Monk fish with peppers, saffron, and cherry tomatoes


A couple of months ago I found this monk fish recipe on the website of an Italian magazine, “Donna Moderna”. I made it and really liked it so I am posting it here  in English.


  • 600 g of monkfish filet
  • 400 g of cherry tomatoes
  • 200 g of peppers
  • basil
  • saffron
  • flour
  • white whine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Dust the fish with flour. Clean the peppers and discard the seeds. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut the largest one in half. Heat some olive oil in a pan and brown the fish on all sides. Set the brown fish aside.

Add some more oil in the same pan, add the tomatoes and the peppers. Stir fry a minute and add some white wine, the saffron and a handful of basil leaves. Mix and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the monk fish, salt, and cover the pan. Cook for other 20 minutes, adding a bit of water if it gets too dry. Serve with more fresh basil.

Thanksgiving sunset


We had a marvelous Thanksgiving day in New York City. A gorgeous clear sunny day. This was today’s sunset over the city skyline and its reflection in the Reservoir Lake of Central Park.
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!


Butternut Squash Risotto


This recipe is perfect for this season. As a base I used shallots and roasted butternut squash, and added sage, nutmeg and black pepper as accents. I used extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, to make it a low-cholesterol recipe I also used home made vegetable broth, which I made in advance and kept in the fridge.

Ingredients (for 3)

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • sage (10 small leaves)
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 190 gr of rice
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, home made
  • water
  • nutmeg (1/3 nut), freshly grated
  • black pepper, freshly grated
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Clean the butternut squash and cut it in small cubes. Bake it at 400F for 25 minutes.

Prepare 2 sauce pans one with some vegetable broth and one with water and keep them hot on the stove.

Chop very finely the shallot and put it in the pot with the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the sage. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the baked butternut squash and cook for few minutes.

Add the rice and stir until warm. Keeping the flame on high, add the wine and let it evaporate. Return the flame on medium. Add some vegetable broth and salt.

Cook the rice for 20 minutes stirring and adding the broth and the hot water a bit at a time. The rice should be kept constantly very moist. At the end it should result very creamy.

Half a way through the cooking time add the grated nutmeg. Five minutes before ready add the black pepper.

When ready turn off the stove and add the grated Parmesan cheese.

Eat right away!!!

It pairs very well with Bay scallops, which are in season right now, simply dusted with flour and sauteed in butter.



Bird Watching and The City

I took this picture walking on Roosevelt Island. In the background is the Queensboro Bridge. It looks like a montage, but it is not!

Red Beet Soup


I made this soup to keep us cozy during Sandy. It is a dense blended soup, and I kept some of the whole pieces of beets and potatoes in it.


  • 6 red beets, cut in small cubes
  • 2 potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, whole (to discard later)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cups of water
  • salt
  • 1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • plain yogurt

In a large soup pot, put all the vegetables: red beets, potatoes, carrot, celery, onion.

Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Close with the lid and when it begins to boil add the salt and the vinegar. Lower the heat to medium/low and let cook for 1 hour.

When the soup is ready, put aside a few scoops of soup and blend the rest with an immersion blender. Add back to the pot the unblended soup.

Serve with a spoon of plain yogurt per bowl.

Veal Spezzatino with Polenta


We are staying home as hurricane Sandy is approaching, and there is plenty of time for cooking. I decided to make veal spezzatino with polenta. This is my copper paiolo, the special pot to make polenta, and the trisa which is the  wooden stick used to turn the polenta as it is called in the dialect from Trentino.



  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 onion
  • 2 lb of veal stew
  • flour (or corn starch)
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • parsley finely chopped
  • lemon zest, grated
  • polenta and parmesan cheese, for serving

Finely chop the carrot, the celery, and the onion using an electric chopper.
Heat put some extra virgin olive oil in the pot and cook the chopped vegetables for few minutes.


Coat the veal with flour (or corn starch). Add the veal in the pot and brown it for about 5 minutes.


Add the white wine, and let it evaporate.


Add salt to taste. Add about 2 cups of water (or light vegetable broth) to have abundant sauce.

Cook for one hour, or until the meat is very tender. I used a pressure cooker and cooked for 30 minutes. When the stew is ready add the chopped parsley and the lemon zest.

Serve the veal stew with polenta and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Zucchine Ripiene di Tonno


Stuffed Zucchini with Tuna. I went to the farmers market in Union Square and found these nice round zucchini, the last one of the season. They are perfect to be stuffed and baked. I decided to bake them stuffed with tuna preserved under oil.


  • 4 round zucchini
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • fresh hot red pepper, 1 thick slice
  • 1 anchovy
  • thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 gr tuna
  • parsley
  • few spoons of tomato sauce

Slice the top of the zucchini, and empty the zucchini using a tea spoon.


Finely chop the zucchini pulp. Finely chop the 2 Roma tomatoes. In a pan heat olive oil, and add the finely chopped garlic and the hot pepper slice. Then add the zucchini pulp and let it cook down a bit. Add the tomatoes,  1 anchovy cut in small pieces, some  thyme, and salt. Let cook for several minutes until most of the moisture is evaporated and you obtain a thick sauce. Let it cool down.


To prepare the stuffing: in a bowl mix the bread soaked in white wine, the tuna, the zucchini sauce, and the parsley. If the mixture results too liquid you can add some bread crumbs, I didn’t need to. Put some salt and olive oil in the zucchini. Stuff the zucchini, and if you like top them with a couple of teaspoons of tomato sauce.

Bake in the oven preheated to 180 C (or 370 F) for 50 minutes or until ready.
I bake them “opened” and then put the top on, as a decoration, when they are ready.



Polpettone di Tacchino con Verdure


Turkey meatloaf with vegetables. This dish is one of my “comfort-food” items and I love the cheerful colors of the vegetables in it. This time I added some stems of red beats that added a brighter splash of color to it!

What I like of ground turkey breast, besides the fact that is low in fat, is that you do not need to add eggs to the meat loaf to hold it together. This makes it a very good recipe for a low-cholesterol diet.


  1. 1.5 lb of ground turkey braest
  2. 1 large carrot
  3. 1 zucchini
  4. 1/4 yellow bell pepper
  5. stems of 3 red beats
  6. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  7. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  8. 2 slices of jalapeno pepper
  9. bread soften in white whine (1/4 rosemary  sour dough from Whole Food)
  10. parsley, finely chopped
  11. pepper
  12. salt
  13. all purpose flour

Chop all the vegetables (ingredients 2 to 8) and cook them, until tender (about 15 min), in a pan with some olive oil and salt. Let them cool down.

In a bowl mix the ground turkey, the vegetables, the softened bread squeezed, the chopped parsley, salt and pepper.

Shape the mix in a loaf and coat it with flour.

In a saute pan heat some olive oil and add the turkey loaf. Turn the loaf to brown all sides (about 10 minutes total). Then add some white wine. When the whine is evaporated lower the heat and cover with a lid. Keep watching and add some water if the bottom of the pan becomes too dry. Cook for 30 minutes.

Alternatively you can bake the loaf at 180C for 50 minutes.

The Chrysler Building from Gramercy Park