Hold the Mayo!


I threw in another dish for Arlene’s bbq with the family. Here’s a tasty artichoke potatoe salad. That’s right “hold the mayo”!

It’s a very simple and quick to make potatoe salad for those last minute dishes. This is perfect with your outdoor parties and doesn’t spoil by holding the mayo.

This salad has a twist of a tasty artichoke dip (artichokes, garlic, parmigiago cheese) to the potatoes. Delicious!

2 lbs. red potatoes
2 cans of artichokes (halved)
1/2 cup extra virgin oil
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 cup freshly grated Parmiagiano cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian Flat leaf Parsley
salt and pepper (to taste)
pinch of red chili flakes (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, approx. 20 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and cut into quarters.

Add the artichokes, garlic, olive oil, parley, parmigiano. Mix, taste and add salt and pepper (to taste), red chili flakes (optional). Garnish with a little parlsey.

Ready to serve!

Enjoy the Holiday Weekend,


Penne and Roasted Tomatoes


My sweet neighbor Arlene is hosting a party later today with three generations (kids, grand kids and great grand kids). I surprised her with my Penne with Roasted Tomatoes

I had leftover tomatoes from my ALA event on Monday and decided to roast the tomatoes. Another great way to prepare your favorite pasta and serve it buffet style and a nice compliment to your favorite meat or fish!

Prehead oven at 350 Degrees. Roast the tomatoes for thirty minutes.

I used approx. 4 cups of cherry tomatoes. Cut them in half and place in a bowl, add 4 cloves chopped garlic, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Add salt, pepper (to taste). Pinch of chili flakes (optional).

Place the tomatoes in a cookie sheet and drizzle a little more olive oil. Stir occassionally. Remove the tomatoes and let sit while you prepare your favorite pasta.

The hell with air fresheners…..you cannot beat this aroma of organic amore!

Add the tomatoes to your favorite pasta (I used penne) and garnish with fresh basil.

tip: cured black olives and capers add a nice option. My dish of pasta will have a few olives, capers and a pinch of chili flakes!

In my book “Breaking Bread in L’Aquila”, I have a delicious baked pasta with tomatoes and capers. Check it out www.foodandfate.com.

On another occasion, I slowed roasted the tomatoes for two hours and oven was set at 325 Degrees. This is a cross between oven roasted and dried with a sweeter savory taste.

Use your taste and time buds to judge !

Happy July 4th Weekend.



Summertime Appetizers!


It’s time for summertime appetizers!

Here’s a fantastic appetizer that’s perfect to serve while we take a breaking bread break (say that 10 times)!

I featured Bruschetta and Caprese on a stick appetizers at the ALA yesterday in Washington, DC. The perfect flavors to get the party started! A few simple and fresh favorites: basil, tomatoe and mozzarella.

The prep and plating, compliments of the staff of chef angels led by my friends Executive Chef, John Huppman and Devon Capilli, Senior Banquet Chef (JW Marriott 1331 Pennsylvania Ave). I could not have pulled off the perfect event without them! Imagine 100 degree weather “shlepping fresh mozzarella” to ALA – we made it just in time or a disaster of 20 lbs. of melting mozzarella on the streets of Washington! A funny version of Mozzarella Busters!

A quick tip: Go out and buy yourself a pot of basil and keep it on your window cill – basil is low maintenace (watering the base once a week and lots of sun light).

I know my friends and supporters at my talk enjoyed the appetizers! Thanks to my friend Mara for taking the video and photos. We will be posting them shortly!

a presto,