The Real Deal Bolognese Sauce

A Father’s Day Inspiration… This isn’t your typical meat sauce. This isn’t your typical ground beef cooked in a bland tomato sauce. This is the real deal meat sauce; the cook all day Sunday sauce; the shredded, succulent, melt-in-your-mouth sauce that comes gently tossed in a fresh pasta like pappardelle. The idea of making this sauce…

Linguine with White Clam Sauce (Linguine alle Vongole)

For mother’s day I wanted to cook my mom a delicious dinner with the fam. We had trouble deciding what to make but once we did we were both very much looking forward to this meal after a long and unsuccessful day of shopping in New York. On our drive back to Connecticut we called…

Spinach Stuffed Filet of Sole

This is a very straightforward dish inspired by Italian flavors and made for the fish lover. It’s very easy to make and you can adapt the stuffing ingredients to whatever your heart desires! It’s also very healthy and satisfying. INGREDIENTS 4 pieces filet of sole Fresh spinach 1 shallot 3 cloves garlic 1-2 tbsp of whole…

Spicy Italian Baked Zucchini Chips

I often am looking for a salty and crunchy snack in the afternoon or after dinner late night. Sweets don’t do it for me: I need the salt. Given that zucchini is a vegetable and you are baking them (rather than frying) this recipe is a smart alternative to the typical fried potato chip or…

Prosciutto Bread

Prosciutto bread has been in our family for years and usually shows up on Christmas Eve courtesy of my aunt Joyce. A few years ago I tried making it at home with my cousin and we changed up the recipe. No matter what ingredients you choose, it is easy to make and it is decadent….

Italian Garlic Bread with a Twist

Garlic bread is simple and delicious comfort food. No matter how you make it, garlic with bread and oil or butter is going to be amazing. But, there is a way to fancy it up a bit if you are so inclined. Where we grew up there was an Italian market where we always ordered…

Mom’s Perfectly Crispy Chicken Cutlets

Growing up chicken cutlets were a delicious treat for dinner in our house as mom didn’t fry many things. This year for her birthday, Mom had a craving so we made her perfect chicken cutlets and served them in the perfect chicken cutlet sandwich. You can use this chicken to make chicken parmesan, you can…

Weeknight Bolognese with Whole Wheat Shells

Meat sauce is a great Sunday dinner: you can make it in the afternoon and let it simmer all day until you are ready to eat. The flavors only get better the longer it cooks. But meat sauce can also be a quick and easy week night meal that you can throw together after a…

Cioppino

Cioppino is pretty much a fish stew. Contrary to popular belief, cioppino did not originate in Italy but is an Italian-American dish. It’s traditionally made from the catch of the day, so you should use fish you can get fresh (and hopefully local when possible). Typically the seafood is combined with tomatoes in a wine…

Caramelized Onion Tomato Sauce

My friend Sarah participated in a CSA this year that gives her locally grown produce every week. She gave me a bag of tomatoes she couldn’t get through that were absolutely delicious. It’s rare to get a really good tomato anymore so when I do, I will usually just sprinkle salt on it and eat…

Fettuccine con Pesto

In continuing my theme of using ingredients from the garden, my friend Alex and I recently made pesto sauce. It’s a great time of year to make pesto and it is extremely easy to make. You can switch up ingredients depending what you have on hand making it a very versatile recipe. My favorite kind…

Potato Salad Two Ways

I love the summertime for all the fresh produce readily accessible. Fairfield county has numerous farmers markets and many of my family members have their own gardens. This weekend we went to Kyle’s parents house and his mom sent me home with a large shopping bag full of red potatoes, onions, cucumbers, kale and string beans…

Eggplant Balls

Italians are very familiar with meatballs, it’s part of our vocab from the time we can form words. “Eggplant balls” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. They could really use a new name. But ever since I saw Giada make these I couldn’t get them off my mind. They are crunchy on the outside, tender…

Poached Egg Parmesan

The Effrens have gotten very creative with eggs over the years. We will put a fried egg on almost anything so we can call it breakfast. But we do have some go to egg dishes that are always extraordinary and this is one of them. Here is our fathers day breakfast Mom and I made…

Italian Pasta Salad for your next BBQ

It’s easy to get bored of the same old pasta salad with celery and mayo. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious and I make it all the time but when you start spending your summer weekends at one or two BBQs, you want something new. This is a very simple recipe that relies on fresh…

Adult Grilled Cheese

They call it grilled cheese for a reason…. It should be made on a grill. My sister came over to eat dinner with us on a beautiful Friday night and we decided to grill on the back deck. After debating several options we thought it would be fun to make adult versions of the childhood…

Pasta with Broccoli

Easy. Low cost. Delicious (IF you love broccoli). Pasta with broccoli has a long history with our family. Growing up, my mom made it often as a side to a meat focused dinner. We typically use the farfalle or “bowtie” pasta as we called it as kids. This meal can be made so many different…

Braised Chicken and Potatoes

Sometimes the best meals aren’t planned. On Sunday I usually plan our dinner ahead of time because it’s really the one day each week when I can make a meal that takes more than an hour to prep and cook. After a long rainy Sunday of being out and about we stopped at the grocery…

Scarola e Fagioli

One of my favorite Italian sides is escarole and beans! It’s healthy, delicious and easy to make in just minutes! It can be used as a side or a main dish since it provides protein and nutrients from the vegetable. Add some chicken broth and top with parmesan cheese and you have yourself a hearty…

Lasagna Soup

If you love lasagna, then you will love this recipe. My friend at work, Marie, showed me a new recipe from Bobby Deen (Paula Deen’s son who is trying to put a healthier twist on Paula’s meals). “Lasagna soup” sounds very strange and I was really hesitant at first. But this lightened up lasagna really…

Veal Milanese Topped with Tomato and Arugula Salad

I admit, this isn’t the healthiest dinner you could make but it could be worse.  Once in a while you need to splurge because it’s well, delicious.  My mom made this recipe for us growing up and I always loved it, so I thought I would make it this week.  We’ve been eating healthy every…

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

A classic recipe and one of my absolute favorites. I order this at Strada 18 in Norwalk almost every time we go and I finish the entire ginormous bowl. It does cost $18 however so this Saturday night I thought we could save some money and still enjoy a delicious meal at home. I was…

Balsamic Chicken with Tomato and Spinach Penne

Sometimes I get home late, am very tired and have little in my fridge. On my drive home last night I thought about what was in the fridge knowing the pickings were scarce. I got to scheming and had a plan. I called Kyle to put a pot of water on the stove and after…

Chicken Piccata or Chicken Francese?

Did I make chicken piccata or chicken francese? Or neither? After looking at Giada’s piccata and Tyler Florence’s francese I’m pretty sure I made a combination of the two. I can tell you the outcome was a delicious blend of flavors and it’s a nice change from the every day grilled chicken. This dish is…

What to do with that leftover meatloaf?

Since I made my Monday meatloaf on Sunday night, on Monday I had to figure out what to do with this: (leftover meatloaf, bleh!) So I made it into this: Pasta with Meat Sauce! (yum!) Chop up the meatloaf with a wooden spoon in a pan on the stove, add some left over tomato sauce,…