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Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials: A Cookbook

Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials: A Cookbook


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Reimagine Italian-American cooking, with more than 125 recipes rich with flavor and nostalgia from the celebrated husband-and-wife chef team of Michelin-starred Don Angie in New York City.

ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR: New York Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Food52, Epicurious, Taste of Home • “Every bit of warmth and hospitality that you feel when you walk into Don Angie pours out of every page of this magical book.”—Michael Symon

The words “red sauce” alone conjure images of an Italian-American table full of antipasti, both hot and cold, whisked off to make room for decadent baked pastas topped with molten cheese, all before a procession of chicken parm or pork chops all pizzaiola—and we haven’t even gotten to dessert. It’s old-school cooking beloved by many and imbued with a deep sense of family.

In Italian American, Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, the chefs of critically acclaimed Don Angie in New York City’s West Village, reinvigorate the genre with a modern point of view that proudly straddles the line between Italian and American. They present family classics passed down through generations side-by-side with creative spins and riffs inspired by influences both old and new. These comforting dishes feel familiar but are far from expected, including their signature pinwheel lasagna, ribs glazed with orange and Campari, saucy shrimp parm meatballs, and a cheesy, bubbling gratin of broccoli rabe and sharp provolone.

Full of family history and recipes that will inspire a new generation, Italian American provides an essential, spirited introduction to an unforgettable way of cooking.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593138007
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 10/26/2021
Edition description: Illustrated
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 6,529
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli are a James Beard Award–nominated New York City–based husband-and-wife chef team that specializes in modern Italian-American cuisine. Scott and Angie’s recipes have been featured in Saveur, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Vice Munchies, and the Today show.

Jamie Feldmar is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles and New York. She is the co-author of the James Beard Award–winning cookbook Taste & Technique with chef Naomi Pomeroy, Butcher & Beast with chef Angie Mar, The New Orleans Kitchen with chef Justin Devillier, and Seeking the South with chef Robert Newton. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Saveur, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, and more.

Read an Excerpt


This book is about family.

Italian-American cooking always is, when you get down to it. We’re both the grandchildren and great-grand-children of immigrants from Southern Italy, and while our families worked, celebrated, squabbled, and reminisced, the one constant was food. A lot of food. Italian-American cooking is about family, and the spirit of generosity, manifesting in an abundance of good things to eat at all times.

We grew up eating the kind of food that East Coasters refer to as “red sauce”—a vast genre aptly named for the rich, red tomato sauce that usually appears as the centerpiece of every meal. But whether you call it “red sauce” or simply “Italian-American,” both terms refer to a distinct style of cooking that’s separate from traditional Italian cuisine.

Italian-American food has become a genre in its own right, marked by popular dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, multitiered chicken and eggplant parms, and hearty baked pastas laden with molten cheese. It’s a cuisine that took on a life of its own as Italian immigrants adapted to living in a new country and made do with what was available, resulting in a whole new style of cooking that can’t be found in the motherland.

Today, many American chefs attempt to “modernize” or refine Italian cuisine, which often means focusing on Northern Italian fare, marked by rich risottos, silky fresh pastas, and wine-braised meats. But Italian-American food is something else entirely. It’s a cuisine developed from the foods of the Italian south, where most Italian immigrants to the US, including those in our family, came from. This is the land of extruded dried pastas, tomato sauce, and olive oil in copious amounts. This is where unassuming trattorias run by time-tested nonnas turn out some of the most soulful, delicious, and comforting meals we’ve ever had, and where the recipes our families have handed down through generations come from.

Italian-American food hasn’t always gotten the respect it deserves in highfalutin culinary circles, but it’s become something of an obsession for us, to redefine what the term means and to bring it to as many people as possible. At our restaurant Don Angie in New York City, we strive to both honor and breathe new life into the cuisine, resulting in dishes that proudly straddle the line between Italian and American, in all of their multicultural glory.

New York is where so many of our ancestors first set foot in this country, building the foundation for the city’s now-legendary Little Italy (although most Italians have long since moved away). There are classic red-sauce joints aplenty in this town, with names like Ferdinando’s and Bamonte’s and Don Peppe’s, and we love them all. We regularly seek out the oldest of the old-school spots, ideally ones with bad lighting, chintzy décor, and a heavy dose of nostalgia. Places like these just feel like home to us, and we can’t get enough of them.

