Traditional recipes

Trattoria Il Mulino hosts Green Vodka and Ham Fête

Trattoria Il Mulino hosts Green Vodka and Ham Fête

Logan Ronkainen, the bartender and mixologist at Gramercy’s Trattoria Il Mulino joined forces this past week with Milano Green Vodka to host a tasting event coined “Green Vodka and Ham,” a play on Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. The event featured creative cocktails using Milano’s vodka like Ill Daisy, A Greedy Buck, and a Milano Green Martini.

The cocktails were paired with traditional Italian antipasti, including prosciutto, salami, olives, and Parmigiano-Reggiano; the restaurant also served up their famous brick oven pizzas to guests who sampled a variety of treats including prosciutto and arugula as well as a gluten-free pizza topped with mushrooms and truffle oil.

Vik Shetty of Milano Green explained the subtleties of the vodka to guests as well as why it’s such a unique spirit. Only two years old, the Milan-based company strives to create smooth, unfiltered vodka. Ill Daisy incorporated the vodka with a mixture of other flavors including Amaro Montenegro, Oleo–Saccharum, and fresh lemon; as well as the Greedy Buck that mixed Ramazzotti with ginger and fresh lime. The tried and true vodka martini used Milano’s vodka paired with Dolin dry vermouth and a simple lemon twist, all crafted by Ronkainen.

“I followed the same guidelines that I’ve setup for our entire cocktail program at Trattoria Il Mulino. My goal is to incorporate Italian Amaros and Vermouths into classic cocktails. I sneak the Amaros and vermouths in because most consumers think they don't like them... when in reality there are delicious ways to use them all. We're up to over 25 Amaros and another 20–25 vermouths — all Italian,” said Ronkainen.

Milano Green as a brand is known for its highly pressurized distillation process that is only practiced in a handful of distilleries in the world. The vodka is a green product due to the fact that it is slow-cooked at a lower temperature that reduces energy consumption by half and preserves the integrity of the flavor, allowing it to enhance the flavor rather than compromise it with high-temperatures that reduce cooking time. “In all the cocktails, Milano Green gives me a beautiful neutral palate to build off of. It has a great body that stands up well when mixing with other modifiers,” noted Ronkainen.

The company itself is focused on sustainability on a number of factors, with one being that the bottles are made of recycled glass and caps, and the cases are made from recycled material.

Click here to watch Ronkainen serve up one of these creative cocktails.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


RECIPES WE WOULD DIE FOR



Sydney, Australia had a little more ‘dough’ then usual on Tuesday morning. An unidentified man baffled police and witnesses when he abruptly left neighborhood restaurant Café Marco around 8am, leaving behind a suitcase containing over $1 million in cash. I know this sounds like a scene from a movie – which immediately begs questions like – was this a ransom pay off? Or some sort of mob deal? Unfortunately, the police have little information at this time other then what the patrons in the restaurant could tell them. Customers in the café described the man as Asian, and in his 30’s. He was reportedly dressed for the beach, wearing board shorts and a wrestling singlet – how this wasn’t already suspicious to normal people is a little surprising. According to witnesses, the man seemed on edge and nervous when he arrived. He ordered a coffee and talked anxiously to nearby customers. Multiple people told police that the man seemed to have suddenly gotten “spooked” and, as abruptly as he came in, he bolted out, leaving behind his mysterious suitcase. Upon discovery of the suitcase, the two owners of the café called the police, fearing that the unattended suitcase could potentially be a bomb.

