Cooking Italian Recipes



2 heads of escarole, washed and cut into 1-2 inch segments
4-6 links of sweet Italian sausage (remove the casings and discard them), cut into 1-inch segments
2 cans organic Cannellini beans
1-quart low-sodium, organic chicken stock
2 cups water
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 (or more) cloves of garlic, minced
1-3 segments Parmesan Reggiano rind (if available) (see Note below)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Reggiano (in soup if rind not available) (see Note below)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Crush red pepper flakes (optional)
Grated Parmesan Reggiano for garnish (but be careful as you may end up over salting your soup) 


Remove and discard outer, possibly discolored leaves of the heads of escarole.

Wash, drain and cut the escarole into 1-2 inch segments.

Pour canned beans into a colander, rinse, and drain; set aside.

Dice 1 medium-sized yellow onion; set aside.

Mince garlic; set aside.

Remove the outer casings of the sausage and cut the sausage into 1-inch segments; set aside.

Heat large soup pot on medium-high. When hot, add the olive oil and sausage segments, cook until browned on all sides. (about 5-7 minutes)

Remove sausage using slotted spoon.

Remove all but one tablespoon of rendered fat from pot.

Add onions, cook until translucent.

Add garlic, cook about 1 minutes.

Return sausage to the pot.


Add the chicken stock, water, beans, and red pepper flakes (if desired).


Add the Parmiggiano Reggiano rind/s (or grated if rind not available), and red pepper flakes if desired; cook for 10 minutes.
Note: At this point, you’re probably going to take a taste and think that it needs salt but DO 
NOTE : add salt because as the rind (or grated cheese) cooks it will begin to release it’s salt (and it is salty). Let the soup cook for the 10 minutes then…
Remove rind/s.

Season to taste with black pepper.

Season to taste with kosher salt, if needed, you may not.

Add escarole pieces no more than 1-2 minutes before serving.

This way they will retain their color and crispness.

The soup is ready!


Timballo di Polpette


1 pound Arborio Rice

1 small Onion, peeled and diced fine

3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 cup Tomato Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Salt


12 ounces ground Beef

1 large Egg

1/2 teaspoon each of Salt & Black Black Pepper 

1/2 cup Breadcrumbs mixed with 1/4 cup Milk

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped fine

Vegetable Oil for Frying Meatballs

1/4 cup Flour


NOTE : Bake these Timballi in a standard Muffin Pan, or individual molds if you have them. Grease your muffin pan (or molds) with softened butter.


1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1/2 cup Provolone or Caciocavallo Cheese

1/c cup Boiled Ham, diced


    In a large mixing bowl, add the ground Beef, Salt & Black Pepper, grated Parmigiano, chopped Parlsey, breadcrumbs, and Egg, mix until well incorporated.

    Shape the beef mixture into small meatballs, a bit smaller than a Walnut and place on a dry sheet pan. Once all the meat has been formed into small meatballs, take each meatball and dredge in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off excess flour and place the meatball back on pan. Repeat until all the meatballs have been coated with the flour.

    Pour the vegetable oil into a non-stick pan, and heat over high heat until the oil is at frying temp. Cook the meatballs in two batches over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides, then place on pan with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 

  2. Set meatballs aside to cool.
  3. Rice Preparation :

    Fill a large pot with the Olive Oil and chopped Onion and cook on medium heat for 4 minutes. Add rice aand 1/2 teaspoon Salt and cook for 2 minutes on low heat. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to the boil.  Cook the rice at a medium simmer for 12 minutes. Drain rice in a wire strainer or colander.

  4. Let the rice cool for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon of White Pepper to the rice and mix. Add 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano to rice and mix. Add 1 cup Tomato Sauce to rice and mix.

  5. Meanwhile butter the molds and set aside.

    Form a layer of rice at the base and in the edges and press with the back of the spoon, place the ham in the center, the Provolone and a Meatball, a little tomato sauce and a bit of Parmesan, cover with rice. 

    Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 18 minutes.

  6. As the timballi are baking, heat remaining tomato sauce.

  7. Remove from the oven to cool for 5 minutes, gently flip on a plate and

  8. Place a little tomato sauce on a plate, place one Timballo on top of sauce, then garnish with a nice Basil Flower for each. Serve your guests.

  9. .
  10. .

Excerpted form POSITANO The AMALFI COAST, the forthcoming new book of Best Selling Italian Cookbook author Daniel Bellino Zwicke






Travel Guide / Cookbook







Pasta alla Norcina

Pasta with Sausages & Cream
Serves 4
4 links Italian Sweet Sausage, removed from casing and crumpled
1 small Carrot, chopped finely
1 clove Garlic, peeled
Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana Cheese (grated)
1 pound short pasta of your choice (Rigatoni, Sedani, Cavatappi, etc.)
1 – 1/2 ounces Black Truffle Pate (paste), you can buy at local gourmet store or Amazon
Put on a large pot filled with water for cooking the pasta. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to the boil.
Add 4 tablespoons  of olive oil in a pan,  and turn heat on a low flame. Add the whole Garlic clove and cook for 3 minutes to flavor the oil. Remove garlic from pan, and discard.
Add chopped carrot to pan and cook on low heat for 3 minutes.
Add pasta to the boiling salted water to start cooking as you finish the sauce. The pasta will take about 11 minutes to cook in most cases.
Add in the sausage meat that has been broken into pieces to the pan. Raise the heat to a medium flame and cook until the sausage is cooked almost completely throughout. Add in the cream, a pinch of Salt and Black Pepper and cook on medium heat and let it reduce by half. 
Shut off the heat until your pasta is ready. Then on low heat, bring your sauce back up.
Add pasta to the boiling salted water to start cooking with the water at a full boil. The pasta will take about 11 minutes to cook in most cases. You can start checking the pasta for done-ness at about 9 minutes, by removing one piece of pasta, run it under cold water to cool, then bite into it to see if it’s almost done. You can do this one or two more times, and cook accordingly for another 2 to 3 minutes.
When the pasta is done, turn heat off and drain the cooked pasta from the water  rand place directly into pan. reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water for the sauce.
Drain in a colander, then put the pasta immediately back in the pot it cooked in 
Add half of the reserved pasta water to sauce and cook the sauce over low heat for two minutes. Add the sauce to the pot with the pasta and mix. Turn heat to very low flame, add the Truffles and cook while mixing the pasta and sauce for about 90 seconds. Turn the heat off.
Add 1/3 of the grated cheese and mix. 
Plate on to four plates, dividing the past equally among the plates. Serve immediately.
If you can’t find Black Truffle Pate at any of your local stores, you can buy this or any other brand you like on
Read of Author
Daniel Bellino’s Truffle Adventures

  • 3 separated eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar 
  • 1 – 1/2 cups Almond Flour 
  • 4 ounces Modica Chocolate or other High-Quality Dark Chocolate
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup peeled Almonds
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until it becomes a light yellow cream.
Add the almond flour to the egg yolks and mix very well.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie bath and add it to the mixture of eggs and almond flour, mixing everything together.
Add the whipped egg whites  slowly without having them disassembled .
Place in a greased and floured baking pan, sink the peeled almonds inside and bake for 25-30 minutes at 400F.
Allow to cool, remove the cake and sprinkle with powdered sugar.