Crostata di Fragola "Italian Strawberry pie"

8- cups fresh local organic Strawberries, hulled & halved
¾- cup sugar
1-3 inch piece of orange zest
Juice of one Orange
1-2 inch piece of lime zest
Juice of one lime
Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans, plus pods
1- egg, beaten with ½ tablespoon water, for brushing (egg wash)
2 Tbslp- demerara sugar, for dusting

Ingredients for Pasta Frolla
3 cups all-purpose flour + extra for dusting
14 Tbslp- very cold, unsalted, coarsely chopped butter
½ cup confectioners sugar
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean (conserve pod to cook with berries)
Pinch of salt
2 Eggs
2-Egg yolk only

Special tools:
10”-12” Tart Pan with bottom that drops out
Pastry edger, optional

Directions Pasta Frolla:
Process the flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla seeds and salt in food processor until fine crumbs form. Gradually add egg mixture and process just until mixture comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate to rest 1-2 hours at most.

Directions Filling:
Combine berries in a large saucepan with sugar, zests, juices, vanilla bean, and vanilla seeds. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to boil and stir occasionally until thick and resembling jam (10-15 minutes). While cooking, squash the berries using a wooden spoon to release all their juices. Set aside to cool completely and then remove the zest pieces and pods.

Preheat oven to 350. Roll out two-thirds of the dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle to fit into your tart pan. Press into sides and down into pan. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into ¼”- ½” strips using a pastry edger if you have one. Arrange strips in lattice over filling in pan. Press pastry dough edges to seal and trim off the excess. Brush with egg wash and dust the dough with demeraa sugar. Bake until pastry is crisp and golden (40-45 minutes).

Cool for 15 minutes in pan. Then pop the tart out of the sides. Allow to cool completely before cutting. This crostata is best eaten on the day you make it. Enjoy!




Farfalle con Mascarpone, Piselli e Prosciutto Cotto

3 Scallions
1 Garlic clove,
1 Pint Fresh Shelled Peas
½ lb- piece of Prosciutto Cotto ham, small cubes
10 oz Mascarpone cheese, imported
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
1lb- DeCecco Farfalle pasta
2-Tbslp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-Tbslp Butter

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In the meantime, sauté the scallions in the olive oil until soft & translucent. Don’t let them brown. Add the garlic to the scallions for the last few seconds of sautéing. Off the heat & set aside. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add enough salt so that it tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and set your timer for two minutes less than the required cooking time. Add the fresh peas to the boiling pasta and allow to cook in the same water for the last two minutes of cooking. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

In the same pot used to cook the pasta, add the pasta back in, the reserved scallion/garlic sauté, the fresh peas, ham, Parmigiano, butter & mascarpone. Gently stir until mascarpone & butter have melted. If pasta seems too dry, add the pasta water a little at a time until right. Serve immediately.


Literally translated this "pick-me up" dessert is absolutely decadent. I first learned to make this delicious dessert while visiting Italy many, many years ago. Since then it's become very popular in the states - one taste and you'll know why everyone loves our Tiramisu. I like to make this dessert the day before serving, this way all the flavor blend together.

3 Fresh eggs (separated)
1 Galbani Mascarpone Cheese 500gr
1 package Savoiardi Lady Fingers 500gr
3/4 cup sugar
12 cups freshly brewed espresso
Powdered Dark European Cocoa

1 small glass liqueur of your choice (I like Kahlua, Frangelica, or Sambuca)

Separate your eggs. Whip the whites, only until fluffy and stiff peaks form. Put aside. Beat the egg yolks together with sugar in a bowl until frothy. Fold in the whipped egg whites. Whip well into a smooth cream.

Place cooled coffee in a shallow pan with glass of liqueur. In another 9 x 13" baking pan (glass baking pans make a nice presentation) soak the lady fingers in coffee, turning them on both sides and line bottom of pan until covered with lady fingers. Spread a layer of cream over lady fingers and dust with cocoa. Continue this process until you reach the top of you pan. End with a layer of cream and cocoa. Refrigerate for at least two hours - preferable overnight.


1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup grated provolone
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) braciole meat pounded thin
1 cup dry white wine
3 1/4 cups Altomonte’s Marinara sauce

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.

Lay the meat flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at the shortest end, roll up the meat. Using butcher's twine, tie the meat roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciole with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover pan, lower heat to a low simmer and cook until the meat is tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. The total cooking time should be about 1 hour.

Remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a large sharp knife, cut the braciole crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.


Wine and Cheese pairing:
Valpolicella Superiore & Asiago Vecchio.

Expert’s pick - a pairing we love!

Make this pairing and experience; gather the following then set up with some friends or your romantic interest, then enjoy. Gather Imported Italian marinated olives, Italian crackers (or better yet a fresh warm loaf of Italian hard crust bread, and a nice block of imported Italian aged Asiago Vecchio cheese, and last but not least go to the local wine store and choose a 2-5 year old bottle of Valpolicella Superiore from the Veneto region, one that has at least 13% alcohol in content and contains about 70% Corvina grapes.

Asiago- About the cheese: Asiago Vecchio is an aged, hard, sharp cheese with a bit a bite or spice to it. True Asiago is made and imported from the Veneto region of Italy where the recipe has changed little from its humble farmhouse beginnings. A versatile cheese that is used for grating, as an accent in dishes as well as a solid table cheese, you will really enjoy this fine artisan cheese.

Valpolicella- About this red wine: Valpolicella Superiore is a red wine created from Corvina, Molinara, and Rondinella grapes from the Veneto region of Italy.

Superiore is aged and typically has a higher alcohol content, about 13%, the wine has a medium body, beautiful color, and fruity, taste with a velvety finish. It is best served slightly chilled at no cooler than 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Valpolicella goes great with Asiago cheese, veal, pork, lamb, and tomato dishes as well as a great contrast with dark chocolate.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Serves 4

36- Littleneck Clams or Cockles- scrubbed and washed
2-bottles Cento Clam Juice
6- Tablespoons Altomonte’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2- Tablespoons Butter
1-Jalapeno, diced
3-Cloves Garlic, chopped
½- bunch Fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped
½ - cup good dry white wine
1lb- DeCecco Linguine

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt liberally. Boil the pasta until just al dente- about 10 minutes.

While you wait for pasta to cook, prepare your sauce. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened. Add the jalapeno and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the clams and increase heat to high. Add the wine all at once, let alcohol burn off for a minute before adding the clam juice. Cover and cook, shake the pan occasionally and cook until all the clams open- about 5-6 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the clam sauce. Add the parsley and toss to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.