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Mussels Arrabbiata (spicy tomato sauce)

Make sure you have plenty of fresh, crusty baguette or rustic Italian bread when you make this dish, because you will want to sop up every last bit of sauce!  This dish is easy to make, presents beautifully and delivers on taste.  The heat has a good kick, but is not too overwhelming.

2 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded*
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, fine dice (though leeks and shallots work beautifully if you have them!)
2 medium carrots, fine dice
2 celery stalks, fine dice
4-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups nice dry white wine
1 Jar Due Cellucci Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce
Salt & Pepper (about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp each)
Italian seasoning (about 1/4 -1/2 tsp)
Crushed red pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp, they add heat!)
Parsley, chopped.  To toss at end of cooking and some left fresh for final garnishing.
Warm crusty bread, for serving

1. Heat oil in large tall stock pot and sauté onion, carrots, and celery until soft. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
2. Add wine, followed by Arrabbiata sauce, the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and bring back up to a simmer.
3. Add mussels and cover, steam for 4-6 minutes over medium heat until mussels all open.  (Use a tall stock pot, as mussels really grow once they start to open.)  Any unopened mussels should be tossed away as they will not be safe to eat.
4. Taste broth and season with salt & pepper to taste.  Toss with plenty of chopped parsley just before serving.


*How to clean and debeard mussels

Clean: Soak mussels in a large bowl of cold sea salted water to purge any sand.  Rub mussels to remove any debris or seaweed on the outer shells.

Debeard: Mussels attach themselves to stable surfaces using thin, sticky membranes referred to as “beards.” Many store bought mussels will already be debearded, but you’ll likely find a few beards left over.  To remove, grasp it between your thumb and forefinger and pull firmly downwards towards the hinged-end of the mussel shell until it comes out and discard.

Check for Dead Ones Prior to Cooking: Mussels (and clams) tend to gape open when they’re dead. Not all gaping mussels are dead though. You can check if they are alive and fresh by squeezing them a few times.  If the mussel closes itself back up, it’s alive. If not…toss it!  Post cooking: ANY mussels that do not open after cooking should be thrown away.

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Egg in a Hole with Tomato Sauce

Whether you like your eggs runny or firm, the egg in a hole (or birds nest or egg in a basket!)  is an easy and quick way to enjoy an egg.  We like to add toppings to ours for added flavor and fun.

1 Slice of Bread per person – We like to use an Italian round. Use whatever you have like sourdough or sliced loaf bread.
1 Egg per slice of bread
Olive oil
Sea salt & ground pepper to tasteIMG_7318
Any Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce or Basil Pesto

1. Cut a hole in middle of bread — can be round, heart shaped, square, whatever you like! Tip: using a cookie cutter makes it easy to get a clean cut
2. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of bread and rub to cover evenly
3. Place bread in heated pan of griddle and cook until golden brown.
4. Flip bread and crack egg into the open hole. Sprinkle with black pepper
5. Cook until desired firmness of egg over med heat.
6. Remove from heat and plate.  Sprinkle with sea salt and desired topping.




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Farfalle Al Salmone (Pasta With Salmon)

My Dad likes to make this flavorful, salmon pasta dish on Christmas Eve.  You can make this anytime in just minutes (about the time it takes to cook a lb of pasta!) when you start with our vodka sauce as the base.  I love salmon cooked pretty much any way and this is one delicious way to mix it up every once in a while.img_6791

1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
2 salmon fillets
1 lb farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1 jar Due Cellucci vodka sauce
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)

In med-large pot, bring water to boil for farfalle pasta and cook according to directions.  (make sure you salt the water!)
While pasta is cooking heat olive oil in pan and sauté garlic and onion until soft light golden brown color.
Move onions to sides of pan.
Add a touch of oil to middle of pan if needed and lay salmon fillets skin down in middle
Salt and pepper the salmon and cook over med heat a few minutes, uncovered
Cover pan, lower heat and let salmon steam to finish (about 10 mins)
While salmon is cooking, heat Due Cellucci Vodka Sauce in a separate sauce pan and leave to simmer on warm until ready to combine.
The Salmon is cooked when the fish easily flakes at the middle. Turn off heat and using two forks, start to flake meat, discard skin from bottom of fillets.
Add vodka sauce to onions, garlic and flaked salmon. Keep warm until pasta is strained and ready to combine. Optional: add a cup of thawed frozen peas to the salmon sauce during this step for bright pop of green.
Once pasta is cooked and strained,  return to pot and spoon in the salmon sauce.  Mix well until pasta is fully coated (you can also add additional sauce once plated).


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Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Fast and delicious, pesto shrimp skewers are great for a crowd or anytime really!  They are so easy to make.

1 container Due Cellucci Pesto
2lbs medium sized shrimp (I like to remove the tails)

1. Toss shrimp in basil pesto sauce and marinate for at least 15mins
2. Thread shrimp onto skewers (I have found that shrimp cooks so quickly that you can skip soaking wood skewers first)
3.  Cook on preheated grill about 2-3 mins per side or until pink and
no longer translucent. Can also be cooked indoors on a grill pan

Note: In the photos I was making this batch as part of lunch for 8 people.  You can adjust the recipe accordingly for more or less. If you don’t use the whole container of pesto just be sure to spread a layer of olive oil on top before putting it back in the fridge.This will keep it from browning too quickly.

IMG_6066  IMG_6062


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Penne with Pesto and Sautéed Chicken

This is a favorite at our home.  Everyone loves to eat it and the person cooking loves how easy it is to make! It’s one of those perfect dishes to make when you haven’t planned anything and you need dinner on the table fast.IMG_5951

1 lb Penne Pasta
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 lb Boneless Chicken Breast, cut into pieces (you can also mix or sub with sausage)
Chicken Stock
1 container Due Cellucci Basil Pesto
Grated Parmigiano Cheese
Optional: 1 small onion or 2-3 garlic cloves

1. Cook pasta as directed in well salted boiling water (make sure the water tastes salty otherwise your pasta will lack flavor). Be sure to save some of the pasta water to use later before straining the pasta.
2. Warm pesto sauce over low heat.  You can add a little olive oil to it while warming up.
3. While pasta is cooking sauté chicken in a skillet pan.  (Optional: Sauté onion or garlic before chicken to add additional flavor). You can use a little chicken broth to deglaze the pan and soak up all that good flavor stuck to the pan.
4. Toss the pasta, chicken and pesto together in the skillet over low heat.  Use a little of the reserved pasta water if it’s drying up.
5. Mix in parmigiano cheese and serve.

Serves 4-6


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Pesto, Mozzarella & Tomato Crostini

Crostini are the perfect vessel for many yummy toppings.  This is one of our favorite quick nibbles. Serve them as hors d’oeuvres or eat them as an accompaniment to a light lunch like a soup or salad. The crostini bread base can be made ahead and then top them when you’re ready to serve.IMG_5944

1 baguette,  sliced on the diagonal
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Due Cellucci Basil Pesto Sauce
Fresh Bocconcini Mozzarella, sliced (or any fresh mozzarella sliced into small pieces
Fresh basil for garnish, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste (we like to use freshly ground sea salt and peppercorns)

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Slice a baguette on a diagonal into about 1/2″ slices. Drizzle slices with a bit olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
3. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast until light golden brown 7-9 minutes.
4. Spread pesto on each crostini. Top with 1 or 2 pieces of mozzarella and 1 or 2 pieces of tomato. Garnish with fresh basil and season with salt and pepper and serve.

Tip: Here’s an easy way to slice basil in long uniform curls (if you want to be fancy it’s called chiffonade!)
– Stack 4 or 5 basil leaves on top of each other.
– Roll into a tight little tube.
– Grab your favorite sharp knife, and starting at one end of the basil roll, slice into very thin slices.
– Viola! Basil, confetti!

Tomato Option: You can also roast the tomatoes before assembling: Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast 15 minutes or until shriveled and soft.

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Zucchini “noodle” lasagna

This is a great dish if you love lasagna but are trying to cut back on pasta or just want a lighter dish.  My family devoured it (and they very rarely opt for the vegetable version of something!)

Tip: To avoid a watery dish when using zucchini to replace a traditional noodle make sure to dry it as well as possible before cooking it.  For this recipe we dried the cut strips in the oven at 375o on a jelly roll with cooking racks placed in them.IMG_5925

10-12 large Zucchini, cut into approx. 1/4″ strips (see above tip)
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large portobello mushroom, chopped finely/minced
1lb ground beef (can substitute other meats if desired)
1 jar Due Cellucci Traditional or Tomato Basil Sauce
Basil (if you have on hand)
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Mozzarella
1 container Ricotta or Mascarpone Cheese (let it sit outside of the fridge for a bit so that it’s easier to spread)
Grated Parmigiano Cheese


Meat Sauce:
1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil, until soft and
2. Add meat and portobello mushroom and cook until browned and cooked through. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
3. Stir in jar of sauce,  and simmer low for about 20 minutes.
4. Stir in fresh chopped basil. Set aside

Lasagna Assembly:

Use a Large casserole dish and layer as follows:

Layer 1 – Zucchini

Layer 2 – Meat sauce

Layer 3 – Ricotta and sprinkle Parmigiano Cheese

Layer 4 – Thin layer of shredded mozzarella

Keep repeating until you’re at the top (probably 3 times depending on your pan)

Final Layer should be just Zucchini and sauce.

Bake at  convection 350o for 30 minutes then add a layer of mozzarella on top and bake for another 10 mins or until cheese is golden brown.


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Oven “Fried” Broccoli served with Traditional Sauce

This is an Italian spin on the traditional Mexican dish “Chile Rellenos” which is pan “fried” in an airy, cloud-like egg batter and then finished in the oven.  Served dipped in or smothered with tomato sauce, this is an incredibly flavorful way to eat broccoli.  A favorite among kids and adults! Thank you @bestgirlfridaynyc for introducing our family to this delicious dish from your childhood.

Paloma Broccoli FinishedPaloma Broccoli Cooking7Ingredients:

3 heads of broccoli, cut to just florets with partial stems.
3 eggs, separate whites and yolks
1/2 large onion, diced
4-6 tbsp olive oil
5-7 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 cups Due Cellucci Traditional or Tomato Basil Sauce


Preheat oven to 325oF.

  1.  In large sauté pan, heat the other 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, lightly brown the other 1/2 of the onion to a golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
  2. In the same pan, lightly brown the smashed cloves of garlic (should only be golden brown, no more). Remove with a slotted spoon and put aside with onions.
  3. In large bowl, beat 3 egg whites with a hand mixer to stiff peaks.  (don’t skip this step–this is where the magic happens!).
  4. Gently fold back in the three egg yolks to the beaten egg whites, add broccoli florets into the egg batter to completely coat. (have the broccoli prepped and ready…you don’t want the eggs sitting around loosing their fluff)
  5. In the same pan, add 3-4 more tablespoons of olive oil to pan, turn heat to med/low.
  6. Place freshly battered broccoli into the hot oil keep turning broccoli until all sides are golden brown. (you may have to do in batches depending on how big your pan is)
  7. Arrange the pan-browned broccoli in a large rectangular casserole dish, sprinkle the browned onion and garlic on top, salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Bake until further golden brown and broccoli has become soft (about 20min – if you want to cook faster raise the temp to 350 and just keep an eye on it)

Plate the broccoli on a serving dish and top with hot Traditional or Tomato Basil sauce (or leave sauce on the side for dipping)

Serves 6

Sautee Garlic Paloma Broccoli Cooking2 Paloma Broccoli Cooking5


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Baked Eggs with Burrata, Artichokes & Spinach

There are many variations on baked eggs.  This one has bright spinach, hearty artichokes and creamy burrata.  It’s perfect for brunch or serve it with crusty bread for a unique dinner. You will need two cast iron skillets or you can cook the eggs in batches.


1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
5 oz baby spinach
8 large eggs
2 cups artichoke hearts, chopped
8 oz burrata
24 oz Due Cellucci Tomato Sauce
½ tsp red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Sauté Spinach – Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the spinach to the pan and saute until wilted. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, spread half of the Due Cellucci tomato sauce.
  4. Top with half of the spinach, half of the artichokes, and half of the burrata.
  5. Crack four eggs over the top.
  6. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and half of the pepper flakes.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the whites are cooked and yolks are cooked to preferred doneness.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Serves 8


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Black Bean and Lentil Soup

The perfect soup for chilly days.  So easy to make and it’s full of protein so it really fills you up.  Vegan Option:  leave out the sausage and replace chicken broth with vegetable broth.  Either way this soup will make your belly happy!

IngredientsLentil, Black Bean, Sausage soup

1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (sub other paprika if smoked not on hand).
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 can (7oz ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup lentils
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups Due Cellucci Traditional Sauce
3 cups water
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped


1) Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium high heat. Add the ground sausage and sauté until it is well browned, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer the cooked sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside (you will add back at the end)

2) Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and bay leaf. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the black beans, lentils, chicken broth, Due Cellucci sauce and water. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

3) Remove and discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is at the consistency that you desire.

4) Return the soup to the stovetop over medium heat to re-warm. Stir in the chopped parsley and the cooked sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with chopped fresh parsley, tortilla chips & lime wedges

Serves 10-12