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Spicy Beans and Shrimp in Arrabbiata Sauce

Butter beans, shrimp and briny salty anchovies swimming in a spicy Arrabbiata sauce is one of our many happy places! We love a pasta dish that has hearty components and bold flavors – and we especially love spicy!

3-6 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2-3 large shallots, sliced (or minced if preferred)
4-5 cloves of garlic, sliced (or minced if preferred)
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste (keep in mind that anchovies are salty)
6 anchovy fillets (we used Cento canned)
1lb of peeled & cleaned shrimp (if frozen thaw fully)
1 can of Butter beans or Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar of Due Cellucci Arrabbiata sauce
1 package of your preferred pasta (we used a spinach linguini!)
A handful of basil leaves and grated parmigiano for garnish

NOTE: We love spicy food – but feel free to omit (or kick up) the red pepper flakes as desired.

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-low.  Add the garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes. Stirring constantly to keep from burning. Season with some salt and pepper, but keep in mind that the anchovies will impart salt too.  Sauté lightly, about 1-2 mins. Then add the anchovies and break them apart, while stirring all. (Also, make sure to start a large pot of well salted water to boil for the pasta.)

2. Add the shrimp and lightly sauté on each side, coating them in all the flavors already in the pan. No need to cook the shrimp to entirely done, as they will be added back in later. Once lightly browned on each side, remove them and set aside.

3. Reduce heat to low, carefully pour in a jar of Due Cellucci Arrabbiata sauce. Stirring and heating for about a minute, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of pan.

4. Add the rinsed and drained butter beans. Stir a bit. Add in all the shrimp and any juices that accumulated on the plate. Stir and let simmer on low. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

5. Cook pasta to desired doneness and drain. Or you can also add your pasta straight to the sauce if you prefer everything mixed together at stove-top – in which case just use tongs to transfer pasta to the sauce skillet – and make sure to undercook your pasta a little, as it will continue to cook in the sauce. Or you can portion cooked pasta onto plates and spoon the spicy bean and shrimp sauce over each plate of pasta.

6. Garnish with freshly torn basil, additional red pepper flakes, and if desired, some grated Parmagiano!

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Creamy Cheesy Cauliflower alla Vodka Casserole

This recipe is a delicious way to get healthy cauliflower into your kiddos’ mouths!  And a wonderful low-carb option in lieu of traditional Penne alla Vodka.  The recipe calls for a quick parboil of the cauliflower florets before mixing with the rest of the ingredients and baking off in the oven.  But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the whole process!

2 large heads of cauliflower, cored and broken down into medium-sized florets.  Discard leaves and core
1 jar of Due Cellucci Vodka Sauce
4 tbsp heavy cream
4 tbsp melted butter
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
6-8 slices of Provolone cheese.  Enough to cover, depending on the size of your casserole dish
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil for garnish at end

Optional flavor:  We also diced up 4 strips of bacon, one medium onion and sautéed both in the skillet for 3-5 minutes before adding in  all the other ingedients.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil on stovetop.  In the sink, also fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and ice.

2. Once stovetop water is boiling, drop all the florets in and give them a good dunk.  It just takes a minute or so of parboiling to get florets to an al dente stage.  Drain cauliflower into a colander in the sink, and immediately transfer to the large bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking any further.  Then strain and transfer all the florets to a clean kitchen towel on counter, and let them sit and drain well.  You want the florets well-drained of excess water before mixing with all the other ingredients.

3. Combine the cauliflower, vodka sauce, heavy whipping cream, melted butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and toss well to coat all.

4. Transfer into a 9 x 13 baking dish (or equivalent) and top with slices of Provolone cheese.

5. Bake in a preheated 375 degree (F) oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling and the cheese is completely melted.  Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Top with chopped fresh basil and serve.

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Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Red Chard

This warm and hearty soup (stew) cuts right to the bone (in the best way!) on a cold winter’s night — a one-pot complete meal with loads of legumes and vegetables packed in!  You could easily make it vegetarian by skipping the sausage and chicken broth.  And too, you could veganize it by skipping the grated cheese at the end.

3-6 tablespoons of olive oil
2-4 large links (about 1 pound) of sweet or spicy Italian sausage
1 large brown onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced into half-moons or diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced
4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced (reserve about half to add toward the end of the cook)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 jar of our Due Cellucci sauce.  We like Tomato Basil or Arrabbiata for this recipe
6 cups of water or low-sodium chicken broth
1 entire bunch of red or rainbow chard, ribboned or chopped (keep the ribs!)
1/4 cup or more of chopped parsley for garnish
Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese to finish
Drizzle of fresh olive oil to finish (optional)


1. Heat some of the olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a large pot, on medium-high heat.  When hot, add the sausage links and brown them all around.  Don’t worry about cooking them fully.  Once browned, reserve them to the side to cool.  Then slice the links into 1/2 coins or chop all into a chunky dice/crumble, depending on how you prefer them in the stew.

2. Add a little more olive oil to the pot, if needed, then the onion, celery, carrots, and about half the minced garlic.  Sauté for a couple of minutes, stirring throughout, just to lightly soften.

3. Add the rinsed and drained lentils, the bay leaves, and water or broth.  Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are about half way done, sort of al-dente, then you can add the jar of Due Cellucci sauce, some salt and pepper and Italian seasoning.

4. When the lentils are cooked, add in the rest of the minced garlic, the chopped chard and cook until the leaves and ribs are just tender, about 3-5 minutes more. Discard the bay leaves. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust as desired.

5. To finish, divide among bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil and top with fresh Romano or Parm and chopped parsley.  Leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge.


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Tomato Basil Soup & Scrumptious Crunchy Grilled Cheese Sammie!

Have lunch (or dinner!) on the table in 5 minutes!

1 Jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil Sauce
1/2 cup Chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/4 cup Heavy Cream (optional)

Simmer Tomato Basil sauce and broth in medium stock pot over medium heat for 3-5 minutes (until hot).  Using a hand-held immersion blender (or conventional blender), purée the mixture until smooth.   If a creamy tomato soup is desired, add heavy cream and simmer about a minute more.  Makes about three 1-cup servings.

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Tomato-Braised Butter Bean Gratin (Fagioli Casserole!)

Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat them, the more…  you will fall madly and deeply in love with BEANS!!  We wanted to create a hearty fall casserole, replacing the usual pasta with something new, something hearty enough to be a meal in and of itself, and BEANS (Fagioli in Italian!) fit the bill – perfect for a rustic hearty casserole, specifically, a Butter Bean casserole!  (For a meaty version, see sausage add-in below.)

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
1 large carrot (or 2 regular carrots), small diced
Salt & Pepper to taste (and red pepper flakes if desired!)
1-2 loose cups kale, well chopped, ribs removed (we used Lacinato kale)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white or red wine, (we used red)
1 Jar Due Cellucci Sauce – Traditional, Tomato Basil (or Arrabbiata for spicy)
4 cans of Butter Beans (rinsed and drained)
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth or water
3/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Fresh Basil or Parsley for garnish

NOTE: We love spicy food – but feel free to omit (or kick up) the cayenne or red peppers if desired.

OPTION:  For a MEATY VERSION, mix in 2-3 large Sweet or Spicy Italian sausage links, well chopped and sauté them along with the initial vegetables (Step 2 below)

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

1. Chop all vegetables.

2. In a deep sauté pan, braiser, or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots.  Season with some of the salt and pepper.  Keep stirring and cooking until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes or more.  You want to build up some brown bits and flavor.

3. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck brown bits, then simmer until it disappears, about 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add the chopped kale, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until well collapsed, then add the tomato sauce and bring back to a simmer.

5. Add the beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick, add up to 3/4 cup broth or water, 1/4 cup at a time.  Simmer the mixture together over medium/low for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.  *Keep in mind that the cheeses you add will impart some sodium too.

6. Turn off heat and mix in a little of the Parmesan and Mozzarella.  Transfer the mixture to a 3-quart casserole baking dish.

7. Sprinkle the top, first with mozzarella, then the Parmesan and Panko on top of that (mix these two together in a small bowl along with a drizzle of olive oil), and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper colour, you can run it under the broiler (Carefully!).  Garnish with chopped basil or parsley.


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Spicy Manhattan Clam Chowder

A friend recently made a hearty spicy chowder for a delicious dinner party – we loved it so much, we decided to adapt it in our own DC kinda’ way!

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb smoky bacon slices, diced (can also use pancetta)
4  carrots, peeled and medium diced (about 2 cups)
1  large onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
4  celery stalks, sliced into half-moons or diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
4-5  cloves garlic, finely minced
2  tsp dry oregano (fresh is great too!)
3  tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2  bay leaves
1  tsp cayenne pepper (or some red pepper flakes)
2  fresh large tomatoes, diced
2  medium-large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4  cans Bar Harbor chopped sea clams and juice (26 ounces) – or 28 ounces fresh chopped clams
2  8-ounce bottles of Bar Harbor clam juice (or any desired brand)
2  cups of water
1  jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil or Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce
2  large handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped – 1/2 added to final minutes of cook, rest added as a garnish at the table

(NOTE: We love spicy food – but feel free to omit (or kick up) the cayenne or red peppers if desired)

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, add in olive oil, then add the diced bacon – cook a couple of minutes to render the bacon fat.

2. Add in all diced vegetables (except the potato) and sweat over medium-low heat until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

3. Add oregano, thyme, bay leaves, minced garlic, and cayenne – give a stir.

4) Add 1 jar of Due Cellucci sauce and all fresh diced tomatoes.  Give a good stir.

5) Add both jars of clam juice and 2 cups of water.  REDUCE heat, partially cover and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

6) Add the diced potatoes and handful of chopped parsley, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes or so.

7) Season some with salt and pepper – rest can be added to taste toward end of cooking

8) Stir in all 4 cans of chopped clams and juice, and continue to simmer another 10 minutes

9) Serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley for garnish, with a side of crackers or garlic bread

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Fresh Pasta Dough

Making fresh pasta at home is much easier than you would think. And it’s really fun to do!
To decide how much to make, our rule of thumb is 1 egg per 2 adults for a main course portion of pasta. If you want to make sure there are leftovers go with 1 egg per adult.

Ingredient ratio per egg:
1 egg
75g unbleached flour
25g semolina flour
pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp)
dash of oil (about 1/8 tsp)

Note: For 10 eggs use about a 1sp of salt and oil

1. Make a well in the center of the flour (you can prepare the dough in the bowl or on a floured surface). Sprinkle salt around the flour.

2. Add the eggs and oil to the center of the well.

3. Using a fork beat the egg, then start allowing the flour to fall into the well. Keep folding in flour until you have formed a sticky dough ball.

4. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth, elastic and even in color. It should not stick to your hands.

Note: To knead the dough, push down on the ball with the heel of your hand, then give the dough a quarter turn, fold it over onto itself and push away from you again with the heel of your hand. Continue until you achieve the desired consistency – this usually takes approximately 10 minutes.  If the dough seems too dry, sprinkle some water on top; if it seems to sticky, add a little flour.

5. Once you have finished kneading, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30minutes.

Tip: You can make the dough the day before and keep it refrigerated until ready to use.  Bring to room temperature before you start rolling and cutting.


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Chana Masala

My mother-in-law makes one of my favorite versions of Chana Masala.  Using our sauces as a base for Indian cooking saves time because we’ve already spent hours simmering and building flavor. This is a quick and simple one-pot recipe that I know you will love!  

3 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil or grapeseed oil or whatever oil you have in a pinch!)
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, small chop
2-3 fresh serrano peppers, finely minced with seeds (or no seeds if you don’t want it too spicy!)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp. Garam Masala spice.
1 jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil or Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2+ tbsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp sea salt (a few cranks on the grinder if you’re using coarse salt)

(NOTE: We love spicy food! As is this dish is pretty spicy. If you would like less heat do not use the seeds with the serrano peppers and or reduce the number of peppers you use.

1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion, cumin, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies. Cook for a minute and then add coriander, chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala and stir to coat. Add a little more if the pan is looking too dry. Cook for another minute.

2. Add tomato sauce, chickpeas, and salt. Rinse the Due Cellucci jar with a little water to get all the yummy sauce off the side and add to the pot.

3. Increase heat to medium-high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.

4) When thickened, taste and adjust any seasoning to your liking.

5) Remove from heat and add lemon juice and cilantro. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving.

Serve garnished with chopped cilantro on top of rice with warm Naan bread. Enjoy!

This dish freezes well.

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Grilled Eggplant Ragu

We love the idea of mixing fresh ingredients, like eggplant, with our tomato sauces.  This eggplant ragu is great for fall. We love using parpadelle but any long pasta will do.

1 jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil Sauce (or Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce)
3 small/medium eggplants (or 2 large), cut in half lengthwise
2-3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 large onion well minced
4 Roma tomatoes OR 6 Campari tomatoes
2-3 tbsp of olive oil (plus another 2-3 Tbsp to finish dish)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Fresh Basil – a handful or more of torn basil
Grated parmigiano, for finish if desired
1lb long pasta of choice (parpadelle, fettucine, spaghetti, etc)

1) Brush both sides of Eggplant with olive oil.  Using stovetop grill pan, grill both sides of all eggplant to a nice golden brown (don’t burn). Turn off flame and cover with lid and let finish in steam (for maybe 10 minutes… while your chopping and prepping other ingredients). Dice eggplant and set aside.

2) In large sauté pan, heat oil on medium/high heat.  Add minced onion to oil, cook to translucent (not brown so stir often).

3) Lower heat and add minced garlic. Cook for a minute just until fragrant.

4) Add in diced tomatoes, stir on low. Add in diced eggplant. Stir well for a minute or 2 and then add in one jar of Due Cellucci Tomato Basil. Season with salt/pepper (to taste), Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes. Simmer on Low for about 5 mins.

5) Remove from heat, add in basil and finish with a couple of glugs of olive oil (a glug is about a tbsp so maybe 2-3 tbsp)

6) Stir well and mix in cooked pasta of choice.

7) Plate and sprinkle with grated parmigiano and serve!

Optional.  Add cooked sausage to the dish at step 5.  We liked the idea of a cooked crumbled sausage (the insides without the casings)


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Chicken Cacciatore – Hunter’s Stew

Northern Italian “Hunter’s Stew” or Chicken Cacciatore (*with mushrooms added and finished with a little red wine, for optional yum!)

2-3 lbs of chicken: about 8 large chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) or a mix of thighs and legs.  (your choice skin or skinless)
3-4 tbsp olive oil.
1 large brown onion, small diced.
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced.
1 each red and orange bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ long slices.
2-3 medium sprigs of fresh Rosemary, destemmed and chopped.  About 2-3 tablespoons of chopped rosemary.
1-2 bay leaves.
1 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock.
1 to 2 cups good dry white wine.
1 jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil Sauce
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 package of mushrooms, sliced. (*optional)
3/4 cup of a deep red wine. (*optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste.
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley, some for finishing the dish while cooking and some for garnishing at table.
Prepare polenta, spaghetti or mashed potatoes for serving.

1. Heat about 2 tbsp of the oil in large sauté pan or dutch oven, medium heat,
2. Salt and pepper the chicken, then brown all pieces, turning as needed (let protein sit until it comes away from pan without tearing), about 4 minutes each side, to a golden brown.  Does not have to be cooked through yet.  Remove chicken and set aside.
3. Add rest of oil and saute the diced onions and sliced peppers until softened, about 5-6 minutes, add in garlic and continue stirring and softening for about 1-3 minutes more.
4. Return chicken and any juices to the pan.
5. Add wine and cook until alcohol evaporates, about 5 minutes, stirring and turning chicken occasionally.
6. Add entire jar of DC sauce, tomato paste, chopped rosemary, bay leaves, and half of the chopped parsley.  Stir well, simmer on medium-low, occasionally turning chicken as needed.
7. As sauce starts to reduce a bit, slowly add in chicken stock in intervals, about a 1/2 cup at a time.  Continue simmering and adding the rest of stock.
8. Cover and simmer on low for an hour or longer.  If you chose to use a dutch oven, feel free to transfer covered pot to hot oven and cook at 350 for an hour or longer.  Either way, check dish as needed and stir occasionally, turning chicken pieces in the sauce.

*At stage 8, I personally prefer to add a large package of brown mushroom, sliced. Crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms work great, and continue slow cooking with the addition of about 3/4 cup of a nice deep red wine!

Taste sauce for richness and flavor.  Adjust as needed with salt & pepper, additional sprigs of rosemary, any preferred seasoning, a thread or more of additonal olive oil.  Serve hot over polenta, spaghetti or mashed potatoes.