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Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filets – Super Duper!

7 Dec

Grilled Steak Filets Over an Apple & Cherry Wood Charcoal Fire; It’s Super-Duper!
Recipe by

No matter the weather or the reason, grilling beef and steak are always in-season! Especially when we’re talking thick, Angus Beef filets my friends! The absolute succulence of the beef which is so thick and tender is really a thing to behold. Today I’m sharing my Grilled Angus steak filet recipe over a hardwood charcoal fire with apple & cherry wood chunks that will have you screaming in delight Super Duper!, as if you were just told your newscast was voted #1 in the ratings (doesn’t everyone dream of that?).Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filets over an apple and cherry wood charcoal fire from Paggi Pazzo

My buddy Rob was generous enough to give me a few Wilson & Wilson Omaha Angus beef steak filets and there was no way I could decline. These bad boys were 2-3 inches thick and similar to a Bistecca Fiorentina in terms of size but certainly nowhere near as long. With beef this good and thick, I don’t like to do too much with it in terms of marinating or seasoning so I put together a quick dry rub to help bring out the meat juices over the grill. Before grilling, I season the steak filets with garlic powder, salt, pepper and a little olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Now when I say a little, I mean a little…. no more than a teaspoon for each filet and to finish it off I add a dash of paprika for a little kick. The dry rub will give the steak filets a nice little crust when we grill them over high heat, as if we were searing the filets in a pan.

To get the grill going for your Angus Beef Steak filets, I use hardlump wood charcoal but add a few thick apple & cherry wood chunks with them in the chimney starter. Once the charcoal wood fire is going strong and turns a nice grey color, add them into the grill pit and lightly dress your grill grates with olive oil on a paper towel or an onion cut in half. Then add the steak filets over the high heat zone area for 2 minutes a side, turning a quarter inch. Because these filets are so thick, we want to give the edges a nice crust before moving them to a medium-heat zone. Once we’ve grilled them on high heat for both sides, move the filet steaks to a cooler zone of the grill and slowly grill them for another 5 minutes per side with the grill top closed. Give a nice soft push to them soon after and if there’s a nice bit of give, you should have a medium-rare and tender Angus Beef steak filet!

Now that the Angus Beef Steak filets are done and off the grill, I love me some red wine to go with my steak so I’m going to recommend an Argentinian Malbec or a Californian Cabernet or a French Médoc. So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s Grilled Steak Filets over a wood apple charcoal fire, Super-Duper!!!

Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filet recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filet Recipe

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 2 servings


  • 4 oz Angus Beef Steak Filets (2)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash paprika

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean Steak filets and then place on a plate
  2. Season both sides of steak with garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  3. Then lightly dress (on both sides) with 1/2 teaspoon per side of olive oil and Worcestershire sauce
  4. Sprinkle dash of paprika on top
  5. Prepare charcoal grill: Add lump hard wood charcoal with apple and cherry wood chunks to chimney starter with paper towel brushed with olive oil.
  6. Light olive oiled paper towel under chimney starter to start fire.
  7. Once wood charcoal is a nice grey color, remove charcoals from chimney into grill pit
  8. Place grates back on grill and use long grill fork to oil up grates with 1/2 onion, back and forth.
  9. Add (2) 4 ounce Angus Beef Steak filets to grill over high heat for 2 minutes then giving a quarter-inch turn for another minute before turning steaks over (and repeating)
  10. Move steaks to medium-heat zone, cooking indirectly for another 5 minutes per side
  11. Remove from grill and allow Steak filets 5 minutes to cool
  12. Ready to serve!

Grilled Angus Beed Steak Filet recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 5 ratings.

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Chicken, Ziti and Broccoli – A Northern Italian Delight!

17 Nov

Northern Italian Comfort Food Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli; I Feel a Chicken Dance Comin’!
Recipe by

When the weather starts to get cold and my family and I are craving some comfort food, the perfect remedy to satisfy that craving is… do the chicken dance!!! After….we prepare and eat a Northern Italian delight of Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli. Restaurants all over the world have recipes for this classic and I’m just joining the fray by adding another to the collection. However, this rendition stays a little closer to the healthier side, so sit back and enjoy Chicken, Ziti, Broccoli recipe…what a delight!

To start our Chicken, Ziti, Broccoli dinner we chop the chicken into small chunks (trimming the fat off) and seasoning with salt and pepper. In a large pan, add the chicken with olive oil and cook until the outsides begin to turn white, then add finely chopped garlic (a lot of garlic!!!), salt, and pepper. For about the time it takes for the chicken to cook, the same time will take for the water to boil to add your ziti. Now many recipes include adding cream, wine, and or baking the dish but Paggi Pazzo’s version tries to keep it light and healthy (not to mention faster to prepare). In addition, the extra garlic added to the dish provides a nice flavor that makes up for the need to add cream or a thick sauce. Once the water is ready to boil, add the ziti and let cook just before al dente because we’ll be sauteing the pasta a little longer with the chicken. After adding the ziti to the boiling water, be sure that your broccoli crowns have been cleaned and the stems chopped so they can be added to the chicken and garlic pan (add a liitle pasta water to the pan to help flavor the dish). Drain the ziti and add to the pan of chicken, garlic, broccoli and saute for another 5-7 minutes over low-medium heat, keeping the cover on when not stirring. It’s almost chicken dance time!

Were just minutes away from enjoying our Chicken, Ziti, Broccoli so hang in there! Remove the pan from the stove and generously grade Reggiano Parmigianno over the pan, stirring to allow the cheese throughout the dish. Now you’re ready to serve and delight your guests and family! It’s not only a great healthy dish but it takes a little over 30 minutes to have it all done. My mother made this recipe quite regularly growing up with chicken stock and then baking the dish covered with Reggiano Parmiganno on top, and it was fantastic! But I find this dish to be almost as tasty and easy to prepare in about half the time. So there you have it, Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli from Paggi Pazzo, enjoy!

Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli Recipe

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 40 min
Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 (8 ounce) chicken breast fillets
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 pound ziti (Barilla)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Reggiano Parmigiano

Cooking Directions

  1. Chop garlic finely and cut broccoli into chunks, florets and stems
  2. Clean chicken, trim fat, season with salt and pepper, then cut into chunks
  3. Heat large pan medium-to-high with olive oil
  4. Add chicken to pan and cook until edges begin to turn white
  5. Add garlic, salt and pepper
  6. Boil pasta water and when ready, add ziti. At same time add broccoli to chicken and garlic pan
  7. Cook ziti for 8 minutes, just under al dente
  8. When ziti is cooked, add 1/3 ladel cup of pasta water to pan with chicken, garlic, and broccoli then drain pasta and add to pan
  9. Saute, stir for several minutes, then cover pan for 5-7 minutes
  10. Remove pan from stove and add grated Reggiano Parmigiano
  11. Ready to serve

Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli Recipe

4 out of 5
stars based on 48 ratings.

Click here for full Chicken, Ziti, and Broccoli Recipe and other Paggi Pazzo recipes

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes Over a Charcoal Wood Fire

23 Oct

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes with Feta & Orzo Recipe

Recipe by

Preparing Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes is not something that came easily to me. At first I thought, “oh what to do with all of these tomatoes?!!?!?!?” That was a dilemma I had recently when my father-in-law presented me with half a dozen large tomatoes. Did I want to make pasta or pizza sauce? Did I want to chop them up with some basil and garlic for bruschette or crostini? The choices were limitless… or maybe not limitless, but you get the message. What I did instead was review what ingredients I had in the fridge and….wait a second, yes, come up with an idea for these very large pomodori. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes filled with Feta cheese, orzo pasta, onion, and peppers that are a perfect appetizer or meal to impress family, guests, or business partners and total strangers from Switzerland.
Preparing grilled stuffed tomatoes with Feta cheese, onions, peppers and orzo from Paggi Pazzo

To prepare Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes, carve out the insides of the tomatoes with a spoon leaving close to a quarter-inch thickness (I saved the fillings and made pasta sauce the next day). Leaving a thick outside exterior will allow the tomatoes to absorb the heat and soften the inside while not allowing the stuffing to pierce through. Prepare the filling by boiling some water and cooking orzo for 10 minutes (al dente). Once the orzo is done, chop the onion and green pepper finely and add to a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and crumbled Feta cheese. Stir for several minutes and then add the filling to the tomatoes (stuffing as much as you can), topped with a drizzle of olive oil.

It’s time now to get the grill started for our stuffed tomatoes, so add lump hardwood charcoal to a chimney starter (feel free to add some apple or cherry wood chunks) and ignite with a paper towel dressed in olive oil. Once the charcoal wood is grey, dump into the grill pit at one end. Now, since these stuffed tomatoes are large and filled to the brim, we don’t want to put them over direct heat, so place the tomatoes at the opposite end of the fire (with the sliced tops covering the filling) cooking indirectly with the grill closed. After 25 minutes move the tomatoes directly over the high heat zone of your grill for 5 minutes (without the sliced tops). Once the 5 minutes pass, remove the tomatoes from the grill and be prepared to feel overwhelmed with flavor! That’s all there is too it! So there you have it, Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes from Paggi Pazzo, enjoy!!!!

Grilled stuffed tomatoes with Feta cheese, orzo, peppers and onions from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe
Published: October 23, 2012

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 50 min
Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese
  • 1 cup Orzo (Barilla)

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil pot of water and when boiling, add orzo and cook for 10 minutes (until al dente) then, drain and add to large bowl with teaspoon of olive oil and stir (let sit and cool for 10 minutes)
  2. Chop onion and pepper finely and add to large bowl with orzo. Then add Feta cheese (crumble if bought in whole block), with pepper, salt, and two teaspoons of olive oil. Stir for several minutes
  3. Slice top of tomatoes and put aside, then carve out inside of tomato with knife to create a a bowl (save the inside of the tomato filling for sauce or another recipe)
  4. Take orzo, feta, onion and pepper filling and place inside hallowed tomatoes then add a little extra olive oil to top
  5. Start grill (if using gas grill fire up burners and maintain medium-to-high-heat) and use one 1/2 chimney starter filled with wood lump charcoal. Once wood charcoal is grey, empty into grill pit on one side of the grill
  6. Oil grates with paper towel and then place tomatoes (with the sliced tops on top of the tomatoes) on grill at opposite end of the charcoal for indirect grilling
  7. After 20-25 minutes, the tomatoes should be softening so remove the sliced tops and place directly over heat for 5-10 minutes
  8. Remove from grill, drizzle top of tomatoes lightly with olive oil and rest for 5 minutes. Then ready to serve

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes with Feta and Orzo

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 3 ratings.

Click here for full Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes recipe, and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Uruguayan Grilled Stuffed Zucchini (Zapallitos Rellenos) – Viva La Celeste!!!

