“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Launch of "Magic & Pasta"....A New Dining Experience

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta"- Frederico Fellini

I am very excited to announce the launch of "Magic & Pasta"...A New Dining Experience. Browse the site for the story behind "Magic & Pasta", follow on our various social media accounts, subscribe to always stay updated and be sure to take a look for ticket information on my first official pop up on March 1st, "A Venetian Carnevale Celebration." Other upcoming dinners include An Italian Street Food Dinner, A Dinner Inspired by Famous Food Quotes, A Mad Hatter Tea Party and A Meet the Beatles Dinner. You can also book "Magic & Pasta" for cooking classes, private lessons, children's events or to cater your next event in NYC. "Life is a combination of magic and pasta"- Frederico Fellini

Magic & Pasta Full Website
Magic & Pasta Facebook Page
Magic & Pasta Twitter Page
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Venetian Carnevale Celebration Pop Up Event


Imagine a place where you can dress up, hide behind a mask, mingle with strangers, drink and indulge in fried treats? Well, I've made it a reality. On Saturday March 1st, join me for my first official Pop Up Dinner, "A Venetian Carnevale Celebration." Guests will enjoy a delicious feast consisting of traditional Venetian Carnevale dishes, as well as some with my own twist and of course, the sparkle of Prosecco.
I am so excited to share this unique dining experience with you. The idea of my Pop Up Dinners is to give you, my guest and friend, a personal and intimate experience. I encourage you to join me in the kitchen, see what magic I’m creating, talk with guests, sit, stand, lean, eat with your hands, whatever you like. Masks are encouraged. Come celebrate with me and be part of the magic and mischief. 

For ticket information, please click HERE and to RSVP on facebook, please check here.



Polenta Fritti with Miele di Castagno (chestnut honey) and Meile Arancio (orange honey)

Crispy, fried rosemary polenta served with assorted Italian honeys


Radicchio, Artichoke and Fig Salad with a Lemon Balsamic Reduction in a Parmigiano Crisp

Shaved radicchio, artichoke and figs with a drizzle of balsamic reduction served in a parmigiano crisp cup


Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp Lollipops

A little whimsy... fried cornmeal crusted shrimp lollipos


Celery Root Frittelle with Basil Aioli

Frittelle are a traditional Carnevale treat, everyone has their own twist...mine are made with celery root and served with a creamy basil aioli


Individual “Le Grande Lasagna di Carnevale” Ramekins

Lasagna di Carnevale is traditionally enjoyed around Carnevale as a last meat splurge before Lent...my version is completely homemade, the pasta, ricotta and my prize winning Bolognese with sausage, beef and pancetta


Another classic fried Carnevale treat, my great aunt's ricotta zeppoles with the addition of nutella, served with a dusting of powdered sugar


Carnevale Cookies

A traditional festive cookie covered with sprinkles




Please feel free to e-mail me at lacucinaprimadonna@hotmail.com for more details or any questions you may have.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Buon Anno! e Polenta Fritti with Wild Mushrooms

Felice Anno Nouvo!! Happy New Year to my friends all around the world. This year has been absolutely amazing, I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunities that I’ve had. From becoming a Sous Chef with Feast on History to studying cooking in Italy and all of the incredible things that happened while I was there and seeing Paul McCartney in concert. Yes, that is seriously one of the highlights from my year. (For those that don’t know, I am a HUGE Beatles fan) As I mentioned in my last post, I have a lot of very exciting things in the works that I will be announcing over the next month or so, so please stay tuned. Last night I hosted a New Years Eve Party for my family and friends, the pressure was on. Everyone knew I had just returned from studying cooking so I felt the need to really shine!! In fact, a few of my guests told me they had been bragging to their friends about coming to a chefs house for dinner, that brought the biggest smile to my face!

One of things I served last night was my Polenta Fritti with Wild Mushrooms. Polenta Frittii something I enjoyed a few times while in Florence, a deep fried piece of polenta and yes, it is every bit as good as it sounds. Here is my recipe, hope you all like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

Polenta Fritti with Wild Mushrooms
Wild Mushrooms
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 cups of mixed wild mushrooms
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
In a medium size pan over medium heat, heat your butter, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Let the garlic get a little color, but not too much. Add the mushrooms and cook until a lot of the liquid has evaporated. I personally like the mushrooms a little dry, not too wet, so let them cook for around half an hour. Once they have finished cooked, add the chopped parsley and mix. Serve a tablespoon or two on top of the Polenta Fritti.
Polenta Fritti
8 cups of water
1 tbsp. salt
2 cups of medium grain poleta
2 tbsp. dried Italian seasonings (rosemary, oregano, etc)
1 cup of neutral oil, plus 1 tbsp (I like to use canola or peanut oil for frying)
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the polenta and seasonings and mix with a wooden spoon. Oil a pound cake pan and pour the polenta in the pan and spread it so the top of the flat. You can choose to shape and cut them however you like, I pour my polenta in a pound cake pan, let it harden up a little and then slice it almost like a loaf of bread. Cover it and put in the refrigerator for an hour. Once the hour is up, flip the pan over on a cutting board, the polenta should easily come out. Slice the polenta the same way you would slice bread, I like to slice it pretty thin, around ½ an inch. Prepare a large deep pot while the oil over medium high heat. Once it is hot enough, add the polenta, as many as you can get in there. I like my polenta really REALLY crispy, so each piece can take around 7 minutes to get that crunchy. As the pieces finish, put them a paper towel on a wire rack. Top with the wild mushrooms. Boun Appetito!!