Zuppa di Cucuzza

ZUPPA di CUCUZZA
 
“THATS a GAGOOTZA” !!!
RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA 
by Daniel Bellino “Z”
 
on
A Kickstarter Project
 
 
RECIPE
 
Zuppa di Cucuzza
 
Excerpted Form Daniel Bellino’s
 
Grandma Bellino’s Italian Cookbook
 
 
 
 
ZUPPA di CUCUZZA
    “Gagootz” !!!!
This is a soup that my
mother used to make every now and then. Usually when her friend Mary Santangelo
gave her a couple big Cucuzza, from their backyard garden in Garfield. My
mother Lucia learned this recipe from her mother who used to make it back in
Sicily, and she learned how to make it from her mother, my Great Grandmother
Salemi. This dish is one of the quintessential recipes of this book, and also
of both the Italian-American and Sicilian-American table as a whole, and of
course of Sicilians in Sicily, especially in the years of the first 70 years of
the 20th Century from around 1900 to 1970’s or so. The soup is easy
to make and quite economical, feeding about 15 or 16 portions of which you can
serve over a 3 – 4 day time. Cucuzza are not always available in every store,
however more and more super markets are carrying them during their growing season,
and you can always get them at any produce store that specializes in Italian
foods.
This soup is a soup of
course, but almost a pasta dish as well, and you can vary the amount of pasta
as you like. Cooking pasta separately on the side and when you are serving it,
you will use double the amount of pasta or more, with less liquid in the soup
and using the soup actually as a sauce. I always do this, as there are always
leftovers when making a pot of it, and serving it as a pasta is a nice welcome
alternative to give one variety from the same dish. I do the same with Lentil
Soup to make Pasta Lenticchie, a pasta dish. In addition, if you like, you can
sauté one link of Italian Sweet or Hot Sausage, serve up the soup as either
pasta or soup and add a link of sausage or two to each plate. You will love it
any way you do, as do the Bellino’s and millions of other Italian’s have over
the years. So make it, and enjoy, and always Mangia Bene Amici!






GAGOOTZ

 

RECIPE :
1 large Cucuzza ak.a.
Gagootz
1 large onion, peeled and
diced
6 Garlic Cloves, peeled
and sliced thin
8 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Red Pepper
Flakes
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
6 Plum Tomatoes, chopped
1 pound fresh cooked
Fava Beans, or frozen Baby Lima Beans (or canned lima beans)
1 pound imported Italian
Ditalini (or Ronzoni)
Cut off ends of the
Cucuzza and peel it with a vegetable peeler. Cut the Cucuzza in half
lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard. Cut into 1 ½ inch cubes.
Put olive oil and cucuzza
in a large 6-quart pot. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, occasionally
stirring with a wooden spoon. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes more.
Add garlic and cook for
3 minutes. Add red pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook on
high heat for 5 minutes. Add water and cook on medium-low heat for 12 minutes.
Add Fava Beans (or Lima
Beans) and cook on low heat for 6 minutes.
Cook Ditalini according
to directions on package. When finished cooking, drain in a colander, making
sure to reserve 2 – 3 cups of water to add to soup.
Add all the pasta to the
soup. Add salt 7 Black Pepper and stir.
Add water little by
little to the soup until you reach the consistency that you like. The soup
should be fairly thick, yet slightly watery.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of each bow of soup and pass grated
cheese for your guest to put in their soup.

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Save any remaining soup
in a closed container to enjoy anytime for lunch, dinner, or anytime
in-between.
 
 
ZUPPZ di CUCUZZA
 
 
Mangia Bene !!!
 
 
 
RECIPES in GRANDMA BELLINO’S ITALIAN COOKBOOK
 
RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN NONNA
 
by Daniel Bellino “Z”
 
YOU CAN BE a PART of DANIEL’S WONDERFUL NEW PROJECT
 
DONATE a LITTLE & COLLECT YOUR SPECIAL REWARD
 
 
 
 
 
ALSO by DANIEL
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE
 
WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK
 
 

AL PACINO & AGLIO OLIO

AL PACINO
 
and AGLIO OLIO
 
 
“SPAGHETTI THAT IS” !!!
 
