Orecchiette with Sausage & Rapini



1  broccoli head

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 4 tbsp

1/4 cup whole skinned almonds, toasted

5 cloves roasted garlic
Pinch of hot red pepper flakes

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano

3/4 pound fresh pork sausage

1 pound orecchiette

2 tbsp unsalted butter

Prepare an ice bath and set aside. Boil water in a  pot. Blanch the broccoli for 5 minutes . Remove broccoli from the boiling water and shock in the ice bath. When the broccoli  is cool, drain and pat dry with a paper towel and reserve.

In a medium pan, add two tablespoons olive oil and cook the broccoli until lightly browned. Meanwhile, place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the broccoli, garlic, hot red pepper flakes and half of the Parmigiano to the bowl of the food processor and season with salt and pepper. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil until a smooth pesto has formed.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large  pan, add two tbsp olive oil and heat until just short of smoking. Sear the sausage until golden brown on both sides. Then, using tongs, break the sausage into small pieces and lower the heat.

Place pasta in the boiling water and cook two minutes less than indicated by the package instructions. While the pasta is boiling, add 1/4 cup pasta water to pan with the sausage. Add the pesto and work into the sausage with tongs to form a sauce. When the pasta is al dente, add it directly to the sauce and toss vigorously. Add butter and the remaining Parmigiano, remove from heat, and toss to incorporate. Plate and serve immediately.

Recipe from Mario Batali

Day 5

Today we were back at Otto for lunch, this time with remarkably better service. I had the pizza this time and it was incredible. I recommend the prosciutto and arugola pizza. The wine this time was the Burlotto Dolcetto, very good! Our friends came down for the day and we spent some time in Washington Square park.

IMG_6605For dinner we went to Babbo, one of my favorite restaurants. I always love going there, the service is amazing and the food is incredible. And they have a very good wine list! A very good day.


NYC Day 2

I woke up at 6… In my defense I went to bed at 21:45, so I got a decent amount of sleep. After walking around in Soho, my brother and I went to Barry’s Bootcamp (which was amazing) before we met up for lunch at Otto. I have been to Otto a few times, and it is a place I like to go. However, today’s experience did not reflect past visits. I was very disappointed. The wine, Langhe by Burlotto, was very good. That is one area where Otto is doing well: they have a very good wine list. Many wines that are good but not so expensive.

The day quickly turned around because I was lucky to have aperitivo with Mauro Veglio, his wife Daniela and a few other piemonte people, including Marta Alessandria. It is always great to see the Veglios and today was no exception. I got to practice my italian, meet some new people and of course drink some wine. I hope to see them tomorrow or Tuesday as well.

We, my family and I, ended the evening at Lupa. As I have probably mentioned before, Lupa is one of my favorite restaurants. The food is incredible, the atmosphere is so comfortable and the staff is amazing. If you go, you should try both the Bucatini and the Tartufo (both pictured above). So good. The wine, Marcarini, was good but should be kept for longer. It was too closed off, not enough freshness.


NYC Day 1

It is so good to be back. I went directly from the airport to my brothers apartment, dropped my bags and headed straight for Lupa! Truly one of my favorite places. I always feel like I am coming home. I had a few glasses of Moscato, said hello to Joel, my favorite person at Lupa and met up with some friends.


After Lupa, my family and I went to Maialino for dinner. Maialinos food is good, but it’s the wine list that has us coming back for more. They have a ton of cool old stuff that is not too expensive and the selection is huge. Tonight we had Herzu by Ettore Germano, Langhe Nebbiolo by Burlotto and a 1994 Dolcetto by Bruno Giacosa. A great start to my NYC trip!


Headed to NYC

Saturday morning I leave for NYC and my schedule is jam packed with lunches, dinners and lots of wine! And of course my brothers gradutation!


French Toast @ Blenheim

I’ll be stopping by many of my favorite places. Those who made it on the list this time are:

These are my regular spots and I can’t wait to be back!





Friday Pizza and Recipe

Dough: Flour, 1 tsp yeast, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, water (body temperature)

Mix the yeast with room temperature water (how ever much you want), add the salt and sugar. Then add flour until the dough is perfect. Here is Mario Batali’s Pizza dough recipe. It’s a little different, and I have never tried it, but it’s probably really good. http://www.mariobatali.com/recipes/pizza-dough/

Sauce: tomato paste, basil, oil, pepper

Mix the ingredients together. The amount depends on how much you want to make, play it by ear.

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Last nights Friday Pizza with Vietti Perbacco!