The Frank Sinatra Willie Moretti Connection of The GODFATHER

Frank Sinatra
    Guarin “Willie” Moretti was the notorious Underboss of The Genovese Crime Family in New Jersey. He was born in Bari Italy in 1894. Moretti was shot dead Gangland Style (Whacked) at Joe’s Elbow Room in Cliffside Park, New Jersey on October 4,  1951 …
In the mid – 1930’s Willie Moretti’s name came to light when he became friends with an unknown singer named Frank Sinatra. Sinatra’s then wife Nancy Barbatp was related to John Barbato who was a soldier in Moretti’s crew. At the time SInatra had a tough time booking singing ingagements so Moretti helped him book New Jersey Clubs in return for a percentage of his earnings. By 1941 Sinatra was known throughout the United States and was on the verge of signing a lucrative contract with a national promoter. However years earlier he had signed a contract with band leader Tommy Dorsey who was reluctant to let Sinatra out of the contract. With the help of Moretti, Frank was able to get out of this contract. Moretti shoved aPistol down Dorsey’s throat and threatenedto Kill Dorsey if he didn’t release Sinatra. Sinatra was then free to sign a lucrative Record Deal as well as the contract with the national club promoter. 
Around the same time Moretti also became acquainted with up-and-coming comedians Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis who performed several nightclubs he frequented. Jerry Lewis and Dean Martina s well as Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra all performed at the Wedding of Moretti’s daughter in Hasbrouk Heights New Jersey. That wedding was the inspiration for the wedding scene of Don Vito Corleone’s daughter Connie in Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.
Willie Moretti lies dead on the floor of Joe’s Elbow Room
Cliffside Park, New Jersey
October 4, 1951
MARIO PUZO’S Best Selling Novel
It is without question that Frank Sinatra is the inspiration for Frankie Fontaine and Mob Boss Vito Corleone threatening to Kill band leader if he didn’t release Frankie from his contract they had together . Frank Sinatra would never admit this, but all those close to him at the time, know that it is the factual truth.
“You can act Like a Man” !!!
Al Martino (right) as FRANKIE FONTAINE
and MARLON BRANDO as Don Vito Corleone
by Francis Ford Coppola
Learn How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE alla SINATRA
in Daniel Bellino’s SUNDAY SAUCE

Minestrone Genovese



Ingredients :

1/4 pound Cannellini or Borlotti (cranberry) beans, soaked overnight

3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 leeks, washed and chopped, white part only
1 medium eggplant (1 pound), peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 cups hot chicken broth
4 cups hot water, plus extra if needed
1 cup chopped raw spinach
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1/4 pound vermicelli or stelline pasta
3 tablespoons Basil Pesto
Salt and pepper to taste


Drain the beans from the overnight soaking water, place them in a pot, cover with water, cook about 30 minutes or until still quite al dente, and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, leeks, eggplant, carrots, celery and potatoes and sauté for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to exude their juices.

Add the tomatoes, hot broth, hot water, beans and additional hot water to just cover the mixture. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for about 30 minutes.

Add the spinach, zucchini, cabbage and pasta and cook another 20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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BASIL PESTO for MINESTORNE GENOVESE and to Sauce the PASTA of Your Choice

Who doesn’t Love Pesto ? Well I guess there may be some, but for the most part, just about everyone loves this wonderful no-cook Italian Sauce that highlights some of Italy’s most iconic ingredients which include ; fresh garden Basil, Italian Olive Oil, garlic, Pignoli Nuts, and Parmigiano Reggiano . In Genoa and Liguria where Pesto was first born and is famous for there, there are primarily two ways to use this wonderful cold sauce, number one is to coat any one of a variety of pasta shapes to make a tasty pasta dish of Maccheroni & Pesto or pesto’s second most important use is as the main flavor enhancer of Minestrone Genovese, the greatest vegetable soup of all.


  • 3/4 cup pine nuts (6 ounces)

  • 5 cups basil leaves, chilled and very dry

  • 6 small garlic cloves, quartered

  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sealing

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

    1. Put the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Toss in the nuts, Parmesan, if using, pepper and salt and chop until the nuts are finely crushed, about 1 minute. Add the basil, oil and lemon juice and pulse for 1 minute more, until smooth. 