6 Sep

Uruguayan Style Grilled Zapallitos Rellenos From the Asado Nation
Recipe by

Uruguay! The second smallest country within South America is among the largest nations in consuming beef per capita in the world (what else would you expect from a country that neighbors Argentina and Brazil?). Just like their brothers and sisters across the border, their passion for grilling and futbol are unmatched. Today however, I am not sharing an Asado recipe from our Guacho friends in Montevideo but rather a classic appetizer dish made on the grill; Grilled Stuffed Zucchini – Uruguayan style with prosciutto di Parma, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It’s as classic as an Enzo Francescoli or Diego Forlan goal electrifying the La Celeste faithful! Grilled Uruguayan style with stuffed zucchini (Zapallitos Rellenos) with prosciutto di Parma, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella from Paggi Pazzo

To prepare Uruguayan style stuffed zucchini on the grill (also known as Zapallitos Rellenos), buy 2 large zucchinis and cut them in half the long way and carve out the insides about a quarter-inch to the skin (but save the filling). For the filling, by a thick slice of prosciutto di parma, small cup of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, onions and garlic and then with the zucchini filling, chop them all and saute in a pan with olive oil. After a few minutes, add a little flour to thicken it up (the traditional way is to use corn starch, so feel free to use either). Now in Uruguay, they take their grilling very seriously and use mainly wood to do their cooking. I use (exclusively) lump hardwood charcoal with wood chunks or chips (in this case mesquite) but if you have natural wood, oak is a great choice for grilling. To start the grill, fill up a charcoal starter half way and once the charcoal wood turns grey, dump into your grill pit and oil the grates with a paper towel. Fill the carved out zucchini halves with the stuffing and place them across grates on the grill for 5 minutes before turning a quarter inch. After another 5 minutes, your grilled stuffed zucchini will be finished.

In Uruguay it’s not uncommon to serve the stuffed zucchini with mayo on the side but that’s just not Paggi Pazzo’s style. Now for full disclosure, be careful when you remove the zucchini because the heat will flatten the skin and outsides and when I took one of them off the grill, I completely misjudged the weight and it was top heavy dropping to the ground (and making me very, very sad or – muy triste!“). Moral of the story is, watch what you’re doing slappy! Cuisine in Uruguay is very European influenced and this fantastic dish is a combination of many flavors that, yours truly, has created to pay homage to this wonderful South American country. Uruguayan Style Grilled Stuffed Zucchini from Paggi Pazzo, Fuerza La Celeste!!!!

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 ounce sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 ounce fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 pound thick slice of prosciutto di Parma
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice zucchini in halves the long way, and then carve out filling for each half getting within a quarter inch until out side skin (save carved out zucchini fillings and chop into small pieces)
  2. Chop garlic and onion finely and add to pan with olive oil, let caramelize for 3-5 minutes then add zucchini filling pieces for 5 more minutes stirring at low to medium heat
  3. Cut prosciutto di Parma, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella into small chunks and add to pan
  4. After almost 15 minutes of cooking the zucchini filling, add the flour and stir for several minutes until flour has formed a thick creamy texture with the rest of the ingredients. Then remove from oven.
  5. Start grill (if using gas grill fire up burners and maintain medium-to-high-heat) and use one 1/2 chimney starter filled with wood lump charcoal. Once wood charcoal is grey, empty into grill pit
  6. Oil grates with paper towel and then place filling into carved out zucchini pieces and place on grill
  7. Turn zucchini after 5 minutes a quarter inch and grill for another 5 minutes until bottom of zucchini has browned
  8. Remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes. Then ready to serve

Uruguayan Style Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
(Zapallitos Rellenos)
5 out of 5
stars based on 3 ratings.

Click here for full Grilled Stuffed Zucchini recipe, and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

White Sangria Summer Thirst Quencher – Milk was a Bad Choice!!!

9 Aug

Italian Style White Sangria

Recipe by

In the summertime when I’m slowly melting from a sweltering August sun (partly because I’m outside grilling rather than being in the house in an air-conditioned climate), I like to cool off with a Spanish classic that I’ve sort-of made my own; white sangria! My sister-in-law in particular seems to really enjoy this recipe so when we were smoking a 4 lb. beef brisket recently, I made sure to have the pitcher ready for her and my wife. Today it’s Paggi Pazzo’s Italian style White Sangria recipe that will refresh and please the palate. It may also be the easiest drink recipe you’ll ever put together, after a gin and tonic…or a captain and coke…or a, well…you know what I mean!White Sangria Recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Most Spanish white sangria recipes call for a dry white wine but to help ease the uncomfortable stickiness on a hot summer day or night (rather than a warm glass of milk), I prefer a more crisp and light wine like Orvieto (which happens to be a personal favorite of mine). The other ingredients are made of mainly fruit, a touch of brandy, sugar, and ginger ale or lemon soda (for best results, make sure the fruit is fresh). To get started, slice/cut the fruit (except for the strawberries) and add to a pitcher, then add sugar, brandy and your bottle of Orvieto (get it in there!!!) and give it a good mix and stir. Once done, refrigerate for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. All that’s left to do is add ginger ale/lemon soda and strawberries (cut in half) to the pitcher and now you’re ready to kick back and relax. So pour a glass for yourself (and one for me) and enjoy Paggi Pazzo’s Italian Style White Sangria recipe.

Italian Style White Sangria Recipe with Orvieto Wine
Prep time: 10 min
Total time: 10 min
Yield: 1 pitcher (12 servings)


  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/2 pear
  • 10 green grapes
  • 10 large strawberries
  • 1 shot brandy
  • 1 bottle Orvieto (white wine)
  • 1/2 liter lemon soda or ginger ale
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. Chop all fruits into small pieces (except for strawberries) and add to pitcher.
  2. Add sugar, brandy and wine. Stir for several minutes.
  3. For best results, allow wine, fruit, brandy, and sugar to sit and marinate in refrigerator overnight. However, if time is not available, add lemon soda/ginger ale to pitcher, add strawberries sliced in half, and enjoy!

Italian Style White Sangria Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 4 ratings.

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Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza – Siracusa, Schillaci, and Deliciousness!

7 Jul

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza from Siracusa
Recipe by

Italian pizza has many varieties and traditions from each region and all offer unique flavors and tastes. While Napoli and Roma enjoy a great deal of the attention, down in the south of Italy the island of Sicily offers some of the best. Today I’m sharing my Sicilian Pizzolo Pizza recipe from the city of Siracusa that creates a pizza with a top and bottom dough crust. Yeah, that’s what I said slappy and it’s so good, it will have you celebrating just like Sicily’s own “Toto” Schillaci did at the 1990 World Cup. With some classic ingredients such as caciocavallo cheese, prosciutto di Parma, Sicilian olives and more, this pizza will be a crowd pleaser for special occasions (or if you’re just plain hungry). Think of it as a panini pizza but with way more ingredients and a lot bigger!

Preparing Siracusa, Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Start your Sicilian Pizzolo pizza recipe by making a traditional red sauce with garlic sauteed in olive oil and then add crushed San Marzano peeled tomatoes with salt and pepper. Let that cook for at least 30 minutes at low to medium heat and take your dough (pre-made or you can buy fresh dough) and roll and kneed, then sprinkle with flour. Then cut the dough in half and roll each thinly with one placed on top of the pizza stone. Cover the dough on the stone with your red sauce with attention to more of the middle of the pizza rather than the edges. Now get ready for the fun part! There are different cheeses to use but the traditional Sicilian pizzolo calls for caciocavallo, which I cut into chunks, fresh mozzarella, pancetta (which you can have sliced very thin or chunks pre-cooked), prosciutto di Parma, and arugula topped with diced mushrooms and Sicilian olives (pitts removed). There’s a lot going on in that party! It’s the kind of party you’d expect Brick Tamland from Channel 4 San Diego to invite you to.

So we got the bottom part of the Sicilian Pizzolo recipe finished, now it’s time for the top! Take your other dough and cover the bottom toppings but make sure to leave the edges open, this is not a calzone or stromboli (let your guests now that this is not your first rodeo). Once the top is on, dress lightly with some olive oil and sprinkle with Reggiano Parmigiano and dried oregano. Put the pizzolo in the oven and wait 20-25 minutes for a Sicilian sensation!

When your Sicilian Pizzolo pizza is out of the oven and has cooled, slice the middle center across (but not all the way) with a bread knife or large meat knife. After, finish the cut all the way to the edges with a pizza cutter and then you’re good to go! So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s traditional Siracusa Sicilian Pizzolo Pizza recipe, Buon Appetito e Grazie Mille Sicilia!!!

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe
Published: July 6th, 2012

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 slices


  • 6 ounces crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 4 ounces caciocavallo
  • 3 tablespoons Reggiano Parmigiano
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 16 ounces fresh dough
  • 2 handfuls of flour
  • teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 6 extra thin slices of pancetta
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto di Parma
  • 2 small white or porcini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup Sicilian olives

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make the sauce, add oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes before adding crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper, then let cook for 30 minutes at low heat
  3. Preheat oven to 420 degrees
  4. While sauce is slowly cooking, add flour to top and bottom of dough and then cut dough in half (store bought or homemade dough)
  5. Begin to poke and stretch one half of dough slowly to flatten out, then take dough roller and spread dough out with edges slightly rolled to create a thick crust
  6. Lightly brush pizza stone with olive oil and place dough on stone
  7. Add sauce to pizza dough after sauce has cooked for 30 minutes with focus on center of dough and not around edges
  8. Chop fresh mozzarella and caciocavallo into little chunks and use 1/2 to spread across pizza
  9. Top with pancetta and prosciutto di Parma across pizza with meat close to edges (make sure pancetta is sliced extra thin as it will not cook as fast in a pizzolo as it would on a normal pizza). Then chop mushrooms and spread throughout pizza topped with fresh arugula
  10. Add rest of fresh mozzarella and caciocavallo, then top with chopped Sicilian olives (remove pits)
  11. Take other half of dough and a little bit more flour, and stretch and use dough roller to create thin dough layer and then lay on top of already made pizzolo pizza
  12. Dress top dough lightly with olive oil and grated Reggiano Parmigiano then sprinkle with oregano
  13. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until top crust is brown and golden
  14. Take pizza out and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing
  15. Slice middle center of pizza across with a thick bread knife or meat knife 2 inches and then chisel the rest to pizza edges with pizza cutter.
  16. Ready to serve!

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe from Siracusa

5 out of 5
stars based on 7 ratings.

Click here for full Sicilian Pizzolo Pizza Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Grilled Honey Barbecue Sauce & Jalapeño Cheeseburger – Fire it Up for Some Heat!

4 Jun

Grilled Cheeseburger stuffed With Jalapeño & Honey BBQ Sauce and Sweet Potato Steak Fries
Recipe by

Sometimes when the craving arrives, it’s nice to fire up my charcoal grill with lump hardwood charcoal and have some good ‘ole All American Cheeseburgers! Yes indeed! Sit back and smell that ground beef cooking to perfection with a cold one is a great U-S of A traditon. Hell, I think it’s in the Geneva convention?!?! From time to time, I like to throw a twist on my cheeseburger by stuffing it with chopped Jalapeño, bbq honey sauce, Worcestershire sauce and cover it with Monterrey Jack peppercorn cheese…that’s a whole lot of good right there! Today I’m sharing my Grilled BBQ Honey Sauce Jalapeño Cheeseburger with sweet potato steak fries, grilled to our (my) liking! It’s got some spice and kick to tickle your tongue but some sweetness to bring you burger paradise in your mouth!

Preparing stuffed jalapeño and honey bbq sauce cheeseburgers from Paggi Pazzo

To get started take your ground beef and add it to a large bowl with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Then chop the jalapeño pepper finely and remove the seeds and add to bowl. Touch off with some honey barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a little olive oil and then make your patties (and don’t worry if a seed or two gets into the ground beef, you can totally redeem yourself with extra honey barbecue sauce). For the buns, I use a loaf of ciabatta that’s cut into 4 quarters and sliced which are large enough to fit the tasty and spicy burgers to be! For the sweet potato steak fries, I clean them and then cut into large quarters, slicing thick strips from those quarters to create the steak fries appearance. Then put on a large cooking sheet and season with dried thyme and rosemary, then garlic powder, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Grilled sweet potato steak fries from Paggi Pazzo

Now we’re ready to fire up the grill, so start 2 chimney starters with lump hardwood charcoal and some mesquite wood chunks and/or chips (not soaked). Once the wood charcoal is a nice grey color, dump into the fire pit and throw those grates on. Use a half cut onion with a long fork-tong to grease the grates, and then throw those barbecue jalapeño burgers and sweet potato steak fries on there! I try to sear the burgers for a few minutes over high heat on both sides before moving to a medium-heat zone. For the sweet potato steak fries, they’ll need to cook a little longer so keep them over a hotter part of the grill but be sure to keep tabs on them, they’ll burn quickly if you’re not aware. Once the burgers are almost done, add slices of Monterrey Jack peppercorn cheese on top and place the ciabatta quarters on the grill. Once the cheese melts, it’s time to eat!

