Tree Trimming Lobster Pasta



When the Tree Gang comes for its annual decorating festa, it’s a good time to celebrate with lobster pasta.


1/4 lb. fresh cooked lobster meat from Citarella per person. More is better.

Serves 8+.

In a large stock pot on medium high, melt 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. butter, add juice of 3 lemons. Season with cracked white pepper to taste. Add the lobster meat just to warm not to cook.

Make 2 lbs. fresh fettuccine, cooking only about 4-5 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain.

To plate. Ladel the lobster meat and butter sauce over the fresh pasta. Garnish with diced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, whole capers, and sprinkle with dried basil. Top with fresh lemon zest.

Buon Natale!


Note: Aragosta v. Astice. It looks like a New England lobster is astice. A warm water langouste appears more aragosta


Creamy Ricotta Pasta

In a large skillet, brown 1 large zucchini diced; 6 large crimini mushrooms, chopped; 1 small bunch of scallions thickly sliced. Add 8-10 pitted kalamata olives, halved. Stir and simmer. Drain one can Marzano whole tomatoes. Chop and add to the skillet. Heat and stir. Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take off heat and add large dollops ricotta cheese. Stir into the sauce. Serve over fresh pasta topped with a generous amount of lemon zest.

Veal Piccata with Cavatelli

Slice 2 small zucchinis lengthwise, cutting off ends. Place in a baking pan, peel side down. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread a pinch of cayenne on each. Place in the oven until it reaches 400 degrees. Then, broil until crisp on top. Remove from oven.

When cool, cut zucchini into small chunks. Finely chop 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes.

In a large non-stick fry pan, heat a thin coat of olive oil on high heat. Quickly brown milk-fed veal cutlets, pounded to about 1/4″, on each side. Do it in stages so they don’t touch. Sprinkle with ground pepper and garlic powder.

Remove to a plate after each stage.

In the same pan with leftover drippings, brown a minced shallot. Add a couple pats of butter. Deglaze with 1/4 cup dry white wine. Add juice of 2 lemons and 1/3 cup capers. Stir. Turn off heat.

In a large pot, add fresh cavatelli to boiling water. After water comes to a full boil again, cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain.

Bring fry pan back to high heat and place veal cutlets and juices back into the sauce until just heated.

Serve with shallot, lemon, caper sauce over cavatelli topped with zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes.

Sprinkle with romano-parmesan grated cheese.

Fresh Pasta Mozzarella

Access to fresh pasta has rekindled a preference for it when possible. It is different, lighter and a bit stickier which makes sauces adhere better. It cooks much faster 2-3 minutes. No. I won’t go as far as to make it from scratch.

In a non-stick fry pan, heat a little olive oil. Add hot pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley. Add fresh chopped mushrooms. Brown. Add par-boiled asparagus pieces and brown. Or broccoli. Season with dried oregano, basil to taste. Add a couple pats of butter and heat to finish.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil water and cook fresh pasta, 2-3 minutes. Drain. Toss in small fresh mozzarella balls.

Serve covered with vegetable sauce. Top with grated romano/parmesan mix and lemon zest.

Astice di Natale



Christmas Eve. After decades of Lobster Newburg, no such sauce to be found in Manhattan. So. A new recipe. Lobster in a butter sauce over fresh pasta.

1/4 lb. cooked lobster meat from Citarella per person. More is fine.

Serves 8+.

In a large stock pot on medium high, heat 2 – 3 lbs. lobster meat in 1 lb. melted butter, juice of 2 lemons. Add cracked pepper to taste.

Serve over fresh pasta.

Garnish with diced sun-dried tomatoes, whole capers, and dried basil.

Buon Natale!


Note: Aragosta v. Astice. It looks like a New England lobster is astice. A warm water langouste appears more aragosta.

Holiday Shrimp Fra Diavolo

After you’ve trimmed the tree, it’s time for a hearty reward.

Shell, clean 6-8 large shrimp per person. Pat dry and set aside in a bowl.