They moved the suitcase outside to get it away from the customers until authorities arrived to dispose of it properly. Workers at the dentist office next-door to the café watched as police arrived and handled the possible explosive suitcase. “They took it into a stairwell away from public view and opened it,” said one worker. Much to the officers’ surprise, the suitcase was not a bomb at all, and instead was overflowing with $50 bills. Police were initially very vague about the amount in their reports, simply stating that the suitcase contained “a significant amount of cash”. The police have still yet to finish counting the money, but it is now estimated that there was somewhere around $1.28 million in the suitcase. “Local detectives have commenced inquiries to determine who the money belongs to,” said a spokesperson. After recovering the money, the police were able to apprehend a 49 year old man who fit the unknown Café Marco man’s description. He is now at the hospital awaiting questioning, because apparently he had some pre-existing medical condition that flared up while he was in custody at the police station. Unfortunately for the café owners, their morning did not improve, as their restaurant was swarming with detectives and forensic agents it was not until late afternoon that they could return to their normal business day.

Former mafia hitman Joey Calco likely to get more jail time for calzone attack

  • ¼ cup espresso coffee
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons coffee beans, finely ground to a powder
  • 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, or 7 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade) or water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Fresh Ricotta With Figs & Honey. to die for.

4 cups (1L) 2 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
12 fresh figs, quartered
Honey & extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Flaky sea salt

1 ciabatta or baguette, sliced 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick, drizzled with oil and toasted if desired In medium saucepan, combine milk, cream and salt. Bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat, watching closely and stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer 3 minutes.
Pour into strainer or colander lined with double layer of cheesecloth and set in sink. Place strainer over bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour to drain. Serve tepid, immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. (Makes about 1-1/4 cups/310 mL.)


To serve, mound ricotta in centre of large platter. Surround with figs. Encircle with bread or toast. Drizzle ricotta with honey and oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Makes about 6 servings.

Italian Frittatas AKA spaghetti pie

For best results you need a non-stick oven-proof skillet. My grandmother used a cast iron skillet, which works quite well, but I’m sure if they had non-stick back then, she certainly would have used it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced (finely diced)

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

This is the basic recipe. Try some of the variations at the end of the instructions.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients.

2. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting the edges of the frittata as they begin to firm, allowing the liquid eggs to flow back under in order to cook.

3. Place in oven and cook for 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned. Remove skillet from oven and allow frittata to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving plate and cut in eight wedges, like a pizza. Serve hot and enjoy!

1. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves and ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese.

2. Add 8 oz. cooked and well drained spinach and ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

3. Add ½ pound ground Italian sausage and ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

4. Add ½ cup sliced and sautéed mushrooms and 3 well cooked and chopped slices of bacon.

5. Add 1 cup peeled and sautéed eggplant and ½ cup sliced black olives.

In addition to these, try adding some chopped tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, other cheeses or meats. Come up with some favorite combinations of your own. Consider the basic recipe your canvas and create your own works of art.

Italian Sausage, Pepper and Onion Marinara with Toasted Garlic Bread

4 links Italian Sausage
Olive oil for sauteing
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium peppers, deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water

1 loaf bread (baguette or batard) cut into 4 individual servings
Soft butter and minced garlic as needed for garlic bread

PROCEDURE:
Just like any meat based sauce, you'll, want to brown the meat first. so get the sausage going in a large pot in a little olive oil and, once it is browned all around, take it out of the pot, add a little more oil if you need to, and add the sliced onion and deseeded and sliced pepper and cook those to soften.
At this point, the sausage doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet and, once the onions and peppers have softened up and cooked down a bit, add the minced cloves of garlic. and a little sprinkling of dried basil and dried oregano. let that cook along for a couple of minutes and then add 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce.
Rinse the can out with about 1/4 cup water and add that to the pot, let it simmer along for 10 minutes or so and then add the sausage back to the pot.
At some point, when the sauce is close to being done, slice the bread into individual servings and slather the cut sides with a generous amount of fresh minced garlic butter and then place the tray underneath the broiler to brown the bread.
Once the bread is nicely toasted and the sausage is cooked through, it is time to eat. Finish with grated parmesan cheese.