Feel free to throw whatever toppings you like on your Grilled BBQ Jalapeño Cheeseburger. I personally like some spicy mustard, red onion, and a slice of tomato on mine and as for a cold beverage? I chose Mexican royalty, Corona and all together, it was a tasty meal! So there you have it, Grilled BBQ Jalapeño Cheeseburger and Sweet Potato Steak Fries recipe from Paggi Pazzo, spice it up!

Grilled honey bbq sauce and chopped jalapeño cheeseburger from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Honey BBQ and Jalapeño Cheeseburger Recipe

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 ciabatta bread
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices Monterrey jack peppercorn cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean ground beef and add to bowl, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  2. Chop jalapeño pepper into fine little bits and add to ground beef, then add olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and honey barbecue sauce then use hands to mesh all ingredients together
  3. On a plate, create flat patties of the ground beef from bowl and then cover with plastic wrap (refrigerate if not planning on cooking the burgers immediately)
  4. Cut ciabatta into 4 quarter pieces that can be sliced and made into hamburger rolls
  5. For sweet potatoes, clean and use a large butcher knife to cut potatoes into thick strips (be careful doing so and use a cutting board and appropriate safety precautions as potato can be difficult to cut into)
  6. Place thick strips onto a large plate or cooking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and thyme
  7. Fill 1 chimney starter with lump hardwood charcoal and mesquite wood chunks (not soaked), then ignite with paper towel dressed olive oil under starter
  8. Once wood charcoal turns grey, add to grill pit
  9. Take 1/2 onion and use tong fork to dress grates, sliding back and forth until almost burned (you can even leave the onion to continue to cook on the grill as a topping)
  10. Add jalapeño, honey bbq sauce burgers to grill and sear over high heat zone for 2-3 minutes per side, then move to a medium-heat zone and let cook for 10 minutes per side for medium well-to-well done (6-8 minutes for medium rare-to-medium)
  11. Add sweet potato steak fries onto grates and cook 5-7 minutes per side over high heat or until fries begin to darken (obviously before they turn black and burn)
  12. Then move sweet potato fries to medium zone to cook for another 5 minutes per side
  13. Once burgers are almost done, add Monterrey peppercorn jack cheese until it begins to melt and place sliced ciabatta bread on grill to provide a nice crunchy texture (2 minutes)
  14. Remove jalapeño, honey barbecue sauce cheeseburgers and place in ciabbata rolls (add any additional condiments that you desire) and remove sweet potato steak fries and dress lightly with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper
  15. Ready to serve!

Grilled Honey Barbecue Sauce and Jalapeño Stuffed Cheeseburger recipe

5 out of 5 stars based on 2

Click here for full Grilled Honey BBQ Sauce and Jalapeño Cheeseburger Recipe or all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Grilled Swordfish with Puttanesca Salsa….and Long Walks on the Beach???

4 May

Grilled Swordfish, Puttanesca Salsa, and Chive, Dill Potatoes Over a Hickory and Oak Wood Fire
Recipe by

Seafood on the grill is almost as primal as beef and pork and if done right can be just as succulent and delightful. My favorite seafood to get all primal with is swordfish, the steak-king of the sea world (in my humble opinion). The thickness and moistness of the swordfish is really unlike most other seafood steaks (with the exception of tuna) and when seasoned with lemon, olive oil, and garlic over a wood fire of hickory and oak…well then, let’s just say now we’re talking feast! Even a lion would want to devour this fish fiesta! Today I’m sharing my Grilled Swordfish recipe with a side of Puttanesca salsa and potatoes dressed with butter, fresh chives and dill. Almost makes you wanna build a fire beach side and crack open a cold beer as the sun goes down… (what is this??!?! An ad in the classifieds about romantic walks on the beach and soul-mates, etc…). Did I mention I like football and manly things too???
Grilled swordfish over a hickory and wood charcoal fire with puttanesca salsa and chive, dill dressed potatoes from Paggi Pazzo!

Whatever time of year you may decide on grilling swordfish, be it in the dead of summer (feel the heat!) or in my case late January, it’s important to find a quality piece of fish. Usually when I buy fish for dinner, especially on the grill, I like to make it a seafood fiesta by grabbing some shrimp, mussels, clams, etc… so there’s something to munch on before the main course is ready. In this case, I hooked (get it?) 10 large shrimp for some pre-dinner nibbling (what can I say, I’m a nibbler). Beforehand however, for my swordfish marinade I take a whole lemon and squeeze it over the swordfish in a zip-lock bag, tossed with olive oil, chopped garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. I then let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour to absorb the ingredients. The puttanesca salsa is a close exact recipe of the sauce with peeled and crushed tomatoes substituted for whole chopped plum tomatoes. I also prefer the combination of Italian capers and Sicilian and Gaeta olives to salty up the salsa and offset the sweet onion and fresh basil. We won’t put the vegetables directly over the grill but rather chop them into small chunks (with a healthy dose of olive oil) and cover and wrap in aluminum foil. This will allow the flavors to really steam together over the wood scented fire.
Puttanesca salsa with Italian eggplant and capers, Sicilian and Gaeta olives, plum tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh basil and olive oil from Paggi Pazzo!

I prefer hardwood lump charcoal and hickory wood chunks in two full chimney starters with oak wood chips (not soaked), sprinkled throughout for my grill fire. Now before adding your grates on top when the fire is ready, throw the potatoes over the wood directly as this will cook them much faster. Add the grates then place your puttanesca salsa in foil over medium-to-high heat, rotating 90 degrees every 5 minutes. After about 10 minutes, I place the swordfish down on the grill over medium-to-high heat, giving a quarter-inch turn after about 2 minutes and only grilling 6-8 minutes per side overall. The swordfish will cook quickly so once you see signs of the fish flaking or coming apart, remove immediately and save the fish! Remember, you got the touch! We’re almost done so now is the time to prepare the butter dressing for the potatoes. In a small aluminum tray, add butter with finely chopped fresh dill and chives and place on the grill. Remove once the butter melts and check your potatoes with a long tong, when soft on the outside – then you’re good to go!

All that’s left to do is slice open the potatoes and make it rain by pouring over the chive, dill, butter dressing. Then evenly distribute the swordfish and puttanesca salsa (remember, we said evenly…) and it’s seafood fiesta time! There are plenty of great white wines (and red wines) to join a tasty fresh grilled fish, but there’s something to be said about a nice cold beer as the beverage of choice (no piña colada in this case, like I said – this is not a classified ad!!! Unless…you going for a walk on the beach???). At least, that’s how I rolled on this particular catch of the day (from the fish market)! There you have it, Grilled Swordfish recipe with puttanesca salsa and chive, dill, buttered potatoes from Paggi Pazzo. Enjoy!

(All recipes combined are below but for specific recipes from this post, click on the following):
Grilled Swordfish Recipe
Puttanesca Salsa on the Grill Recipe
Potato with Chive and Dill Butter on the Grill Recipe

Grilled swordfish recipe over a wood charcoal fire from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Swordfish with Lemon, Olive Oil, and Garlic Recipe with Puttanesca Salsa

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 50 min
Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 lbs. fresh swordfish steak
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small Italian eggplant
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup Sicilian and Gaeta olives
  • 1 tablespoon Italian capers
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 white potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill

Cooking Directions

  1. To marinade swordfish steak, clean swordfish thoroughly and then chop 2 garlic cloves finely, and add to a zip-lock bag the swordfish, chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 whole lemon squeezed, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper then store in refrigerator for at least 1 to 3 hours
  2. For puttanesca salsa, finely chop olives, fresh basil leaves, and other 2 garlic cloves, then cut onion into thin strips, and chop eggplant and tomatoes into thin chunks and add together over aluminum foil. Then dress with olive oil, capers and a pinch of pepper and gently mix. Then close foil to cover salsa
  3. For potatoes, simply cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and chop fresh dill and chives finely and put aside
  4. Start chimney starter full of hardwood lump charcoal and hickory wood chunks and oak wood chips, using a match to paper towel dressed with olive oil under starter. Once the wood charcoal is grey, dump into grill pit. Before putting grates over fire, add potatoes into the wood charcoal themselves
  5. Add puttanesca salsa over medium-to high heat rotating clockwise every 5 minutes (puttanesca and potatoes will take longer to cook than swordfish so wait putting fish on the grill until 10 minutes after vegetables have been grilling)
  6. Add swordfish over medium-to-high heat, grilling 6-7 minutes per side and giving a quarter-inch turn after 1 minute. Be sure to move quickly as not to burn the swordfish and once fish begins to flake, remove from grill.
  7. In a small aluminum tray, add butter fresh dill and chives and remove from grill once butter has melted
  8. Once swordfish is flaky and tender, remove from grill and onto plate. For puttanesca, open foil to see if vegetables have turned soft and succulent, then remove
  9. For potatoes, 20 minutes on coals should be suffice but to be sure, use very long tongs after removing grates carefully (with a heat resistant grill glove) and push into potatoes to confirm if ready)
  10. Add swordfish to plate and squeeze over with a little extra lemon juice then remove puttanesca from foil into serving bowl and take potatoes out of foil and onto plates, slicing middle open and dressing with butter, chive, and dill dressing
  11. Grow a beard and throw on a captain’s hat – and now you’re ready to serve

Grilled Swordfish, Puttanesca Salsa, and Potatoes with Butter, Chives and Dill Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 3 ratings.

Authentic Pizza Margherita – Hand Made from Napoli….like the Verticoli?

4 Apr

Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe in a Wood Fired Brick Oven
Recipe by

Not too long ago I provided my recipe for La Pizza Margherita with a traditional marinara sauce and typical fresh ingredients baked in the oven. This time, I took it a step further and decided to create the authentic and traditional Napoletana Pizza Margherita, with true ingredients from the city and over a wood fire. Today I’m sharing my Authentic Pizza Napoletana Margherita recipe that is so good, it will leave you mind bottling and help you (and me) appreciate the pride and love affair that Napoli has for their beloved margherita pizza.Napolitana pizza margherita dough recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Coming from a Roman family, and more particular a Roman mother, crunchy thin crust pizza and pizza al taglio are my first loves but the chewy and light crust created in Naples is a thing of beauty. In order to create the pizza margherita dough and it’s world famous crust, you need the right flour. Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour is the only flour to use for authentic Napoletana pizza margherita as it is much lighter and finer than more common flours. The other main ingredient which is even harder to find, is water from Naples as Italians will tell you, the water makes all the difference. You may think it’s as difficult as finding a “Verticoli“, but Naples is also recognized for their excellent espresso in addition to their pizza, thanks in large part to their local water. If you have a hard time importing water from Naples, try purchasing other bottled water from other areas of Italy (not mineral water), such as Tuscany as it may be easier to find. Start by warming the Italian water in a pot, then in a large bowl add the water with salt (stirring until it dissolves) and repeat with the yeast. Then slowly add the Italian flour, pouring a little at a time into the bowl while stirring with the other hand. Then once the flour has been added, add a tablespoon of olive oil and continue to stir until the dough starts to take on an elastic substance. Then place on a cutting board or table lightly covered with flour and add a little more flour on both sides of the dough and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and place under a bowl for at least 3 hours.

While the dough rises and settles, start your authentic Pizza Napoletana Margherita sauce with finely chopped garlic in a pan of olive oil and once it simmers, add San Marzano peeled tomatoes (before adding to pan, place in a bowl and chop the whole pieces into tiny chunks), salt, pepper, and I also like to add 2 finely chopped basil leaves. Allow the sauce to cook at low heat for 2-3 hours and around that time the sauce finishes, you’re ready to kneed and roll out the dough. The dough itself will be enough to make about 2 pizzas so cut the dough in half and prod, push, and kneed the dough to thin out while dousing with flour when necessary (you can freeze the rest of the dough if you’re only in the mood for one pizza). Then use a roller to shape out the dough and make sure not to make it too large or too thin as the traditional Napoletana pizza margherita is 13-14 inches in diameter and certainly not nearly as thin as Pizza Romana. In addition, to make that dream like Napoletana crust, slightly roll the outside edges.

Pizza Oven Prep with oak and cherry wood from Paggi Pazzo!

Pizza Oven Prep from Paggi Pazzo!

Now that everything is ready to be put together, get your pizza oven strated and we’ll want the temperature to be around 700-800 degrees so it’s important to make sure the heat is steady on the brick floor and above (full disclosure… I tried making this recipe the week before and got distracted with my children in the house, so when I came out to check on my hard-worked masterpiece, it was burnt to a crisp and I was destroyed inside, for days. Don’t be that guy (me) when trying this at home – please check on your pizza, for the safety of your dough). Once the oven is ready add the pizza to the floor (I put semolina flour on a wooden pizza peel to have it come off easier). After about 2-3 minutes turning the pizza, your authentic Napoletana pizza margherita should be ready. All that’s left is to add the basil leaves whole on top. I have to say, for a Roman pizza fan like myself – I really enjoyed this! I usually enjoy pizza with a glass of red wine but instead went with a classic Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro. You can’t go wrong with that my friend! So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s authentic Napoletana Pizza Margherita recipe, Buon Appetito e Buona Sera Napoli!!!

Brick oven pizza margherita recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe in a Wood Fired Brick Oven

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 25 min

Total time: 3 hours 25 mins

Yield: 8 slices


  • 12 ounces peeled tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup Italian water

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make dough, heat Italian water in a pot for 2-3 minutes until warm then place in a bowl with salt and stir well for several minutes
  2. Add yeast into the bowl and stir for at least 5 minutes until yeast dissolves
  3. Add 2 cups of Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour to bowl, pouring slowly as you stir, then a tablespoon of olive oil and continue to stir for at least 10 minutes, until dough begins to turn into an elastic substance
  4. Place dough on a cutting board or cooking sheet and cover all sides with a little flour, then cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place under a bowl for at least 3 hours
  5. In order to make the sauce, add 3 tablespoons of oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add finely chopped garlic and 2 chopped basil leaves for 3-5 minutes
  7. Place peeled tomatoes in a bowl and chop whole parts into chunks, then add to pan with salt and pepper and cook at low heat for 3 hours
  8. After 3 hours, take dough and kneed for several minutes, covering with flour as necessary until all air bubbles are removed. Then take dough roller and roll, adding more flour when necessary, to a circular shape but not too thin (dough will likely create at least enough for 2 pizzas so feel free to make another or freeze for another time)
  9. Add healthy amount of San Marzaon crushed tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and oregano on top of pizza dough
  10. Cut thick fresh mozzarella slices and spread across pizza (do not cover all sauce with mozzarella, if you do, you’ve used too much cheese)
  11. To start your pizza oven, use kindling to get fire started adding bigger logs slowly until temps are above 750, then push fire to side of oven, sweeping away embers where pizza will be cooked
  12. Add pizza when temps are between 700-800 degrees and turn for 2-3 minutes until dough is slightly charred
  13. Add whole fresh basil leaves, let rest for 5 minutes and then slice
  14. Ready to serve!

Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe in Brick Oven Pizza

5 out of 5
stars based on 5 ratings.

Click here for Grilled Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Brazilian Style Churrasco & Caipirinha Cocktails – An Ipanema Backyard Feast (Minus the Supermodels)

21 Mar

Brazilian Style Churrasco with Beef, Pork, Chicken, Potatoes and Caipirinha’s

Recipe by

Brasil, Brasil, Brasil!!! The country with the most World Cup Soccer Titles and home to some of the most beautiful beaches, super models (and the most plastic surgeons) in the world! Brazil is a country that knows how to party and celebrate it’s assets (and they have plenty)! Like their South American brothers and sisters from Argentina and Uruguay, they are proud of their grilling history and outdoor cooking. If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian Churrascaria, where wave after wave of beef is brought to your table until you fall into a meat comma, then you know what I’m talking about! Today I’m sharing my Brazilian Style Churrasco Fiesta that includes steak, pork, chicken, and potatoes in long metal skewers over an open wood charcoal fire for hours. Joining the fiesta is the traditional Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail! Think of it as Ipanema in your backyard but without the supermodels (unless you’re Hugh Hefner and roll like that), and feel free to throw on some green and yellow beach attire to get in that “samba” mood! Just don’t get too carried away like Zane Lamprey as your neighbors might complain. Grilling Brazilian style churrasco from Paggi Pazzo

As it seems Brazilians are born with a soccer ball velcroed to their feet (do the names Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho come to mind?), churrasco is as equally considered a birthright and the Brazilian culture permeates and celebrates their churrasco like soccer. Translation? There’s always a fiesta in the making. The authentic Brazilian churrasco calls for beef to be seasoned ahead of time with only salt, while pork and chicken are commonly marinated with olive oil, lime, garlic, and parsley overnight. To start my Brazilian style churrasco, I fill 3 chimney starters of hardwood charcoal, ignited with olive oil dressed paper towels underneath. While the charcoal is heating up, I place the beef and pork in skewers through the long end of the meats. For the chicken however, I roll them into a ball and place the skewer through each center while the potatoes are skewered the long way (that’s a lot of skewer talk). With the charcoal pit ready, I place the skewers across the grill (top to bottom rather than left to right) without grates, turning every hour to make sure all parts of the food are cooked evenly. I also add olive oil in an aluminum tray with chopped garlic and parsley to use as a mop to lightly brush on the steak as the churrasco process continues. We’re almost there, so don’t go all fantasizing about Ipanema on me just yet.Brazilian style churrasco ready to be served from Paggi Pazzo

Once done, I take the skewers off the grill and bring them to a cutting board and use a large cutting knife to slice the meat downward, preserving some Brazilian tradition in the process. Feel free also to dress your food with chimichurri, as even the Brazilians enjoy this Argentinian sauce. To accompany this Brazilian feast I made some Caipirinha, a classic drink of the country that is very sweet (similar to a mojito in that regard but without the mint) and the main ingredient is a Brazilian-made alcohol called Cachaça. A liquor created from sugarcane that will flatten you like a thundering Roberto Carlos free-kick if you’re not careful. So there you have it, Brazilian Style Churrasco recipe from Paggi Pazzo, time to Carnival!
Traditional Brazilian Caipirinha recipe from Paggi Pazzo

(All recipes combined are below but for specific recipes from this post, click on the following):
Brazilian Style Steak Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Style Chicken Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Style Pork Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Style Potatoes Churrasco Recipe
Brazilian Caipirinha Recipe

Brazilian Style Churrasco Recipe
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 5 hours
Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 lbs. strip steaks (or skirt, flank, top-loin, or NY sirloin)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 (8 ounce) chicken breast fillets
  • 2 (8 ounce) pork chop fillets
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 limes
  • 4 long iron or metal skewers

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean steak, pork, chicken, and potatoes. Then chop 4 cloves of garlic and 1/3 cup of fresh parsley and in separate zip-lock bags, place chicken and pork but season with 2 garlic cloves (each), 1/2 of the fresh cut parsley (split in half for each), 3 tablespoons of olive oil (each), 1 freshly squeezed lime (each), and a teaspoon of salt and pepper (each), the let refrigerate overnight (take on at room temperature an hour before grilling)
  2. When almost ready to prepare grill, salt steak heavily on both sides with a dash of pepper and place long skewer through one end edge of beef going through the other end, almost as if you were making a giant beef kabob
  3. Do the same for pork but with chicken, roll fillets into a ball and pierce through centers with skewer (for potatoes, drive skewer through the center with longway sideways)
  4. Chop remaining garlic and parsley finely, then add to a small aluminum tray with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper
  5. Prepare charcoal grill: Add lump hard wood charcoal to 3 chimney starters with paper towel brushed with olive oil and lite to start fire
  6. Once charcoal is a nice grey color, remove charcoals from chimney and into grill pit, evenly distributed throughout with a small pile for a high-heat zone, but do not add grates onto grill
  7. Place skewers over charcoal fire just above heat with skewer ends touching the edges of the grill (you can add other meats and vegetables the same way to the fire if you’d like). Place aluminum tray of garlic, olive oil, and parsley mop onto grill if you have a higher-grate attached area not above the heat zone as it will be used to dress the steak every hour
  8. Slow cook for several hours, moving food to high-heat zone if necessary or not satisfied with cooking rate, and turn food once every hour so all sides of meat are cooked/grilled evenly. Lightly dress steak with olive oil, garlic, parsley mop also every hour
  9. After about 4-5 hours, food will be nice and crispy on outside and moist on the inside so remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes
  10. Keep food in skewers and slice down with thick cutting knife to serve as well as preserve Brazilian tradition
  11. Ready to serve and add a side of chimichurri if you’d like!

Brazilian Style Churrasco recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 8 ratings.

Brazilian Caipirinha Recipe
By Paggi Pazzo

Prep time: 5 min
Total time: 5 min
Yield: 1 serving


1 lime
1 & 1/2 shots or 2 ounces of Cachaça
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 cocktail shaker


1. Cut lime into quarters
2. Add lime quarters to shaker with sugar and muddle until a nice paste forms
3. Add Cachaça to shaker with ice and then close, mix, and shake for several minutes
4. Pour into a glass and ready to serve

Grilled Argentinian Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri – Giddy Up Gaucho!

8 Mar

Grilled Argentine Style Beef Ribs Recipe over a Wood Charcoal Fire

Recipe by

When it comes to slow cooking meat and beef over an open fire, few places do it like South America, and even fewer countries can do it like Argentina! Slow cooking meats over a wood fire for hours is a birthright for those within the country that calls the capital Buenos Aires it’s home. As well as the neighboring grill-spirit countries of Uruguay and Brazil. The smell of a wood fire just makes me wanna throw on a cowboy hat and gather up that cattle (what?!?!? You’re not feeling it???). Today I’m sharing my Argentinian Styled Beef Baby Back Ribs with Chimchurri to bring out the inner cowboy (and cowgirl) in all of us! Grilling Argentinian Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri from Paggi Pazzo

The traditional tried and true grilling recipe (and method) for Argentinian Beef Baby Back Ribs is to have the beef cut across bone, which provides smaller ribs but more tender meat as not all of the beef is attached directly on the bone. In Argentina, because the cows are grazed more naturally, the beef is even leaner and more tender so if you have access or connections to a butcher who sells, possesses or trades Argentinian beef, let me know and we’ll kidnap him!!! Just kidding of course (or am I???), but definitely venture at least once to see the difference. Unfortunately for me, I do not have Argentine beef or the style-cut available to me so I instead grabbed some American style beef baby back ribs and seasoned them the Argentinian way of heavy salt and light pepper. The salt brings the fat juices to life when cooked at slow temperatures (not unlike what the Florentine’s do for their Bistecca Alla Fiorentina). What makes this recipe “Argentinian style” is the slow cooking process of beef over a wood charcoal fire at low heat for hours and the heavy heaping side of chimichurri that goes with it.

