These recipes are my own (except where noted.) Also please note some of my recipes are given like a typical Italian person cooking. I don’t really measure  (unless something that must be exact like canning.) A few now have been updated with more exact measurements as I worked on them for cooking classes I have taught.
A few are for potatoes/sweet potatoes, and I know I don’t sell them, but I figured I might as well put them here too. If you have questions about a recipe, please post below in case someone else has the same question, or if you try a recipe, I would love a review. Thank you.



Beans and Greens

This is a dish that used to be exclusively made by poor Italian people. It is thought of as comfort food to me. You can often find variations of this at very nice restaurants these days. It doesn’t seem like much, but it tastes great.

1 lb or so of Escarole or other Greens cut up
1 lb or so of fresh shelled, cooked dried beans(1lb after cooking) or or a can(cans are a bit less than a lb,, but close enough) of beans like Great Northern or any favorite cooking bean
4 large cloves of garlic or more(I like more!), chopped
Olive Oil
Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Good Italian Bread

Vegetable or Chicken Stock
lemon juice
(sometimes people add onions, but I think that is wrong for this)

Add olive oil to pot enough to cover bottom. Add garlic and saute on med. Don’t brown, just soften. (If you are substituting Swiss Chard, saute the chopped stems First before the garlic as to soften a bit.) Add a bit of water, enough to be able to get escarole cooking down, but not a lot, maybe a cup or two. Don’t add too much, you can always add more after the escarole cooks down if you think it needs it. Instead of water some people add stock. Keep adding escarole into pot to cook down. Let cook for a few minutes. (Adjust time for greens that may take longer to cook down.)
Add beans, pepper, and just a touch of salt (the cheese is salty so you don’t need to add a lot.) Let cook for a couple minutes. Taste. Add more salt, pepper, oil. My family at this point throws in a few pats of butter. Some people add a touch of lemon juice or bacon bits. And that is it.
Add cheese when you eat it with a nice hunk of Italian bread.


2 cartons(8 cups) Chicken Stock
3 cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed or of course the equivalent of your own dry beans cooked
2 cups of Tomatoes diced or a small can of diced tomatoes
1 Andouille Sausage link chopped
2 cups Onion chopped
4-6 cloves Garlic minced
2 Celery stalks chopped
2 Carrots chopped
1/2 or 1 Jalapeno chopped fine
2 tbsp. Cilantro chopped fine
1-2 cups Corn
1 cup Rice
2 tsp. cumin
4 tsp. chili powder
juice of 1 Lime
Salt and pepper

In a stock pot, saute the andouille sausage with med-high heat in oil. Then turn to med-low and saute the onion, celery, jalapeno, and carrot until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, corn, beans, cilantro, cumin, and chili powder. Turn heat up and bring to boil. Add rice and bring back to boil. Then cover and simmer until rice is cooked.
Add lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste and serve. I like to crumble tortilla chips on top.


  • 1 bag Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks diced
  • 2 Carrots diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock (2 cartons)
  • 4 links Italian Sausage, casings removed and broken into pieces
  • Baby Spinach
  • Spices~ Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Marjoram, Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive oil


In a large pot, cook the tortellini until about done, set aside.

In another large stock pot, saute carrots for about 3 minutes. Add the celery and  onion cook until onion is translucent about 10 minutes. Add the Italian sausage and brown. Add garlic, cook a minute or so more. Add the Chicken stock, spices, baby spinach and tomatoes, bring to boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add tortellini bring back to boil. Turn off heat.

Serve topped with cheese.


  • 4 cups berries – blueberries, raspberries, and/or strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbls. corn starch or potato flour mixed with 2 tbls. water
  • 1 Lemon, peel and juice
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. or 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • Optional~ Sour Cream

Puree 3 cups of the fruit in blender or processor. Place in soup pot. Add the water and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cornstarch mix. Bring to boil stirring until soup thickens a bit.
Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, sugar, and spice. Remove from heat and chill.
Once chilled mix in cream ladle into bowls and add a dollop of sour cream to each if desired. Garnish with cup of saved fruit.


  CARDOONS, Italian Frittata style

Burdock stalks may be substituted for Cardoon. In spring up north where Cardoon does not easily grow, crazy Italians, such as myself, sometimes can be seen cutting burdock in open fields.


* Cardoon stalks leafy/spiny parts removed, cleaned well
* Eggs
* Bread Crumbs Italian style seasoned (or add your own Italian spices)
* Black Pepper(even with seasoned bread crumbs I like to add more)
* Oregano(again even with seasoned, I like to add more)
* Parmesan and/or Romano Cheese(with the addition of this, I think it is salty enough, but you might like to add salt)
* Oil for frying

Chop Cardoon into small pieces like you are cutting celery for potato salad, but not quite that small. Put in big pot to boil with enough water to cover. Bring to boil. If your cardoon was not kept covered well when growing and isn’t super white, it could taste strong. (The same goes for burdock.) If so, at this point drain Cardoon out and then re-pot with new water and bring again to a boil. (This works good for any overly strong tasting green.) Then turn down heat and simmer until tender. I’m not sure on time. Check after 15 minutes see what you think. Once it has a good texture to you, drain. Let cool enough so as not to cook eggs that you will be mixing with the Cardoon. In a large bowl, add eggs to Cardoon, enough to cause a goopy mess (about 3 eggs to a lb.) Then start sprinkling in the bread crumbs and mix everything together. Keep adding bread crumbs a little at a time so you cause a wet batter that holds onto the cardoon pieces. You don’t want it too ooze away from the cardoon while frying, but you don’t want it too dry that it won’t hold together either. Mix in extra spices and cheese.
Get a good pan to fry in.( I love a big cast iron skillet.) Heat pan on med-high and add enough oil so fritters won’t stick and will brown nice. Some people do the big whole pan frittata, some do smaller ones. Smaller ones are easy to flip, so many people do that. Add cardoon mix to pan in portion sizes you like. They should be like fat pancakes. Let brown on one side before flipping, and then cook the other side until a nice brown. Transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain and cool slightly. Then eat, yummy!

GREENS, Italian Style

This recipe is always requested! Even greens naysayers love it.



1 lb. Greens (Kale, Spinach, whatever you have) cooked down (or if Swiss Chard follow as below)
1 Onion, large chopped
1 red Bell Pepper, large chopped
Garlic minced
Olive Oil
Italian Bread Crumbs or plain with spices added
Parmesan or Romano Cheese

In oil in a sauce pan, saute onion and red pepper. Cook until the onions are starting to caramelize. Add greens and heat up. Add minced garlic, cook a minute more. Add oregano or marjoram, black pepper, a little salt. Then take bread crumbs and sprinkle on the mix. Saute around until the bread crumbs start to brown. You may need to add a little more olive oil. If it sticks, push up what you can, but, don’t worry, the mix sitting in the pan for a few minutes when it is done will make it easy to remove. Then sprinkle Romano or Parmesan cheese all over it.

Swiss Chard~
In oil in a sauce pan, saute the chopped stems with chopped up onion and red pepper. Cook until the onions are starting to caramelize. Add chopped leaves, and cook down a bit. Add minced garlic, cook a minute more. Add oregano or marjoram, black pepper, a little salt. Add a little water to the pan, and cook until the water is pretty evaporated. Then take bread crumbs and sprinkle on the mix. Saute around until the bread crumbs start to brown. You may need to add a little more olive oil. If it sticks, push up what you can, but, don’t worry, the mix sitting in the pan for a few minutes when it is done will make it easy to remove. Then sprinkle Romano or Parmesan cheese all over it.



  • Eggplant
  • Eggs beaten with a little milk
  • Breadcrumbs (either Italian or plain w/seasoning added)
  • Mozzerella Cheese, shredded
  • Basket Cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Sauce
  • Oil for frying

Cut eggplant into rounds. Have eggs in one dish and breadcrumbs in another. Dip eggplants in egg and breadcrumbs. Get a frying pan with hot oil, and fry the eggplants. Drain on plates lined with paper towels. If doing lots of eggplant, have a container ready to clean oil into as lots of frying will create blackened crumbs.
Preheat oven to 350.
Sauce the bottom of a baking dish and fit eggplants to fill the bottom. Add some cheese. Dot with sauce.
Repeat until near about 1/2″ from top of pan. Sauce top well sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake until heated through.


  • Tomato puree and/or crushed tomatoes, for every large can:
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper, diced
  • Onion, diced, enough to match pepper amount
  • Garlic, minced, at least 2 cloves
  • Spices~ Oregano ½ tsp. , Basil ½ tsp. , Thyme, Marjoram, Black Pepper, 1 Bay Leaf
  • Oil

Saute onion and pepper in oil until starting to brown. Add garlic and saute a minute more. Add tomatoes. Add spices. Simmer for a few minutes taste for spice flavors. Add more if needed. Set aside.
~ Helpful hint. If your sauce is too acidic tasting when done, don’t add sugar, add butter. Add a pat or two at a time, mix in completely and taste.

Luau Aloha Sweet Potatoes

4-5 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup brown sugar(I like less sweet, but add more if you like sweeter)
dash of salt
Shredded coconut

Boil sweet potatoes until soft and drain.
While potatoes are cooking, in a sauce pan melt the butter, brown sugar, coconut milk, and salt. Adjust flavor as you like.
Return drained potatoes to pot. Pour mixture over potatoes and mash together. Turn on heat for a few seconds to stiffen.
Put mixture into casserole dish.
All of the above can be done a day or two ahead.
Reheat in oven until hot.
Sprinkle shredded coconut over top right before serving.

Potato Cheese Casserole

  • 4-5 lbs. Russet Potatoes peeled, cut into bit size cubes
  • 8 slices of bacon(give or take, thin use more,don’t have to be exact)cooked crisp and coarsely chopped, reserve some oil
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped or a few small cooking onions
  • Green/Red pepper chopped to match onion amount(don’t have to be exact)
  • 1  8oz. pkg. Jalapeno Monteray Jack Cheese shredded
  • 1  8oz. pkg. Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • White Pepper(if you have it)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter the large size pyrex(4.8qt size) baking dish. Use a few small ones if you don’t own the big one. You don’t want potatoes to be piled too high or they won’t cook properly.
Saute onion and pepper in oil saved from bacon. Cook just until starting to brown.
In a large bowl mix potato, bacon, and onion and pepper mix together, add a touch of salt and white pepper.
Put mix into pyrex, cover with cheeses. Dot with a little butter. Cover with tin foil.
Bake for 1 hour or until tender.
You can serve as is, or remove tin foil and throw under broiler for a min or two to brown.

Piedmont4jpgThe following is an old French Piedmontese recipe from customer Pippa  Osborn.
She says, ” It is one of my favourites and really very good:”

Piedmont Peppers

Per person, you will need:

  • 1 red or yellow sweet pepper
  • About 5 small tomatoes (cherry or Roma type), halved
  • 2 anchovy fillets (in oil is fine), halved
  • 1 big clove garlic, quartered
  • 4 caper berries
  • Salt and pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Basil leaves
  • Shaved Parmesan

Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
Slice the washed peppers vertically through the stalk (You need the stalk otherwise the peppers will collapse during baking)
Remove seeds (save to plant!)
Into each half pack the garlic pieces, capers. anchovy pieces and halved tomatoes.
Add around 1` teaspoon Balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper to each half.
Drizzle them with olive oil and bake for about 25 minutes till browned and soft.
Top each half with shaved Parmesan and a basil leaf.
Serve with crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices.

This next recipe is not mine it was sent to me by my KY swap friend, Roger. He was kind enough to offer it as an addition to the recipe page.

Italian Grilled Tomatoes

Roger H. Postley      “Tomatoes, Etc.”      Copyright  © 1994-2014        All rights reserved.
  • Medium size ripe tomatoes (don’t try this with tasteless Winter tomatoes…)
  • One aluminum cup cake shell per tomato
  • Enough LARGE fresh sweet basil leaves to wrap each tomato…  (Dried crushed basil can be used, but fresh is better…)
  • Olive oil (to coat each tomato)
  • Oregano (optionally sprinkled on each tomato)
  • Parmesan cheese (optionally sprinkled on each tomato)
This is a great side dish with almost anything cooked on a covered outdoor grill (either gas or charcoal).  It usually takes 20-30 minutes to cook and therefore might need to be put on before small steaks or chops or chicken pieces…
Skin the tomatoes.  This is easily done, by placing the fresh tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds – the skins slip right off. Cut out the stem/core.
Line the cup cake shells with basil leaves.  Rub a coating of olive oil over each tomato.  Wrap more basil leaves over and around each tomato.  Place on a hot area of the grill, but NOT directly over the heat.  (If using dried basil, liberally sprinkle on after the tomato is fully covered in oil – don’t worry about removing the basil after cooking…)
When you remove the tomatoes from the grill, pour off (or drink) any liquid and discard the dried or charred leaves.  Serve in the foil cups.


2 Avocados
1/2 cup minced Onion
1/2 cup(more or less to liking) minced Jalapeno
Cilantro chopped fine
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 small tomato chopped
salt and pepper
optional~ garlic powder, cumin
Mash avocados and mix everything in.


These fritters hold together well for frying. They will be crispy outside and creamy inside.
Zucchini grated to equal at least 1lb.
3 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup flour
a touch of Onion Powder
a touch of Garlic Powder
a touch of salt (remember Parmesan is salty so don’t add too much or make a tester and see if it needs any to your taste buds before cooking them all)
a touch of black pepper
a dash of lemon juice (you can add good quality Lemon Pepper seasoning to sub for the salt, pepper, and lemon)
oil to fry

Put zucchini is a cheese cloth type towel and squeeze to get out excess water.  Mix all ingredients together except oil. Heat oil in a frying pan. Drop large spoonfuls in oil, wait to flip til browned. If you are unsure of flavor, cook a tester and adjust seasoning to your liking. Place on paper towels let cool for a minute and then eat!


Dill Pickles

Please if you have never canned before, read the Ball Blue Book of Preserving or the instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site.

Here’s the recipe for a 2 gallon crock(probably around 6lbs. of pickles.)
~soak washed whole gherkin pickles(make sure stems are gone) in salt water solution in the crock overnight(up to 24 hours.) The solution is 1/2 cup canning salt to a gallon of water. Distilled water works best. Use only canning salt. Put a plate on top of the pickles and then like a bowl of water to hold the plate down. Cover with towel, pot lid, whatever to keep anything from falling in.
The next day, drain and rinse pickles.

Prepare pickling solution~

Pickling solution :
9 cups distilled Water
6 3/4 cups Vinegar
4-5 tablespoons Canning Salt- must use canning
1-2 tablespoons of Sugar- depends on your taste

Combine the water, vinegar, salt, sugar in a large pot. Bring to boil.

For wide mouth pint jars(for Quarts increase the quantities of course), add the following to the clean and warm jars:
Grape Leaf~ a piece a bit smaller than the circumference of the jar(if you don’t have access to grape leaves, the recipe will still work.)
Onion sliced very thin ~ 1 slice
Heads of Dill~1
Hot Banana Pepper cut into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks ~ 1
Peppercorns~ 3 or more
Mustard Seed~ 1 tsp.
Bay leaf ~ 1 small or cut a big one in 1/2
Garlic cloves cut in 1/2 if big ~ 2–3 pieces

Then pack with gherkins. I save the smallest gherkins for the pint jars. I have the best luck cutting my gherkins into spears if they are big also.
Top with vinegar mix that has been boiled leaving 1/2 inch head space. Use a plastic or wooden(not metal!) tiny spatula (or anything thin and plastic/wooden like I have plastic chop sticks that work nice) to run around the inside of jars to knock out any trapped air bubbles.
Screw tops on firmly. Process in water canner, 5 minutes for pints, 10 minutes for quarts. If you don’t process, put in fridge.

groundcherryjamGround Cherry Jam

4 cups Ground Cherries
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 cup water
4 cups sugar
1 packet Certo

In a sauce pan add ground cherries, juice, and water. Bring to boil for a minute to soften ground cherries. Then mash then up a bit.
Add sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Stir often.
Add Certo packet and bring back to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove any white foam on top.
Then put in little jam jars (4oz.) and BWB for 5 minutes. Makes 11 or 12 jars.

Hot Pepper Jelly

I’ve worked with a few recipes and found this method works best for suspended peppers in the jelly. It ends up looking like stained glass.
Please if you have never canned before, read the Ball Blue Book of Preserving or the instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site.

1/4-1/3 of a cup of small diced hot pepper
3/4 cup of small diced sweet pepper
(A mix of red and green of the two looks best)
6 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 pkg. of liquid Sure Gel Certo

Combine all but the certo in a pot. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Stir in the certo. Immediately put into hot jelly jars. It makes 5 1/2 pint jars. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water canner.

Pickled Peppers

Please if you have never canned before, read the Ball Blue Book of Preserving or the instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site.

This is to make 4 pints, you can of course make large batches depending on how many peppers you have.

3 lbs. peppers – washed and cut into rings
2 cups vinegar
1 cup water(distilled is best)
2 tablespoons of sugar(you can go less if you like)
1 tablespoon canning salt(must use canning)
Cloves of garlic
Onion thinly sliced

In a 6-8 quart pot add the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to boil. Add peppers. bring back to boil. Remove from heat.
Into washed and warm jars add a slice of onion and at least a clove of garlic, if small you can add a few. Then fill with pepper rings and liquid. Leave 1/2 inch head space. Run a plastic or wooden(no metal!) utensil around the inside of the jars to get out air bubbles. Screw caps on firmly. Process in water canner for 10 minutes.


Please if you have never canned before, read the Ball Blue Book of Preserving or the instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site.

5 lbs. tomatoes skinned and chopped
3 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cup chopped pepper(I do 2 jalapenos and the rest bell pepper, but you can mix and match peppers to your taste as long as the whole equals 1 1/4 peppers chopped)
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons garlic
1 cup vinegar ( you can use a bit less vinegar and replace the missing part with lime juice)
1 tablespoon salt

In a large pot add all ingredients together. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. You can simmer longer if you like it cooked down more, but I prefer it less cooked.
Fill pint with salsa leaving 1/2 inch head space. Run wooden or plastic utensil (no metal!) around jar to remove air bubbles. Screw tops on firmly. Process in boiling water canner for 15 minutes.

Zucchini Pickles

Everybody loves these!
Please if you have never canned before, read the Ball Blue Book of Preserving or the instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site.

3 large overgrown zucchini
5 cups vinegar
5 cups water
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 tbsp sugar (or 3 depending on your taste preference)
12 small garlic cloves or large ones cut in half
small onion sliced into rings
fresh dill
mustard seeds
grape leaves
12 wide mouth pint jars (maybe one or two more if you have enough zucchini)

Trim zucchini ends off and cut zucchini into lengths it would take to make a pickle spear fit in a pint size jar with head space. Then cut into spear shapes trimming off inner part of zucchini where the hard seeds are developing.
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a pot and bring to boil.
In each jar, add about 3 onion slices, a garlic clove, and dill. Then pack in zucchini slices so they are tight but not jammed. trim off any excess if they are a bit to long to fit in jar properly. add 4-6 peppercorns, and 1/8-1/4 tsp. mustard seed. Add hot vinegar mix leaving 1/2-1/4 head space, top with piece of grape leaf.
Process in water canner for 15 minutes.

Written by remy in: |


  • remy says:

    Hi Gail,
    You can substitute lemon or lime juice. Canning recipes say to use only bottled juice as fresh probably varies greatly in acidity.
    From the National Home Canning Institute:
    ” The acid ingredients used in salsa help preserve it. You must add acid to canned salsas because the natural acidity may not be high enough. Commonly used acids in home canning are vinegar and lemon juice. Lemon juice is more acidic than vinegar, but has less effect on flavor. Use only vinegar that is at least 5% acid and use only commercially bottled lemon juice.

    If you wish, you may safely substitute an equal amount of lemon juice for vinegar in recipes using vinegar. Do not substitute vinegar for lemon juice. This substitution will result in a less acid and potentially unsafe salsa. ”

    Now I’ve always read that 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice is equal to 4 Tbsp. of vinegar when canning quart jars of tomatoes. So that would mean 1/2 the lemon juice to vinegar, but the canning institute says to keep it the same with salsa. I’m not sure why. It does say it won’t affect the flavor as much so using the same amount would be fine. I’m still wondering about the equal measurement though. If I find out, I’ll post, or someone comes along who knows, please post.

  • gail says:

    We love salsa, but dislike vinegar in it, and want to can, we like lime and lemon, how can we combine this and be safe?

    thanks, gail

  • remy says:

    Hi Gala,
    It is for hot Hungarians or jalapenos, but there’s no reason you can’t use sweet ones. It does not affect the safety of the recipe.

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