Napoletana tomato sauce with fresh fettuccine

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There is nothing better than placing a plate of delicious food on the table for people you love. We want to teach you how to cook one of our recipes perfectly, by heart—your weekly go-to dish. Here we chose a simple recipe given to us by our late friend, Rosa Panfili. She and her husband were our customers and became close friends. Often, on Sundays they would invite us for dinner and this was her special recipe. Thank you, Rosa.

Follow the technique and use the freshest ingredients, like our canned San Marzano tomatoes, freshly made fettuccine and Ugo’s organic extra-virgin olive oil, available in the drums at Piazza De Nardi. After a few tries, you will master this dish and be able to cook it confidently without the recipe. Make sure to keep the ingredients on hand and make lunch or dinner perfect any day of the week. 


2 28-oz cans San Marzano whole tomatoes, diced, strained
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 fresh basil leaves
2 pounds fresh fettuccine
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese



Drain tomatoes into bowl, reserving liquid. Roughly chop tomatoes and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and shallots; cook until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup tomatoes to pan and cook for 3 minutes. Add more tomatoes in batches and simmer until liquid evaporates and tomatoes caramelize. Increase heat; add tomato liquid in batches and bring sauce to boil; lower to simmer. Add white wine, bouillon cube, salt, pepper, and basil leaves. Simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook fettuccine until tender but firm, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add tomato sauce to pasta and toss until well coated. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Serves 8.

Wild mushroom risotto

This wild mushroom risotto is particularly special to us. It reminds us of childhood mushroom hunts we used to have with family and friends. These outings were not only fun but competitive, seeing who would find the very best.

At the end of the day, our baskets were filled with chanterelles, porcini, morel and lobster mushrooms and we couldn’t wait to get home where we knew they would be transformed into a delicious mushroom feast. Pickled as antipasto and giardiniera, battered and deep fried, sautéed with garlic and olive oil or stewed in tomato sauce. Today, our favourite wild mushroom recipe is the one I chose to share here with you, Wild mushroom risotto alla Milanese.

Although it is well known that a traditional Italian menu has many courses, we chose to present this menu as a beautiful buffet. However you decide to serve it, I hope it inspires you to entertain over the holidays and that our shopping list below makes it an enjoyable experience. All of the ingredients are, of course, available at Piazza De Nardi and at our wine store, La Boutique del Vino.


1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, trimmed
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups good quality chicken stock, heated
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Truffle oil, to serve (optional)
Shaved Parmesan cheese, to garnish



Preheat oven to 350°F. Place mushrooms on parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes until softened. Stir in rice; add 1/2 cup stock; cook, stirring constantly, until all liquid is absorbed, 2 1 to 2 minutes. Add more stock in batches and continue to cook rice until liquid is absorbed and rice is creamy and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates and drizzle with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4 to 8.

Zucchini fritters


2 medium zucchini
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk, ice cold
1 egg
Canola oil, for frying
1/2 cup sour cream, to serve (optional)



Trim off ends of zucchini and slice crosswise into 1/4–inch rounds. Place in glass bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss gently and allow to sit no longer than 10 minutes. Pat dry.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, garlic and baking powder. In another bowl, beat together milk and egg. Slowly add to dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth. Heat 1 inch oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Dip several zucchini slices into batter. Remove and drop gently into hot oil. Cook 30 seconds per side, or until golden. Repeat with remaining zucchini, adding more oil if necessary. Place on paper-lined serving platter and serve with sour cream, if desired. 

Serves 8.

Note: Zucchini fritters can be fried ahead of time and reheated on parchment-lined baking sheet at 400°F for 4 minutes.

Spicy mussels


3 pounds fresh mussels, in shell
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup chopped white onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 teaspoon hot chili flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, to garnish
Fresh flat leaf parsley, to garnish



Scrub and rinse mussels under cold water; set aside. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, celery, chili flakes, cayenne, and thyme; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine and water; cook for 5 minutes. Add mussels; cover saucepan and increase heat to high. Cook until mussels have opened, about 5 minutes. Discard any that are closed. Spoon mussels and broth among 8 bowls. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley. 

Serves 8.

Zabaglione with fresh strawberries


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks, room temperature
1/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup strongly brewed coffee

Zabaglione Cream
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups 35% cream
2 cups fresh raspberries
6 ounce piece dark chocolate, to garnish



Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

For cake, in medium bowl sift flour with baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/2 sugar at high speed until pale and thick.  Gradually beat in boiling water and vanilla.  Continue to beat for another 5 minutes. Fold in dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gently fold whites into batter whites.  Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Invert cake and peel off paper.  Let cool completely.

For Zabaglione, in large bowl whisk egg yolks with sugar, lemon juice and salt.  Set bowl over large pot of simmering water.  Beat mixture until it triples in volume, about 7 minutes.  Set bowl in cold water and continue to beat until it cools.  In another bowl beat cream until stiff.  Fold into zabaglione.

Pour 1 cup of zabaglione into glass bowl. Layer with cake, brush with espresso and raspberries.  Repeat with remaining ingredients. Shave chocolate over trifle with vegetable peeler.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Serves 10.

Anchovy extravaganza dip

This recipe is really special, and if you like anchovies, this will become your favourite!


8 salted anchovy filets
2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
6 dried cured olives, pitted ( optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Cracked black pepper, to serve
Fresh crusty Italian loaf, to serve



Rinse and pat anchovies dry. Remove tails; chop finely; set aside.

In bowl of food processor, add parsley, garlic and olives, and pulse. With food processor running, add anchovies and olive oil; combine well. Stir in lemon juice. Spoon into small serving bowl. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve with Fresh crusty Italian loaf.

Serves 8.

Maria De Nardi's nutmeg prime rib of beef with red wine sauce

A De Nardi specialty, boned and rolled prime rib, perfect for any dinner party especially for the holidays. Here, the roast is cut from the rib bones, rolled up, placed back on the bones and tied up. This special method is done for uniform cooking and presentation. Our meat specialists will be happy to prepare a prime rib roast for you.


1 4-rib prime rib roast (9 to 10 pounds), deboned, trimmed
1 cup red wine
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Nutmeg paste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Red Wine Sauce
1 750-ml bottle red wine
2 tablespoons corn syrup
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

As an alternative cooking method for a hectic holiday schedule, sear roast on each side and bake at 375°F for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave roast for 3-4 hours with oven door unopened. At serving time, without opening the door, re-heat oven back to 375°F. Cook for 30 minutes for medium rare, 40 minutes for medium.


For sauce, in medium saucepan over medium heat, add red wine and corn syrup. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until sauce is thick and glossy. Makes 1 to 1 ½ cups.

For nutmeg paste, in small bowl, combine nutmeg, garlic, olive oil and pepper; mix well and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 425°F. In shallow dish, pour wine over roast and rub roast all over with nutmeg paste. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator. Season with salt. Transfer roast to roasting pan; add ½ cup red wine to pan. Roast meat, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F. Roast until thermometer inserted into centre registers 115°F, 1½ to 2 hours, basting roast occasionally with cooking liquid from pan. Remove roast from pan; cover and let rest 10 minutes before slicing (internal temperature will rise to 140° for medium). Remove as much fat as possible from pan. Mix ¼ cup flour with 1/3 cup water. Place pan over two burners on cook top; add flour mixture and cook 7 to 10 minutes until flour is blended and sauce is thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Slice roast across grain and serve with both sauces. Serves 8.