To start my Argentinian style beef ribs, I wash the ribs thoroughly and then place on a plate or cooking sheet. I then season heavy with salt, a touch of pepper and a little bit of garlic salt. Then I start my wood charcoal fire with mesquite and oak wood chunks by filling up two chimney starters, lit with paper towel dressed in olive oil. Once the wood turns grey, I dump a majority on one side of the grill with a thin bed across the entire grill. I then place the beef ribs bone side down at the opposite end of the heavy-end of the charcoal fire and then watch them grill for hours! That’s all there is to it! I turn them opposite side over (still with bone side down) after about 90 minutes to 2 hours and let them keep cooking for another 90 minutes to 2 hours. When they’re almost done, I make a little pyramid for the beef to sweat juices down on one another – it’s a nice little trick that keeps the beef tender (once again trying to keep it classy here at Paggi Pazzo). Once done, I put them aside and have my chimichurri ready as a nice traditional Argentinian sauce to dress afterwards (chimichurri recipe is below and should be made a day before grilling your ribs). So there you have it, a simple and easy Argentinian Style Beef Baby Back Ribs recipe from Paggi Pazzo, Giddy Up Cowboys!

Grilled Argentine Style Beef Ribs from Paggi Pazzo

Argentine Style Beef Ribs Recipe

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 3-4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 30 mins
Yield: 4 servings

For Chimichurri:

  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For Argentine Style Beef Ribs:

  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 lbs. beef baby back ribs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. To prepare chimichurri, chop the fresh leaf parsley, garlic cloves, scallions, shallot, yellow pepper (seeded), bay leaves, and oregano into very fine pieces (or use food processor to pulse and chop all ingredients together).
  2. Add into a bowl or jar, all of the chopped ingredients (parsley, garlic, scallions, shallot, yellow pepper, and oregano) with salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, hot water, paprika, cumin, and crushed red peppers.
  3. Stir well for 5 minutes and allow liquids and ingredients to gel together.
  4. Store in refrigerator (covered and sealed) for 1 day and when ready to be served, allow to stay at room temperature for at least one hour.
  5. Wash beef baby back ribs and place on tray or plate, then season heavily with salt and a pinch of garlic salt and pepper (the salt will bring out the meat juices as it slow cooks)
  6. Prepare charcoal grill: Fill lump hard wood charcoal to 2 chimney starters with a handful of mesquite and oak wood chunks and chips, then light with paper towel brushed with olive oil under starters
  7. Once wood charcoal is a nice grey color, dump into grill pit with a majority of wood charcoal on one half of the grill and a small lower, heat zone at the opposite end
  8. Place grates back on grill and dampen paper towel with olive oil to rub across grates
  9. Add beef baby back ribs, bone side down at end of grill with low heat zone to slow cook ribs for several hours
  10. After 90 minutes, turn ribs opposite side around (with bone side still down)
  11. After 2 1/2 hours, stack ribs on top of one another to allow meat juices to sweat down on one another (repeat after 15 minutes moving beef ribs on bottom to the top and vice-versa). If ribs appear to be not as tender as desired, continue to slow cook until removing from grill
  12. Remove from grill and allow beef baby back ribs 10-15 minutes to cool before serving and add with a side of chimichurri
  13. Time to saddle up and go to town on some beef ribs, Giddy-Up!

Argentinian Style Beef Ribs with Chimichurri recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 6 ratings.

Click here for full Argentine Beef Ribs Recipe and Chimichurri Recipe or all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Focaccia Faccia! Stuff Your Face with This Tasty Bread!

23 Feb

Focaccia Bread Recipe – Great for All Occasions…In the Face!
Recipe by

A great recipe my mother made quite frequently growing up was Focaccia, a white pizza like bread that had a little seasoning and always left you coming back for more. Whether it was a nice complimentary side dish to dinner or something we enjoyed as a snack, Focaccia is one item I rarely passed up when it presented itself (not that it just came around unannounced and snuck up on me or something…). Today I’m sharing my Roman style Focaccia bread recipe that my mother has shared with me and I think you will find it sooooo good, you’ll wanna shove that focaccia in your (the) face! Or simply just eat it…

Preparing focaccia with fresh rosemary, garlic, and olive oil from Paggi Pazzo!

Putting together some focaccia with finely chopped fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil and a sprinkle of Reggiano Parmigiano from Paggi Pazzo!

To start, I buy my dough from a specialty market that makes their dough fresh everyday without any unhealthy oils and ingredients. Now if you have the time, feel free to make your own dough (show off!) but those of you like myself who don’t, here’s how we begin our focaccia recipe. I take a handful of flour and cover both sides of the dough, kneading and prodding to stretch it out. Unlike pizza, I don’t use a dough-roller for the focaccia and instead, poke at the dough all around with both index fingers to create an indented mountainous appearance (how picturesque!). Continue to poke and stretch it out until you have a decent size round shape and then place on a pizza stone or cooking sheet. I then add olive oil all around the focaccia and add a little bit of finely chopped garlic and fresh rosemary, pinch of salt and pepper, then a sprinkle of grated Reggiano Parmigiano. That’s all there is to it my friends! That simple! Set the oven to 425 degrees and it let it bake for about 20 minutes or until the focaccia turns a golden brown and then POW! Focaccia heaven.Focaccia Recipe with Fresh Rosemary and Reggiano Parmigiano from Paggi Pazzo

Recipes and types of focaccia vary from region to region in Italy. The one my mother has taught me is more of a Roman take on focaccia but also common in places like Liguria, while in areas of the south it is not uncommon to find focaccia topped with tomatoes and olives. I sometimes like to make panini with the focaccia by slicing it in half and stuffing with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella and/or soppressata with fresh mozzarella. It’s a reeeeeeeeally good panino, trust me! I use to make them all the time during my college days when I worked at Tutto Italiano, a little Italian specialty store. Try one and you’ll be so busy attacking that focaccia panino that you won’t have any time for TV, even if shark week is on! Now I know some may ask, what’s the difference between focaccia and pizza bianca? And the answer? I have no clue…. Just kidding… The pizza bianca in Rome is very similar to the focaccia with the difference being that the pizza bianca includes toppings while the focaccia is as is but can also be stuffed with deliciousness. Whatever you decide to do with your Focaccia, I bet it will be destined for face stuffing – Buon Appetito!Focaccia style panini recipes from Paggi Pazzo

Focaccia Bread Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Yield: 8 slices


  • 16 ounce fresh dough
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Reggiano Parmigiano
  • handful flour

Cooking Directions

  1. Add flour to both sides of dough and poke in circular motion, slightly stretching dough and creating round shape with finger indents throughout
  2. Chop and crush garlic cloves and fresh rosemary finely then grate Reggiano Parmigiano
  3. Lightly dress focaccia with olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper and grated Reggiano Parmigiano
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, then add focaccia and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and stuffing your face!

Focaccia Bread Recipe

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Homemade Spanish Style Crab Croquettes – Fuel Up for a Run Through Pamplona!

9 Feb

Spanish Crab Croquettes Recipe; Run with the Bulls Amigos!
Recipe by

Tapas from Spain is one of my all time favorites and the Iberian nation is a hotbed for all things tasty! Without a doubt, I can’t have a tapas dinner without ordering some kind of croquettes that feature jamón Serrano, or chorizo, or chicken or beef or fish, etc… It doesn’t really matter because usually whatever is added in the filling is a mouth full of deliciousness! Today I’m sharing my recipe for Spanish Style Crab Croquettes, filled with fresh crab meat, chorizo, Manchego cheese, and fresh parsley that accentuate some of Spain’s most classic ingredients. It will inspire you to sing Red Ships of Spain or visit Pamplona and go running with the bulls! Then again, maybe hold off on that idea and stick to the singing.Spanish style crab filled croquettes with Manchego, chorizo, and fresh parsley recipe from Paggi Pazzo

What I love about Spanish crab croquettes, or croquettes in general, is that they’re fantastic for appetizers or even a whole meal if you make them as large as I do! My father-in-law was gracious enough to offer fresh crab meat that he brought home from the ocean waters of New Brunswick, so I knew what I had to do – like Spain world-class midfielder Xavi Hernandez’s exquisite footwork, I had to perform a clinical croquette recipe (or something like that…). One ingredient however I discovered hard to find was Spanish breadcrumbs as there aren’t many specialty stores featuring Spain ingredients close by to where I live so I made a bit of a bread crumb concoction. I mixed Italian and Japanese panko breadcrumbs with Goya Adobo seasoning and together, it gave a crispy and crunchy flavor to this enjoyable recipe.

To begin my Spanish crab croquettes, I start by sautéing the crab meat in a pan with garlic, chopped chorizo and a lot of fresh parsley in Spanish olive oil. Next step is preparing a béchamel sauce with butter, olive oil, flour and milk to create a creamy texture. Start by creating a paste with olive oil and butter melted at low heat, followed by flour and heated milk whisked together. Once the béchamel is ready, I chop Manchego cheese and add all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring well and then placing in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Now that the filling is chilled, I place my breadcrumb mixture on a large plate and beat an egg in a bowl for dipping. Take your crab croquettes filling and make an oval shape with your hands, then dip in the egg and roll onto the breadcrumbs. That’s all you need to do and keep repeating until all of the filling has vanished. Now I know the traditional way then is to fry or deep fry the crab croquettes and I did just that for 4 of them because my wife and I were very hungry and couldn’t wait to taste! However, for healthy eating best practices, I baked the rest in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes a side and they came out delightful, not to mention not overly saturated in oil. As a beverage you can’t go wrong with a great glass of Spanish sangria (or jug) but Spain has excellent wines and beers, including the Conde de Valdemar Rioja or the Estrella Damm Beer from Barcelona, or the Mahou-San Miguel from Madrid. All will go excellently with your fresh crab croquettes! You’ll be feeling good and ready after a few of these to take on anything, maybe even a run with the bulls? Just be sure to carry a few extra croquettes in case the bulls get a little too close so you don’t get the horns! Spanish Crab Croquettes recipe from Paggi Pazzo, Viva España!

Homemade Spanish crab croquettes with chorizo, Manchego cheese and fresh parsley from Paggi Pazzo

Spanish Style Crab Croquettes Recipe

Prep time: 45 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 1 hour 5 min

Yield: 16 large croquettes


  • 2 pounds fresh crab meat
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo
  • 4 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 ounces Spanish Manchego cheese
  • 1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons Goya adobo seasoning
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg

Cooking Directions

  1. To create filling chop crab meat, chopped chorizo, fresh parsley, chopped garlic, and add to a pan with olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes at low heat stirring ingredients
  2. In another pan, add butter and olive oil at low heat. Once butter melts, add flour and whisk then add milk and continue to stir until soft and slightly thick for croquette filling
  3. Chop Manchego cheese into small chunks and then combine with flour/milk mixture and crab meat/chorizo, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to cool
  4. In a bowl, add Italian bread crumbs, Panko bread crumbs, and Goya Adobo seasoning and mix
  5. Crack egg into a bowl and beat, then add breadcrumb mixture to a large plate. Take crab croquette filling and create small oval shapes then dip into egg and roll into breadcrumb mix, then place on baking sheet (repeat until all filling is used)
  6. Set oven at 425 degrees and cook crab croquettes for 20 minutes until golden brown
  7. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving and shout Viva España!!!

