spatula. Do not overmix: stop mixing where the mousse is evenly pink in color and no lumps are visible, but the mixture still has to feel airy and foamy. 

4 – Assemble the cake.

4.1 - Line an 8” round spring form cake pan with parchment paper (bottom and rims). Take 4 strawberries and cut them in halves. Take a ladyfinger and soak the flat side (the bottom) in the syrup. Place it against the side of the pan, rounded-side facing out and flat side (soaked side) facing inward.

4.2 - Repeat and arrange the ladyfingers all around the sides of pan, nice and snug to avoid gaps. You should use about 18-19 ladyfingers to fill the entire rim. 

4.3 - Place the rest of the ladyfingers in one layer at the bottom of the pan, (rounded-side facing down, flat-size facing up), nice and snug to avoid gaps. Pour half of the strawberry mousse inside the “ladyfinger mold” (this will also help keep the ladyfingers in place). Place the strawberry halves in one layer on top of the mousse. Ladle the rest of the mousse on top, and smooth it out with your spatula.

4.4 - Place the Charlotte cake in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours (preferably longer). You should be able to slice the cake for serving, so the mousse has to set until relatively firm (but not too rubbery). 

5 – To serve. 

When the Charlotte is chilled and set, carefully remove it from the springform mold, peel off the parchment paper from the edges and place on a serving tray. If chilled enough, the cake should be easy to work with. If it is too soft (and starts to fall), give it more time in the fridge before you try to unmold it. 

Optional: when on the serving tray, you can tie a ribbon around the Charlotte cake. Not too tight, but just enough to keep the cake together in case it has to sit at room temperature too long before slicing. Right before serving, slice the rest of the strawberries (10) in halves, and place them on top of the cake to decorate

Amaretto Cheese Cake


For the crust:

  • 11 oz/ 300 g amaretti cookies
  • 1/2 cup / 130 g buttermelted

    For the pie:
  • 18 oz/ 500 g cream cheese or ricotta or both mixed
  • 7/8 cup/ 200 ml heavy whipping creamcold*
  • 11 oz/ 300 g white chocolatemelted
  • oz/ 60 g amaretti cookiescrushed
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract or 2 tbsp Amaretto liquor
  • Extra amaretti cookies for decoration
  • White chocolate shaves for decoration

  • For the crust:

    • Crush the cookies to fine crumbs using a food processor.
    • Place the crumbs and the melted butter in a bowl. Stir very well until combined.
    • Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 7 inch/ 18 cm springform pan lined with a circle of parchment paper. Leave the pan in the fridge while preparing the filling.

      For the filling:

      • In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese or ricotta, whipping cream, amaretto or almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer first at a lower speed and then at high speed until the mixture becomes thick and fluffy.
      • Start adding from the melted chocolate, 1-2 tbs at a time, while beating with the mixer at the lowest speed. When all the chocolate is absorbed, beat 15-20 seconds at high speed.
      • Using a rubber spatula fold the cookie crumbs into the filling.
      • Pour the filling into the crust. Smoothe the top with a spatula. Cover with cling film/ aluminium foil and let cool for until it gets firm. It will take minimum four hours if making a big pie. If using individual serving dishes the process will be quicker, about one hour.
      • Decorate with amaretti cookies and white chocolate, thinly cut into shaves with a large knife.
      • Use a wet knife to slice the cheesecake as it will be very creamy.


Venetian Cookies (Zaeti)


Zaeti is Veneto dialect for the Italian gialletti, literally “the little yellow ones”. They are buttery, crumbly polenta (maize or cornmeal) biscuits, plump with raisins and you will spot them in patisseries and bakeries in Venice, Padua and other Veneto towns.

There are many versions, more or less rich, but they all share a charming culinary humbleness, which is one of the key marks of genuine Italian cooking. 

Traditionally diamond-shaped, they can also be baked as rounds. They are rather soft when freshly  baked but they crisp up during the following days, always delicious – they are ideal biscuits for the winter months.


