Man Leaves $1 Million in Italian Restaurant

“According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived”

Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents; it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.


Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

Video captures Joey Calco (l., in blue) attacking a customer at Goomba's Pizza in Florida over a mixup in a calzone order.
A mob rat convicted of beating two pizzeria customers in a “calzone rage” attack will face the same Brooklyn judge Thursday he had previously promised to stay out of trouble, the Daily News has learned.
Joey Calco — a former hit man for the Bonanno crime family with two murder convictions under his belt — had reinvented himself in the witness protection program as Joseph Milano, the owner of Goomba’s Pizza in Florida.
But Calco’s new life unraveled in 2009 over a beef with customers who were demanding their money back because he screwed up the calzone order. Calco vaulted over the counter and pistol-whipped the victims in a brutal attack captured on video camera.
Joey Calco was sentenced to 13 years in jail for restaurant beating and is expected to get more jail time for violating terms of his supervised release.

Calco was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the calzone beatdown and possession of a gun.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Edward Korman is expected to sentence Calco to additional jail time for violating the terms of his supervised release from his previous murder convictions.
Calco, 42, had helped prosecutors nail members of a violent Bath Ave. crew and was rewarded in 2004 with a nine-year sentence for two murders. “If you give me another chance, Judge, I won’t let the court down and I won’t let you down, your honor,” Calco told Korman.
Korman could dish out a sentence to run to the term Calco received for the Florida fiasco.
Defense lawyer Deborah Colson declined to comment.

Tagliolini di Caffe con Crema di Carciofi e Foglie di Menta
(Coffee Pasta with Artichokes and Mint)
Pasta Dough:
  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
Artichoke Sauce:
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Pasta Dough:
To mix by hand: Make ¼ cup of strong espresso coffee and set aside to cool. Sift the flour and 1½ tablespoons of finely ground coffee powder onto a wooden work table to create a mound. Make a well in the center and add the egg yolks, whole egg, cooled espresso coffee and a pinch of salt. Using a fork, incorporate the flour into the other ingredients. Knead vigorously for 15 minutes, until the dough compact and elastic. Let rest for 30 minutes under a glass bowl or in a covered container.
To roll and cut dough by hand: After the resting period, roll out the dough using a long rolling pin into a large thin sheet. Let dry on a cotton tea towel, 15 to 30 minutes. For tagliolini, cut the pasta dough into 1/8-inch strips. Set aside.
If using a pasta maker: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to roll out the pasta dough. Cut the dough into 1/8-inch strips for tagliolini. Set aside.
Artichoke Sauce: Purée the artichoke hearts using an immersion blender (add ¼ cup of the chicken broth if needed to blend smoothly) and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and parsley and sauté for 1 minute. Add the puréed artichoke hearts and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth or water and bring to a boil, then remove the skillet from the heat.
To cook the pasta: Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the pasta first, then 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt. When the water begins to boil again, cook the pasta for about 2 minutes, or until the pasta is “al dente” or firm to the bite (not soft).
Meanwhile, melt the butter and pour it into a ceramic or glass bowl (or place the butter in the bowl and melt in the microwave). Using a spider or strainer, remove the cooked pasta from the water and transfer it to the bowl and toss to coat with the butter. Add 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and toss again. Add the pasta to the Artichoke Sauce off heat. (Do not cook.) Toss to combine. If the pasta seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot tap water.
Arrange the pasta in pasta bowls and sprinkle with chopped fresh mint leaves and additional Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)

To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

12 large eggs, beaten

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat; add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

Five Variations:

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.


Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread


4 links Italian Sausage
 Olive oil for sauteing
 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
 2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 1/2 tsp dried basil
 1/2 tsp dried oregano
 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
 1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
 Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic.....and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano....let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

How to make hot Italian sausage


5 lbs. fresh organic ground pork

2 lbs. fresh organic ground beef

1 Tablespoon salt

2 Tablespoons fennel seed (or 1 Tablespoon seed and a handful of chopped fresh fennel greens)

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 Tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

1 cup Romano cheese


Put all these ingredients into a giant bowl and mix with your hands until everything’s all mixed together.

Cook or freeze

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

1 1/4 pounds escarole

4 tablespoons olive oil

12 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1 (19-ounce) can plus 1/2 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cover a baking sheet with foil. Set aside. Wash escarole in several changes of water in sink to remove all grit. Drain lightly, then roughly chop; set aside.

Place sausage on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes; remove and drain; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat; add olive oil and minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add escarole, stirring, and cover for 1 minute to slightly wilt. Add beans, stock, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Stir well, and turn heat to low. Cook, covered, until escarole wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed or cooked out.

Serve by placing a mound of escarole in a bowl, topped with a portion of the sausages.

Makes 6 servings.

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Some things never die.

Like wiseguys in a good witness protection program, or vendettas. And, apparently, the longtime Mafia legends associated with one of Providence's best-known Federal Hill eateries.

So when the food-minded folks at The Daily Meal, a popular food-centric Web site named "The Top Mobster Restaurants Around the Country," Providence's Camille's made the short list.

The landmark Italian restaurant keeps company with a dozen of the most notorious wiseguy haunts in the country, from Chicago's Green Mill (think Al Capone) to Fort Lauderdale's Cafe Martorano (owned by the nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano).

Author Valaer Murray's take on Providence's contender?

"Hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, RI - Camille's, which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man," she writes. Murray reminds of Camille's early days in 1914, and its rise to celebrity for making illegal booze and serving it to customers during Prohibition. "In addition to Presidents and celebrities," writes Murray, "it has been visited by members of the New England mafia, including the late Providence mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca."

Penne Rigate With Broccoli

Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets

1 pound penne rigate

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving

Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

1/3 pound ground beef

1/3 pound ground veal

1/3 pound ground pork*

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

The last time I dined at one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants in the city, Pho 97, I noticed that a few storefronts to the east, the original entrance to the long-shuttered Vista Theater -- a 1932 movie house at 26th and Independence Avenue -- was slightly ajar. Peeking in, I could see the original concession stand. The candy cases, like the theater, had been long empty. After a massive fire on May 12, there's nothing left of the old movie theater or the storefront that had been occupied, in the 1960s and '70s, by the notorious Villa Capri restaurant.
No, not the 50-year-old Villa Capri still owned by Tony Scudiero at 8126 Metcalf, but the East Side venue next to the Vista Theater, where Cork Civella and Carl DeLuna were secretly recorded by FBI agents on June 2, 1978, discussing "the Genius." This meeting later inspired a subplot in the Martin Scorsese film, Casino.
The cause of the blaze is still undetermined, but the fire did reveal a long-forgotten secret in the basement of the theater building. According to Northeast News publisher Mike Bushnell, there was a 60-foot tunnel -- 4-foot-by-4-foot passage running, from west to east, the length of the building.
"It ran from under the old Villa Capri restaurant out to the parking lot where there had been another building at an earlier time," Bushnell says.
No one seems to know why there would be a secret tunnel under the building, but the Vista Theater opened in 1932, the year before the repeal of Prohibition. Was the tunnel used to store illegal hootch? The Vista Theater stopped showing films in 1958. Tony Scudiero, whose brother sold the Independence Avenue Villa Capri to an in-law in the 1960s, wasn't aware of any tunnels under the building
The good news is that a standing firewall left the stores on the west side of the Vista Theater unscathed. But Pho 97 has not yet reopened for business.

Basic risotto recipe.


1 tablespoon olive oil

Half an onion, small dice

Quarter cup red wine

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.


"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Deglaze with white wine.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

By Frank DeFrank

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.

Camille's, Providence, R.I.
Founded in 1914, the first iteration of Camille's became famous for making illegal booze and serving it to customers during Prohibition. In addition to Presidents and celebrities, it has been visited by members of the New England mafia, including the late Providence mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca. Its future is now uncertain, however, after the current owner recently sold the building.

Spaghetti a la Italiano

1 cup onions

1 or 2 garlic cloves

1 pound hamburger

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Bay leaf

2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce

2 2-pound cans tomatoes

2 cans tomato paste

½ cup water

Brown onions in sauce pot. Add garlic, hamburger, sugar, salt, pepper, bay leaf, tomato sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and water and stir well until combined. Reduce heat.

Italian Custard – Zabaglione Recipe


• 6 egg yolks

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 3/4 cup Marsala wine

• 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

• Ground cinnamon

• Vanilla extract

• 1 cup heavy cream, whipped

• Strawberries, raspberries, or biscotti


1 Place egg yolks, and sugar in a large, round-bottomed stainless steel bowl. Add grated lemon peel and a pinch of cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract to the yolk mixture. Pour in the Marsala wine. You can use sweet Vermouth as a substitute for the Marsala.

2 Half-fill a pot with water, bring the water to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Set the pan or bowl containing the custard mixture over the water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Whisk the custard mixture, making sure that the water does not boil. This ensures that a gentle, even heat thickens the mixture without curdling it. Whisking traps air in the yolks for a light, fluffy mixture.

3 Continue whisking for about 10 minutes, until the mixture triples in volume, froths up and becomes pale. When it reaches the desired consistency, take the container of custard out of the pot. Slightly thickened, the custard can be used as a sauce. Longer cooking will thicken the custard further, giving it the texture of mousse. Continue whisking for a minute or two to prevent the custard from sticking to its container.

4 Serve the custard while still warm, or, if you want to serve it cool, set it aside for about 15 minutes. Whisk heavy cream until it forms soft peaks; add the whipped cream to the cooled custard and use a whisk to gently fold them together. Reserve some of the whipped cream to serve on top.

Ladle the zabaglione into individual dishes. Serve with whipped cream, berries, and/or cookies such as biscotti.

Serves 6. (or 4 very hungry savages)

Quick Italian cream cake


• 1 (18.25-oz.) box butter pecan cake mix

• 1/3 cup canola oil

• 2 eggs

• 2 egg whites

• 1 1/4 cups water

• 1 teaspoon coconut extract

• 1/2 cup chopped pecans

• toasted Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)

• Toasted coconut and pecans, optional (about 2 Tbsp. each)

Cream cheese icing

• 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese

• 3 Tbsp. butter

• 1 (16-oz.) box confectioners sugar

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Coat three 9-inch pans with nonstick cooking spray.

In mixing bowl, beat together cake mix, oil, eggs, egg whites, water and coconut extract. Stir in pecans and coconut. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until tops spring back when touched. Cool 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling racks. Frost layers and sides with Cream Cheese Icing (see recipe) and sprinkle with toasted coconut and pecans, if desired Cream cheese icing.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add confectioners sugar, mixing until light. Add vanilla.

