Carmine's Celebrates: Classic Italian Recipes for Everyday Feasts

Carmine's Celebrates: Classic Italian Recipes for Everyday Feasts

by Glenn Rolnick, Chris Peterson

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Carmine's is founded on the twin concepts of deliciousness and Italian abbondanza. In their wildly popular Times Square flagship location and their other restaurants in New York City, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Washington, DC, and Paradise Island, Bahamas, the tables are filled with giant platters of pasta, steaks, chicken, vegetables and more. And every single diner has a smile on his face. Now that concept comes home from the masters. In new cookbook Carmine's Celebrates, Chef Glenn Rolnick teaches home cooks how to make more than one hundred dishes in happy-making quantities. Nothing is difficult to make, serve or store. Each dish uses grocery store ingredients and extracts the flavor of Italy from them so anyone can be an amazing cook. There is a special emphasis on "everyday" holidays, such as weekend family dinners, and also on traditional holiday food for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Recipes include:—Crostini with Cannellini Bean Dip—Sea Scallops Wrapped in Pancetta—Mussels Fra Diavolo—Pasta Carbonara—Chicken Cacciatore

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466837232
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/04/2014
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 34 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

GLENN ROLNICK is the Director of Culinary Operations for the Alicart Restaurant Group, where he has worked for the last eleven years. A former chef at The Algonquin Hotel and The Carlyle Hotel in New York City, Rolnick is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He has appeared on Good Morning America, the Fox Business Network and has contributed to Time, The New York Times and the New Yorker.

CHRIS PETERSON is a writer and editor based in Ashland, Oregon. He led cookbook development for three publishers over 20 years. Peterson is the author of twelve books, and has written books with Sabrina Soto, Carter Oosterhouse, and Brian Boitano.

Read an Excerpt

Carmine's Celebrates

Classic Italian Recipes for Everyday Feasts

By Glenn Rolnick, Chris Peterson

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2014 Carmine's Broadway Feast Corporation
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-3723-2


Cold Appetizers

* * *

Marinated Button Mushrooms
Crostini with Cannellini Bean Dip
Cured Salmon with Lemon Mascarpone
Rolled Beef with Hot Cherry Peppers
Naples-Style Cauliflower with Lemon and Anchovy Vinaigrette
Grilled Shrimp with Fennel
Orzo and Fresh Tuna Salad
Farro with Wild Mushrooms
Cubanelle Peppers Stuffed with Three Cheeses
Roasted Eggplant Dip
Romano and Black Pepper Bread Sticks

* * *

Literally translated, antipasti means "before the meal" (and it's the plural of antipasto). It's a simple word but a complex idea. This course most likely began when Italian workingmen arrived home after a long day in the hot sun. Dinner would still be cooking, so the hungry soul—tempted by the aromas filling the kitchen—would sit, relax, and take the edge off his hunger with a simple snack of a little bread, cheese, salami, or other finger food. It proved to be a civilized way to glide into the main course. From that humble beginning came a full-blown ritual that now includes an incredible selection of recipes that can be mixed and matched to create a wholly original beginning to your meal.

Traditionally, antipasti were served on a central platter, with each person at the table given a small saucer for their own selections. They were meant to be true family style–meal starters, and were right in keeping with the idea of food as social centerpiece in the Italian home. Understandably, these platters found their way into special occasions, and Italian wedding receptions to this day are sure to start with a few platters of these wonderful dishes.

These days, home cooks and hosts have expanded on the notion, often serving antipasti in the manner of hors d'oeuvre or Spanish tapas. That adaptability is one of the most alluring aspects of these recipes; antipasti can fill just about any role for any occasion. Use them as wonderful shared appetizers that set the stage for your main course, or choose an inspired selection to bring a memorable culinary experience to a special event. You can even liven up a cocktail party with a couple trays of these simple, flavor-packed creations.

The cold versions in this chapter are natural choices for sparkling al fresco meals on warm spring or summer days. They present such a variety of flavors that they beg to be served with a glass of something that will help wake up the palate. A little sparkling wine such as Prosecco or Franciacorta is perfect, as is a crisp bright, lively white wine like Soave, Pinot Grigio, Vernaccia, or Vermentino. You could even serve these with a lighter red such as Pinot Nero.

No matter how and when you serve them, the underlying idea behind antipasti remains the same. Each simple recipe focuses on one main flavor or ingredient, which the other ingredients support or reinforce. This is especially true of cold antipasti, which were originally as basic as a saucer of sliced sopressata, a small bowl of cured olives, or a scattering of fresh seasonal fruit.

As uncomplicated and casual as they may be, the artistry of antipasti lies in combining the individual dishes into a presentation that is greater than the sum of its parts. A thoughtfully selected antipasti platter is a choreography of food textures, flavors, forms, and colors. There should always be something for the eye, the teeth, and the tongue. The flavors, too, must work in concert. Not only should they complement one another—none too similar, nor jarringly different—they must also do justice to the flavors of the main course. Ideally, the antipasti manages to achieve all of this while leaving room for the rest of the meal. The course is about tickling the taste buds rather than filling the stomach.