 
SPAGHETTI AGLIO OLIO
 
alla AL
 
 
 
AL PACINO & AGLIO OLIO

 

Al Pacino and Aglio Olio
you ask? What about it? Well it’s just that Spaghetti Aglio Olio always reminds
me of that great fellow New Yorker Sicilian American, the one-and-only Al
Pacino from da Bronx. It’s not a big deal, just a wonderful little memory for
me. When I was the Wine Director at the famed Barbetta Restorante on Restaurant Row in New York’s Theater
District (where Al often performs on stage), Al Pacino used to come and eat
there every now and then. He never wanted anything to fancy, but something that
just about all true blooded Italian-American wants, and that dish is Spaghetti
Aglio Olio, plain and simple, yet it’s in
our blood.
That’s what Al wanted
and that’s what we gave him, and Al loved it and you will too.



Recipe Excerpted
from
Grandma Bellino’s Cookbook

 

RECIPE
 
Spaghetti Aglio Olio
 
the Way AL Likes It !!!
 
“Al Pacino That Is”
 
 
 
Recipe Excerpted From Daniel Bellino’s Grandma Bellino’s Italian Cookbook
 
Note : Note, the recipe for Spaghetti Aglio Olio as Al Pacino likes it and as it’s written in Daniel Bellino’s Grandma Bellino’s Cookbook, encompasses Two-Recipes-In-One .. You have the Recipe for Spaghetti w/ Garlic Oil & Anchovies, and to make Spaghetti Aglio Olio the way AL Likes It, is by making this recipe, but ommitting the ANchovies to end up with Spaghetti Aglio Olio, just the way the Great Al Pacino likes it. Mangia Bene!
 
INGREDIENTS :
 
¼ cup best quality
Italian Olive Oil
6 cloves of Garlic,
peeled and minced
½ teaspoon
Red Pepper Flakes
6 Anchovy
Filets minced fine
1 pound
imported Italian Spaghetti
¼ cup
Italian Parsley
Put a large pot with 4
quarts of water on the stove. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to the boil.
Place Olive Oil and
Anchovies in a large frying pan and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add garlic and cook on
medium heat for 2 minutes. Add red pepper and continue cooking on low heat
until the garlic begins to turn slightly brown. Turn heat off and let rest.
Add spaghetti to the
boiling salted water. Cook spaghetti according to directions on package. Two
minutes before the cooking time on package start testing the doneness of the
spaghetti by taking a strand out of the water and biting into it to see how far
cooked it. By doing this you’ll be able to determine if it needs to cook a bit
longer or if it’s ready.
Once the past is
finished cooking, quickly remove it from the heat and drain into a colander,
reserving about 4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to add to pasta sauce.
Add spaghetti back to
the pot it cooked in and drizzle on a little olive oil and mix. Pour the garlic
anchovy sauce and the reserved pasta water over the spaghetti with half the
chopped Parsley and mix well.

 

Divide the spaghetti
among four pasta plates or bowls. Sprinkle the top of each plate of Spaghetti
with some chopped parsley and serve.
 
 
The GODFATHER
Micahel Corleone (Al Pacino), Captain McCloskey (Sterling Hayden),
and Sollozzo (Al Lettieri)
 
 
“GET THE VEAL. IT’S THE BEST in THE CITY”
 
 
MICHAEL NEVER ATE HIS SPAGHETTI AGLIO OLIO
 
BUT SOLLOZZO GOT HIS
 
 
MICHAEL GETS HIS REVENGE
 
 
 
 
 
GET THIS RECIPE AND MUCH MORE
 
in
 
GRANDMA BELLINO’S ITALIAN COOKBOOK
 
RECIPES FROM MY SICILIAN GRANDMOTHER
 
by Daniel Bellino “Z”
 
 
 
A KICKSTARTER PROJECT From DANIEL BELLINO
 
BE A PART of IT
GET YOUR REWARD !!!
 
 
COME JOIN US !!!!
 
 
 
ONE LEAST PICTURE of AL
 
 
Al Pacino
 
as 
 
Bobby Deerfield
 
1977
 
 
HE’S a HANDSOME FRIGGIN DEVIL
 
ISN’T HE ???
 
