the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “Italian”

Rigatoni alla Genovese

Main Course Italian Onion Pasta


  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef or pork
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • 1/2 lb. rigatoni
  • 3/4 c. shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. cream
  • 1/4-1/2 c. dry white wine
  • olive oil


Liberally coat the bottom of a heavy bottom sauce pot with olive oil. Add all the onions, coat with more olive oil and a liberal amount of salt. Stir to combine. Cover and heat on medium for 40 minutes, stirring every 10-20 minutes. If the onions are completely translucent and a good amount of liquid has appeared, stir in the meat and garlic. Stir hard and long to completely break apart the meat and combine it with the onions. Cover and simmer on very low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 mins or so.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook the rigatoni until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, deglaze the pot with the wine, stir to combine and turn the heat to medium-low to cook off the wine. Reduce heat back to very low, stir the cream into the sauce, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, stirring to combine. Spoon the pasta onto plates and cover each with 1/4 cup shaved parmesan.

Raymond’s Food, edited

Tuscan-Style Beef Stew

Main Course Beef Italian


  • 4 lb. boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (or a 5 lb. chuck roast)
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle Chianti
  • 1 c. water
  • 4 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 garlic head, cloves separated, unpeeled, and crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. cracked black peppercorns, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tbsp. gelatin
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch


1. Toss beef and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt together in bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef in single layer and cook until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total, reducing heat if fond begins to burn. Stir in 2 cups wine, water, shallots, carrots, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, cracked peppercorns, gelatin, tomato paste, anchovy paste, and remaining beef. Bring to simmer and cover tightly with sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, then lid. Transfer to oven and cook until beef is tender, 2 to 2 1/4 hours, stirring halfway through cooking time.

3. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to bowl; cover tightly with foil and set aside. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Wipe out pot with paper towels. Let liquid settle for 5 minutes, then return defatted liquid to pot.

4. Add 1 cup wine and ground black pepper and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened to consistency of heavy cream, 12 to 15 minutes.

5. Combine remaining wine and cornstarch in small bowl. Reduce heat to medium-low, return beef to pot, and stir in cornstarch-wine mixture. Cover and simmer until just heated through, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve over polenta, passing extra cracked peppercorns separately. (Stew can be made up to 3 days in advance.)


Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

Main Course Italian Sausage


  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1½ pounds sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. red grapes, halved lengthwise (3 cups)
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh mint


Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange sausages in pan and cook, turning once, until browned on 2 sides, about 5 minutes. Tilt skillet and carefully remove excess fat with paper towel (no, really, you want a dry skillet at this point). Distribute grapes and onion over and around sausages. Add water and immediately cover. Cook, turning sausages once, until they register between 160 and 165 degrees and onions and grapes have softened, about 10 minutes.

Transfer sausages to paper towel–lined plate and tent with aluminum foil. Return skillet to medium-high heat and stir pepper and salt into grape-onion mixture. Spread grape-onion mixture in even layer in skillet and cook without stirring until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is well browned and grapes are soft but still retain their shape, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat to medium, stir in wine and oregano, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until wine is reduced by half, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar.

Arrange sausages on serving platter and spoon grape-onion mixture over top. Sprinkle with mint and serve with crusty bread or over polenta.

Ragu alla Bolognese

Main Course Italian Pasta Sauce Untested


  • 1 ½ lb beef (oxtail, short rib, shank—something with fat, flavor, and preferably some marrow and gelatin), in one or two large pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and minced
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 lb ground pork (preferably from the shoulder)
  • ½ cup minced pancetta
  • 1 small can whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), drained and crushed
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf


Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Season the beef on all sides with salt and cook until deeply browned all over. Remove from the pan.

If the pan is dry, add another splash of oil. Sauté the carrot, celery, and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pork and pancetta and cook until lightly browned, then stir in the tomato and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Return the beef to the pan, add the wine, stock, bay leaf and cover. Turn the heat to low and simmer for two hours, until the beef is falling apart.

Shred the beef by hand or with two forks and fold back into the sauce, discarding any bones, excess fat, or cartilage. If the sauce looks too dry, add a splash of broth or water to get the right consistency. Serve over pasta with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Makes about 8 servings.

Matt Goulding, Roads and Kingdoms

Cauliflower Pizza Dough

Main Course Italian Pizza Untested


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • A dollop of goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parm (or more)
  • Salt, pepper, and any other seasoning or herb you want in the dough
  • Garlic or garlic powder
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Sliced tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
  • Basil
  • More parm, to sprinkle on top (or whatever toppings instead of these last four)


First, grind up the cauliflower in your food processor. Don’t have a food processor? That’s fine, you can use a box grater, though it will take more time.

Next, cook the cauliflower—you can heat it up in your microwave for 5 minutes, or cook it (for that same amount of time) with a little bit of water in a pot or pan. After it cools (you can put it in the fridge to speed along this process) place it into a piece of cheesecloth and wring every last drop of water out of it. This is important!

Now you have a nice ball of dry cauliflower “flour,” which you will mix with one egg, a dollop of goat cheese, a half a cup or so of grated parm, and any seasoning you want. Honestly, once you have the egg and cauliflower in there, you don’t have to be exact in what type or how much cheese to add.

Once that’s done, form it into a pizza crust and bake at 425ºF for about 10 minutes (until it starts to get golden). Do this on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and WITHOUT any toppings.

Remove your dough from the oven and add your toppings (we recommend putting a little garlic powder on the dough before you start topping it—cauliflower has a pretty bland taste, so don’t be afraid to season). Then return it to the oven to cook for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.


Braised Pork Cheeks

Main Course Italian Pasta Pork


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds pork cheeks, silver skin, fat, and cartilage removed
  • 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 leek, white part only, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 cups veal or pork stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bunches baby mâche or 28 oz. can diced tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pork cheeks and sear until well caramelized on all sides, about 4 minutes each side. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add the celery, carrots, onions, leeks, and garlic and sauté until tender and browned, about 10 minutes. Add the honey and mix well. Return the pork to the pot and stir. Add the red wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Add the stock and return to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and braise until the meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Strain the braising liquid into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by a little more than half, about 10 minutes. Skim the fat from the top. Return the pork to the liquid and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Alternatively: After removing the pork from the pot, do not strain the braising liquid (remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves). Add a 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes and reduce until it forms a proper tomato sauce. Shred the pork cheeks and return them to the sauce, and serve over pasta.

Adapted from James Beard Foundation

Broiled Mussels with Garlicky Herb Butter

Main Course Italian Mussels


  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Pernod or pastis
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs


In a food processor, pulse together parsley, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Pulse in butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons Pernod until mixture is combined. Scrape into a bowl.

In a soup pot with a tightfitting lid, combine mussels, 1/4 cup pastis and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until mussels have opened, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer mussels to a bowl until cool enough to handle; remove meat from the shells (reserving shells) and transfer to a bowl.

Pry apart mussel shells and arrange half the shells on one or two large baking sheets; discard remaining shells. Place one mussel in each shell. Top each with a small spoonful of herb butter and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Mussels may be made up to 1 day ahead up to this point; wrap baking sheets and mussels in plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, heat broiler to high and arrange a rack 4 inches from the heat. Transfer tray(s) to the oven and broil until bread crumbs are golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Melissa Clark, New York Times

Involtini di Pesce Spada (Swordfish Rollups)

Main Course Fish Italian


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 3/4 cups unseasoned dried breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 lemon, half juiced, half thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, half juiced, half thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried currants [CP: can sub cranberries, white raisins]
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts [CP: can sub pecans]
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound swordfish, sliced into 8 thin pieces [CP: can sub flounder]
  • 12 bay leaves, preferably fresh


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle the bottom of a medium baking dish with olive oil.

Combine the 1/4 cup olive oil and onion in a medium skillet and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about three minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, mixing everything together until the breadcrumbs have absorbed the oil. Return to low heat and toast the breadcrumbs slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon and orange juices, the currants, pine nuts, and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lay a piece of swordfish on a work surface and put a heaping tablespoon of the breadcrumb filling (squeeze it in your hand to compact it) in the center and roll up. Repeat with the remaining swordfish and filling.

Pour some olive oil into a shallow bowl and fill another shallow pan with the remaining 2 cups breadcrumbs. Dip each roll-up first in the oil, then dredge in the breadcrumbs until lightly coated. Place the swordfish roll-ups snugly in the baking dish and tuck the bay leaves and lemon and orange slices between the rolls. Drizzle with some more olive ol and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.

Fabrizia Lanza, via Ciao Chow Linda

Lidia Bastianich’s Baccala Mantecato (Creamy Whipped Salt Cod)

Side Dish Fish Italian


  • 1 pound(s) salt cod, soaked overnight
  • 1 medium russet potato
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup(s) light cream
  • 1/2 cup(s) poaching water from baccala


Soak the salt cod overnight in a large bowl of cold water, changing the water often, to remove the excess salt. Cut the cod into 6-inch pieces and put them in a saucepan with water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and cook the salt cod for about 20 minutes, until it just begins to flake. Do not let the fish break apart. Reserve 1/2 c. of the poaching liquid from the fish. Remove the cod to a colander to drain and cool.

Meanwhile, rinse the russet potato, but leave it whole and unpeeled. Cook the potato in its skin until it is cooked through and easily pierced with a knife. Let it cool, and then peel the skin away with the back side of a knife.

Set up a food processor with steel knife blade. Put in the cooked salt cod and pulse it a few times to break up the fish. Add the minced garlic and pulse a few more times. Add the potato and light cream and turn the food processor on. Puree the mixture while adding the olive oil in a thin stream. If the mixture is too dense, thin it with some of the cod poaching liquid. Season with freshly ground pepper. The baccala is best served warm as a spread for grilled country bread or crostini, or even as a dip for crudités.


Spaghetti with Sea Urchin

Main Course Side Dish Italian Uni


  • 1 lb. spaghetti, prepared per package directions
  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb. sea urchin roe (uni)
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 bunch chives, minced
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper


Whisk sea urchin roe, chives, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste), and half the olive oil together. Set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil and garlic in a large skillet for a few minutes. Remove garlic. Toss with spaghetti. Transfer to a bowl and toss with sea urchin mixture. Serve.

from Weird Combinations, edited