    2. To store, transfer the pesto to a sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto, seal and refrigerate up to 10 days or freeze up to 3 months.


Trippa Truffles & Sauvignon Blanc


A Plate of PASTA with WHITE TRUFFLES at Bar Pitti



a Bar Pitti Favorite

Inside BAR PITTI  … Greenwich Village  NEW YORK




We had another great plate of “Taglierlini with Truffle” the other day at Bar Pitti.
The Black Summer Truffles from Umbria have been so good this year, that they taste almost as good as the “White Alba Truffles” of the Autum and Winter Season.
It was quite funny when my friend Pat “P” and I took owe first bites, i said, “Patty Boy,” these Truffles are as good as the “Whites.” He agreed, and the words were barely out our mouths when Govanni came over and aske us how our Pasta was and added that they were “Stupenious” this year. “Just as good as the White Truffles.” We told him that we just said the same thing, and at about a fourth of the price at $23.00 a plate, they were an absolute “Bargain.”

We had a plate of Vitello Tonnato and “Trippa Fiorentina.” both were tasty as ever.
If you haven’t had any of the Norcia Summer Truffle, run on down to “Bar Pitti” and get a plate. “they’re Amazing!!!!” We drank a bottle of “Macari Sauvignon Blanc,”
as everyone seems to be doing these days and we were as “Happy as Peas in a Pod.”

by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

Watch for Daniel Bellino Zwicke’s upcoming book, “La Tavola” to be released November 2008 by Aardvark Global Publishing and read about the Adventures of the Table of
Italian-American New Yorkers.








When Italian-Americans Cook

by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke






Daniel Bellino Zwicke is Italian American New York




There lives in New York City’s Greenwich Village Italian neighborhood an author named Daniel Bellino Zwicke .. Daniel is the Best Selling author of much loved Italian Cookbooks as Sunday Sauce, Grandma Bellino’z Italian Coobook, La Tavola, and The Feast of The Seven Fish / Italian Christmas  … There is no other Italian Cookbook author quite like Daniel. For one Daniel was a real restaurant chef helming the kitchens of some of New York’s finest restaurants as well as creating America’s FIRST Ever Venetian Wine Bar / Restaurant (known as a Bacaro).

In writing such beloved Italian Cookbooks as Segreto Italiano, Sunday Sauce, and The Feast of The Seven Fish, Daniel is famous for 3 main aspects in writings of Italian Food and Wine. The three great aspects of Daniel’s unique writing style is the great love and passion Daniel has for his subject matter, his unique storytelling style and the ease, authenticity, and accuracy of his recipes. Daniel Bellino Zwicke has carved out his own special niche in his food and cultural writings and that is that he has now established himself as the undisputed pre-eminent writer of Italian-American Food Cooking and Culture. And Daniel Bellino Zwicke is without question the world’s number one proponent of Italian-American Food and Cuisine as a true and legitimate world cuisine.

Daniel’s fans and followers are enamored with Daniel’s Italian Cookbooks which combine wonderful Italian Food Recipes that are coupled with delightful stories and facts of the food, the recipes, history, and people’s of Italian-America. So we salute this Greenwich Village based food, wine, & travel writer and recorder of the Italian-American lifestyle one Daniel Bellino-Zwicke.




Anthony Roma








Look for Daniel’s soon to be Released MANGIA ITALIANO

BOOKS by Daniel Bellino Zwicke are Available on AMAZON

How to Make Frittata

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Zucchini Frittata

   Frittata, they’re quite a wonder. Italian Flat Omelets that are tasty, versatile and easy to make. I’ve been making them for years. They’re one of my favorites. Frittata are quite versatile. You can fill them with a endless variety of ingredients, both fresh made or leftover, and this is one of the great uses and attributes of this Italian wonder, The Frittata. Americans are just recently learning about them. Italian Americans have known of, made, and have been eating Frittata in many forms for years. In the past several years you see them popping up in cafes, delis, and restaurants as the rest of American is now catching on to what Italian-Americans have known for years.

   There are several different ways to eat and use Frittata. You can make a small one with two or three eggs and what ever filling you choose like Spinach and Parmigiano or Mushrooms and eat the whole Frittata for one person for lunch or dinner, with or without a green salad on the side.

   The best and most useful use of Frittata is to make a large one using 8 to 12 eggs and whatever filling you choose. My favorites are Sausage & Pepper, Broccoli with Goat Cheese or Fontina, and the Spaghetti Frittata

that has a cute little story behind it with me and my Aunt Fran. Anyway, when you make one of these large Frittata, the great thing is that you let it cool down, serve it at room temperature, cutting the frittata into wedges and eating it this way. A wedge of frittata can be a antipasto item on its own, part of a mixed antipasti misti, or my favorite, pulling a already made frittata out of the refrigerator and just cutting off a wedged shape piece and eating a piece any time day or night when you are hungry and need a little snack.

   Frittata are great items to include in a picnic, at a barbecue, and are especially goo if you’re on a long road trip in the car, in a bus, train, or plane, a piece or two of frittata is great to bring along. If you’re on a plane, get hungry, and you have a wedge or two of frittata with you, you’ll be happy as heck that you brought it along. Yes they make great travel food, The Frittata. They’re also great as part of a buffet or to pass around little pieces as Hors D’Oeuvres at a cocktail party.  





Caffe Reggio Greenwich


Caffe Reggio is a New York City coffeehouse first opened in 1927 at 119 Macdougal Street in the heart of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Italian cappuccino was introduced in America by the founder of Caffe Reggio, Domenico Parisi, in the early 1920s.[1] Inside the cafe, against the back wall, there is still the original espresso machine, made in 1902, that Domenico Parisi bought with his savings when he opened the cafe in 1927.

The Caffe Reggio has been featured in many movies, including The Godfather Part II, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, The Kremlin Letter, Shaft, Serpico, The Next Man, In Good Company, Inside Llewyn Davis and others. Many celebrities have been spotted or photographed in this location. In 1959, presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy made a speech outside the coffee shop. In 2010, the cafe was honored with a Village Award[2] by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for its status as a beloved and essential part of the neighborhood.

Caffe Reggio has a bench from a palazzo of the Florentine Medici family of Renaissance fame. The bench is not roped-off and guests can sit on it and admire a painting from an artist of the school of Caravaggio.





All photos by Daniel Bellino Zwicke




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Not in Caffe Reggio







SUNDAY SAUCE is AVAILABLE in Paperback on .. Click

Bar Pitti and Rosso di Montalcino Good Times

If a good or great Rosso di Montalcino is any indication of how good the Brunello of the same Vintage to be released 3 years later will be, and it usually is, then we are in store for some great Brunello 2009 when they are release in January of 2014.
At the recent “Brunello Tasting” for the 2006 Vintage Brunello’s, the 2009 Rosso di Montalcino’s that were on hand, where absolutely wonderful and the big surprise of the tasting held at The New York Hilton. Rosso’s where on hand by some but not all producers of Brunello, and most that I tasted were outstanding. Some were just about close to perfection, with wonderful balance of an abundance of Fruit, against just the right amount of acid content, and tannic backbone. Some of these wines were an absolute Joy to drink as with examples by; Argiano, Fattoria Barbi, Il Poggione, and the
Rosso di Montalcino from the Castel Giacondo Estate of the Noble Florentine Family, The Frescobaldi’s.
      I really loved the Rosso from Argiano which reminded me of the year of 2008 when my friends the Rozner Brothers Dave and Michael found ourselves quite a number of times hanging at the highly popular and one of New York’s best Trattoria’s “Bar Pitti” having some good ole times drinking
Rosso di Montalcino “Argiano” 2006. This was a good year for Rosso from Montalcino and we must of had at least 50 bottles of the stuff that year. One day we were joined by friend Curtis Stone. We had a wonderful 2 1/2 hour lunch that day, eating Tripp, Prosciutto, and Pasta accompanied by 5 bottles of Argiano Rosso which we thoroughly enjoyed. And this is all of what wines should be along with the food that goes with them and the restaurants or homes we share our meals in; good Friends, tasty Food, and great wine. That’s the good life or as we Italians would say La Dolce Vital, “The Sweet Life.” Enjoy!
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
“Yes we had many great times drinking this wine at BAR PITTI