 
 
ALSO by DANIEL
His # BEST SELLING
SUNDAY SAUCE
01ff9-sunday-saucesmall1
 

 

Caffe Dante Closed After 100 Years

5f894-screen2bshot2b2015-02-162bat2b12-36-252bpm

CAFFE DANTE Has Offfically Closed  …. Sunday, March 22, 2015

7caa2-screen2bshot2b2015-02-162bat2b12-36-522bpm

Well, it’s Offical. Caffe Dante is closed .. It’s 11:55 PM Sunday March 22, 2015 … I just left Caffe Dante for the last time under the ownership of Mr. Mario Flotta .. I had to hold back a few tears saying goodbye to Mario and his two sons; Anthony & Mario Jr.  .. I kid you not. Caffe Dante was like a 2nd home to me .. This is not a cliche, but a fact … I ifrst started going to Caffe Dante in July of 1985, shortly after my first trip to Italy .. I went because my friend John who had been going to Dante for a few years, told me that Caffe Dante was New York’s most authentically Italian Caffe bar none, and that being so, they served a perfect Espresso, “The Best in Town.” That’s all I had to hear and I was there .. Going on that first trip to Italy hooked me on perfect Espresso, Gelato, and anything authentically Italian, and Caffe Dante was the real deal .. Now I was hooked on something else, Caffe Dante …  Ever since that day in the Summer of 85, I have had Espresso or Cappuccino at Caffe Dante almost every day fo my life since then. Everyday that I was in New York and not traveling somewhere around the World, which is about 340 days a year for 30 years. 

Yes, I went to Caffe everyday, and some days two or three times in a day, in the morning, later in the afternoon and then again at the end of the night .. Caffe Dant was a place where I could go have a coffe, relax, read, write, and meet friends, and there was always someone there that I always knew, there were the waitresses some of whome became good friends, and of course there was always Mario. Mario would come in every day around noon and stay til closing about 1 AM in the morning. It was always a joy having a little chat with Mario .. 

Caffe Dante just closed a little while ago. I almost cried, watching Mario take down the pictures of himself with many Celebrites who came to Caffe Dante over the years. People like; Al Pacino, Ann Bancrosft, Mel Brooks, Woody Harelson, Matt Dillon, Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Bob Dylan, John Tarturro, Stanley Tucci, Lilly Taylor, Michael Imperioli, Joe Panteleone, James, Gandolfini, Vinct Schiavelli,   Colin Farell, and on and on …

Mario Flotta who became a partner in Caffe Dante back in 1971 .. A few years after that his partner passed away and Mario became the sole owner. So, selling the place today that was 44 years that Mario was there, 56 years of Caffe Dante’s 100 year history. Caffe Dante will still be there. Mario sold the place to Victoria Coffee of Australia. He told me, it’s still going to be a caffe, and it’s still going to be called Caffe Dante .. Yes, Mario told me this, but I know that Caffe Dante without by buddy Mario is not the same .. Mario Flotta was Caffe Dante, and a Caffe Dante without Mario could never be the same, all the regulars know that …

to be continued …    Daniel Bellino Zwicke

.

.

Mario-Flotta-3-22-15-Closed

ME & MARIO

Daniel Bellino-Zwicke & Mario Flotta Sr.

THE LAST DAY at DANTE

Mario-Flota-Raoul32215

Raoul M., Daniel Bellino “Z”  RED, Mario Flotta, and Jonathon L.

at Caffe Dante

Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village, New York

SUNDAY March 22, 2015 … The Last Day of Dante

SUNDAY SAUCE  by Daniel Bellino "Z"

Danny Bolognese Recipe

Author Daniel Bellino “Z”
 
aka DANNY BOLOGNESE
 
Making a Pot of His Famouse Bolognese
 
 
Author Daniel Bellino-Zwicke, a.k.a.  Danny Bolognese has some wonderful best selling cookbooks no under his belt. Daniel has authored such Best Seeling Titles as; La TAVOLA, Sunday Sauce, The Feast of The 7 Fish – Italian Christmas, SEGRETO ITALIANO aka Secret Italian Recipes and GOT ANY KAHLUA? aka The BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK ..
 