But as much as it’s true that New York is a city steeped in tradition, it’s also a city pulsating with the vibrant mix of a thousand different cultures and cuisines all at once. And though red sauce is the food of our people, we’ve been lucky to expand our worldview through countless hours spent cooking and eating our way across the greatest melting pot in the world.

For years, we lived in a tiny apartment above a Chinese restaurant on the Lower East Side, where we first tasted the chrysanthemum greens we’d later use in our version of a Caesar salad. We’ve taken countless trips to Kalustyan’s, a legendary international spice shop in an Indian neighborhood known as “Curry Hill,” familiarizing ourselves with new-to-us ingredients like Urfa biber, Tasmanian pepperberries, and Persian black lime. Working our way across the city’s kitchens, we befriended coworkers from all over the globe who introduced us to their own food traditions. Our coworker Regulo brought in his wife’s delicious Dominican quipe (beef and bulgur) every week for family meal; our barista Syed invited us to his apartment in Queens for a homemade Bengali feast; a talented cook named Kanya taught Angie how to make herb-scented coconut milk for delicate Thai desserts. Through these friends and colleagues, we fell in love with flavors and ingredients from outside of our Italian-American heritage, and those elements naturally began to find their place in our own kitchen.

We have now developed our own highly personalized version of Italian-American cooking, one that’s rooted in Southern Italy but enmeshed with flavors and techniques from all over the world. Our grandmothers might not use tamarind paste, guajillo chiles, or Japanese eggplants in their kitchens, but they’re certainly familiar with the rhythms of adapting your recipes to fit your surroundings. Immigrants have been cooking this way for generations; we’re just putting our own spin on the idea.

Italian-American dishes are the root of our cooking, but they’re just the starting point. In the end, it’s all about cooking with heart. Every move we make as professional chefs is done with the same spirit of generosity we grew up with. For us, it’s solely about taking care of people, the way our families always have. It’s about finding deep comfort in simple ingredients, and about expanding the boundaries of what you typically bring into your own kitchen. And now, by cooking your way through this book, whether you were born Italian American or not, you become a part of that tradition, too.

Welcome to the family.

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

Our Story 11

About This Book 17

Ingredients & Techniques 18

Cold Antipasti

Pimentón-Marinated Olives 25

Red Onion & Poppy Jam 26

Homemade Whipped Ricotta with Honey 27

Chile & Lime Candied Hazelnuts 28

Garlic Focaccia 29

Roasted Cauliflower & Pine Nut Spread 30

Spiced Pignoli Brittle 31

Spicy Giardiniera alla Kimchi 34

Grandma Rito's Marinated Roasted Peppers 35

Shrimp Cocktail alla Puttanesca 36

Seasoned Stracchino Cheese Spread 39

Pesto-Marinated Provolone 40

Savory Pizzelle Crackers with Black Pepper, Fennel & Parmesan 41

Pickled Eggplant a Scapece with Sumac & Mint 43

Pepperoni & Fontina Crackers 44

Hot Antipasti

Mushrooms al Forno with Fontina & Marsala 49

Spicy Baked Clams Francesco 51

Scacciata with Swiss Chard & Spinach 53

Addario-Style Frying Peppers 57

Stuffed Artichokes Oreganata 58

Stuffed Mussels with Pepperoni Rice 61

Sicilian Pizza Rolls 63

Mortadella Spiedini with Pickled Garlic Salsa Verde 67

Salami & Cheese Potato Crocchette 68


Broccoli Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette, Olives & Crispy Shallots 73