Choose from the recipes that follow to create your own inviting collage of flavors. Most of these are simple enough to offer easy weeknight options, and several can be made far ahead of time to cut down on the stress and rush before a party or other special occasion. Whichever you choose, they're sure to be a wonderful kickoff to your next culinary celebration.

Marinated Button Mushrooms

Serves 6 to 8

½ cup olive oil
2 pounds small button mushrooms, cleaned (see here)
1½ tablespoons chopped garlic
¾ cup diced Roasted Red Peppers
½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Button mushrooms don't have the complex flavors that wild varieties such as portobello or chanterelle boast. But that subtlety makes them the perfect canvas for a simple but alluring blend of herbs and other ingredients. The vinegar and red onion in this recipe provide the slightest sharp edge, contrasting the sweetness that comes out when the mushrooms are sautéed. Searing mushrooms in this way also gives them a lovely color that complements the reds and greens in the dish.

1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 3 minutes, just until they start to brown.

2. Add the garlic and sauté until the mixture begins to pick up color, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside to cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add the cooled mushrooms to the bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Crostini with Cannellini Bean Dip

Serves 8 to 10

½ cup olive oil blend (3 parts canola oil to 1 part olive oil)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
¾ cup finely diced red onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Two 19-ounce cans cannellini beans, 1 can drained
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ cup white truffle oil
1 loaf Italian bread or baguette
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing the bread

Crostini translates to "little toast," but the bread itself is only a platform for this classic antipasto. You can top crostini with an amazing diversity of spreads, but we create an incredibly creamy white bean dip as a great stage for other rustic, herb-driven flavors. The cannellini is a favorite bean in the Italian kitchen; cheap and widely available, the bean has a smooth texture, and offers a subtle flavor. This recipe makes abundant dip; if you're putting together antipasti for a smaller gathering, refrigerate the extra for use as an anytime dip with fresh vegetables or chips, or even as a sandwich spread.

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for 1 minute. Add the basil, parsley, and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the beans begin to break down.

2. Pulse the mixture in a food processor until smooth, but still with some chunks remaining in the mixture. Fold in the truffle oil, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

4. Cut the bread diagonally into slices about ½ inch thick. Brush the slices lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Spread them out on a sheet pan and toast until they turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 3 minutes. Smear with a dollop of the bean dip and serve.

Cured Salmon with Lemon Mascarpone

Serves 8 to 10


One 2-pound Norwegian salmon fillet, center cut, skin and pin bones removed
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
½ pound kosher salt
½ pound granulated sugar
Stalks and fronds of 2 fennel bulbs
¼ cup bourbon
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar


¼ pound mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 loaf Italian bread (optional)

Curing fish originated as a method to preserve a highly perishable foodstuff. But as this recipe proves, it's also a fantastic way to saturate the fish with intriguing and enchanting flavors. In this case, the hearty nature of wild salmon is tempered by a faint hint of licorice from the fennel and the smokiness of bourbon. Combine it with the tantalizingly smooth and creamy texture of mascarpone and an explosion of bright, crisp flavors, and the salmon steals the spotlight when combined with other appetizers.

1. Dust the salmon all over with the pepper. In a small bowl, combine the salt and sugar and mix well.

2. Cover a large work surface with a piece of plastic wrap. Lay half of the fennel tops over an area about the size of the fillet. Spread about half the salt mixture over the tops.

3. Lay the fillet on the salt mixture and spread the remaining mixture over the top. Top the fillet with the remaining fennel stalks and fronds and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Lay the wrapped fillet on a sheet pan. Cover with another sheet pan, and place a few heavy cans or other weights on top, distributing the weight evenly.

4. Refrigerate the salmon for 48 hours, flipping it every 12 hours. After 48 hours, remove the salmon from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Gently remove the fennel, and brush off the salt mixture. Towel the fillet dry.

5. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the bourbon and brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.

6. Lightly brush the top and bottom of the fillet with the bourbon mixture and return it to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

7. In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the lemon mascarpone and mix thoroughly with a fork until completely blended.

8. The salmon should be cold and firm when you cut it. Use a sharp, thin knife to cut the fillet from left to right on the diagonal, into very thin slices. Serve the slices with the lemon mascarpone on the side or, as we do at Carmine's, on sliced Italian bread.

Rolled Beef with Hot Cherry Peppers

Serves 8 to 10

2 pounds beef top round
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil blend (3 parts canola oil to 1 part olive oil)
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
1 cup seeded and thinly sliced hot Italian cherry peppers
1 cup finely diced red bell peppers
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh basil

This hearty beef dish is a wonderful counterpoint to other antipasti, but it can also hold its own as a sturdy appetizer in a multicourse meal. The abundance of savory flavors are cut through with a shot of heat courtesy of the Italian cherry peppers. These peppers are an Italian dinner table favorite. Paired with Carmine's own homemade savory aioli, this is definitely in the running for the title "King of Antipasti."