Servings: 16-20

Salvatore Volpe: Man Paid $50,000 To Avoid Being Killed By Mob

Giuseppe (Joey) Gambina (left) testified in murder trial of Vinny Gorgeous (right) on Wednesday.

The mob knows everybody makes mistakes. But if you get a mobster's wife pregnant, you'd better be willing to atone for your indiscretion.

A Staten Island restaurateur with mob ties to the DeCavalcante crime family knocked up the wife of Salvatore Volpe, a Bonanno crime family associate. He paid $50,000 to the mob in exchange for his life.

From the Daily News:

Cuckolded gangster Salvatore Volpe testified Tuesday that the unidentified restaurateur shelled out $50,000 to escape getting whacked - with $10,000 of the amount going to a Garden State crime family for brokering the deal.

"Instead of [the restaurant owner] getting killed, he'd have to pay a tax," Volpe said in Brooklyn Federal Court at the murder trial of Bonanno boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano. "It was basically a penalty."

Things could have been much worse for the restaurant owner, identified only as "Anthony" of Staten Island's Trattoria Romana.

The New York Post reports that the DeCavalcante and Bonanno families initially planned to have Anthony rubbed out. Cooler heads prevailed and the fee was eventually negotiated.

Basciano is on trial for the killing of mob associate Randy Pizzolo in 2004.

Pasta Fagioli (pasta fazool)

Michael DeBatte New York Mafias Greatest Hits

• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

• ½ onion, chopped

• 3 cloves garlic, chopped

• 2-3 cups pasta water

• 2 cups tomato sauce

• 2-15 ounce can red kidney beans

• 1/2 teaspoon basil

• 1 teaspoon oregano

• 1 teaspoon Parsley

• 1 pound ditalini pasta cooked

• salt & pepper to taste



In a small saucepan heat olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until cleared. Add the garlic, pepper, salt, and beans with a little of the juice from the cans.

Add the parsley, basil, oregano, and tomato sauce. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until the beans warm through.

In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the directions. When done drain off some of the pasta water leaving 2-3 cups of the water in the pasta. Reserve discarded pasta water for later. Add the sauce and bean mixture to the pasta. If mixture needs more pasta water, add some in small amounts.



• add Parmesan cheese

• add green herbs

• add scallion

• pasta water to sauce at least 2-1

• reserve pasta water to add back to the mixture as pasta dries up

Baked pasta alla pizzaiola

Makes: 8 servings
Sauce and pasta:

Edward Garofalo New York Mafias Greatest Hits
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 large cloves garlic, crushed

1 can (28 ounces) crushed Italian tomatoes

1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Freshly ground pepper and/or crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette, cavatappi, campanelle or rigatoni

Add-ins (choose two or more):

2 cups cooked, crumbled Italian sausage

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup grilled assorted vegetables, such as eggplant and zucchini, roughly chopped

1/2 cup diced pepperoni or prosciutto

1/2 cup squeeze-dried, thawed, frozen chopped spinach

1/2 cup chopped mixed pitted olives

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms


1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, patted dry, diced

2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella

2 to 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Chopped fresh parsley, optional

1. For the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan, Add the onion; cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt, oregano and peppers. Simmer 10 minutes; cool. (Sauce can be made several days in advance, refrigerate covered.)

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water according to package directions until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain; rinse under cool water. Shake off excess water. (Pasta can be cooked in advance; toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and refrigerate in a covered container up to several days.)

3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil one 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish or 6 to 8 smaller (2-cup capacity) individual baking dishes. Toss pasta with sauce in a large bowl. Put pasta into prepared baking dish(es); top with desired add-ins. Sprinkle with fresh mozzarella; mix gently. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.

4. Bake until heated through and cheeses are nicely melted, 15 minutes for individual baking dishes or 20-25 minutes for one large dish. Cool a few minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Fresh fruit gratin

Albert Anastasia New York Mafias Greatest Hits

Note: Amaretti are Italian almond macaroon-like cookies and can be found in well-stocked markets and specialty cooking stores. Cream cheese, crème fraîche, Greek yogurt or sour cream can be substituted for the mascarpone.

8 amaretti cookies, finely crumbled

4 generous cups diced fresh fruit, cut into bite-size pieces (small berries can be left whole)
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon amaretto or citrus liqueur
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Heat the broiler and set a rack about 4 inches beneath the heating element.

2. Divide the crumbled amaretti among 4 individual gratin dishes or shallow ramekins. Divide the fruit evenly over the top, gently pressing the top of the fruit into an even layer.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, honey, liqueur and cornstarch until evenly combined. Dollop the cheese mixture into the gratins, and spread with the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread the cheese and flatten it in an even layer over the fruit.

4. Place the gratin dishes under the broiler and cook just until the top of the gratins start to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

Each serving: 404 calories; 6 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 28 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 71 mg cholesterol; 30 grams sugar; 36 mg sodium.

'Family' restaurant

'Mob-linked' caterer takes over Qns. eatery

A reputed wiseguy is moving into the White House.

Joe Franco, an alleged mobster who was kicked off a city catering contract for financial funny business, is now looking to get back in the game in the White House restaurant in Queens.