Daniel said he was torn giving up his famous Secret Bolognese Recipe, but finally relented. He said it was time to let the cat out of the bag, and get it out there for the whole world to see, what some like The Journal of Italian Food Wine & Travel called the Best Bolognese in America .. It was at Daniel’s restauratn Bar Cichetti (1st Venetian Wine Bar in the U.S.) that Daniel first garned attention for his famed Bolognese and other of his tasty Italian Meat Ragus like; his
Duck Ragu, and Grandma’s Sunday Gravy … 
Daniel says everyone shoudl know how to make a great Ragu, or at least Sugo di Pomodoro (Tomato Sauce to you and me).
Yes Daniel was hesitant to give up his famed Bolognese recipe, but if you want it, it’s in two of his very popular Italian Cookbooks; SEGRETO ITALIANO – Secret Italian Recipes, or his first book La TAVOLA which is a collection of Stories of Italian-American Food Kitchen & Table, with 30 Bellino Family Recipes at the back of the book. If you’ve never read any of Daniel’s cookbooks, and you love Italian Food & Culture, we suggest you get your hands on one or two of his books. Daniel’s recipes are incrediable, and his story telling abilities are delightful.
 
 
 
 
Article by James Wilke
 
 
 
BOOKS by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
 
SEGRETO ITALIANO
 
Secret Italian Recipes
 
Including Danny’s Bolognese
 
 
 
SUNDAY SAUCE
 
WHEN ITALIAN-AMERICANS COOK
 
 
 
 
 
La TAVOLA
 
Italian-American New Yorkers Adventures 
of The Table
 
“And KITCHEN Too!”
 
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
 
 
 
 
 

.
.

 
 
NOT THE FINAL COVER
.
.
.
GRANDMA BELLINO’S ITALIAN COOKBOOK
 
Recipes From My Sicilian Nonna
 
 
by Daniel Bellino
 
 
THIS Is NOT THE COVER
 
Just a Mock-Up
 
The Actual Cover Will Be Quite Different
 
After working on a book for some time, just seeing pages in a computer can be a bit much.
Just wanted to see a cover of the book, and made this one myself. My designer will produce something much more attractive, as he has proven in the past. Well, just wanted to have a bit of fun and something to look at untile the true cover comes together.
 
This my latest book Grandma Bellino’s Italian Cookbook – Recipes of My Sicilian Nonna is a collection of Sicilian & Sicilian-American Recipes. Most of the recipes are of my Nonna Josephina Salemi Bellino. Some of the recipes are from her offspring like my mother Lucia and her Brother Tony, along with recipes from my Aunts Fran and Helen and my sister Barbara.

 SAMPLES of BOOK COVERS From MY GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Meatball Parm Mondays

Meatball Parm Mondays

SUNDAY SAUCE

When Italian Americans Cook

Segreto Italiano

Segreto Italiano

SEGRETO ITALIANO  –  SECRET ITALIAN RECIPES

Caffe Dante to Close ???

MY BELOVED CAFFE DANTE to CLOSE
Yes I’m afraid it’s most likely true, my beloved Caffe Dante to close this month (February 2015) after 100 years in business in New York’s Greenwich Village. It’s rumored that Mario Flotta the long time owner of Caffe Dante will be selling the caffe to a Australian Corporation and it was reported on 1010 WINS Radio News this morning that Dante will be shuttering its doors in 10 days time. This is very sad, especially for me and longtime regulars who have been going to Caffe Dante for 10, 20, 30, and even 40 years for New York’s most authentic Espresso and cups of Cappuccino. I myself have been going there since the Summer of 1985 when I came back from my first trip wonderful trip of many to my ancestral homeland of Italy .. As i’ve been going to Caffe Dante almost evry single day siance 85, I’ve become good friends with the Flotta Family over the years especially Mario Sr. who is almost like a second father to me.
This is such sad news, and all I can say is something I know that most do not, is that Mario bought a building around the corner on Bleecker Street for just such a situation. That being that the landlord would one day raise his rent beyond reason (the Landlord did in 2013), and Mario would just pack up his caffe and move it around the corner. Mario is Caffe Dante, his loves the place like one of his own children, and I know this is the reason he bought the building on Bleedker. Mario told me himself what he would do, and he always wanted the Caffe to continue and for there to be a place for Caffe Dante for his sons, Mario Jr., Anthony, and Peter.
I hope everything all works out, I love Caffe Dante more than I can ever express, it’s without question my second home, and a Greenwich Village without this wonderful Caffe would be that much less of the Greenwich Village that we residients, visitors and tourist from around the country and around the World know.
 
 
 
Story & Photos by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke