Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Best Ever Minestrone Soup Recipe



Ingredients :

1/4 pound Cannellini or Borlotti (cranberry) beans, soaked overnight

3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 leeks, washed and chopped, white part only 1 medium eggplant (1 pound), peeled and diced 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 2 ribs celery, sliced 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 2 medium tomatoes, diced 2 cups hot chicken broth 4 cups hot water, plus extra if needed 1 cup chopped raw spinach 1 cup diced zucchini 1 cup shredded green cabbage 1/4 pound vermicelli or stelline pasta 3 tablespoons Basil Pesto Salt and pepper to taste


Drain the beans from the overnight soaking water, place them in a pot, cover with water, cook about 30 minutes or until still quite al dente, and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, leeks, eggplant, carrots, celery and potatoes and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to exude their juices.

Add the tomatoes, hot broth, hot water, beans and additional hot water to just cover the mixture. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for about 30 minutes.

Add the spinach, zucchini, cabbage and pasta and cook another 20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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BASIL PESTO for MINESTORNE GENOVESE and to Sauce the PASTA of Your Choice

Who doesn't Love Pesto ? Well I guess there may be some, but for the most part, just about everyone loves this wonderful no-cook Italian Sauce that highlights some of Italy's most iconic ingredients which include ; fresh garden Basil, Italian Olive Oil, garlic, Pignoli Nuts, and Parmigiano Reggiano . In Genoa and Liguria where Pesto was first born and is famous for there, there are primarily two ways to use this wonderful cold sauce, number one is to coat any one of a variety of pasta shapes to make a tasty pasta dish of Maccheroni & Pesto or pesto's second most important use is as the main flavor enhancer of Minestrone Genovese, the greatest vegetable soup of all.


  • 3/4 cup pine nuts (6 ounces)

  • 5 cups basil leaves, chilled and very dry

  • 6 small garlic cloves, quartered

  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sealing

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

    1. Put the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Toss in the nuts, Parmesan, if using, pepper and salt and chop until the nuts are finely crushed, about 1 minute. Add the basil, oil and lemon juice and pulse for 1 minute more, until smooth. 

    2. To store, transfer the pesto to a sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, seal and refrigerate up to 10 days or freeze up to 3 months.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

America 's Best Italian- American Cookbook Author


  There lives in New York City's Greenwich Village Italian neighborhood an author named Daniel Bellino Zwicke .. Daniel is the Best Selling author of much loved Italian Cookbooks as Sunday Sauce, Grandma Bellino'z Italian Coobook, La Tavola, and The Feast of The Seven Fish / Italian Christmas  ... There is no other Italian Cookbook author quite like Daniel. For one Daniel was a real restaurant chef helming the kitchens of some of New York's finest restaurants as well as creating America's FIRST Ever Venetian Wine Bar / Restaurant (known as a Bacaro). In writing such beloved Italian Cookbooks as Segreto Italiano, Sunday Sauce, and The Feast of The Seven Fish, Daniel is famous for 3 main aspects in writings of Italian Food and Wine. The three great aspects of Daniel's unique writing style is the great love and passion Daniel has for his subject matter, his unique storytelling style and the ease, authenticity, and accuracy of his recipes. Daniel Bellino Zwicke has carved out his own special niche in his food and cultural writings and that is that he has now established himself as the undisputed pre-eminent writer of Italian-American Food Cooking and Culture. And Daniel Bellino Zwicke is without question the world's number one proponent of Italian-American Food and Cuisine as a true and legitimate world cuisine. Daniel's fans and followers are enamored with Daniel's Italian Cookbooks which combine wonderful Italian Food Recipes that are coupled with delightful stories and facts of the food, the recipes, history, and people's of Italian-America. So we salute this Greenwich Village based food, wine, & travel writer and recorder of the Italian-American lifestyle one Daniel Bellino-Zwicke. Bravo!

Anhtony Roma




Look for Daniel's soon to be Released MANGIA ITALIANO

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ronzoni Sono Buoni "Ronzoni Pasta is So Good"

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Rigatoni No. 27

"Ronzoni Sono Buoni," if you are Italian and grew up in the New York area in the great decades of the 1960's and or 70s you know the slogan. We Italians do love our pasta, we're weened on it! Pasta is the main staple of our diet. Many are fanatical about and love it so, they insist on having it several times a week. I'm one. Pasta, can be covered in a wide variety of sauces,  in some soups like; Pasta Fagoli (Pasta Fazool), in Minestrone's, with Pasta and Peas, and Pasta con Ceci (Chick Peas). Yes, we are weened on it. Mommy gave me, my bothers and sister Pastina coated in a bit of butter and Parmigiano when we were just toddlers  and every so often I have to pick up a box of Ronzoni Pastina, as I love and crave it still, and of late as with many my age, you start craving things you loved as a child, thus my stints with Pastina. "Ronzoni Sono Buoni," it means, Ronzoni is So Good, and that it is. This brand of Pasta, born in New York City at the turn of the 20th Century has been a mainstay of not only Italian-Americans of the East Coast but, for all. For years before the surge of many a imported pasta product in the U.S., Ronzoni, was not the only game in town for Macaroni, there was the Prince and Creamette, as well, but Ronzoni dominated the market and though I don't have stats, I would wage to say that 85 to 90 % of all commercial pasta sold in the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia areas was Ronzoni, the pasta in the bright blue boxes, Ronzoni Sono Buoni. God I wonder how many plates and bowls of Spaghetti, Ziti and other Ronzoni pastas I ate over the years, starting with Pastina as a toddler  and moving to Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce or Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Stuffed Shells and more. Oh “Stuffed Shells,” they bring back memories of my mother who loved them. We had them often, along with Lasagna made with Ronzoni Lasagana. You don't see Stuffed Shells around that much any more, they used to be on many a restaurant and even more home menus. There popularity has waned, but every once and a while I'll pick up a box of Ronzoni large shells, just for the purpose of bringing back those memories of mom making them and me loving them as  a child. I'll make a batch of tomato sauce, cook the Ronzoni Shells, and stuff them with ricotta and Parmigiano, bake them in tomato sauce, and "Voila" Stuffed Shells of days gone by. I do the same with a Pastina as I still love the dish so, dressed with butter and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano, “makes me feel like a kid again!” Yum, delicious little pleasure you can whip up in minutes and bring back visions of your youth. All with some butter, Parmigiano and a box of Ronzoni Pastina. That's Ronzoni, every bit a part of my life and youth as a spring ol Slinky, Etch-A-Sketch, The Three Stooges, Saturday Morning Cartoons, and all the favorites of my youth, Ronzon Sono Buoni, “Ronzoni it's so good!”

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Sunday Sauce


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Sicilian Ziti and Meatballs

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"It's Really Italian" !!!
For years now, many so called food Experts who thought they knew more than they actually did wrote disdainfully of the famed Italian dish Spaghetti & Meatballs, saying "it was not authentic Italian food," and is Psuedo Italian. Well, "oh Contraire." Guess what? Spaghetti & Meatballs is Italian. Or should I say Pasta & Metaballs. Yes, pasta with meatballs is a dish eaten quite often in southern Italy and the regions of Puglia, Sicily, and Abruuzo, a native dish is Pasta, (usually short Maccheroni) dressed with Meatballs as a special treat .. The names pf these dishes are called Pasta Seduta, meaning Seated Pasta and Maccaroni Azzese .. Yes Pasta w/ Meatballs, "It's really Italian."   I myself have written about this in my book SUNDAY SAUCE -When Italian-Americans Cook, where I stated at the time that I had hear of certain areas serving Meatballs along with their pasta. And even before I heard this I surmised that out of so many millions of poor Italians over the years it was most certain that in poor familys not wanting to wash more than 1 dish per person eating that momma would not serve pasta and meatballs in seperate courses but together on one plate of Pasta & Meatballs (Spagetti Meatballs). And so as stated before Pasta with Meatballs is an authentic dish served all over Southern Italy, it's reall Italian Food and has names for it, again Pasta Seduta and Maccheroni Azzese .. So there, "In your face Food Snobs," snubbing our beloved Spaghetti & Meatballs, no it's not just Italian-American, which is not a bad thing, it's really Real italian and the mystery and controversy is now setted, it's Spaghetti & Meatballs, millions love it, and billions of plates have been served over the years. Why? People love it, as simple as that ..
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Mangia Bene !!!
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Sicilian American Wedding Dinner
Pasta Seduta from Puglia
 are Ziti (Zite) Baked with Meatballs & Mozzarella
In Sicily Zite used to be the Riguer at Weddings Maccarrune di Zita was served with stew pork or Meatballs and was made in large quanities as it was the tradition to bring a hearty plate of pasta as a gift to neighbors both rich and poor. Today in Sicily the word Zite means Bride. Maccheroni di Zita got its name from its role in wedding banquets, the name meant Maccheroni della Sposa, "of the Bride." A little before my time, most Italian-American Weddings were helf in family homes at local club or in a church basement or similar circumstance and the food was made by friends and family and not a caterer. By the time I was a child often at birthday parties, baby christenings or wedding rehersals, the family would make it's own food for the event and not have it catered. And I remember at all these Christneing and what-not, the spread of food was usually Mixed Antipasto Platters and trays of Eggplant Parmigiano and Baked Ziti, along with all sorts of sweet treats like Cannolis, Cookies, and cakes for the dessert course.
Ah, "the Good Old Day," those dishes cooked by my Aunts Helen and Fran along with my Uncle Tony who was quite a good cook as weel, were better than any catered wedding or other party I've ever been to. No comparison. Basta !
When Italian-Americans Cook
by Danny Bolognese
. . .

Friday, November 25, 2016

Corner Bistro Greenwich Village Burger

  screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-12-27-27-pm   Happy to see Corner Bistro's Burger can still make it to # 1 Best of New York list these days. I've been eating Cheeseburgers there since 1984. Yes 26 Years of Bistro Burgers. Back then, the Burger at the Corner Bistro was for Year-After-Year thee perennial favorite, # 1, Top, Best Burger in New York, rated by the Top and most Powerful food Authorities of the day, New York Magazine, The NY Times, Cue Magazine, The Post, The Village Voice, GQ, Bob Lape on 7's Eyewitness News, The Daily News, so on and so forth. Nine out of ten people, newspapers, and news agency's, The Bistro Burger was always "Tops," # 1. It no longer is. And it was tops for some 30 years. Quite a run. Sadly the quality of the Burger has gone down a bit, and there are numerous chemistry better, tastier Burgers in town. Shake Shack get my Vote for the Top, New York's best Burger, with Bills Bar and Burger and Peter Luger not far behind. But the Shake Shack Burger has all the proper elements that come together and make for perfect chemistry of, dear I say, "The Perfect Burger." Well if not the perfect Burger, New York's Best, or at least amongst the Best, everyone has their opinion. Some not as qualified as others. As I've been eating the East Coast's Best Burgers since childhood, and being a former Chef Culinary Professional, I have greater qualifications than most.
The Shake Shack Burgers elements that make it so good, are: Top Quality Beef, Just the right size and thickness, not too thin nor too thick, which unfortunately many think makes a burger is better, the thicker it is. Not so. A 6 oz., 3/4" Burger is Best and it has to be cooked on a Flat-Top Grill cooking in its own fat to qualify amongst the best. Cooking on a grated grill, just won't do. You'll often get terribly overcooked hard spots, losing all important beef fat for the burger to cook in. You'll need a good hamburger bun, toasted preferred, not too fancy, and a major No-No is the use of an English Muffin. Though i Love them for breakfast, English Muffins are a terrible choice, pairing to a Burger. the Burger has to be properly cooked
And one of thee most important rules to a great Burger, it can't cost more than $6.50, and about $4.50 is even better. The Shake Shake burger meets all these requirements, even exceeding them.
Back to the Bistro Burger. For nostalgias sake and Price to value ratio, combined with the great old New York Bar ambiance, The Bistro Burger always makes it on my Top 10 List. As the Post states, to be able to get a great burger for just $6.50 with Beers at $2.75 in one of New York's few remaining Bohemian Bars, and in Greenwich Village? A combination that just can't be beat.
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
The Menu
A Rare Sight
"It's Closed"

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Caffe Reggio n Caravaggio

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-1-06-37-pm Caffe Reggio is a New York City coffeehouse first opened in 1927 at 119 Macdougal Street in the heart of Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Italian cappuccino was introduced in America by the founder of Caffe Reggio, Domenico Parisi, in the early 1920s.[1] Inside the cafe, against the back wall, there is still the original espresso machine, made in 1902, that Domenico Parisi bought with his savings when he opened the cafe in 1927. The Caffe Reggio has been featured in many movies, including The Godfather Part II, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, The Kremlin Letter, Shaft, Serpico, The Next Man, In Good Company, Inside Llewyn Davis and others. Many celebrities have been spotted or photographed in this location. In 1959, presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy made a speech outside the coffee shop. In 2010, the cafe was honored with a Village Award[2] by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for its status as a beloved and essential part of the neighborhood. Caffe Reggio has a bench from a palazzo of the Florentine Medici family of Renaissance fame. The bench is not roped-off and guests can sit on it and admire a painting from an artist of the school of Caravaggio. screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-1-06-51-pm      
All photos by Daniel Bellino Zwicke



SUNDAY SAUCE is AVAILABLE in Paperback on .. Click

Thursday, November 10, 2016