Franco bought the old eatery in Whitestone for $900,000 last month and plans to expand it into a massive catering hall, stoking fears of a mobbed-up scene invading the mellow block.

"Joe Franco is a bad actor. That's of concern to a lot of people," said state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens).

But Republican Councilman Dan Halloran has defended the plan and Franco.


Needs zoning change.

"Unfortunately, many Italian-Americans in my district get painted with a very broad brush," he said during a closed-door meeting last month with concerned civic groups.

He conceded Franco, a construction and catering entrepreneur, may "know people."

What Halloran didn't say was that Franco, 58, a Flushing native, was fingered as a soldier in the Gambino crime family by the FBI in a 1998 hearing about his brother, Salvatore, a former asphalt workers' union president.

Their late uncle, Giuseppe "Joe" Arcuri, was a mob captain who helped run the family while godfather John Gotti was in jail, testified former agent Bruce Mouw, who led the FBI's Gambino squad.

Franco is "a Gambino soldier for the rest of his life," insisted a law-enforcement source who said Franco is more involved in white-collar high jinks than any thuggery.

Sid Davidoff, Franco's lawyer, said his client is no gangster and has "never been accused of anything, including a parking ticket."

But the reputation of Franco's previous joint, Caffe on the Green in Bayside, isn't so savory.

In 1992, Franco won the Parks Department concession to run the restaurant in a historic Queens mansion on the edge of Clearview Park. Ten years later, a patron was shot there in an apparent mob rubout attempt. In 2003, an alleged wiseguy and his wife were charged with a hate crime after attacking an Asian woman there.

In 2008, an audit by the city comptroller found that Franco cheated the city out of more than $120,000 in proceeds from tips and party deposits.

The city stripped Franco of his contract, but he never paid up the missing funds, said mayoral spokesman Jason Post. But Davidoff said, "There is no money owed, to our knowledge."

Last year, Franco set his sights on the rickety, 60-year-old White House, hoping to more than double its size. He needs a rezoning to build the towering 27-foot venue.

Halloran said he supports the rezoning and applauded Franco for investing in the area and said he has no provable mob ties.

"Assassination by innuendo is not something we should be engaged in," Halloran said.

But a next-door neighbor, Brian Garry, said, "I just don't think [the officials] are representing the community. This is not a commercial area."

Carrabba's Bread Dipping Spice

Prep time: 10 minutes. Makes ¼ cup, or 1 to 4 servings.

1 tablespoon minced basil

1 tablespoon chopped parsley (Italian is best)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or ground sea salt

1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced

Combine all of the ingredients, except oil and lemon juice.

Put in a small food processor (or little food chopper). Chop briefly until all ingredients are about the same size.

Stir in oil and lemon juice.

To serve, combine about 1 1/2 teaspoons spice with 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil in a small dish. Dip sliced bread in mixture.

Italian 'Butter'

Makes 4 servings.

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Olive oil for dipping

Combine all ingredients, except oil and lemon juice. Put in a small food processor and chop until all ingredients are about the same size. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice. Place a teaspoon of the spice mix into a saucer and pour olive oil over it.

Bread tastes better with 'Italian butter'


Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

Two 225 g (8-ounce) packages fresh peas

45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

450 g (1-pound) loaf rustic sourdough bread, cut into small cubes

3 cloves garlic, minced

45 ml (3 tbsp) avocado oil (olive oil can be substituted)

15 ml (1 tbsp) cider vinegar

Salt and ground black pepper

Dash of hot sauce

15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh mint

2 ml (1/2 tsp) lemon zest

60 ml (1/4 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Set a medium bowl of ice water nearby. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter nearby.

When the water is at a boil, add the peas and blanch just until bright green, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to the ice water to cool. Once cooled, use the slotted spoon to transfer the peas to the kitchen towel. Roll the peas gently to dry, then set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the bread and saute until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, then transfer the bread to a large bowl. Add the peas, then toss well. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, vinegar, 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt, 1 ml (1/4 tsp) black pepper and the hot sauce. Drizzle the dressing over the bread and pea mixture, then toss well to coat. Add the mint, lemon zest and Parmesan, then toss again. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 386 calories; 145 calories from fat (38 per cent of total calories); 16 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 3 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 5 g fibre; 654 mg sodium.

Veal Milanese with tomato pesto, salad and shaved Parmesan


• For the veal Milanese

• 2 eggs

• 2 tablespoons whipping cream

• 1.5 pounds veal scaloppine

• 3 cups Italian-style bread crumbs

• 10 tablespoons extra light-tasting olive oil, divided

• 3 ounces arugula salad

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 2 ounces shaved Parmesan pieces

• For the tomato pesto:

• 3 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced

• 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 2 tablespoons basil, freshly chopped

• 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil


To prepare the tomato pesto:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let them sit undisturbed for at least an hour. All the flavors will come together as the ingredients marinate together.

To prepare the veal Milanese:

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the cream.

Dip each of the scaloppine in the egg mixture and then the bread crumbs; make sure both sides are coated evenly. Place the scaloppine on a tray until ready to use.

Pour half the extra light-tasting olive oil into a large saute pan and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes until it starts to sizzle. Add half of the breaded scaloppine and cook over medium heat, about one minute per side.

To prevent the scaloppine from curling while you cook them, place small incisions with a sharp knife on each side of the scaloppine (along the silver skin).