Chrysanthemum Caesar 75

Grilled Romano Bean Salad 76

Spicy Crab Panzanella 78

Garlicky Potato Salad with Avocado 81

Spicy Antipasto Salad 82

Radicchio Salad with Apple, Cilantro & Hazelnut Dressing 85

Persimmon Caprese 87

Italian-American Wedge with Creamy Herb Dressing, Gorgonzola & Pepperoni 89

Prosciutto & Melon Salad with Tamarind, Hazelnut & Feta 91

Sauces & Ragus

10-Minute San Marzano Tomato Sauce 95

Eggplant Sugo alla Norma 97

Cacciatore-Style Ragu with Mushrooms & Pancetta 99

Spicy Fra Diavolo Sauce 103

Smoky Chicken Ragu with Mezcal, Chiles & Olives 105

Amatriciana with Braised Pork Shoulder 107

Neapolitan-Style Short Rib & Caramelized Onion Ragu 110

Italian Sausage Bolognese 114

Osso Buco & Prosciutto Ragu 117

Spiced Lamb Ragu with Marsala & Fennel 119


Dried Pasta

Pasta e Fagioli with Black-Eyed Peas, Collard Greens & Prosciutto 123

Cacio e Pepe Pastina 124

Pasta Gemma 125

Broccoli Soup with Broken Linguine 129

Leftover Spaghetti & Meatball Frittata 131

Fresh Pasta

Southern-Style Eggless Pasta 134

Fusilli 135

Capunti 137

Orecchiette 138

Fusilli & Scampi, New Orleans Style 140

Orecchiette with Chickpeas, Turmeric & Dandelion Greens 143

Capunti with Clams, Capocollo & Potato 144

Northern-Style Egg Yolk Pasta 147

Fazzoletti 149

Sorpresine 150

Farfalle 151

Sorpresine with Mussels, Guajillo, Cilantro & Lime 153

Farfalle with White Vodka Sauce 155

Fazzoletti with Pesto Bianco 156

Gnocchi & Gnudi

Polenta Gnocchi with Rosemary, Honey & Toasted Sesame 159

Potato Gnocchi with Chive & Dill in Taleggio Cream Sauce 161

Ricotta Gnudi with Peanuts, Cilantro & Roasted Grapes 163

Lasagna & Baked Pastas

Scalloped Potato Lasagna Bianca 169

Lasagna Verde with Pistachio Pesto 172

Don Angie Pinwheel Lasagna 175

Eggplant Parm Pinwheel Lasagna 178

Grandma Addario's Lasagna with Tiny Meatballs 180

Stuffed Shells with Clams, Spinach & Pancetta 181

Baked Ziti Nerano with Zucchini & Provolone 185

Semolina Crepe Manicotti 186

Sausage-Stuffed Rigatoni with Peppers & Onions 189


Classic Meatballs 193

Mortadella & Chicken Meatballs 195

Broccoli & Farro Polpette 196

Eggplant Polpette 198

Veal Piccata Meatballs 200

Pork Meatballs with Caramelized Fennel 201

Chicken & 'Nduja Meatballs 203

Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Currants, Almonds & Feta 204

Sardine Polpette 207

Shrimp Parm Meatballs 208


Layered Eggplant Parm 213

Polenta Rossa with Eggs & Roasted Tomatoes 216

Savoy Cabbage with Browned Butter, Tomato & Mozz 219

Sesame-Seared Fish with Sicilian Red Pesto 220

Chicken Milanese with Fresh Fennel, Herbs, Honey & Mustard 222

Chicken Parm 226

Chicken Scarpariello with Sweet & Sour Vinegar Peppers 227

Campari & Orange Sticky Ribs 229

Pork Chop alla Pizzaiola 230

Pizza Chiena (Easter Pie) 233

Steak al Limone 235

Veal Milanese da Pepi 236


Spaghetti Squash Aglio e Olio 241

Brussels Sprouts Calabrese with Spicy Colatura Vinaigrette 242

Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Italian Dressing 245

Sicilian-Style Roasted Cauliflower 246

Charred Broccoli with Pecorino & Toasted Sesame 249

Broccoli Rabe & Provolone Gratin 250

Roasted Potatoes Oreganata 251

Mushrooms in Gorgonzola Cream Sauce 253

Eggplant Agrodolce with Spiced Pignoli Brittle 254

Saltimbocca-Style Fennel with Prosciutto & Fontina 257

Dessert & After Dinner Drinks

Rosemary & Lemon Pignoli Cookies 261

Ginger & Lemon Ricotta Cookies 263

Cocoa & Coffee Almond Cookies 264

Pecorino & Pecan Shortbread Cookies 266

Polenta Snickerdoodles 267

Grandpa Rito's Cannoli 271

Ricotta Pie with Coconut & Lime 273

Vietnamese Coffee Tiramisu 277

No-Bake Spumoni Cheesecake with Cherries, Pistachio & White Chocolate 279

Honey Zeppole 283

Hazelnut Torta Caprese with Sweetened Crème Fraîche 284

Tre Latte Olive Oil Cake 287

After-Dinner Drinks

Nocino with Espresso Beans & Lemon 291

Homemade Sambuca 292

Toasted Hazelnut & Orange Liqueur 293

Citrus 'Cello 295

Basics 297

Further Reading 309

Acknowledgments 310

Index 313

Customer Reviews

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