Chef Chuck's Pizza

Pizza con Peperoni e Cipolle
A simple yet scrumptious pizza the whole family will enjoy. Why order out when you can make this at home with the family! I used tipo 00 (double zero) flour, San Marzano type tomatoes from Italy, the best mozzarella you can obtain, and fresh basil. All these fine ingredients, result in the flavors of a true classic Italian pizza. This is the Emile-Henry pizza stone, which really enhanced the cooking, it can be used on top of gas or electric stove, in the oven, or on the barbecue.

Chef Chuck's Pizza (Pizza with Pepper and Onion)

4 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

San Marzano tomato sauce
Buffalo mozzarella
red and yellow bell peppers
white onion
fresh basil

Prepare dough by combining 2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees, with the yeast and sugar. Let rest for 7 minutes, add olive oil and vinegar. Place in food processor, along with the flour and salt. Combine until a ball forms. Knead dough till smooth, place in a oiled bowl, cover and let rest in a warm spot for 2 hours or until it doubles. I used a third of the dough to make each pizza. I like it thin, add just a splash of sauce, thin slices of mozzarella and your toppings. Preheat oven and stone to 525 degrees, using a pizza paddle slide pizza onto stone and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 
Makes 3 pizzas.

Chef Chuck's Baked Cod with Creamed Pea Sauce

Merluzzo al Forno in Salsa Verde

A fresh and simple way to make cod fish taste delicious. Baked with grated potatoes, panko, olive oil, salt and pepper served on a bed of creamy pea sauce. A light and healthy dish, with a beautiful presentation.

Baked Cod with Creamed Pea Sauce

2 pieces cod
1 potato
panko breadcrumbs
olive oil
salt and pepper
3/4 cup peas
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper

Wash and pat dry cod, arrange in a baking dish, lined with aluminum foil. Peel and grate a potato, spread on top along with a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, broil for 3-4 minutes to brown the top.
In a small pot heat water and peas add olive oil, cream, salt and pepper. In a blender or a hand blender puree the peas to a creamy consistency. If needed add more water. Pour a small amount of creamed pea sauce on plate, place fish on top. Serves 2

Chef Chuck's Valentines Day Risotto

San Valentino Risotto

A simple and romantic dish, made for two, risotto, is an Italian classic. This Valentine's Day Risotto is made with onions, red peppers and chili powder. Shape the rice in a heart shape and sprinkle parmigiana cheese on top. Enjoy with the one you love, Happy Valentines Day.

Valentines Day Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
parmigiano cheese, grated
black pepper

In a large frying pan heat butter and olive oil, saute onions and peppers till soft. Add rice and toast for 3 minutes, stirring. With the heat on low, add chili powder and black pepper, slowly add about 1/4 cup of broth at a time. Simmer and when rice gets low on broth add a little more broth. Risotto takes about 25 minutes to prepare.

Chef Chuck's Beef and Vegetable Pasticcio

Pasticcio con Carne e Verdure

A hearty meal for winter time, I used organic beef and vegetables, and the finest cheeses I could obtain, for maximum taste. All these textures and flavors combined, danced in my mouth. Pasticcio meaning mess, so you can literally add any vegetables or cheeses you have in your refrigerator! To make this an vegetarian dish omit the beef and add mushrooms instead.

Beef and Vegetable Pasticcio

2 1/2 pounds potatoes
1 pound ground beef
1 slice pancetta, 1/4" thick, chopped
1/2 cup hot potato water
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2/3 cup peas
1 small can diced tomatoes
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of oregano
1 thick slice provolone cheese, diced
parmigiana cheese, grated
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper

Peel and cut potatoes in large pieces, boil in salted water for about 15 minutes or until fork comes out easy. Reserve 1/2 cup potato water. Meanwhile in a frying pan melt 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil, saute carrots, celery and onions, salt and pepper cook for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside, in the same pan heat 2 tablespoons butter and brown meat. Add 1/2 cup hot potato water to the beef this will make a gravy. Combine all the vegetables with the beef along with, salt, pepper, diced tomatoes, peas, and oregano. Heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter, drain potatoes use a ricer or mash them and add warm milk. Add provolone cheese, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Butter your baking dish, add meat mixture top with mash potatoes, sprinkle parmigiana cheese on top. Place on a baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, broil for 3 or 4 minutes till potatoes edges are brown.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Pasta with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Pasta con Salsa di Panna Gorgonzola

I created this recipe at Macef, the tradeshow, that I worked at in Milan, for a company called Mori Life Design. It was very popular and the crowds really enjoyed it, I heard complimento all day! This unique pasta shape is called foglie d olivo meaning olive leaves, of course any pasta would work.

Pasta with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

1 pound pasta
3 tablespoons butter
5 sage leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
a few slices of prosciutto, cut up
parmigiana cheese, grated
black pepper

Cook pasta in salted boiling water till al dente. In a large frying pan, heat butter, bruise sage leaves by crushing them and saute for about 2 minutes. Squeeze leaves and remove. Add mascarpone and Gorgonzola cheese, stir till melted. Add cooked pasta to pan along with some pasta water, I used 2 ladles. If cream sauce is too thick add more pasta water. Sprinkle prosciutto, black pepper and parmigiana cheese on top.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Fiorentina Steak

Bistecca Fiorentina

Reservations only, we just returned from our trip to Italy, and what an amazing trip it was. From Brescia to Milan, Florence and the Amalfi coast, everyday was an adventure. I was on a local and national television station promoting the foods of the Brescia area, and my love for Italy. We traveled to find the best steak in the world, in Tuscany. We really did need reservations to purchase this 3 inch thick beauty, but with our sweet talking the butcher, Dario, agreed over a glass of Chianti. This steak is a famous dish of the Tuscan region, specifically from the Chianina cow, a white cow, dated back to the 800's. Like no other meat it was superior, so tender and flavorful, it melted in our mouths! If you don't like rare meat this recipe is not for you. A meal fit for the noble ones.

Fiorentina Steak

1 fiorentina steak
3 inches thick
salt and pepper

Heat pan to a searing heat, cook steak for 5 minutes on each side, then stand up on bone and cook an additional 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper.