Country-Style Rigatoni

This pasta dish is great for a party as well as a midweek meal. Grab a glass of Vino, some warm crusty bread, and you’re good to go! Not at all complicated to make, and basicly everything’s done in one pan!

The sauce is what makes this dish, when all the ingredients mingle together the flavors are out of this world! Trust me, try it!

This recipe comes from Carmine’s Family Cookbook, and although I tweeked it just a little bit by adding a little more this, and a little less that, it’s pretty much right from the book. Here’s my adapted version.
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
4 or 5 Cloves of Coarsely Choped Garlic
1/2 of a Thinly Sliced White Onion
1/2 to 3/4 lb. of Italian Sausage with Fennel, casings removed
8 large Basil Leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
One can of Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups of Chicken Stock
3tbl of Butter
1 cup of grated Romano Cheese
3 slices of Prosciutto rolled up and thinly sliced
12 ounces of Dried Rigatoni
10 Broccoli Spears, 3″ long
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan, add the onions and garlic.
2. Add sausage, basil and parsley, cook till sausage is nice and brown. Raise heat, add stock and butter, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes till sauce thickens a little. Stir in half of the grated cheese and cook for about 3 more minutes till sauce thickens. Add beans, sliced prosciutto, season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted boiling water for only 4 minutes. Add broccoli and cook another 3-4 more minutes. Pasta will be nicely al dente. It will cook more in the sauce so don’t worry!
4. Drain pasta and broccoli, add to sauce, now add more cheese!
This is so good, I decided to bring a huge pan of this to our Festa Italiana! Don’t forget to submit your delicious Italian food or drink now, till March 9th. Maryann and I will be getting the tables ready!

The Second Annual "Festa Italiana" Announcement!

I’m so excited to be announcing the 2nd annual Festa Italiana!! I can’t believe a year has gone by since my blog sister Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita and I, hosted this wonderful event.

What made this event so great were the people that came to it, our many friends we’ve come to know so well from all over this virtual world! We like to to imagine our festa, as how it would truly be if we all gathered together literally. Huge tables set under twisting grapevines, Italian food and drink from one end to the other, laughing, singing, and dancing, while the sound of mandolins playing in the background, of course with out a doubt Sinatra and Dino too!
Last year we were amazed at all the scrumptious dishes you brought here and here.

Please join us again!

To participate here’s what you have to do:

* Create an Italian dish or drink
* Post about it on your blog
* Use our badge and link back to both Maryann and I. The links should refer to this announcement post, and also Maryann’s, so others can participate.
* Photograph your dish and send a copy no bigger than 350 pixels wide, along with your name, your blog’s name and url, the name of your dish or drink, and of course the link to that post.
* Email everything to this one address,

Thats it!

We will be accepting your entries starting today, all the way till March 9th. We will begin posting your dishes on March 2nd, after that we’ll add your entries as they arrive.

This is not going to be my entry dish to the festa, I’m still deciding what I should bring, I work good under pressure!! but if you’re a coffee lover, then you’re going to love this light and refreshing dessert. A great ending to a heavy meal. Granita’s are just as satisfying as a bowl of ice cream, without all the calories.

The ingredients are simple, 2 cups of brewed coffee,(cooled down), 1/2 cup of milk, 1 Tbl. of sugar, and 2/3 cup of a good coffee liqueur, like kaluha. I had a couple of those miniature bottles so I used that.

Mix everything together, and freeze it all in a shallow pan for at least 2 hours. Flake with a fork.
Serve with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream!
Looking forward to “seeing” everyone at the Festa! Until then,
Buon appetito!!


Braciole is something I don’t make very often, except maybe for a special occasion, so therefore I thought it would be fitting that I bring this dish to our “Festa Italiana.” Please join Maryann and I, if you haven’t already done so. There’s still plenty of time to bring your favorite Italian dish or drink, you have till March 22nd. Shortly after that we will display all the wonderful things we “tasted” at the Festa! Everything looks fantastic so far!!! ( click for details on top of my blog)

I make my braciole simply with thin cut round steak.

In a bowl I mix together bread crumbs, fresh chopped parsley, chopped garlic,a little salt, lots of pepper,and a generous amount of grated cheese.(I used romano)

Layer prosciutto, (or you can use bacon) all over the round steak, then generously sprinkle the bread crumb mixture all over the prosciutto.

Roll them up and tie them so all the filling stays inside. Cook them in your favorite home made sauce, but be sure to add some red wine, it gives them a nice rich flavor. Simmer till tender.

With every bite you will taste the prosciutto, cheese, and that moist and flavorful bread crumb mixture!

I couldn’t resist stopping by my favorite Italian bakery,and picking up a tray of these for all of you to try at our Festa. Their called Zeppole, out here in Chicagoland, and they only come out for a few weeks every March, after St. Joseph’s day you won’t find them anywhere. We often have to wait in long lines to get these little gems, but believe me they are worth the wait!!

It’s a light, fresh pastry dough, filled with the most delicious custard cream, aren’t they pretty? Can’t wait till you get to try them!

Buon Appetito!!



Maryann of “Finding La Dolce Vita” and myself, are hosting a delicious new food event called “Festa Italiana”.

Picture a long table set under the shade of twisting grape vines on a warm summer’s evening. One by one our friends are arriving, each one carrying their favorite Italian dish or drink. We eat and drink with happy hearts and before long, the guitars and accordions are filling the air with song. Everyone is eating, drinking, laughing, singing and dancing. As the sun sets, we are filled in every way and no one wants this evening to end.

So, come join us in a celebration of the sweet life, it’s a gathering of friends not to be missed! We are accepting your Italian dishes and drinks until March 22nd.

This is what you need to do to participate:

*Create a post featuring your favorite dish or drink. Remember to please link to both Maryann and I so others can participate. You are welcome to use our Festa Italiana graphic.

*Send an email to me ( or Maryann at ( by March 22nd. Please put the words “Festa Italiana” in the subject line.

*Tell us your name, your blog’s name, your blog’s url, the name of the dish, and a permalink to the post where your dish appears. Photo’s must be no bigger than 350 pixels wide. Height does not matter.

*All are welcome, but we ask that your email be in English, please.
* Only one entry please*

Maryann and I will be hosting a roundup shortly after March 22nd.