2/3 cup raisins or chocolate chips
2 tablespoons almond liqueur, port wine or Grappa
1 cup cornmeal - Polenta (The finest the better)
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Powder sugar, for sprinkling 1. Combine raisins and almond liqueur in a small bowl. Let soak until fruit is plump, 30 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and egg yolk, lemon zest, and vanilla. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Add raisins and wet ingredients, gently stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a flat square, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate 45 minutes or up to overnight.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an 8-inch square, about 1/2 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut dough horizontally into 1-inch strips. Working with one strip at a time, cut crosswise on the bias into 5 equal diamonds (you should make 6 cuts). Reroll scraps once and form additional cookies, if desired. Transfer cookies to two parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 1 inch apart. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.
4.Lightly beat reserved egg white. Brush tops of cookies with egg white and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until lightly golden around edges, about 22 minutes. Zaeti Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up for a month.


Piccata di pollo

2 lbs chicken cutlets, tenders or chicken breasts (halved horizontally) 

2 ½ tsp salt, divided 

½ tsp pepper 

1 cup flour for dredging 

10 tbsp butter, cut into pieces, divided 

4 tbsp olive oil, divided 

1 shallot, minced 

1 tbsp garlic, minced 

1 1/2 cups chicken stock 

1 lemon juiced (1 tbsp) 

2 tsp lemon zest 

2 tbsp capers, drained parsley, chopped, for garnish

1. Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper on both sides. Place the flour on a plate. Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off any excess. Discard the flour when finished dredging. 

2. Heat 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet set over medium-high until the butter has melted. 

3. Working in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan, add ½ the chicken and sauté until golden brown, about 2 ½ - 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. Set the chicken aside on a plate when they finish cooking. 

4. Add 3 more tablespoons of butter and 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and finish cooking the 2nd batch of chicken. 

5. Add the shallot to the pan drippings and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. 

6. Add the stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes. 

7. Reduce heat to low, then stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, capers, lemon juice, and zest to taste. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Garnish with parsley if using. 

8. Serve the chicken with the piccata sauce poured over the top of the pan-fried chicken, alongside your favorite pasta or salad.


Chicken with oranges and lemons

  • 2 bone in, skin on chicken breasts, or other chicken parts
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 whole lemons, one juiced and one sliced
  • 2 whole oranges, one juiced and one sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon, chopped garlic
  • red pepper flakes, a good pinch
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional ingredients (Black olives, Capers, Bacon, Parma ham)

1. Heat oven to 200C/400F.

2. Whisk together the olive oil, honey, lemon and orange juice, dried seasoning, paprika, red pepper flakes, onion or garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Place chicken into a baking dish and pour mixture on top turning to coat all sides, at this point you can let it marinate for a little while if you have the time for even more flavor infusion.

4. Arrange the sliced citrus and onion all around and underneath the chicken.

5. Place fresh thyme and rosemary throughout and a good drizzle of olive oil.

6. Roast uncovered for about an hour or until juices run clear and chicken is fully cooked.

Main courses

Fish in a bag

Piccata di Pollo

Orange Fragrant Goulash



- 6 Thick Slices of Beef or Veal Osso Buco

- 2 Tablespoons Flour

- Sea Salt and Pepper

- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

- 1 Onion, peeled and chopped

- 2 Carrots, chopped

- 2 Celery Stalks, chopped

- 14 Ounces (Just under 2 Cups) Mushrooms, chopped

- 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped

- 2 Heaping Tablespoons Tomato Paste

- 1 Cup Red Wine (Super Tuscan)

- 2 Cups Good Quality Beef Stock

- 2 1⁄2 Cups Tomato Passata

-Risotto, Polenta or Mashed Potatoes for serving.

1. Place the osso buco onto a plate, season with sea salt and pepper and dust with flour

to coat. Place an cast iron oven (or heavy based saucepan) over high heat and add 2

tablespoons olive oil. Carefully add the meat in a single layer and brown on both sides

(approximately 5 minutes). Transfer to plate and set aside.

2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and add the onion, carrot, celery, mushroom

and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are tender. Add the

tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes, continuously stirring. Add the red wine and

deglaze. Continue cooking until the wine is almost completely reduced.

3. Return the osso buco to the pan. Add the beef stock and tomato passata and bring to

a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, put the lid on and

cook for 2 1/2 – 4 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

4. To thicken the sauce, remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking. (You can add a zest of one lemon when the dish is finished, it is an optional ingredient).

5. Serve with a light risotto, polenta or mashed potatoes.

Baked Pasta

 Dill Cannelloni stuffed with sausages and leeks, served with parmigiano sauce

Dill Cannelloni stuffed with sausages and leeks with parmigiano sauce


For the Dough:

- 4 Eggs

- 4 Cups Flour

- 2 Tbsp. Dried Dill Weed

For the Filling:

- 4 Italian Sausages (Spicy or Sweet), no casings. Or, ground Italian Sausage.