Clean the saute pan and dispose of the oil. Cook the second batch of scaloppine in the remaining oil, following the same directions as above.

Cover and keep warm.

Place the arugula in a stainless-steel bowl, and dress with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the tomato pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

Place the scaloppine in single-serving dishes. Top each of the scaloppine with a portion of the arugula salad and garnish with pieces of shaved Parmesan cheese. Pour some additional tomato pesto on the side of each of the scaloppine.

You should have enough for seconds.

Homemade Limoncello

15 lemons

2 quarts of vodka

4 cups of sugar

5 cups of water

Peel the lemons, shaving and being careful to get just a thin layer of yellow rind off in long strips. You want to avoid getting any of the white rind as it will make the limoncello bitter. Also the longer strips will help make it easier to strain later. Put the peeled lemons aside for something else. Add the peels to 1 quart of vodka and let the flavors infuse for 30 days. At that time make a simple sauce by dissolving the 4 cups of sugar in 5 cups of boiling water and let cool. Add the simple sauce to the infused vodka and add the second quart of vodka as well. Let it all sit another 30 days. Strain the lemon peels from the limoncello.

Find a nice collection of very clean decorative bottles, and fill them with the limoncello leaving just a little room at the top for freezing expansion should that happen (it shouldn't because of all the alcohol, but limoncello is kept in the freezer, so just to be safe). Cork the bottles and store in the freezer until needed.

You can drink this as an after dinner apertif.. or you can put it over ice in the summer.. and I have three more drink recipes using limoncello for you as well.



1 part Limoncello (this is best stored in the freezer)

3 parts Cola

Add ice to a glass, pour limoncello and cola over ice.

Garnish with lemon slice or mint leaf. Serve


Limon Sunrise

1 part Limoncello

3 parts orange juice

1/2 part grenadine

1 orange slice

Fill a tall glass with ice (crushed or cubed), add the Grenadine and let it settle to the bottom. Gently add the limoncello and orange juice so the red of the Grenadine stays on the bottom creating a sunrise affect. Garnish with an orange slice.


Limon Drop

2 parts limoncello

1 part vodka

Combine the two ingredients in a shaker of ice and shake vigorously to mix and cool. Pour into a short glass and garnish with a lemon slice.

Parmesan Pudding with Pea Sauce

Parmesan Pudding

• 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

• 1 cup milk

• 2 cups cream

• 2 teaspoons kosher salt

• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1 egg yolk

• 1 whole egg

Pea Sauce

• 1 1/2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen sweet peas

• 3/4 cup chicken broth

• 3 tablespoons heavy cream

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

• pea shoots (for garnish - optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Spray a loaf pan with vegetable spray (or a thin layer of butter) and line with parchment paper

Preheat oven toe 350 degrees. Butter a miniature (3 X 6) bread pan and line it with parchment paper.

Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking until the mixture is bubbling and has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Slowly whisk in the light cream.

Off the heat, slowly add the milk, heavy cream, egg, and egg yolks, whisking well after each addition. Add the Parmesan cheese, stirring until fully incorporated. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Pour the pudding into the prepared pan and place the pan in a large pan filled with enough water to come half way up the sides of the bread pan. Cover with aluminum foil, gently place in the oven, and bake from about 2 hours. When the pudding is done, it will be somewhat firm and a knife inserted in the center will come out clean.

Let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the pea sauce: place the peas, chicken broth, cream, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a small saucepan over very low heat and cook until warm - about 2 minutes.

To serve: unmold the pudding onto a cutting board. Cut into 6 to 8 sliced and place each slice in the center of a heatproof plate. Place plates in the oven and heat until the pudding is just warm, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the sauce around the pudding sliced and garnish with the pea tendrils.

Classic Cibreo

Serves 4 - 6

• 2 pints cherry tomatoes

• 1/4 pound chicken livers, chopped medium dice

• 1/4 pound chicken gizzards, chopped (optional)

• 1/4 pound cocks combs (optional)

• 1/4 pound rooster beans, (testicles- optional)

• 1 pound boneless chicken thighs

• 1 large white onion diced

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 1/2 cup extra virgin oil

• 4 - 6 cups chicken broth

• 6 sage leaves, julienned

• 3 - 4 rosemary sprigs

• 1 cup white wine

• 1/4 cup brandy

• 2 tablespoons sliced garlic

• 1 cup diced pancetta

• 4-6 egg yolks (1 per person- preferably duck eggs)

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice

• 1/2 cup all purpose flour

• Kosher salt to taste

• black pepper to taste

• 1 pound fresh fettuccini

• 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)

• 1 tablespoon parsley


Soak the livers, cock combs, and rooster beans in milk at least 1 hour or overnight.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Season chicken thighs, cocks combs and gizzards with salt and pepper and generously dust with flour then place in skillet and sautee on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, garlic, and pancetta to the pan and cook until the pancetta is rendered and the garlic is toasted (6-8 minutes.) Deglaze the pan with brandy and simmer until the alcohol is burned out. Add the white wine, sage, and 1 sprig rosemary and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock slowly one cup at a time, season with salt and pepper and return the meat to the pan. Let simmer over low heat for 2 - 3 hours or until cocks combs are very tender.