1. Cut the beef into large, thin uniform slices. Line a sturdy work surface with thick plastic wrap. Lay the beef slices on the surface (one at a time if the space is limited). Cover with thick plastic wrap and pound them out to a thickness between ¼ and 1/8 inch. Season the slices with ¼ cup of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.

2. Preheat a large sauté pan over high heat. Sear each slice of meat on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Set the meat aside to cool.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a separate large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, hot cherry and bell peppers, garlic, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until the vegetables pick up some color, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

4. Cover a work surface with plastic wrap and lay out the slices of beef. Top each slice with a slice of mozzarella, and then a sprinkling of the basil. Spread the vegetable mixture on top of the cheese and roll up the beef, ensuring the filling stays intact.

5. Wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Slice and serve with Herbed Aioli.

Naples-Style Cauliflower with Lemon and Anchovy Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6


1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
½ cup finely diced gherkin pickles
¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, quartered
¼ cup cocktail onions
2 tablespoons capers, drained


½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon aged red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 anchovy fillets, minced

This recipe is actually similar to the classic Neapolitan Christmas salad. The cauliflower serves as a super stage, helping the colors and textures of other vegetables pop out. That makes the salad a visual delight, with red, white, and green echoing the tricolors of the Italian flag. The fresh sweetness is cut through with a piquant dressing that perfectly balances the saltiness of anchovies with citrus acidity. It's the symmetry of all those different elements that makes this salad a success.

1. Fill a medium pot three-quarters full with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes; be careful not to overcook. Drain the cauliflower and set it aside to cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk to blend. Add the remaining salad ingredients, and then gently incorporate the cauliflower with a spoon.

3. Refrigerate for about 2 days before serving, for best results.

Grilled Shrimp with Fennel

Serves 4 to 6


12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt


2 bulbs fennel (about 1½ pounds total), trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
3 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
½ cup pitted and thinly sliced green Cerignola olives
2 tablespoons julienned mint leaves
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

This dish is a salute to summer and al fresco dining, because it plays the natural sweetness of grilled shrimp against the sharper, vibrant tones of mixed citrus juices. Grilling brings out the best flavor in shrimp, but it's essential to get it right. The secret is to keep a close eye on your shrimp and remove them as soon as they're cooked. The shrimp is done when it has completely changed color, to pure white and pink. The grill time should be 4 to 6 minutes total; half the cooking time for each side.

1. In a small bowl, combine the cleaned shrimp and marinade ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.

3. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until charred and firm. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients and toss to mix. Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and add to the salad. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.

Orzo and Fresh Tuna Salad

Serves 6 to 8


½ pound orzo
½ pound fresh yellowfin tuna loin, sushi grade
½ cup finely diced celery
½ cup finely diced red onions
½ cup finely diced red bell peppers
Lemon wedges, for garnish


½ teaspoon dried oregano ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Orzo is the Italian term for "barley," but orzo pasta is actually made from semolina flour and shaped like large grains of rice. Combining the chewiness of pasta with the flavor-grabbing properties of rice, orzo can be the best of both worlds. Tuna is one of the best fish to use raw in a crudo dish (see "Speaking Italian,") such as this because the fish is possibly the least fishy of seafood. To get the most out of what you buy and this recipe, use only superfresh, sashimi-quality tuna from a reputable seafood shop.

1. Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full with heavily salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook to al dente, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the orzo from sticking together. (If the package directions suggest otherwise, follow the directions for the brand of orzo you've purchased.)

2. Finely dice the tuna; freezing it for 2 hours prior will make it easier to cut. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (if you've frozen the tuna before cutting, you don't need to chill it).

3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Add the chilled tuna and refrigerate for 1 hour.

4. Remove and fold in the pasta and salad vegetables and refrigerate for 20 minutes prior to serving. Serve on individual salad plates garnished with a lemon wedge.

Farro with Wild Mushrooms

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound farro
½ cup olive oil blend (3 parts canola oil to 1 part olive oil)
1¼ cups thinly julienned red onion
4 ounces porcini mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, mushrooms thinly sliced
4 ounces oyster mushrooms, cleaned, cut into uniform, small pieces
4 ounces portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems and gills removed, caps thinly sliced
4 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, mushrooms thinly sliced
1½ cups chicken stock (or substitute mushroom or vegetable stock)
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ cup chopped pimientos
1 tablespoon brine from a jar of sweet cherry peppers
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white truffle oil


Excerpted from Carmine's Celebrates by Glenn Rolnick, Chris Peterson. Copyright © 2014 Carmine's Broadway Feast Corporation. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Also From Carmine's,

Customer Reviews