Saltimbocca alla Romana

Saltimbocca  which literally means “Jumps in the mouth”, is a Roman dish.  I love making these  pretty little prosciutto  and sage covered veal delights.  Fast and easy to make, they are great to serve for guests and so visually inviting …Lets cook!!

Saltimbocca Alla Romana

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Let these little delights jump into your mouth!!


1 1/2 lbs of veal scallopini style cutlets

1/2 lb thinly sliced imported prosciutto  (Parma or San Danieli)

1 cup of dry white wine

Large Sage Leaves (enough to adequately cover each piece of veal)

Extra virgin olive oil


Fresh ground pepper to taste


-Using either plastic wrap or parchment paper,lay the pieces of veal on the paper leaving space for the veal to expand, cover with another layer of paper,  using a meat pounder, pound out the veal,  careful not to tear the meat

-Lay the prosciutto on top of the veal, cover the entire surface

-Lay a large sage leaf on top of the prosciutto, recover with the parchment and lightly pound to flatten the three items,  using a toothpick, secure the sage leaf thru the prosciutto and veal.  *note- feel free to use more that one sage leaf per surface,  I like to cut the veal in two, if the scallops are long so each piece has one large sage leafIMG_1264

-In a skillet, on medium heat, drizzle the olive oil, add a knob of butter, heat until butter starts to lightly foam, add the veal, prosciutto side down, (this will flavor the pan and lightly render the prosciutto ) lightly brown, then,  turn and brown the other sideIMG_1269.JPG


-As you are cooking off the veal, place the cooked veal on a platter until you finish cooking all the pieces


-When all the veal is browned and resting on a platter, add the wine to deglaze the pan, scrape the bottom to remove all the brown bits, add pepper, cook to reduce the sauce, then carefully place the veal back into the pan to rewarm with the reduced sauce

-Serve and enjoy

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Buon Appetito!








Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Rosemary Sauce

Pork Tenderloin always a good protein choice, lean and tasty, I usually marinate and grill mine for an easy dinner. This time, I thought it might be a nice change to pan roast a tenderloin , this is a more traditional cooking method,  mainly  for other types of roasts.  I was pleasantly surprised how well pan roasting worked for a Pork Tenderloin.  This recipe will  give you another option when you do not feel like firing up the grill.  Let’s cook!

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard, Rosemary and Wine Sauce

  • Difficulty: easy
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the mustard and wine together make a delicious gravy



1 pork tenderloin

3  tbls dijon mustard

1 1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

Seasoning mix i.e. McCormicks Montreal Chicken to taste

2 cloves of garlic crushed

2 tbls of fresh rosemary leaves chopped


-Bring the pork tenderloin to room temperature,  smear on both sides with dijon mustard and generously coat with seasoning mixIMG_1247.JPG

-In a heavy bottom lidded pan large enough for the roast,  add the olive oil, garlic and the rosemary lightly brown the garlic on medium heat

-Add the pork and brown on all sides

-When the roast is brown on all sides, take out of the pan and place on a plate while you deglaze the pan with white wine


-On a lively heat, add the white wine,  scrape the bottom of the pan releasing all the brown bits.  Let the alcohol cook off the wine, the sauce should start to resemble a brown gravy

-Place the pork back into the pan, put a lid on the pan cook on low heat until a meat thermometer arrives to your desired cooking temperature

-Let set up a few minutes before slicing

-Slice and serve with pan juices either under or over the Pork Tenderloin

Buon Appetito!





Beef Paillards with Rosemary Garlic Infused Oil

I must say we ate these Paillards with gusto, they were delicious.  I served this dish alongside a bicolore salad with heirloom tomatoes, what more could you want!!!  These Paillard’s have much more flavor than the traditional Tagliata di Manzo (beef slices served with arugula and tomatoes).  The filet has the right amount of infused oil, not overwhelming,  the mixed salad is lightly dressed, making for a perfect combination.  Fast to make, light and healthy, and really, really good to eat, try it and let me know!!

Beef Paillards with Rosemary Garlic Infused Oil

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Fast, easy filet alternative



1/2 lb of Beef Tenderloin

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 tbls fresh rosemary

Sea salt large grain

Black Pepper fresh ground


-chop the fresh rosemary leaves finely as possibleIMG_1137.JPG

-For the infused oil, in a small skillet, add olive oil, garlic either chopped finely or pressed through a garlic press, and the finely chopped rosemary, heat until the garlic barely turns color…paying close attention.  Take off the heat and let rest.IMG_1138.JPG

-Carefully cut the filet into 1/2″ slices, lay on either plastic wrap or parchment paper, cover with another piece (note-give yourself enough paper, the meat will spread).  With a meat pounder pound the filets until they are flattened to about 1/4″IMG_1136.JPG

-Using a non-stick skillet, heat the pan on med to high heat, when the pan is hot add the filets, quickly searing each side, depending on your desired doneness, this process takes a few minutes. (note- you want to quickly sear the meat, without allowing the meat to release it’s pan juices)IMG_1139.JPG

-Place meat on a platter, when all the meat is seared evenly pour the infused oil on top of the meat, sprinkle with sea salt, add ground pepper.

-This can be served immediately, but is also great at room temperature.

-Serve along side Bicolore Salad

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Buon Appetito!!



Easter Rice Pie with Ham

With only a few days until Easter,  I’ve decided to try and recreate a Savory Rice Pie my grandmother used to make when I was young.  My grandmother was from Molise Italy, I am sure  her recipe was  a variation of a traditional Easter recipe made in her childhood home.  I have created this Easter Pie from my memory of her recipe.    I hope you like it…..I think it’s pretty good!!!

Rice Pie with Ham and Ricotta Cheese

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This Rice Pie can be served as an appetizer,  a luncheon entree or for dinner served hot or at room temperature


-1 puff pastry round large enough to come up the side of a 9″ springform pan

-1 cup of boiled ham ask the deli to cut 1/4″ slices and then you can cut that into 1/4″x1/4″ cubes

-2 cups of cooked, drained rice, arborio, vialone nanone or carnaroli rice, these three are high starch firm textured rices

-2 scallions diced finely

-1 cup of Ricotta Cheese

-4 large eggs

-1 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano grated

-1/4 cup Imported Pecorino Romano grated

-3/4 tsp marjoram

-Sea Salt fine grain and fresh ground black pepper to taste


-Preheat oven to 375 F

-In a nonstick pan add the olive oil, the scallions and the diced ham, saute until the scallions become translucent, add fresh ground pepper,  let coolIMG_1023.JPG

-Bring a pasta pot of water to boil and add sea salt and 1 cup of uncooked rice (should yield 2 cups) cook 12 minutes and drain.

-In a mixing bowl add the ricotta cheese,  the eggs, the parmesan and pecorino cheeses mix well IMG_1025.JPG

-Into the egg ricotta cheese mixture add the ham and scallions, the cooked rice, the marjoram and sea salt

-Drape the puff pastry into a 9″inch springform pan, I use parchment paper under my pastry.IMG_1024 2.JPG

-Pour the mixture into the puff pastry and fold the sides over the top of the fillingIMG_1026.JPG

-If you like you can use an egg wash and brush over the pastry before baking

-Bake in conventional oven approximately 35 minutes, in a convection oven 25 minutes.

-The pie will be golden brown and a knife inserted will come out clean

-When cool open the spring pan, and remove the side place carefully on a serving plate


-Buon Appetito





Easter Lunch…Herb Stuffed Pork Loin Roast with Pancetta

With a few weeks until Easter,  it’s time to start thinking about what to serve for  lunch or dinner.  This Herb stuffed roast is a great choice.  I  have such a hard time finding the right recipe for Easter, since Ennio and I don’t eat lamb, and most main dishes are  lamb based, especially in Italy.   Trying to stay seasonal,  I usually make a roast of Pork or Veal, another of my options , salmon baked or steamed with a lemon mayonnaise.  This Herb Stuffed Pork Loin is wonderful  an option for this Easter.  If you do not like Pork, you can easily substitute a Veal roast.  Enjoy!!


Herb Stuffed Pork Loin Roast with Pancetta (Bacon)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Lovely roast and makes a great presentation for Easter or a dinner party


Pork loin roast (mine was 1 1/2 lbs)

1 onion finely diced

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

Fresh herbs- thyme, rosemary, parsley and sage to yield 3/4 cup chopped finely mixed together

2-3 Tbls Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lb pancetta or center cut bacon ( if you can get thinly sliced better yet)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


-Make 1 to 1 1/2″ incision into the pork loin along the length

-Finely chop the herbs togetherIMG_0918.JPG

-Stuff the herbs into the incision you just made in the roastIMG_0920

-Lay the pancetta or bacon along the top of the roast covering completely the herb toppingIMG_0922

-Tie the roast with kitchen string  (note- I would be an awful butcher…..the way I tie a roast, any tips would be greatly appreciated!!)IMG_0923

-Add the olive oil and chopped onion to a dutch oven style pan (I like my Le Creuset)  lightly brown the onions, be careful not to burn the onions, then add the roast and begin to brown on all sides.

-When browned, remove the roast and deglaze the pan with wine, making sure to scrape all the crusty bits off the bottom and sides of the panIMG_0924IMG_0926

-Put the roast back into the liquid and cook on low heat covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours watching the liquid (note- if the liquid dries add water) you can turn the roast so it browns on all sides.

-Remove the roast allow it to set up so you can cut in thinly without it breaking into pieces

-Slice and PlateIMG_0930

-Add the pan juices and serveFullSizeRender 2

Buon Appetito!!!!

As always love to hear feedback, suggestions……!!

Thyme-burgers for lunch!! or dinner…

A great lunch or dinner idea these yummy bunless burgers can be whipped up in minutes.  Mix the ingredients, skewer the burgers and throw them on a hot grill.  I love them served on a bed of leafy mixed greens with an heirloom tomato.  Instead of a plain burger give these a try……I bet you will love them too!!!


Thyme Burgers

  • Servings: 3 med burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
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1/2 lb ground veal or beef

1 galic clove pressed

1 egg

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese imported

1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs

1tbls fresh thyme chopped

pepper and salt mix (one of the grill mixes) to taste


-preheat gas grill on med low direct heat, if cooking indoors use a grill pan preheated

-mix the meat, egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, thyme and salt/pepper, the mixture should hold a shapeIMG_0894

-form into long oval shape and insert a skewerIMG_0895

-grill until desired doneness carefully turning to brown on all sidesIMG_0896

-serve on a bed of mixed baby salad greens with a heirloom tomatoIMG_0897

would love to hear what you think!!

Buon Appetito

Sunday Lunch with friends, Bucatini Amatriciana

This recipe is a great go to when you are in the mood for a pasta dish that has some character.  It is one of my all time favorites, I love making it for friends and family.  The original dish was born in the town of Amatrice. You will probably recognize the town’s name, it was destroyed in the recent earthquake.   After the devastating earthquake, many Italians showed solidarity for the town and it’s people by making their signature dish.  The recipe originally called for spaghetti, but somewhere, somehow bucatini became associated with this sauce.   I hope you will try it and let me know if you like it as much as I do!

Bucatini Amatriciana

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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-1 lb bucatini (note- it’s worth using the artisanal pastas i.e. Cavalieri )

-1/2 lb of pancetta dolce or center cut bacon, cubed or slice thin if using bacon

-2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-1 fresh red hot pepper or dried pepper flakes

-1 medium onion chopped small

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1 large can of tomato sauce

-1 cup + extra Pecorino Romano Cheese (imported)

-sea salt and ground black pepper


-Place a large pot of cold water on high heat to boil

-In a pan large enough to mix the pasta, add 2 tbls olive oil, the chopped hot red pepper or red pepper flakes and the pancetta or bacon.  On medium heat while  carefully watching start to render the pancetta.