How to make hot Italian sausage

Roasted sweet Italian sausage with escarole and beans

Camille’s Restaurant Named ‘Top Mafia Restaurant’ in America

Penne Rigate With Broccoli


1 1/2 pounds broccoli, washed, stems discarded, cut into bite-size florets


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


2/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving


Freshly ground pepper
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a good handful of salt (about 1/4 cup), enough that you can taste it. Set a fine strainer in the sink. When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli and wait until the water returns to a boil. Add the pasta and set the timer to the number of minutes recommended on the box. When the timer rings, drain the penne and broccoli in the colander, then dump them into a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well with a wooden spoon so that the pasta is coated and the bits of broccoli are well-distributed throughout. Add the cheese and stir well until you have a nice, green-speckled sauce. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese, and add some pepper.

Recipe: Classic Italian meatballs

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, divided

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 pound penne, cooked according to package instructions

1 1/2 cups of prepared marinara sauce, simmered over low heat until warm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and gently saute the onion until turning golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook to sweat out the strong flavor and sweeten. Remove from heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together sauteed onions and garlic and ground beef, veal, pork, 1/2 cup parmesan, bread crumbs, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup parsley and basil. Avoid squeezing the mixture too tightly or the meatballs will be tough. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about 2 ounces by weight, or roughly the size of a golf ball.

Place the meatballs on prepared pan and bake until cooked through and browned, about 20 minutes.

To serve, mix together warm penne and marinara. Add meatballs.

Divide penne and sauce between four plates. Top each plate with two meatballs and garnish with remaining teaspoon of parsley.

Per serving: 714 calories, 39% calories from fat, 31 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 200 mg cholesterol, 65 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, 1,296 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

In the rubble: a secret tunnel, forgotten restaurants, mob memories

Basic risotto recipe.

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

4 stems of thyme, remove the leaves from the stems

28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

SautŽ the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine (you can substitute chicken stock if you prefer not to use wine) and then add the whole can of tomatoes, crushing them with a potato masher or fork.

Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the heat down low, and simmer 7-10 minutes

Taste, and adjust seasoning.

"No matter what kind of risotto you make, this is the method you will employ. You can use any kind of stock, any aromatics you like — any wine — and all kinds of vegetables. If you choose to add veggies you can either add them at the end (having cooked them al dente first). Or, if it's something like mushrooms that will not overcook, but will be done in the same amount of time as the rice, add it with the aromatics."

SautŽ aromatics in a little olive oil in a large pan.

Add arbario rice, and toast for two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Adding one to two ladle-fulls at a time, stir in your hot stock, waiting until almost all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. This step will take 18-22 minutes.

When the grains of rice are tender, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and a few tabs of butter to finish.

Italian restaurateurs in Shelby Twp. accused of resorting to mob tactics, charged with attempted murder

Daily Tribune Staff Writer

Two Shelby Township men face attempted murder charges in connection with the beating this week of a third man, apparently in a dispute over the Italian restaurants they operate separately.

Brothers Giuseppe Danna, 58, and Girolano Danna, 46, are accused of assault with intent to commit murder. They are charged with beating and threatening the third man, whom they apparently knew through their business dealings, police said.

The Dannas own the Tirami Su Italian restaurant along Schoenherr Road north of 23 Mile Road. The victim owns Nonna's Italian Kitchen, also along Schoenherr south of 23 Mile Road. The proximity of the businesses apparently contributed to the assault, police said.

Shelby Township police Lt. Stan Muszynski said one man approached the victim at his establishment about 9:45 p.m. Thursday and made reference to Nonna's expanding its business. As the conversation continued, a second man came up behind the victim and hit him with a baseball bat, police said. The Dannas were arrested a short time later.

The defendants were arraigned via video on the felony charges Friday before 41A District Court Magistrate Michael Osaer. Osaer set bond at $25,000 for the pair and scheduled a preliminary examination for May 16.

The victim required hospital treatment for his injuries, but has been released, officials said.

Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legeddary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


Watch the video: italian lemon fizz cocktail (December 2021).