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, toss cherry tomatoes together with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place on a sheet pan with remaining rosemary springs and roast in oven for 25 minutes or until tomatoes are charred and skins are blistered. Remove from oven, set aside.

Taste the cocks combs for tenderness, once they are tender, add the livers and rooster beans to the pan and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

To Serve:

Toss cibreo with fettuccine pasta and divide into separate serving bowls. Place egg yolk over the top in the center of bowl and garnish with the roasted tomatoes. Finish with fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Truffled Baby Artichoke Salad

With Crispy Parmesan Risotto Cake and Parmesan Crema

Serves 8

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 onion minced

• 1 pound arborio rice

• 1 cup white wine

• 4 cups chicken stock, warm (100-120 degrees)

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 cup parmesan cheese

• 2-3 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

• 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and sweat onions until they become translucent. Add rice and stir well to coat with oil. Cook rice 2-3 minutes, to get a good "sear". Add wine and 1 cup of chicken stock. Slowly "feed" the remaining stock 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time, until rice is cooked through and soft. (Normally risotto is cooked al dente, be sure the rice is cooked through.) Fold in butter and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour out onto a sheet pan - 1/2 inch thick - and refrigerate until cooled.

Cut into 3 inch rings and pan fry until browned and crispy on both sides. Place on sheet pan in 300 degree oven 10-12 minutes.

• 8 baby artichokes - clip outer leaves and peeled stem

• 1 shallot, minced

• 2 tablespoons canned black truffles, minced

• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 teaspoons truffle oil

• 1 1/2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

• 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

• 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Shave artichokes lengthwise on mandoline. Place in a large mixing bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.

Parmesan Crema

• 2 cups heavy cream

• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat cream in a medium sauce pan over high heat and reduce by half. Whisk in parmesan cheese. Season with pepper.

Place warm risotto cake in center of plate. Place a handful (about 1 cup) of artichoke salad on top. Drizzle with parmesan crema. Serve immediately.

Pizza Rustica (Rustic Pie)

Pizza Rustica (Rustic Pie)

Pie Crust (Use a 9 ½ inch pie plate)

2 cups Flour

2/3 tsp. baking powder

1/3 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. shortening

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup ice cold water


2 hard boiled eggs chopped

1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese diced

1 lb. fresh ricotta cheese

2 raw eggs

1 Tbs. grated Romano cheese

3/4 lb. fresh Italian sausage (Remove skin and brown in a fry pan)

4 oz. Italian salami diced

2 oz. boiled ham diced

The following 2 ingredients are very expensive, so what I do is increase the ingredients above, to take the place of them.

1/2 lb. dried Italian sweet sausage diced (Sopressata)

1/4 lb. Proscuitto chopped

Pie Crust

Blend dry ingredients with shortening.

Then add cold water and 1 egg. Mix with a spoon until it forms a ball.

Split into 2 parts and roll out for a 9 1/2 inch pie pan. Leave about a half inch overhang for the bottom crust.


Combine ricotta cheese and eggs. Add the cooked and cooled sausage meat and all the diced meats, the cheese and hard boiled eggs. Mix well. Put into the pie crust and then cover with the top crust. Bring the overhang from the bottom crust up and kind of twist it over the top crust's edge. (See photo)

Cut about 5 slits into the top crust, sprinkle with a little water to moisten and place into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 325 degrees for the final 45 minutes. For a golden brown crust, brush with beaten egg, the final 15 minutes before it is done. Repeat. 
Remove from the oven and let cool.

Serve on Easter morning, either alone or with traditional Easter Egg Bread

Baked Ziti With Italian Sausage


1 16 ounce package of ziti pasta

1 green bell pepper, sliced in strips

1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced in strips

1 small box of mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound Italian pork sausage cut in small bites

1 jar of marinara sauce, or your own sauce, totaling 2 cups**

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Italian Seasonings (To your taste)

1 large carton of Ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 pound combined Mozzarella and Italian cheeses shredded (You may use any flavor combination that you enjoy)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta and cook for 8 minutes to al dente, drain and rinse pasta.

2. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and cook sausage. Drain and set aside. If needed, add a little more olive oil to the pan, and sauté peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms.

3. In a large bowl, mix one egg, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Italian cheese, ziti, sausage, vegetables and 1 1/2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with reserved sauce and Parmesan cheese. ** To make this lighter, you may omit or cut back on the marinara sauce. I now make mine with just 1/2 cup marinara.

4 Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow dish to stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Italian Dove Bread

Makes: 1 large loaf; serves about 12/ Preparation time (active): 1 hour

Total time: 4 hours


1/2 cup milk, warmed

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

3 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant or fast-acting yeast

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature

1 cup candied orange or citron peel (or other dried fruit)


1 egg, separated

1/2 cup almond paste

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Whole almonds

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the milk, sugar, honey, eggs and both zests. Turn the mixer on low, then add the salt, flour and yeast. Mix until the dough comes together, then knead the dough on the mixer's low setting until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue kneading, allowing each piece to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the candied peel. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the decorations. In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolk (reserve the white), almond paste, flour and almond extract. Once mixed, use your hands to knead the mixture until smooth. Roll the mixture into about 25 to 30 marble-sized balls.

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half.

Roll one half into a log about 12 inches long and place on the prepared baking sheet (this will become the wings). Using the heel of your hand, gently flatten the center of the log.