Note: If you want to make it vegetarian, substitute 2 cups of cooked and squeezed

spinach and add an extra cup of provolone!

- 4 Cups Chopped Leeks

- 2 Cups Ricotta

- 1 Cup Smoked Provolone, Grated

- 1 Cup Parmigiano Cheese, Grated

- 1 Cup White Wine (either InVINtions Chardonnay or InVINtions Sauvignon Blanc)

- 5 Fresh Sage Leaves

- Salt and Pepper

For the Sauce:

- 1/2 Cup Butter

- 6 Cups Milk

- 1⁄2 Cup Flour

- Pinch of Nutmeg

- 1⁄2 Cup Walnuts

- 1⁄2 Cup Parmigiano Cheese

- Salt and Pepper

Making the pasta dough:

1. Pour the flour into a bowl, add the eggs, dill and salt to the middle and mix with a fork to blend

the ingredients together.

2. Knead the pasta dough with your hands until it is completely smooth and consistent. If the

dough is too dry, add some water. If it is too sticky, add some flour.

3. Lightly dust a table with flour. Remove the pasta dough from the bowl and place it on the table.

You will now be making pasta pieces (about 6 inches long with a thickness setting of no. 4.):

-Break pasta dough up into little pieces to feed through machine.

-Dough should never stick to your fingers.

-Set the adjustment knob to 1, and pass the pasta sheet through just once.

-Set the adjustment knob to 2, and pass the pasta sheet through once more, and so on until you

reach the desired thickness of no. 4.

-Cut the pasta sheet crosswise, into pieces about 6 inches long and dust them with flour. Let it

rest on the top of a clean table cloth.

Making the filling:

1. In a big frying pan, sauté the sage and sausages (without casing or comparable) until very well


2. Add wine and let it reduce until evaporated.

3. Add leeks.

4. Let this mixture cool down before adding other ingredients.

Making the Sauce:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon

and stir until golden.

2. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to just under a boil. Cook, whisking

constantly, until the mixture thickens for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and


3. Remove from the heat, and combine the cheese and walnuts. If not using it immediately, let it

cool. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Putting it all together!

1. Place 3 Tbsp of the filling on the pasta sheet.

2. Roll it.

3. Place the rolled pasta in a baking dish with sauce.

4. Add extra sauce on the top.

5. Bake for about 1 hour at 380 degrees.


Chicken stuffed with pears wrapped in black forest ham served with cheese sauce

 Ingredients for the chicken:

700gr / 1.5 pounds chicken breast in fillet
1 pear
200g/ 0,4 pounds Parma ham or black forest ham sliced
Olive oil or butter
Fresh sage (optional)

Ingredients for the sauce:
2 tbsp flour
1 cup wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups parmigiano cheese, grated
Crushed black pepper

 1. First step is cut the pears in wedges, in a plate add one slice of Parma ham then put the chicken breast on the top. With the pear in the middle roll it.

2.  Bake the involtini in a cast iron skillet or copper pan with a little bit of olive oil or butter for about 30 minutes in 180C / 360F.

3. When the involtini is cooked take them out of the pan. On the same pan you cooked the chicken combine white wine with flour and cook for about five minutes in medium heat or until the alcohol of the wine evaporates. Then, mix the cream and the cheese. Let cook in low heat for five minutes. The sauce will get thicker.

4. After the sauce is thick, add the chicken and serve.


Duck Sauce

Duck Sauce 

500g Bigoli 
400 duck meat minced
4 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

 Olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 carrot
1 cup red wine
thyme to taste
marjoram to taste
1 bay leaf
Parmiggiano to taste
Parsley to taste

In a pan containing one tablespoon of butter butter and one of olive oil, brown the onions, garlic and carrots. Combine the duck meat and the bayleaf. Mix thoroughly.
Pour the red wine over the duck, allow to evaporate in low heat. Pour the stock and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the herbs. In the meantime, cook the pasta in abundant boiling and salted water.

When the pasta is cooked, when it is still “al dente”, drain it, put it in the pan with the sauce and toss it with the remaining butter. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with grated cheese, finely chopped parsley and arrange on the serving dish.