Chef Chuck's Lentil Salad

Insalada di Lenticchie
Happy New Year/Felice Anno Nuovo 

A lentil salad to start the New Year gives you lots of good fortune.  An Italian tradition is to serve lentils for your first meal of the new year, right after midnight! I used orecchiette pasta which captured the tasty lentils.  A healthy side dish to serve along with sausage.  This lentil salad can be served hot or cold.

Lentil Salad
1 cup lentils
4 cups water
1/4 pound small pasta
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 
cut in half
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Bring lentils and 4 cups of water to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile cook 1/4 pound of pasta in boiling salted water till al dente.  Use a large bowl and combine the lentils, pasta, tomatoes and onions, drizzle olive oil on. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper toss gently. Add more olive oil and seasonings to your liking.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Pasta with Pesto

Trofie al Pesto
This pesto pasta recipe is unique in it's own way with the additive of potatoes and trofie pasta.  Trofie is a hand rolled pasta, sometimes hard to find in the states.  It can be achieved by making homemade pasta, cutting small pieces and rolling it on the table.  The texture was appealing between the potatoes and the pasta.  A quick and simple recipe for the whole family to enjoy.

Pasta with Pesto

1 pound pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 russet potatoes, cubed
1 cup pesto
1 1/2 cups parmigiano cheese, grated

In a large frying pan heat olive oil add cubed potatoes and salt, cook and stir occasionally till golden brown.  Meanwhile in a large pot of boiling water add salt and pasta, cook till al dente.  Add pasta to potatoes top with pesto and mix.  If needed add a little pasta water, then sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Polenta with Rib Eye

Polenta con Bistecca

This creamy polenta recipe is made with yellow corn meal and topped with rib eye steak.  Polenta was considered a poor man's meal, and there are many different ways to prepare it.  The best way to prepare polenta is to use a copper pot and a fireplace!  It is often spread on a large wooden board and set in the middle of the table for all to share.


4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup yellow corn meal
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup parmigiano cheese, grated

In a large pot boil water add salt and slowly pour in cornmeal whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.  Reduce heat to low and continue stirring till the polenta thickens.  Remove from heat and add the softened butter and parmigiano cheese, season with salt.  Serve hot or pour into a buttered pan and refrigerate then cut into slices.  You can pan fry these slices or brush olive oil on each piece and grill.

Rib Eye

1 Rib Eye steak
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
beef broth
heavy cream

Brush steak with red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and place in an extremely hot cast iron pan, cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  Remove and set on a board cover with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.  To make gravy, add about 1/2 cup broth and 1 tablespoon heavy cream to pan stir and allow to reduce.

Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Meeting Top Chef " Lidia "

It was my pleasure to meet the great Italian chef "Lidia" in New York City.  Her kindness was just as great as her cooking, as we all know! I had a successful press conference in the city, where my food line was  launched.  Chef Chuck's Cucina project consists of "made in Italy" foods and wine products.  We have a unique handmade pasta line.  The King of cheese, parmigiano reggiano and grana padano.  An all natural jams and marmalade line made with only the freshest ingredients.  A condiment line with many homemade sauces, such as pesto, figs, white truffle....  Also a line of tomato sauces and extra virgin olive oil, and to top it off an excellent wine producer from below the Italian Alps.  The goal of the project it to be on the American market by 2012. 

Chef Chuck's Brushetta

This brushetta recipe is a simple, healthy appetizer or a starter great for any gatherings.  Use rustic Italian bread, fresh ripe tomatoes, plump white beans and your best extra virgin olive oil.  There are countless toppings with other ingredients, so have fun creating unique and delicious combinations.


Italian Rustic Bread
Garlic Clove
Cannellini Beans
Fresh Ripe Tomatoes, chopped
Basil or Parsley, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Slice bread to 1/2 inch slices, toast in a 450 degree oven.  In a small bowl combine beans, tomatoes, basil or parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil, toss gently.  Rub garlic on toasted bread and place toppings on each slice, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini

Pasta con Salsiccia e Zucchine 

This pasta recipe was made with Cencioni pasta, hot spicy Italian sausage, zucchini and cherry tomatoes.  I made parmigiano cheese frico to give this dish a bit of a crunch. 
The flavors combined together were delicious.

Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini

1/2 pound pasta
3 hot sausages, broken up
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup vegetable broth
1 small zucchini, diced small
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup parmigiano cheese
salt and pepper

In a 8 inch non stick frying pan grate parmigiano cheese and cook on low till it forms and sets, remove with a spatula and set aside.  In a large frying pan heat butter add garlic and remove sausage from casings break sausage up add broth and cook on high for a few minutes.  Remove garlic and discard.  At this time start cooking your pasta in boiling salted water till al dente.  Add to the sausage pan the zucchini, tomatoes, 1tablespoon parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook on low when pasta is finished add to the sausage mix and serve with remaining parsley, and broken up frico ( parmigiano crisp). 
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina