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Men Who Love to Cook During Christmas Season

Fettucine with Peas and Prosciutto by Buddy Fortunato


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb prosciutto, diced small
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of tomatoes, with juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups baby peas, frozen
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, torn plus more to garnish
  • 1 lb fettucine
  • 3 oz mozzarella, cubed
  • 3/4 cup Parmigiano, freshly grated


Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium flame. Add the prosciutto and sauté for two minutes, then add the onion and sauté until the onion is soft and the prosciutto has browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 15 minutes before adding the peas and basil.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until just al dente, then drain the water. Add the sauce to the fettuccine and toss over a high flame for about two minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cubed mozzarella and grated Parmigiano. Garnish with basil and serve.

Publisher of the Italian Tribune, Buddy Fortunato preparing a simple, yet delicious pasta recipe with two of his grandsons, A.J. and Dallas Hurley of Mendham, New Jersey. Both young men are honor student-athletes at The Delbarton School. Austin is straining the pasta, while Dallas is cutting the prosciutto, which was Buddy's Christmas gift on the beautiful cutter stand.

Vic Richel’s Christmas Frittata

Although I do not consider myself to be much of a cook, we do have a traditional Christmas Frittata that I prepare for our family during the Christmas Season! 

Victor M. Richel, is an American banking executive and philanthropist. He is the current chairman of the board of trustees at both Trinitas Health and Trinitas Regional Medical Center, as well as chairman of the board of trustees at Union County College.

Yield 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup salami, diced
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Sauté the salami, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms until heated through, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to baking dish.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, green onions, garlic, basil, onion powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl; pour the eggs over salami mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano cheese. Bake until eggs are set and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Vic Richel readying his Christmas Frittata.

Veal Scaloppine ala Eugenia, from Jack Ciattarelli

Growing up I was blessed to have two very hard-working parents who also loved cooking! A favorite recipe and dish in the Ciattarelli home was passed on to me by my mother, Eugenia, who turns 90 in January.

Jack Ciattarelli, a former Assemblyman, was the recent, popular candidate for Governor of the State of New Jersey.

Yield 4 servings


  • 2 lb veal cutlet
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup Chablis
  • 14 oz can sliced mushrooms


Cut veal into 2-inch strips, about half inch wide. Over medium flame, cover the bottom of pan, preferably cast iron with olive oil. Add butter, garlic and small sprinkling of crushed red pepper.

Once pan is very hot, add the veal and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon while sautéing.

While veal is still a bit rare, sprinkle in the flour and Chablis. Mix all ingredients over a low flame. If gravy is too thick, add more olive oil and Chablis. Drain the can of mushrooms and add to the pan. Mix well. Simmer over a very low flame very for 15 minutes and serve.

Veal Scaloppine ala Eugenia is served exceptionally well with mashed potatoes (pour some of the excess gravy over the potatoes), a vegetable (asparagus or broccoli), Italian bread and wine. If you prefer a red Veal Scaloppine, eliminate the flour and mushrooms and add a 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Buon Appetito!

Jack Ciattarelli prepares to make his mother’s recipe for Veal Scaloppine.

Fig Cookies from Carl Cortezzo of Nazareth, PA

As an avid reader of the Italian Tribune, I’m always inspired by my favorite section, the recipes. Thank you, Marion. Your recipes are special and the fig cookies are one of my favorites.


  • 2 cups dried figs, hard tips discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups dried dates, pitted
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup whole walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into ½”cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tbsp water for egg wash
  • grated chocolate, for decorating


To make the filling: In a food processor, combine the figs, dates and raisins and process to finely chop. Place the mixture in a medium bowl, add remaining filling ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

To make the dough: In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the butter and blend with your fingertips until most of mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg, milk and vanilla together. Add to the dry mixture and stir to make a rough dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cut the dough into four pieces, cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. On a lightly floured surface, one at a time, roll out each piece of dough into a 12” square. Cut the dough into 4” by 3” rectangles. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling down the center of each rectangle. Fold the long sides of each rectangle inward to the center to enclose the filling; pinch the edges to seal. Turn the cookies seam-sides down and press gently to flatten the seams. With a floured knife, cut the logs crosswise into 1-1/2 inch wide slices and arrange 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. While still warm, decorate with grated chocolate.

Transfer to wire racks to cool. Serve at room temperature.

Carl Cortezzo mixing the batter for the fig cookies.

Braciole by Tony Cicatiello

Anthony S. Cicatiello is the President of CN Communications International Inc. in Chatham, N. J.


  • 1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak
  • 1 cup dry white wine

*Use your own marinara sauce or a sauce of your choice. It should be ready to cook for 1 ½ hours with the braciole.

For the braciole: In a medium bowl, add the bread crumbs, garlic, Pecorino Romano and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and mix together. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and blend together to make a paste, then set aside.

Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface and tenderize with meat mallet, making sure that the flank steak is thin enough to be rolled, between 1/4 and 3/8 inch thick. Spread the bread crumb paste mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at one short end, roll up the steak as you would if you were making a jelly roll to enclose the filling completely. Using butcher’s twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciole with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a heavy large ovenproof skillet over a medium flame, add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Add the braciole. Cover partially with foil and bake until the meat is almost tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. The total cooking time should be about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a large sharp knife, cut the braciole crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.

Anthony Cicatiello with the braciole, ready to serve.

Italian Stuffed Peppers by Al Dorso

Al Dorso is the Present and CEO of State Fair and was the Italian Tribune’s 2021 Italian Heritage Award recipient.


  • 10 long green peppers, cut in half, with seeds removed
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup  water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Italian hard cheese, such as Parmigiano, Asiago
  • 1 small loaf of brick oven bread
  • 1 can of black olives, chopped
  • black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F. In a six quart pot, cook the parsley and garlic in the oil and water over a medium-low flame for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, crumble the bread, then moisten with water. Add the eggs, grated cheese, olives and black pepper to taste. Mix well, then combine with the parsley and garlic. Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Stuff each pepper half with the mixture.

Place the peppers on a greased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle or brush with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. The stuffed peppers are best served at room temperature.

Al Dorso preparing his Italian stuffed peppers.

Cheesecake by Guy Carnazza

Guy Carnazza was born on Hester Street in New York City’s Little Italy and became a professional singer after winning a singing contest which led to a recording contract. He is the founder and President of Cinemacar Leasing Inc. in Westwood, N.J. Guy is also a councilman in Old Tappan, N.J., where he is very active in the community.


For the filling

  • 2 lb cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Berries for the top of the cheesecake


Place two oven racks in its lowest positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare the crust by pulsing the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and mix together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and slightly up the sides.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing the cheesecake filling.

Begin by beating the cream cheese using a stand or hand mixer. Add the sugar and beat on the highest setting until smooth and creamy. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined.

Next, add the eggs, one at a time, using the low speed of the mixer. Add the milk and blend the batter well, scraping the sides and bottom to ensure that all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust. Fill to about 1 inch below the rim of the springform pan. To prevent the cheesecake from cracking, fill a roasting pan halfway with water and place in into the lowest position in the oven. Place the springform pan on the rack above the roasting pan.

Bake for 90 minutes at 350°F, then turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 4 hours. Make sure that the oven door remains closed the entire time.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and refrigerate for at least four hours. Once completely cooled, remove the sides of the springform pan. Berries on top of the cheesecake add a festive touch, such as raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  

Guy Carnazza preparing his delicious cheesecake
The finished product!