Spanish Style Crab Croquettes Recipe

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Lasagne alla Bolognese – No Ricotta Required!

25 Jan

Lasagne alla Bolognese Recipe, The Lasagne All Others Aspire To Be
Recipe by

Bologna, the unofficial food capital of Italy within the region of Emilia-Romagna where prosciutto, mortadella, and salami are heavily produced and at one time the home of the legendary Roberto Baggio, amazing the Rossoblù tifosi in the late 90’s. You knew I was gonna get Baggio in here, didn’t you – he was kind of a big deal back then. How he didn’t turn into 500 lbs. with all of the amazing food surrounding him is beyond me and one dish specifically is synonymous with Bologna and increasing your waistline; Lasagne alla Bolognese! The rich and hearty filling of meat, besciamella (béchamel sauce) with grated Grana Padano and Reggiano Parmigiano make this lasagne the ultimate and classic comfort food of not just the region, but for all of Northern Italy. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Lasagne alla Bolognese that includes a touch of Rome (shocking) but stays true to this traditional Bologna classic. Preparing Lasagne alla Bolognese recipe from Paggi Pazzo

By comparison, most American lasagne is filled with heavy ricotta cheese and extra sauce that piles up 2 feet high as if you were building a skyscraper, not the type of lasagne you are likely to find in Italy. The Lasagne alla Bolognese by contrast is compact and filled with hardy goodness! To start it’s important to prepare the Bolognese sauce, also known as Ragù, which consists of ground beef, pancetta (you can add or use ground pork as well), carrots, celery, onion, and tomato sauce. I first add the onions, carrot, and celery and saute them in olive oil before adding pancetta (sliced in little chunks). After 5 minutes of the pancetta cooking with the vegetables, I add the ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper, which I cook for about 10-15 minutes until the beef is almost browned. Then add crushed tomatoes and slow cook for at least 90 minutes to 2 hours (I also reduce the sauce to help the meat absorb the crushed tomatoes).Ragù Bolognese Sauce for Lasagne alla Bolognese from Paggi Pazzo

While the sauce is cooking, you have plenty of time to prepare the lasagne pasta and the besciamella. For the pasta, I use Barilla lasagne pasta and add them to boiling water for about 1-2 minutes to soften (I don’t salt the water because the Grana Padano and Reggiano Parmigiano offer plenty of salt). Feel free to make your own lasagne pasta if you have the time (show-off!) as the authentic recipe calls for spinach lasagne pasta. For the besciamella, which is actually a traditional French sauce found in many Northern Italian cuisines (Viva La Resistance!), add butter to a pan at low heat and then stir in flower with a whisk. In another pan heat milk (I use 2% to keep it healthy and classy at Paggi Pazzo) and once the butter and flower begin to make a paste, add the milk slowly while whisking and adding a little more every time the sauce begins to thicken. Now I’m not a big fan of the besciamella so I actually used 1/2 of the usual amount for the lasagne and substituted the other half with chopped fresh mozzarella, but depending on your taste feel free to exclude the fresh mozzarella.

Now you’re ready to put the Lasagne alla Bolognese together so add a little bit of the sauce to the bottom of a large pan topped with sheets of the lasagne pasta. Then add a healthy heaping layer of the Bolognese Ragù sauce, a light dressing of the besciamella, chopped fresh mozzarella, grated Grana Padano and Reggiano Parmigiano, and repeat once more. The bigger the lasagne my friends (3-4 layers) does not make it better so trust me on this one; the lasagne will taste so much better if it’s not overwhelmed with too much of one ingredient or many. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and let it cook for 45 minutes before enjoying a Bologna masterpiece!

My wife and I really enjoyed the lasagne and to her credit, she admitted that the more classic Italian lasagne was better than the ricotta filled imitations she’s had in the past. To accompany the Lasagne alla Bolognese I cracked open a bottle of Nobile de Montepulciano, an excellent red from Tuscany but if you want to keep the Bologna theme going, Sangiovese is a popular Emilia-Romagna wine. So there you have it, Lasagne alla Bolognese recipe from Paggi Pazzo, be sure to invite over some friends (or give me a call)!

Bologna Style Lasagne recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Lasagne alla Bolognese Recipe

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 2 hours 45 min

Total time: 3 hours

Yield: 10 servings


  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 ounces or 12 sheets lasagne pasta (Barilla)
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt and pepper
  • 1/4 pound pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large carrots
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup Grana Padano
  • 1 cup Reggiano Parmigiano

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make the sauce, add oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add finely chopped onion, carrots, celery, and fresh bay leaves and saute for 10 minutes
  3. Add pancetta and cook for another 5-7 minutes before adding ground beef. Then season with salt and pepper and cook until meat is slightly browned
  4. Add crushed tomato sauce and cook at low temperature for at least 90 minutes and until most of sauce has evaporated into beef
  5. Boil water in a pan and then add lasagne sheets for 1-2 minutes until softened
  6. For besciamella, heat milk in one pan and in another pan add butter at low heat and once completely melted, add flour with a pinch of salt and whisk
  7. Once butter and flour become a paste, slowly add heated milk and whisk consistently (continue adding milk until it forms a creamy texture – if besciamella becomes too thick, remove from stove)
  8. Preheat oven at 400 degrees and lightly dress bottom of pan with Bolognese Ragù sauce
  9. Grate Grana Padano and Reggiano Parmigiano into a bowl and chop fresh mozzarella
  10. Add 4 lasagne sheets to bottom of pan, then layer with Bolognese Ragù sauce, besciamella, chopped fresh mozzarella, and grated Grana Padano and Reggiano Parmigiano (repeat again for second layer)
  11. For any remaining besciamella and cheeses, use to top lasagne
  12. Cover lasagne with sheet of aluminum foil and place in oven and cook for 45 minutes
  13. Once done, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving and enjoying the splendors of Bologna!

Lasagne alla Bolognese Recipe

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stars based on 8 ratings.

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Pesto alla Genovese – Pesto Palooza, Columbus is Bringing the Basil!

10 Jan

Ligurian Pesto alla Genovese Recipe; Please Pass the Pesto Pronto!
Recipe by

One of the great classic pasta dishes hailing from the northern port city of Genoa within the region of Liguria is Pesto alla Genovese. I’m surprised that Genoa’s own Chris Columbus (yeah, we were on a first-name basis) didn’t share his pesto recipe with the Americas. Maybe he wasn’t interested in bartering the city’s famed pasta dish??? I know chances are that pesto was not around then and I also know that Vespucci saw the Americas first but remember, he was Tuscan and pesto was probably a lot lighter to export for Mr. “Double C” Columbus (like I said, we’re real close) than Grilled Bistecca alla Fiorentina in the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Perhaps the pesto got lost among the other items and herbs Columbus traded for along the way? Come to think of it, Pecorino Sardo was probably hard to come by in the 1500’s. Today I’m sharing my pesto recipe with you that I personally took back (not the actual pasta and sauce, that would be gross since it’s been a few years) from Liguria, the region and home in Italy where pesto was created!

Presto Pranzo!!! Mr. and Mrs. Paggi Pazzo having lunch in Cinque Terre, Liguria along the Mediterranean sea with the classic and authentic Trofie al Pesto.

Presto Pranzo!!! Mr. and Mrs. Paggi Pazzo having lunch in Cinque Terre, Liguria along the Mediterranean sea with the classic and authentic Trofie al Pesto.

For full disclosure… I am actually not a big pesto fan! Ha-ha, I know, I know….you’re saying, “What you talkin’ about Willis?” But the truth is where my family is from in Rome, pesto is not a common dish or known in the region of Lazio. I do however own a U.C. Sampdoria soccer jersey (shocker!), who are from Genoa compliments of my cousin as a Christmas gift (Grazie Cugino!). But with that said, my wife loves pesto. I mean, looooooooves pesto! So when we were in the beautiful resort towns of Cinque Terre, Liguria, my wife made sure to enjoy pesto at least once a day. I have to say even for a non-crazed pesto fan like myself, it was delicious! The pasta most common served with pesto is known as “trofie“, which resemble little worms and are made without eggs, and considered to be closer to gnocchi than traditional pasta. For the traditional pesto ingredients, there are a simple few, but it’s important to get the most authentic of them to make the pesto taste like Ligurian pesto. For starters, get 3-4 cups of fresh basil and make sure after you clean the basil, it’s dry for the sauce. Then, get garlic cloves, olive oil, Italian or European pine nuts (which can be found at any Italian specialty market or Salumeria), and the most important… Pecorino Sardo and Grana Padano cheese. Both are the authentic and classic cheeses for pesto and they are not always easy to find, so if you must replace, use Reggiano Parmigiano in place of the Padano and Pecorino Romano in place of the Sardo. But, do so at the risk of taste…I’m just sayin’. Preparing Pesto alla Genovese with basil, garlic, pine nuts, Pecorino Sardo and Reggiano Parmigiano from Paggi Pazzo

Once you have all of your ingredients, the true classic preparation for the Pesto alla Genovese is to use a wooden mortar and ground the basil, garlic, and pine nuts together. Now, if you have a few days to do so and nothing else on your plate (unlike myself who has two children under the age of 3), then I would recommend using your food processor to make the pesto (“Double C” has just regretted ever setting foot in America! Wait a second??? He wasn’t looking for us anyway, right?!?!?). But before you do, cook the pine nuts in a pan with olive oil for 5 minutes to give them a light roast flavor. Then take your basil, garlic, and slowly roasted pine nuts with olive oil and add them in your food processor and pulse for about 10-20 seconds. Then add grated Sardo and Padano and purée this time before adding some pepper, and a little more cheese. Once the consistency of the pesto is a light cream, then you’re done! D-U-N, done!!! It is such an easy pasta that my wife is insisting I make it all the time (we’ll see). If trofie pasta is difficult to find, any short pasta will do (we used penne) but be sure to save a little bit of the pasta water after draining the pasta in case your pesto gets a little too thick.

While in Liguria we enjoyed some tremendous wines, which is not surprising since it’s neighbored to Tuscany and Piedmont, the recognized wine King regions of Italy. At every restaurant we enjoyed the house wine and asked for vino specifically from Liguria. One inparticular, the Colli di Luni is an enjoyable red that we had several times and even brought a bottle home that lasted maybe an evening! We also returned with a bottle of Sciacchetra, which I kept calling Shaka-Khan! It was a very sweet dessert wine that you can only find in Cinque Terre and as a matter of fact, we still haven’t cracked that bottle open yet. Whatever wine or pasta you decide with your pesto, I think you’ll find the Pesto alla Genovese recipe from Paggi Pazzo very satisfying, whether you’re in Liguria or at home!

