Chef Chuck's Chianti Chili Con Carne

A hot and spicy ground beef dish with Chianti, fresh vegetables, red sauce, beans and hot peppers. I used chili peppers from the island of Stromboli, in this extraordinary dish. The hotter the pepper the better and this dish is sure to warm you up this evening.

Chianti Chili Con Carne

1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Chianti
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water

1 can cannellini beans
2 hot chili peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt to taste

In a large pot heat olive oil add onions, carrots, celery and chili peppers cook on medium heat 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add beef and chili powder, brown beef then add red wine. Pour in tomato sauce, water, oregano and salt, simmer for 30 minutes, add beans and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve over toasted bread or rice.

Chef Chuck's Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Torta alle Nocciole

Chocolate hazelnut cake is a divine recipe so chocolaty and creamy. The combination of the hazelnuts and chocolate is one of my favorites.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
11 tablespoons butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup flour, sifted
2 teaspoons yeast
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted

and finely chopped

1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
pinch of salt

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Ganache Frosting

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate

1/4 cup heavy cream

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, set aside. Toast hazelnuts in a small pan on low for about 5 minutes, in a food processor chop nuts till fine. In a mixer beat butter and sugar on high for 3 minutes. Lower mixer and add yolks one at a time, sift flour and yeast together add to batter. Mix hazelnuts and melted chocolate together, pour in batter. In a separate bowl beat egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter till all is incorporated. Pour into a buttered and floured 8 inch pan, bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool on rack, remove from pan and cut in half. When cake is completely cooled prepare whip cream. Use a cold mixing bowl, add cream and beat 30 seconds then add vanilla and sugar whisk till firm peaks. Spread on one layer and place other half of cake on top. Melt chocolate and heavy cream over a double boiler, stirring occasionally, till melted, cool a few minutes. Pour frosting on cake and spread, refrigerate cake.

Chef Chuck's Egg Drop Soup


We are celebrating the first evening of Autumn, with a warm bowl of egg soup. An Italian classic, with just a few ingredients, it's inexpensive and packed with flavors.

Egg Soup
3 eggs, beaten
6 cups organic chicken broth
or beef broth
3 tablespoons semolina flour
3 tablespoons parmigiana
cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl beat eggs with 1 cup chicken broth, semolina, parmigiana, parsley, salt and pepper. In a medium size pot heat 5 cups chicken broth to a boil, slowly whisk in egg mixture and continue to whisk for 3 minutes.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Baked Shrimp Piccanti

Gamberi Piccanti

A baked shrimp recipe that is loaded with flavors. The heat from the peppers along with the onions, lime juice and wine, makes this shrimp dish delicious.

Baked Shrimp Piccanti
8 medium shrimp
2 hot chili peppers,
sliced thin with seeds
1/2 small onion, minced
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 heaping tablespoon
fresh parsley, chopped
salt to taste

Wash shrimp leave shell on and place in baking dish. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients and pour over shrimp. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Chef Chuck's Pork Medallions

Medaglioni di Maiale

Tender breaded pork medallions, sweet basil, garden tomatoes and soft mozzarella all together is a symphony. The tenderloin is a lean cut so the juice from the yellow cherry tomatoes and the smooth mozzarella gives moisture to the medallions.

Pork Medallions
1 small pork tenderloin
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 tablespoons flour
1 egg, beaten with salt and pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, panko
cherry tomatoes, sliced thin
fresh basil leaves
mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste

Bring pork to room temperature this takes about half an hour, cut pork in 3/4 inch slices. Lightly dip in flour, egg and then breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil and saute garlic for 1 minute, discard garlic. Brown pork 3 minutes on each side place on a broiler pan. Top with a slice of tomato a basil leave and a slice of mozzarella. Broil on top rack till cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Salt when warm and serve. Makes 8 medallions.

Chef Chuck's Linguine with Anchovies and Walnuts

Linguine alle Acciughe

Pasta with anchovies and walnuts is a pasta dish filled with many flavors. The smell in our kitchen reminded me of being in Sicily. When using just a few ingredients, always use the finest anchovies, garden fresh garlic and oregano, and quality olive oil that you can obtain. Another quick, inexpensive and tasty recipe to enjoy with your family.

Linguine with Anchovies and Walnuts
1 pound linguine
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-6 ounces anchovies in oil,
1 cup walnuts, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
parmigiana cheese, grated

Toast walnuts in a small pan on low heat for 7-10 minutes, toss occasionally. Cook pasta in boiling salted water till al dente. In a large pan heat olive oil saute anchovies for 1 minute add garlic and walnuts for 30 seconds. Add pasta with a ladle of pasta water, salt, pepper and oregano. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and parmigiana cheese on top.

Chef Chuck's Roasted Lemon Sage Chicken

Pollo al Limone Salvia Arrosto

This succulent roasted lemon sage chicken, left an inviting aroma in our home. It was a gift from our neighbor, a free range organic plump chicken. We surrounded the chicken with potatoes, onions, artichokes, olives, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. This juicy choice chicken was a dinner to remember.

