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In Little Italy Cookbook, three-time three-star chef David Ruggerio, owner of several of New York's finest restaurants, returned to his Italian roots for his first cookbook. Ruggerio tours New York's Little Italy, exploring and celebrating traditional Italian-American family recipes. The delicious offerings include such dishes as Grilled Vegetable Pizza, Fusilli with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Sausage, Pumpkin Gnocchi, Orecchiette with Peas and Prosciutto, Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Polenta with Ragu of Wild Mushrooms and Amaretto-Chocolate Cheesecake--dishes that are easy to cook and fun to eat. The book also includes illustrated features on the bakeries, pastry shops, and pizza restaurants unique to Little Italy.
With evocative photographs of the people and places that represent Little Italy for Ruggerio--from Mulberry Street to Coney Island--Little Italy Cookbook invites us to enjoy the culture and cuisine he loves.
|Product dimensions:||8.36(w) x 10.24(h) x 0.86(d)|
About the Author
Brooklyn-born David Ruggerio has worked in professional kitchens since the age of 14 and apprenticed with some of the greatest chefs in France, including Michel Guerard, Roger Verge, Jacques Maximin, and Paul Bocuse.
Photographer Melanie Acevedo lives and works in New York City. She loves to cook, eat, and photograph food (especially Italian).
Read an Excerpt
Eggs in Purgatory
This food was a traditional breakfast at the neighborhood luncheonette for all the guys after a long night out. The only problem was that Frankie the cook never made it as good or as spicy as my grandmother does.
Use a loaf of Italian bread that is about 4 1/2 inches in diameter so the slices will be big enough for an egg to fit inside the cored-out pieces.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups diced, seeded, peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium-size sauce pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until it turns translucent. Add the red pepper flakes, tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Cook for about 20 minutes over low heat. Reserve.
Cut a circle in the center of each bread slice with a medium-size cookie cutter. Discard the cut centers. (You can give them to your kids or, if you don't have any, to the neighbors' kids; they love the soft insides of the bread.)
Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick saute pan. Place the bread slices in the oil. Cook on one side until nicely browned. Flip the slices to the other side. Crack an egg into the center of each slice of bread. Continue to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat until the eggs are firm. Carefully remove the bread-and-egg combination with a spatula and place on a plate. Top with the sauce, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve.
Fusilli with Radicchio
Here is an excellent example of a pasta dish that can be the centerpiece of a light meal, preceded by an appetizer and/or followed by a salad. This type of dish is quick and simple to prepare and so delicious. The key is fresh ingredients. The pasta should be served al dente and piping hot.
Serves 4 to 6 as a first course or main dish
1 pound fusilli
3 heads radicchio
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces bacon, cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.
Cut the cores out of the radicchio. Remove the leaves and cut out the large, tough white center. Place 2 to 3 leaves at a time on top of each other. Roll them into a cigar shape. Cut into julienne strips.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until it is very crisp. Remove and reserve. Add the pepper flakes to the same pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the radicchio and saute for 1 minute. Season with the salt and pepper. Combine the radicchio with the pasta, add the bacon, and toss with the butter. Sprinkle with the
Table of Contents
Like every true Italian nonna, my grandmother, Mary Lazzarino, epitomizes all the love that goes into Italian-American cooking. In this chapter you will find those special recipes that my nonna cooked for me, and that still evoke warm memories of my childhood, including Potato Frittata, Prosciutto Bread, Bracciole, Eggs in Purgatory, and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes.
Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan, with its many restaurants, cafes, and groceries, represents Little Italy for millions of people across America. You can create the spirit of Little Italy in your own kitchen with such classic dishes as Mozzarella in Carrozza, Caponata, Pasta e Fagiole, Pizza Margherita, and Rigatoni alla Vodka.
Cooking seafood always takes me back to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, the inlet between Coney Island and the Rockaways with its mile-long waterfront strip where the smells of the sea mingle with the delicious aromas of the restaurants. Sheepshead Bay has inspired recipes like Brochettes of Octopus and Squid, Crostini of Clams, Mussels, and Shrimp, Spaghetti with Crabs, and Swordfish and Shellfish Stew.
Vegetable gardens are a strong tradition in our community, and my friend Mimmo had one of the best in the old neighborhood. Mimmo's abundant crop resulted in many memorable recipes, including Grilled Vegetable Pizza, Pasta with Wild Greens and Ricotta, Sicilian Roasted Pepper Salad, Stuffed Escarole Leaves, and Vegetable Tart.
La caccia, the hunt, always meant brisk days in the country, the companionship of close friends and family, and the great meals and story-telling that accompanied these special times. Whether we were hunting mushrooms for the sauce or game for the main dish, these hearty dishes--Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Pumpkin Gnocchi, Rigatoni with Mushroom Sauce, Wild Duck with Lentils--always tasted just right when we came in from the cold.
The two biggest and most sacred holidays in our culture are, of course, Christmas and Easter. Special seafood dishes, such as Christmas Eve Fried Eels, Christmas Fish Stew, and Baccala with Potatoes and Olives, always signaled Christmastime, while Easter celebrations called for the traditional Roasted Suckling Lamb, Pizza Rustica, and Pizza di Grano (Grain Pie).
Like most people I know, I have a sweet tooth. Luckily for me, the cuisine of Little Italy features many excellent desserts, from simple Almond Biscotti to rich Zabaglione. This chapter also includes fruit-based delicacies such as Sicilian Citrus Granita, Honey-Fried Canteloupe, and Peaches in Red Wine, as well as the incomparable Amaretto-Chocolate Cheesecake.
Friends are sacred to Italian-Americans. The recipes in this chapter are adapted from dishes my friends have cooked for me over the years, including Cousin Vinny's Linguine with Scallop Sauce, Tortellini alla Danny, Mamma Palumbo's Egg Croquettes, and Joey "Bats" Cannelloni.
Tips and Fundamentals