In a large deep fry pan, heat 1 jar Rao’s or Citarella Arrabbiata sauce. Add 1/2 cup dry red wine, 1/4 tsp. cayenne, pepperoncini flakes and dried oregano to taste. Stir.

Add shrimp to the sauce and cook on medium heat to keep a low boil until done, about 6 minutes. Serve over favorite pasta.

Top with spicy fresh mozzarella balls and/or basil leaves. Finish with lemon zest.


You can use any tomato sauce, just add more pepperoncini flakes than you would for Arrabbiata. It’s meant to be spicy hot. Il diavolo!

Best Veggie Pasta Ever

If I do say so myself. Inspired after watching favorite Lidia Bastianich’s Saturday show. Yet, I didn’t want meat or fish in the dish.

A bright balance of ingredients came together just as I tasted them in my mind. A perfect supper with Frog’s Leap Zin. A little sauce dominates the taste.

Make spaghetti as directed. Half a DeCecco box for 2.

Meanwhile, drain and chop a can of Cento whole Marzano Italian tomatoes. Chop 10 Crimini mushrooms into quarters. Chop 14 Kalamata olives. Chiffonade 20 fresh basil leaves. Julienne half a lemon peel (no pulp). Finely mince 2 cloves garlic. 1 tbs. capers.

In a heavy cast iron fry pan, brown the mushrooms in olive oil. Add ground black pepper, dried oregano and thyme, to taste; half the minced garlic. Deglaze with a quarter cup of the Zinfandel.

Add the chopped tomatoes, olives and capers. Stir and heat for a couple of minutes only. Should stay chunky.

Stir the drained pasta with a little butter and pepperoncini flakes, rest of minced garlic.

Serve in bowls. Spoon sauce on top of the pasta, then finish with the fresh basil and lemon peel. Basil and lemon shine.

Summer End Pasta

Neighbor with greenest thumb ever brought over sweetest cherry tomatoes.So. Made a little spaghetti.

Roasted zucchinis with olive oil, pepper and garlic powder. Put the cooked drained pasta back in the pasta pot, with no water. Turned to medium high heat, and stirred in chunks of the zucchini, the cherry tomatoes and a generous amount of butter.

Served with shaved asiago.

Simple is best when the garden is still giving us these gems. Thanks, Louise!

Colitti Spaghetti

They rhyme in our world. Like confetti.

It’s a deep, thick sauce made with pork chop, bone-in. Serves 6.

In a stock pot, brown a large bone-in pork chop and 1/2 sweet onion, chopped.

Add 1 16-oz. can whole tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves, shredded
Dried oregano to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup of Chianti or dry red wine

Bring to boil, then turn to low. Let simmer uncovered for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally.

Pork should fall off the bone, tender and juicy. Remove the bone. Sauce should be dark and rich. What we Colitti’s called “dirty”.

Serve with Spaghetti and freshly grated romano-parmesan mix and garlic bread.


Ben Piccata 2019

2019 Update
When son mAdBen would come home from Manhattan, he’d crave my scallopini piccata.

Dr.Husband procured the finest milk-fed veal cutlets from Frigo’s Italian market in Springfield, Massachusetts. Now that we live in Manhattan, we get the milk-fed veal from Citarella.

The Frigo’s owner, Joe, liked to pound the cutlets. I prefer them unpounded. It was an ongoing battle, but I usually won. A little thicker, a little moister.


8 cutlets. Serves 4.

So, cutlets should be like 1/4″ thick. In a very large skillet, brown cutlets in olive oil, both sides, quickly and in stages so not touching. Place cutlets on a plate as they are done browning.

To the skillet add 1 small shallot, finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic finely chopped. 4-6 Chanterelle mushrooms, de-stemmed, cut into strips. Stir and brown. Deglaze with a 1/4 cup white wine. Stir. Add 1/2 cup capers (to taste) and 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (to taste). Stir. Add 1 thick pat butter. Melt and stir.

Add the cutlets back into the skillet. Add juice of 1 lemon. Simmer covered just 2 minutes to warm the veal, not overcook. Meanwhile make fresh fettucine. Serve veal with pasta and all the sauce. Garnish with lemon zest and fresh basil.