Roasted Lemon Sage Chicken
2-4 pound whole organic chicken
4 stems of fresh sage leaves, about 1/3 cup
4-5 red russet potatoes, quartered
4 small onions, halved
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
1/4 cup kalamati olives, halved
2 lemons
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
salt and pepper

Soak whole chicken in a salt bath for 30 minutes, rinse and place in roasting pan. Place 2 stems of sage inside chicken along with 1 lemon quartered and squeezed and half a lemon in opening. Arrange potatoes, onions, artichokes, olives, around the chicken, drizzle olive oil, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper. Combine ingredients of the rub and rub all over the chicken. Bake at 400 degrees, uncovered for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Chef Chuck's Marinated Eggplant

Melanzane a Scapece

Marinated eggplant picked from the garden, makes this a summertime recipe tucked in a jar waiting to be opened and relished. The eggplant absorbs all the flavors from the olive oil to our oregano, garlic and hot peppers also grown in the garden. With a touch of vinegar to bring it all together, grab some homemade crusty bread and indulge in some eggplant antipasto.

Marinated Eggplant
2 large eggplants or 4 small eggplants
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 hot chili peppers, diced
1 teaspoon red hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

Cut ends off eggplants and peel, cut in half and place in salted boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove, drain and cool, press with a cloth to remove a lot of the excess liquid. Slice eggplant and place in a bowl. Combine all the other ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. Pour marinate over eggplant ,cover and chill for at least 24 hours.

Chef Chuck's Sausage Pepper Poppers

Peperoni Salsiccia Piccola

The tiny italian palumbo peppers just picked from the garden stuffed with my homemade Italian sausage, sauted onions and parmigiano cheese are a one bite popper. Packed with many intense flavors
this recipe is the perfect appetizer. These particular peppers are grown from seeds we bought in Italy, easy to grow and are not hot, similar to a baby bell pepper.

Sausage Pepper Peppers
12 Palumbo peppers or
any small pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin
olive oil
3 Italian sausage links
1/2 onion, diced small
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 tablespoon parmigiano cheese, grated

Wash and cut tops off peppers clean out insides. Boil for 15 minutes, set aside. In a large frying pan heat olive oil and remove sausage from it's casing and brown. Cook onions in same pan with the sausage for a few minutes, add oregano and cheese. Stuff each pepper, place in a pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parmigiano cheese and serve.

Chef Chuck's Roasted Tomato Soup

Zuppa di Pomodori Arrosto

A bowl of roasted tomato soup is the perfect way to end the summer. Fresh picked from the garden and roasted makes this soup extremely flavorful. A wonderful warm season soup served with crusty bread and a salad.

Roasted Tomato Soup
2 pounds ripe garden fresh tomatoes
1 yellow onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
, lightly packed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup organic chicken broth or vegetable

2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
red hot pepper flakes, optional

Wash and core tomatoes, cut in half place cut side up on a baking pan. Place four garlic cloves on pan and sliced onions. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 450 degrees for 40 minutes. Turn onions during roasting and remove onions and garlic before they turn brown. Depending on the size of your tomatoes it could take a bit longer. Remove from pan and pour into a blender or food processor along with the onions, garlic, basil leaves, broth, cream and sugar. Blend till smooth season with salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil or heavy cream. Serves 4 hot or cold.

Chef Chuck's Strawberry Crepe Torta

Torta di Crepes

Strawberry Crepe Torta, is a layer cake made with soft thin crepes, creamy flavored ricotta, and sweet juicy strawberries. The cream is blended with ricotta, whipped cream, sugar and vanilla, and is delicious. This is the season for fresh organic strawberries so get creative.

Strawberry Crepe Torta

1 cup flour
1 cup milk

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt


1 cup strawberries, sliced

6 ounces whole milk ricotta
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup whipped cream, firm peaks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
powdered sugar for dusting

Whisk together all ingredients for the crepes, cover and let rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a mixer combine ricotta,1 tablespoon heavy cream, vanilla and sugar beat till soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Fold in whipped cream cover and refrigerate. In a 6 inch non stick pan on medium heat pour about 3 tablespoons of batter in center of pan and twirl around to make a round crepe. Cook for about 1 minute then carefully flip and cook another 30 seconds or until golden brown. Cool crepes, lay one in center of plate spread filling lightly then add sliced strawberries. Place another crepe on top and repeat process till the fifth layer. Decorate top layer with whip cream, sliced strawberries and powdered sugar.

Chef Chuck's Lemon Pork Chops

Arrosto di Maiale al Limone

The aromas from the lemon pork chops was intoxicating. The potatoes were so lemony and the pork chops were tender and moist. A great combination of flavors for a lovely dinner.

Lemon Pork Chops
2 pork chops
zest of 1 lemon, juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large potatoes, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
a sprig of rosemary, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable broth

Wash and pat dry the chops, flour both sides. Heat oil in a large pan and brown both sides. Add potatoes, garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, zest of one lemon and the juice, garlic, salt and pepper and broth. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until internal temperature is 160 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 2