Form the other half of the dough into a triangle, about 15 inches long and 6 inches wide at the base. Place the triangle over the log so that the wide end extends 4 inches below the log and the pointed end 7 inches above. Bend about 3 inches of the pointed end to one side to represent the head and beak.

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the edges of the wings and the bottom of the tail (the wide end of the triangle) to create feathers.

In a small bowl, beat the reserved egg white until foamy. Use a brush to paint the egg white over the surface of the dove. Decorate the dove with the balls of almond dough, pressing them into the wings, tail and chest of the bird, as well as using 1 ball for the eye. Repeat with the whole almonds, gently pressing them into the surface of the dough (see photo).

Loosely cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rise again until puffy and about doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Toward the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 325 F.

Bake until golden and cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Owner of New York pizzeria may be charged in knife fight

*Dec 05 - 00:05*

Brooklyn prosecutors said they plan to charge Mark Iacono, 43, with attempted murder for a knife fight he got into with Benny Geritano, 38. Iacano is the owner of Lucali's Pizza, a restaurant frequented by the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce, which is consistently ranked one of the top pizza places in New York City.

According to police, Geritano pulled out a knife on Iacano on Friday and stabbed him several times in the back, stomach and thighs. Police would not say what the dispute was over but said Geritano, who knows Iacano, is believed to be a henchman for a mafia-run loan shark business.

Iacano was rushed to the Lutheran Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition. Prosecutors said Geritano showed up in court Sunday claiming he acted in self defense, showing the court knife wounds to his own body. His attorney, Steven Kartagener, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Prosecutors said Geritano was charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Iacano was expected to be charged with the same felonies, once his arraignment date is set, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors declined to elaborate on why Iacano is facing the same charges in the case and declined to elaborate on what role Iacano had in the knife fight.

At a Mob Trial, Testimony Focuses on the Knife and Fork

It is no surprise that prodigious helpings of murder, betrayal and honor — or, some might say, the lack thereof — have been on the menu, figuratively speaking, at a mob trial in federal court in Brooklyn. The trial, after all, marks the witness-stand debut of the first official boss of one of New York’s five Mafia families to testify for the government.

What has been a surprise to some, however, is that it can seem as though a real menu is required — just to keep track of all of the culinary allusions by the former boss, Joseph C. Massino of the Bonannos. References to food, meals, cooking and the restaurant and catering businesses, along with some choice gastronomic metaphors, have kept coming like so many courses on a tasting menu. They appeared at times to pile higher and higher, as if a groaning board had replaced the prosecution and defense tables in the well of the courtroom.

To those who follow the mob, the close connection between this ethnic underworld and the culinary arts practiced by Italian-Americans is not news. Indeed, momentous events in mob history have happened in and around restaurants: Carmine Galante, a cigar still in his mouth, was shot dead on the patio at Joe & Mary, a restaurant in Brooklyn; Joey Gallo was killed in a fusillade in Umberto’s Clam House as he bolted for the door, only to die on a Little Italy street; and Paul Castellano was gunned down at rush hour amid Christmas shoppers outside Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan.

And some of the most memorable moments in film that for some have come to represent organized crime are similarly gastrocentric. There are the phrases “Leave the gun; take the cannoli” and “Try the veal, it’s the best in the city” in “The Godfather” movie. And there is Paul Sorvino, playing a mob capo in “Goodfellas,” wielding a razor blade to slice garlic for his sauce.

Of course, Mr. Massino has acknowledged cooking up quite a few misdeeds of his own. He is appearing as a witness against a subordinate, Vincent Basciano, a former acting boss known as Vinnie Gorgeous, who is on trial for the murder of a Bonanno associate, Randolph Pizzolo. Mr. Massino continued his appearance on the stand on Monday.

Still, while the gun and the knife — as the Mafia’s tools are called during the secret society’s initiation rites — have been center stage, there is a sense that the knife and the fork have been fighting for equal billing, perhaps unsurprising given Mr. Massino’s girth, not to mention some of his job titles other than boss: restaurateur and sandwich truck operator.

For example, when he listed his past crimes last week, including as many as a dozen murders, food came into play. The prosecutor, Taryn A. Merkl, asked about Mr. Massino’s corruption of a prison guard in the late 1980s when he was being held in a federal jail in Manhattan.

“What did you bribe the prison guard to do?” Ms. Merkl, an assistant United States attorney, asked.

“He was bringing in food for us, cold cuts, shrimp, scungilli,” he replied.

More than a decade later, food was again the focus during a conversation he secretly recorded in a different federal jail with Mr. Basciano, the subordinate against whom he was testifying. “I’m belching, I’ve got a lot of heartburn, a lot of agita,” Mr. Massino complained to Mr. Basciano. “I’ll tell you one thing, that sausage wasn’t bad, bo.”

“Yeah?” Mr. Basciano replied, “I left it in the room, I didn’t eat it.”

“It wasn’t bad, I swear to God,” Mr. Massino continued. “I put a little mustard — it wasn’t bad. I had no dinner last night. I had peanut butter, I couldn’t eat. Tonight, I won’t eat, it’s fish.”

The kitchen, in a way, also provided some protection. In the early 1990s, after he served nearly six years in federal prison for racketeering, Mr. Massino’s parole prohibited him from associating with other members of organized crime families or felons and required that he hold a steady job. So he worked as a consultant at a Long Island company called King Catering.