Authentic Ligurian Pesto alla Genovese recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Pesto alla Genovese Recipe

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15 min

Total time: 30 min

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 pound trofie pasta or penne (Barilla)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Sardo
  • 3/4 cup grated Grana Padono
  • 3-4 full cups fresh basil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Italian or European pinenuts

Cooking Directions

  1. Grate Pecorino Sardo and Grana Padano into a bowl. If cheeses are not available, substitute with Pecorino Romano and Reggiano Parmigiano
  2. Add tablespoon of olive oil to pan and add pine nuts, cooking for 5 minutes then let sit for another 5 minutes
  3. Add fresh basil into food processor (but make sure basil is not wet after cleaning as the dryer the better for the pesto sauce), pine nuts, garlic, black pepper, salt, and 3/4 cup of olive oil
  4. Use pulse option in Food processor for 10-20 seconds until pesto starts to cream then add grated cheese (but save a handful for after pasta is done), and remaining olive oil and then purée for 10-20 seconds
  5. If pesto begins to take on a creamy consistency, then pesto sauce is ready. If still thick, add a little more olive oil and stir
  6. Bring pot of water to a boil and add your choice of short pasta if trofie is not available or not your preference. If cooking with trofie, once they rise to the top, they are ready (I do not add salt to the water because the sharp cheeses provided carry enough salt flavor for the sauce)
  7. Once pasta is ready, strain but be sure to keep a ladil of pasta water on hand should sauce be too thick
  8. Quickly mix pesto sauce with pasta and add remaining grated cheese
  9. Sing a verse of the Salve Regina hymn and you’re ready to serve!

Pesto alla Genovese Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 5 ratings.

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Grilling Steak Tips – The Essence of Man

28 Dec

Grilled Steak Tips Over a Wood Charcoal Fire Recipe; The Fragrance for Men!
Recipe by

I swear, if I could bottle the smell of grilled steak tips into a cologne, I’d be a happy man (with a lot of bottles of cologne and likely a lot of debt). But what better way to bring us back to those good old caveman days of meat and fire (and short life expectancy – what?!? Just keeping the mood light?) than grilling marinated tips over a wood fire until they are so tender you just want to bottle it (what is wrong with me?!?! I’m obsessed with this bottling idea, right??!!?? That would never work, would it? Why? You interested in investing???). Today I’m sharing my marinated grilled steak tips recipe that is as easy as it is delightful, whether you’re bottling your steak tips for further fragrance use or sitting down for dinner. Marinated Steak Tips over a wood charcoal fire and mesquite wood chips from Paggi Pazzo

To be fair, this recipe is a modified version from my buddy Andy’s tips but I’ve added my own Paggi Pazzo twist to make this grilled marinated steak tips recipe my own. I prefer to buy my tips pre-cut and as whole strips but you can cut yours before grilling or buy them cut as well, the choice is yours. I prefer them uncut when putting on the grill because when the steak tips are done and then sliced into tips, half the edges are crispy while the others are medium rare and tender to the touch (just like my new cologne – Tender Tips for Men, represented by our spokesman Ron Swanson).

Start your marinade by putting together in a bowl (or large zip-lock bag) olive oil, red wine vinegar, BBQ sauce (I prefer honey BBQ sauce – giddy up!!!), Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and finally mayonnaise (just kidding on the mayo). Add your tips and let sit overnight (in the fridge of course) and when they’re ready – fire up your charcoal grill! I like to use mesquite wood chunks for the tips with lump hardwood charcoal to give my cologne…uhhhhh, I mean steak tips…a nice smokey flavor. When the wood charcoal is nice and grey, dump into the grill pit and dress the grates with olive oil or a half-cut onion. Now you can throw those bad boy steak tips on the grill!!! Over high heat, I char each side for about 2 minutes and then move the steak tips to a medium heat zone where I grill for another 7 minutes per side. Once they’re done, I go against conventional wisdom and slice the steaks into tips immediately so that some of the outside edges are nice and rare. Most would wait 5-10 minutes to cut but I don’t want the soon to be outside pieces to keep cooking internally.

I love a nice hearty red wine to go with my marinated steak tips so I usually recommend an Argentinian Malbec, a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, or a French Médoc. You really can’t go wrong with any of these. So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s newest cologne, errrr – grilled marinated steak tips over a wood charcoal fire, enjoy!!!

Grilled Marinated Steak Tips recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Steak Tips Recipe

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1.5-2 lbs. steak tips
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup honey barbecue sauce

Cooking Directions

  1. Marinate steak tips in Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey barbecue sauce, salt, pepper, dry bay leaves, onion powder and garlic powder and put in fridge overnight (you can either cut the steak loins into tips if purchased whole or cut after grilling but personally I prefer to cut after grilling to allow the sides a tender medium rare texture)
  2. Start chimney starter full of hardwood lump charcoal and some mesquite wood chips by using a match to paper towel dressed with olive oil under starter. Once the wood charcoal is grey, dump into grill pit
  3. Oil grill grates with paper towel dressed in olive oil
  4. Add steak tips to grill and sear at high-heat for 2 minutes on each side then move to medium-to-high heat and turn 7-8 minutes per side (slow cook for best tenderness)
  5. Once tender or to your liking, remove from grill and let cool for 5 minutes
  6. Ready to serve

Grilled Steak Tips Recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 28 ratings.

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Fresh Mozzarella, Fontina and Prosciutto Cotto Calzone – Get in The Zone!

14 Dec

Fresh Mozzarella, Fontina and Prosciutto Cotto Calzone Recipe – Feel the Power of the ‘Zone!
Recipe by

Who doesn’t like a good calzone? Anyone? For those of you not familiar with the calzone (and have been living in North Korea for the last 50 years), it’s basically a pizza inside out with virtually the same ingredients but for clarification, the pronunciation is “cal-zone-eh“. Almost like you were doing an imitation of the Fonze while you’re finishing the last syllable. It’s also imperative you use hand gestures like these guys when speaking of “the calzone“!. The phrase in Italian translates to “pants” and to be quite honest it makes absolutely no sense! I mean, really “pants”? C’mon!!! Ok,ok….settle down. I actually left an important part out. The translation refers to a “pants pocket”…….which could mean something like a pizza filled entree but I’m still not sure I’m buying this?!?!?! Let’s move on, shall we? I like to prepare a homemade calzone similar to a stromboli (which includes red sauce in the middle) but unlike here in the States where provolone or sliced mozzarella is used and a stromboli is rolled (which I do not do for the calzone), I prefer fresh mozzarella and fontina cheese with prosciutto cotto (one of my personal favorites), mushrooms, extra basil, and a light sprinkling of grated Reggiano Parmigiano on top. I was feeling pretty bold when I decided to prepare some homemade calzoni (plural) for my cousin from Rome who was recently visiting with friends and offering Italian food to Italians can be a dicey proposition, but I was in the “Calzone-Zone” my friends, I was feeling it! Thankfully, this recipe got a nod of approval from them and the food went fast, as did the Nastro Azzurro and vino! So if that’s any indication I think you’ll find this recipe to pass the test because once you get into the zone of making the calzone (aka…the “Calzone-Zone!”), you’ll feel like a dancing machine that can’t be stopped!Homemade Calzone with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto cotto, fontina, mushrooms, and basil from Paggi Pazzo

To get started, I buy a 16 oz. pizza dough (but you can certainly make your own homemade dough), and flour both sides before rolling with a dough roller back and forth to get a nice oval shape, but one that is not too thin (we’re going to fold the dough over so depending on how many ingredients you want to add into the filling, I would not roll the dough too excessively to put too much weight on the bottom). Add the dough onto a cooking sheet pan that has been dressed very lightly with olive oil and begin to make a column of all the ingredients layered on top of one another. I prefer to start with the fresh mozzarella, followed by the prosciutto cotto, basil, mushrooms, and fontina but feel free to blaze your own trail! Once the filling is settled, fold over the dough and press the edges together with a dab of olive oil and slightly roll the edges to create a pretzel like outside. This makes sure that the filling won’t escape (leave no ingredient behind!!!). Once completed, sprinkle grated Reggiano Parmigiano on top with a drizzle of olive oil and cut four small slits across (this will allow the dough to rise without air bubbles forming during the cooking process). Now you’re in the zone! Or should be in the zone….but we’re not talking Top Gun Danger Zone here, we’re talking “Calzone-Zone“! You’ll get it eventually, don’t be beat yourself up….really, relax! Just let it come to you.

Set your oven to 425 degrees and cook for 25 minutes and then you’ll have a golden calzone ready to be devoured! I would wait to cut the calzone for 10-15 minutes after removing from the oven so the inside finishes cooking and use a pizza cutter to slice the servings, I find that it works better. Some people like red sauce on the side to add to the calzone so if you prefer by all means do so! I personally think the sauce will takeaway from some of the calzone flavors and I couldn’t help but notice that my cousin and his friends did not partake either (but to each his own, right?). My wife loves the sauce on the side for a variety of things so I make sure to appease her when possible (#1 lesson in life). So there you have it, Homemade Calzone Recipe from Paggi Pazzo, get in the Calzone-Zone my friends!

Homemade calzone recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Homemade Calzone Recipe

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 25 min

Total time: 40 min

Yield: 8 servings


  • 8 ounces crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto cotto
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 4 ounces fontina
  • 2 tablespoons grated Reggiano Parmigiano
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup white mushrooms
  • 16 ounce fresh dough
  • handful flour
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make the sauce, add oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and 2 chopped basil leaves for 3 minutes
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and let cook for 30 minutes at low heat
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  5. While sauce is slowly cooking, add flour to top and bottom of dough (click here for homemade dough recipe)
  6. Begin to poke and stretch dough slowly to flatten out
  7. Take dough roller and spread dough out to a large oval shape
  8. Lightly brush cooking sheet pan with olive oil
  9. Once dough is nice and flat, put dough on cooking sheet and add sauce to bottom half of dough with an inch space of the edges (keep dry for folding)
  10. Add thinly sliced fresh mozzarella over sauce across the dough in a line like fashion, then prosciutto cotto slices ripped into pieces, followed by fresh basil leaves, mushrooms, and thin slices of fontina
  11. Brush a little olive oil around the edge of the bottom half of the dough and pull the top half over and begin to seal edges by rolling dough slightly and pinching together
  12. Add grated Reggiano Parmigiano across top with a sprinkle of olive oil, then place in oven
  13. Cook calzone for 25 minutes or until crust on bottom and top is a nice golden brown
  14. Take calzone out and let rest for 10-15 minutes
  15. Slice and ready to serve!

Homemade Fresh Mozzarella and Prosciutto Cotto Calzone Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 5 ratings.

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Grilled Eggplant with Diced Tomatoes and Goat Cheese – Adored (Prestige) Worldwide

26 Nov

Bruschetta Style Grilled Eggplant with Diced Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Recipe by

A great and healthy appetizer that I like to put together is grilled eggplant topped with diced tomatoes and goat cheese. It’s an easy and healthy appetizer (or full meal) to enjoy as a pizza or bruschetta. It’s quite simple to prepare and the only time consuming effort is cooking the diced tomatoes with garlic and waiting for your charcoal wood to be placed in the grill pit. Not only is the recipe easy, it’s also quite healthy and a great substitute for take out pizza – not to mention the $10+ you’ll save. And dare I say it will get you as excited as the Catalina Wine Mixer? I think so!

To begin, clean the eggplant and slice 1/4 inch thick slices across length with a drizzle of olive oil on each side and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. For the diced tomato sauce we only need 2 ingredients; garlic and diced tomatoes. We try to keep it simple here at Paggi Pazzo! I cook the sauce for about 20 minutes at low heat and just enough that the diced tomatoes sweat and create a nice juice that absorbs the garlic. Once the important prep work is done, I set up my charcoal grill with one chimney starter full of hardwood lump charcoal (feel free to use any special woods in addition for a slight smokey flavor) and once the wood coals turn grey, dump them into the grill pit. I then add the eggplant diagonally and cook for 4-5 minutes per side but giving a slight quarter-inch turn after 3 minutes to create those great looking grill marks. Once finished, remove from the grill and add a nice helping of the diced tomato sauce and a generous handful of crumbled goat cheese, topped with dry basil leaves. You can eat it with your hands like a pizza or cut it up with a fork and a knife, the choice is yours. That’s all you need and that’s all it takes! It’s literally as simple as choosing Prestige Worldwide for all of your business, entertainment, and financial needs – a no brainer! A fast, healthy and easy recipe from Paggi Pazzo, grilled eggplant with diced tomatoes and goat cheese enjoy!

