Calamari Fritti

Yield: 24 servings


  • 2 pound whole squid, cleaned
  • 2 cup milk
  • 2 large egg
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tsp Sea salt and 1 tsp black pepper
  • 24Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Smoked jalapeno aioli, for dipping, recipe follows
  • Tomato-basil sauce, for dipping, recipe follows


  1. Rinse the squid under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the body of the squid into 1/2-inch rings and trim the tentacles as necessary. Combine the milk, egg, and basil leaves in a bowl; mix with a fork until lightly beaten. Put the prepared calamari in the milk mixture and stick it in the refrigerator while getting everything else set up; it fries better if marinated and chilled for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pour about 2 inches of oil in a fryer or large, heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees F. Mix the flour and paprika in a pie dish or plate; season with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Toss the calamari in the seasoned flour to coat. Fry for 1 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and salt, to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.

Smoked Jalapeno Aioli: (Yield 1 Cup)

  1. 2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 2 canned chipotle chile in adobo
  3. 2 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  4. ¼ cup lemon juice
  5. 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1 stp salt
  7. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 1 minute to combine. Set aside to allow the flavors to marry. Serve as a dipping sauce with fried calamari.

Tomato-Basil Sauce: (Yield 2 cups)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, hand-torn
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Coat a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and warm over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and basil; cook, stirring, until soft.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining olive oil. Serve as a dipping sauce with fried calamari.

Dates, Prosciutto, Herb Goat Cheese

YIELD: Makes 24 servings


  • 1/3 cup soft herbed goat cheese (Basil, Oregano, Garlic)
  • 24 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 wide, thin slices prosciutto di Parma, each cut into 4 long strips
  • 16 toothpicks, soaked in water 10 minutes
  • 1 cup olive oil with herbs


  1. Pre heat saute pan
  2. Spoon 1 teaspoon cheese into each date; wrap with prosciutto strip.
  3. Secure with a toothpick.
  4. Saute until cheese heats up and prosciutto in slightly crisp
  5. Place 1 teaspoon of oil on each plate and place a date on top. Serve

Zuppa Toscana

Servings: 24 bowls


  • 6 oz bacon chopped
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage The “Hot” variety
  • 1 medium head garlic 10 large cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 10 cups chicken broth/stock
  • 5 medium russet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/4″ thick pieces
  • 1 kale bundle leaves stripped and chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to serve


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add chopped bacon and sauté until browned. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and spoon out excess oil, leaving about 1 Tbsp oil in the pot.
  2. Add Italian sausage, breaking it up with your spatula and sauté until cooked through. Remove to paper towel lined plate.
  3. Finely dice onion and add to the pot. Saute until soft and golden then add minced garlic and saute 1 min.
  4. Add flour and cook one minute.
  5. Add broth and bring to boil. Add sliced potatoes and cook 13-14 min or until easily pierced with a fork.
  6. When potatoes nearly done, add chopped kale and cooked sausage and bring everything to a light boil.
  7. Stir in 1 cup cream and bring to boil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then remove from heat. Garnish with bacon and grated parmesan.

Chicken Marsala

Servings: 24


  • 4 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded ¼-inch thick
  • 9 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 24 oz bella or button mushrooms
  • 9 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from 1 medium shallot
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, for serving


  1. Place the flour, salt, and pepper in a ziplock bag. Add the chicken to the bag; seal bag tightly and shake to coat chicken evenly. Set aside
  2. Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Place the flour-dusted chicken in the pan, shaking off any excess flour first, and cook, turning once, until the chicken is golden and just barely cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the broth, wine, heavy cream, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper; use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the pan into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by about half, slightly thickened, and darkened in color, 10 to 15 minutes (you’re going for a thin cream sauce; it won’t start to thicken until the very end of the cooking time). Add the chicken back to the pan, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce thickens a bit more, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve.
  5. Note: If your chicken breasts are large (like the ones in the photos that are about 3/4 lb. each), it’s best to first cut them horizontally to form four flat fillets, then pound them to an even 1/4-inch thickness. If you pound large chicken breasts without first halving them, they’ll be huge. Of course, you could also pound them thin first and then cut them in half vertically; the only drawback is that they’ll lose their natural shape (which, admittedly, is not a big deal!).

Basic Pasta Dough

Yield 4 pound


  • eggs        16 ea
  • oil, olive 2 fl oz
  • salt          1 tbsp
  • flour, bread           24 oz
  • flour, semolina     24 oz


  1. Place the eggs, oil and salt in a large mixer bowl.
  2. Use the paddle attachment to combine.
  3. Add one-third of the flour and stir until the mixture begins to form a soft dough. Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook.
  4. Gradually add more flour until the dough is dry and cannot absorb any more flour.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap it well with plastic wrap and set it aside at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. After the dough has rested, roll it into flat sheets by hand or with a pasta machine. Work with only a small portion at a time, keeping the remainder well covered to prevent it from drying out.
  7. While the sheets of dough are pliable, cut them into the desired width with a chef’s knife or pasta machine. Sheets can also be used for making ravioli, as illustrated next.
  8. Semolina flour can be substituted for all or part of the bread flour in this recipe, although it makes a stronger dough that is more difficult to work with by hand.

Tiramisu II

24 servings


  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons rum
  • Sponge cake
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
  2. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
  3. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  5. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum.
  6. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7×11 inch dish.
  7. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.

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