-Chop the onions and add to the pancetta continue to render the bacon while cooking the onions pay close attention not to burn the mixture. Add fresh ground black pepper

-When the Pancetta and onion mixture starts to get golden and the pancetta has rendered its fat add the tomato sauce, sea salt and the sugar.  Stir

-The sauce should slowly bubble stir occasionally. Cook for 10-15 minutes

-Your water should be boiling,  add sea salt course grain to the water, then add the bucatini.  Set your timer for 1-1 1/2 minutes less than package indicates for cooking time.

-Grate the Pecorino Romano Cheese and set aside

-When the pasta timer goes off lift the bucatini out of its water draining over the pot with a pasta fork and place directly into the sauce. Reserve the waterIMG_0080

-Stir over a lively flame adding the cheese. (Note-if the sauce is dry add some pasta water to the mixture.

-Stir in the cheese and serve adding more cheese if you like 

Would love to hear your comments !!!

Bon Appetito!!

Veal meatballs with simple tomato sauce

#whatsmickeycooking’s  very first recipe blog has to be Meatballs. Growing up they  were, and still today  are  our all time favorite food.  This is Italo-American comfort food at it’s best!!

These meatballs have a history in our Italian/American family.  The recipe,  from my paternal Grandmother was revised and updated by my Mother ( my Mom says my GM purposefully left out key ingredients!!).   Now , this is my version of my Mom’s recipe. They are great made little, served as appetizers  with a dipping sauce, medium sized served with pasta or like these served alone as a main course with  vegetables and salad.

Veal Meatballs with a simple tomato sauce,

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is a fast, easy recipe that everyone loves.

This recipe can also be made using a combination of ground beef and ground veal.  Ask your butcher to grind the meat mixture twice.


-1 3/4 Pounds or 800 grams of Ground Veal

-3 Garlic cloves minced or pressed

-10 Lg Basil leaves

-5 Lg Eggs

-3/4 Cups of Grated Parmigiano Reggiano  Cheese

-3/4 Cups of fine breadcrumbs

-sea salt (fine)


-extra virgin olive oil


-In a medium sized mixing bowl add the ground veal, the cheese, and  the breadcrumbs.

– Using either a blender or immersion blender mix the eggs, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Blend well until the basil is completely blended with the eggs.

-Pour the blended mixture into the mixing bowl of veal , mix together well, but don’t overwork the meat, you might need to adjust the  breadcrumbs.  The mixture should take the shape of a large ball.

– In a non-stick skillet large enough to hold 12 meatballs, add oil  (note- I try to use as little as possible we are just browning these).  Roll the meat into the size or style  of meatball you would like (note- you can also shape them in hamburger shape).  When the oil is hot add the meatballs being very careful.  Brown the meatballs on all sides.



Carefully turn them to prevent breakage.  When they are rust colored they are finished browning.  Being very careful place each on a plate to rest while you construct the Simple Tomato Sauce (Note- keep the pan scrapings for the construction of your sauce)….  Recipe to follow.

-When tomato sauce is mixed, gently place the meatballs along with their juices back into the pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes covered, until the center of the meat is cooked.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  They’re great both ways.

Enjoy, Buon Appetito !!


  • Servings: 3 1/2 cups or 700 grams
  • Difficulty: easy.
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This simple sauce is used with meats/meatballs that are already seasoned.  It’s simplicity will not overwhelm the meat/fish


-3 1/2 cups or 1 bottle of tomato sauce (note- I use Mutti  Passata di Pomodoro, which can be found at Italian specialty markets)

-1 large garlic clove crushed or diced

-1 1/2 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Pinch of sugar

-Salt and Pepper to taste


– Lightly brown the crushed garlic in the olive oil,  then carefully add the tomato sauce, add sugar, salt and pepper..(note- for above recipe, use the pan used for browning, along with it’s juices…add the garlic then follow the recipe as above, add meatballs and juices back into pan cover and cook.

-simmer 15 minutes