Grilled eggplant bruschetta style with diced tomato sauce, crumbled goat cheese and dried basil leaves from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Eggplant with Diced Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Recipe

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 15 min

Total time: 45 min

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves

Cooking Directions

  1. Chop garlic finely and add to pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to create sauce. After 2-3 minutes, add diced tomatoes to pan with salt and pepper, cover, and cook low-to-medium heat for 20 minutes
  2. While sauce cooks, clean eggplant and then cut long way into 1/4 inch thick slices then season with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  3. Start grill (if using gas grill fire up burners and maintain medium-to-high-heat) and use one 1/2 chimney starter filled with wood lump charcoal. Once wood charcoal is grey, empty into grill pit
  4. Grill eggplant 4-5 minutes on each side until grill marks are evident and eggplant is browned
  5. Once eggplant is done, remove and add to serving dish then top with healthy serving of diced tomato sauce, crumbled goat cheese and sprinkle of dried basil leaves
  6. Ready to serve

Grilled Eggplant with Diced Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 4 ratings.

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Indirect Grilling a Whole Pork Roast is Directly Delightful!

18 Nov

Indirect Grilled Whole Pork Roast Over an Apple Wood Charcoal Fire
Recipe by

Allow me to be direct about indirect grilling a whole pork roast – it rocks! When I’m not smoking meats or grilling fish, the next best thing to do over a wood charcoal fire is to cook them indirectly by placing the food in the middle of the grill with the wood cooking on each side. Today I’m sharing my whole pork roast recipe that is stuffed with Reggiano Parmigiano chunks, mushrooms, and garlic.Grilled Whole Pork Roast stuffed with Reggiano Parmigiano, Mushrooms, and Garlic over an apple wood charcoal fire using the indirect grilling method from Paggi Pazzo

I chose to cook a 4 pound pork roast and prepared a brine like marinade with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and a lot of garlic. Before I add the pork roast to this though and refrigerate overnight, I need to open a pocket in the roast. Now for full disclosure, I cut the pork roast too deep (almost to the bone) so don’t do what I did and instead cut a slit about 2 inches deep the length of the pork. Add the garlic cloves, Reggiano Parmigiano chunks, and mushroom slices in the pork roast and then use cooking string to tighten it together.

To set up your grill, fill 2 charcoal starters with lump hardwood charcoal and add a few apple wood chunks (not too many though because we don’t want to smoke the meat completely and dry out the pork). I prefer to light them with a paper towel dressed in olive oil under the starters so the wood flavor isn’t compromised with something like lighter fluid. Once the charcoal is grey, dump one starter into the right of the pit and one to the left, leaving about 12 inches between them. Then place your pork roast bone side down on the grates in the middle of the grill and close the grill. I cook the pork for about an hour on each side, trying to maintain a heat of 325-350 degrees and only open the grill to turnover the pork

Once the pork reaches a temperature of 165 degrees, remove from the grill and wrap in aluminum foil. Refrain from cutting into your pork beast for at least 15 minutes so the internal juices continue to tenderize the meat. For wine, I would suggest a Pinot Noir as the fruitiness of the wine goes nicely with the apple smoke flavor and the sharpness of the Reggiano. So there it is, whole pork roast grilled indirectly over an apple wood smoke charcoal fire from Paggi Pazzo!

Mushroom, Garlic, and Reggiano Parmigiano stuffed Pork Roast grilled indirectly recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Indirect Grilled Whole Pork Roast Recipe

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 min
Yield: 12 servings


  • 1 (3 1/2 – 4 pound) pork roast
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup Reggiano Parmigiano (chunks)
  • 1/4 cup white mushrooms

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean pork roast and cut in half or slice pocket length and add 1 chopped garlic clove, mushrooms, and sliced chunks of Reggiano Parmigiano in pork roast pocket, then tie pork together with cooking string. Add to bowl with olive oil, vinegar, water, remaining chopped garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Allow to chill for 3-4 hours or overnight
  2. Prepare charcoal grill with adding lump hardwood charcoal to 2 chimney starter cylinders with apple wood chunks (not soaked). Light by adding paper towel with olive oil under cylinders
  3. When wood charcoal turns grey, add charcoal to grill pit on the left and right edges of the grill, leaving open a 12 inch space in the middle of grill for in-direct grilling
  4. Place pork roast bone side down in middle of grill and close cover. Do not open for 1 hour
  5. After 1 hour, open grill and turn over pork roast. Close grill and do not open for another hour
  6. After 2 hours, check pork roast temperature and if pork reaches 165 degrees, remove pork and place in aliminum foil. Let rest for another 15 minutes
  7. After pork has rested, slice and serve

Grilled Pork Roast recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 5 ratings.

Homemade Lobster Ravioli in Tomato Cream Sauce – Give it Everything You Got!

15 Nov

Fresh Homemade Lobster Ravioli Recipe
Recipe by

It’s not often I have the time to make fresh homemade pasta. As the father of two kids, it’s rare my wife and I have free time for anything. However, recently with our new born sleeping peacefully, I decided to make some homemade lobster ravioli and take advantage of the moment! Growing up my mother would make fresh pasta with my brother and I and it was quite the family event. As kids you couldn’t get us to clean our rooms but spend an entire afternoon making homemade gnocchi (as my brother did)? No problem! Maybe I could get him to stop by and clean up after my kids and make gnocchi???? Probably not likely. Today, I’m sharing my lobster ravioli recipe and while it may take some time and require you to give it everything you got, when it’s all said and done you will loooove your dinner and so will your family! Preparing homemade Lobster Ravioli with fresh parsley and chopped lobster meat from Paggi Pazzo

Start by making a flour like volcano and add eggs in the middle with olive oil and salt (use Antico Molino tipo 00 and Moretti Semolina flour for best results). Then slowly beat the eggs with a fork or whisk while piercing the flour with each turn. Continue until the pasta dough starts to firm and you can use your hands to squeeze, push, kneed, and grab the dough into form (add water if necessary in case dough seems tough). Once ready, put dough under a bowl to rest for 30-60 minutes. For the lobster filling you can boil your own lobster or buy one steamed but either way, be sure the lobster is slightly undercooked because you’re going to cook it further. Whatever you decide, remove and clean the lobster meat and chop into small chunks. Then finely cut fresh parsley, shallot, and saute the lobster meat in a pan with olive oil for 5-10 minutes. After the saute cools add fresh ricotta, mix well and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

If you have a pasta machine, cut the pasta dough in half and flatten with your hands (or dough roller) and run it through the pasta machine at level 10 and work the pasta all the way down to level 2. If you don’t have a pasta machine (like me) take your dough roller and continue to press down and roll for about 15 minutes or until your arms and shoulders are about to fall off. Once you have the dough very thin, place it over your ravioli maker and pocket the dough so the filling can be pressed in firmly. If you don’t have a ravioli maker (like me…again) use a cookie cutter or small drinking glass to create circles and then add the filling (obviously cut a top and bottom for the ravioli). Be sure to seal and press down the pasta so that no air enters the ravioli. I was able to make 28 very large ravioli with the ingredients I prepared so if you follow my recipe, invite some company or freeze the ravioli like I did and be ready to see them another time (or make toasted ravioli with the extras).Freshly made lobster ravioli ready for the freezer from Paggi Pazzo

Now for full disclosure, I’m not a big fan of ricotta or creamy thick sauces (as my Pasta Carbonara post suggests) but my wife does love these kind of Northern Italian, French style recipes, so I try to play nice. To make the tomato cream sauce add garlic, shallots, and then diced tomatoes, cream, butter and some chopped fresh basil in a pan. If you’re planning on cooking all 28 ravioli get a GI-normous pan or a large pot to make the sauce and here’s why. Once the ravioli floats to the top of the boiled water, immediately add them in the pan with a light handful of grated Reggiano Parmigiano. Now you’re ready to serve and impress! It’s hard work but soooooo worth it and it’s better than left over Koo Koo Roo. There you have it, Homemade Lobster Ravioli from Paggi Pazzo – we hope you approve!

Homemade Lobster Ravioli recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Fresh Homemade Lobster Ravioli and Tomato Cream Sauce Recipe

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 2 hours
Yield: 7 servings


  • 1 (1 1/2 – 2 lbs.) lobster
  • 1 3/4 cups Antico Molino flour tipo 00
  • 1 3/4 cups Moretti Semolina flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 16 ounces fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Reggiano Parmigiano

Cooking Directions

  1. To make pasta dough, place 3 1/2 cups of flour on cutting board or counter and shape into a volcano with an opening in the middle. Crack eggs into middle of flour (removing shells) and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt
  2. Slowly beat and stir eggs in a circular motion while slowly including flour into egg mix. After several minutes, egg and flour will come together creating greater consistency and become soft like dough mixture. Once thicker, use hands to press remaining flour into dough and push, flatten, and kneed until ready (add water to mixture if necessary)
  3. Take pasta dough and cover with large bowl for 30 minutes
  4. If cooking lobster, boil water and place lobster in water for 12 minutes and remove when slightly undercooked. If buying steamed lobster, request lobster slightly undercooked (lobster meat will be cooked again to create filling)
  5. Remove lobster meat, clean and place into a bowl
  6. To prepare lobster filling, chop 1/2 of shallot, 3/4 cup of fresh parsley and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pan. Add salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes at low to medium heat. Add lobster meat and cook at low heat for 5 minutes then remove to cool for 10 minutes
  7. Add fresh ricotta to a bowl with lobster, shallot, parsley filling and mix. Then place in refrigerator for 30 minutes
  8. To make ravioli, take pasta dough and flour on both sides, then use hands to flatten (if using a pasta machine, add dough to machine at highest level of 10 and continue to put pasta back in machine until pasta thins to level 2). Cut dough in half and use dough roller to flatten both pieces of pasta repeatedly turning pasta over (and flouring lightly) on both sides until pasta is almost paper thin (this will require 10-15 minutes)
  9. If using ravioli maker, place one sheet of dough on top of ravioli maker but pocket dough firmly to create space for filling. Then add lobster-ricotta filling using a full tablespoon. Add second sheet of pasta on top of ravioli maker, pressing doughs together to keep lobster-ricotta filling firmly inside and then turn over (if not using a ravioli maker, use a small drinking glass or cookie cutter and press into pasta dough to shape out circles and then add filling and cover). Then use a fork to press against ravioli ends to create lined edges. Add flour to cooking sheet pan and place ravioli on top then freeze over night (I was able to make 28 large ravioli with pasta dough and filling). If cooking the same day, allow ravioli dough to dry before adding to boiling water
  10. To make sauce and lobster ravioli dinner, add chopped garlic and 1/2 shallot (also finely chopped) to pan with tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper and heat for 3-5 minutes. Then add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley to the oil, garlic, and shallot and turn to low heat
  11. Add crushed tomatoes, light cream, butter, and chopped fresh basil leaves (maintaining low heat) and cook for 20 minutes (stirring every 5 minutes)
  12. Boil water and when ready, add ravioli to pot. When ravioli rises, remove and add to pan of sauce
  13. Stir for several minutes, then sprinkle grated Reggiano Parmigiano over lobster ravioli. Ready to serve

Homemade Lobster Ravioli Recipe

4 out of 5
stars based on 52 ratings.

Click here for full Homemade Fresh Lobster Ravioli Recipe and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

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