There, he said, he developed a unique way to hold meetings and talk mob business with his underboss Sal Vitale — his brother-in-law, who was also a consultant at the company — while still avoiding law enforcement scrutiny, including physical surveillance and bugs.

“Did you talk Bonanno family business at King Catering?” Ms. Merkl asked.

“If we had to, yes,” Mr. Massino replied.

“Where would you speak to him?” she asked, referring to Mr. Vitale, who preceded Mr. Massino into the ranks of mob turncoats.

“In the walk-in box,” he said.

“Why the refrigerator?”

“To avoid bugs,” he explained tersely.

Mr. Massino’s four days on the stand before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in United States District Court in Brooklyn also provided a survey of sorts of a few of the city’s eateries, but the focus was on criminals and crimes at the establishments, not their fare.

He mentioned Caffe on the Green in Bayside, Queens, the scene of a shooting involving Mr. Pizzolo; Napa & Sonoma, a steakhouse in Whitestone, Queens, where Mr. Pizzolo had an outburst of sorts; and Via Oreto on First Avenue in Manhattan, which Mr. Basciano said he successfully claimed as a Bonanno family protectorate, over the objections of the Genovese family.

In addition to his work as a criminal, Mr. Massino held a number of jobs and owned a number of businesses that revolved around food.

His first jobs, as a youngster in Queens, were working in what he called a “food store,” without elaborating, and in a butcher shop.

As a young man, he operated a sandwich truck, known by the less-than-appetizing name “roach coach,” which he would drive to factories and other businesses to sell coffee, cakes and sandwiches. Eventually, he operated a catering company that served other sandwich trucks.

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Massino owned a restaurant called Casablanca in Maspeth, Queens, where he could often be found. Menus at the time of the 1996 grand opening, however, did not advertise his association with the establishment.

Instead, there was a front man.

“Your Host: Alfred,” the menu informed diners. Alfred, however, had a few sidelines himself, according to Mr. Massino, one of which was serving as a soldier in Mr. Massino’s crime family.

Arancini - Italian Rice Balls


• 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 onion, chopped finely

• 1 garlic clove, crushed

• 1/2 cup arborio rice

• 1/2 cup dry white wine

• 1/2 cup frozen peas

• 40 g ham, chopped finely

• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

• 100 g mozzarella cheese

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• plain flour

• 1 egg, lightly beaten (extra)

• 1 tablespoon milk

• 1 cup dry breadcrumbs

• vegetable oil, for deep frying

Change Measurements: US


Prep Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hr

1. 1 Bring stock to boil in a medium pan. Reduce the heat to low and keep hot.

2. 2 Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add onion and garlic and cook stirring until onion is soft but not coloured. Add rice and cook stirring through until rice is translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the wine and stir through until liquid evaporated.

3. 3 Add about 1/3 cup of the hot stock, and stir over a low-medium heat until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until all the stock is used (about 25 minutes).

4. 4 Stir in the peas and ham and salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat and gently fold in parmesan cheese. Transfer the risotto to a bowl and cool.

5. 5 Chop the mozzarella into 18 pieces.

6. 6 Stir the egg into the risotto. Roll 2 level tablespoons of risotto into a ball; press a piece of mozzarella into the centre of each ball; roll to enclose. Toss the balls in flour, shake away excess. Dip into the combined extra egg and milk and coat in breadcrumbs. Makes 18 balls.

7. 7 Heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan, deep ry the arancini in batches until they are browned and heated through.

8. 8 Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

bolognese sauce recipe

This bolognese sauce recipe is delicious and takes less time than traditional recipes. Jill Lewis

This American style Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce is a delicious treat and is really quite simple to make. Bolognese is a classic, kid-friendly crowd pleaser. Bolognese sauce (ragu alla bolognese in Italian, also known by its French name sauce bolognaise) is a meat-based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. Bolognese sauce is sometimes taken to be a tomato sauce, but authentic recipes have only a small amount of tomato concentrate.

The longer Ragù alla bolognese cooks the better; a 5- or 6-hour simmer is not unusual. This recipe takes much less time than traditional recipes - about 45 minutes. It's as good as I've ever had. I can guarantee you will receive many compliments if you serve this dish. I designed my own recipe from a modification from a recipe from the food network recipe and it is wonderful. This recipe is ideal for lasagna, eggplant parmigiana and stuffed zucchini. Use your favorite pasta. You could also use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

It is one of those healthy dinner recipes, as you have a complete meal with one dish - the proteins from the meat and cheese, plus the carbohydrates of the pasta and vitamins from the tomato. This is a hearty meal that will satisfy just about everyone's taste and budget. This recipe is simple enough for even the most novice chefs.

Here you go - mangia!


• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1 celery stalk, chopped

• 1 carrot, chopped

• 1 pound ground chuck beef

• 3/4 cup dry white wine

• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes

• 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped

• 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Spaghetti, whole wheat (follow servings and directions on package)

• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is very tender, about 8 minutes. Add celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Sauté, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Boil rapidly about 5 minutes until liquid has reduced slightly. Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste and cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Mean while, in a large saucepan, cook spaghetti or your favorite pasta; drain. Serve sauce immediately over hot pasta and top with Parmesan. Makes 6 servings.