Pignoli (Pine Nuts) Cookies

pignoli plated**

There’s two day left for Holiday cookies, and these are quick and easy.  Actually, I don’t need a holiday to enjoy these cookies.  I make them all throughout the year.  They remind me more of Sunday dinners, rather than Christmas or New Year’s.  You could always count on a relative to bring an assortment of Italian cookies from a local bakery to Sunday dinner.  Pignoli cookies were my favorite, and I’d always have room for at least one cookie after that very filling dinner.  I’d pray that some would be left so I could enjoy them all week long.

I always assumed that they were difficult to make, so I never attempted them until several years ago.  I searched through many recipes to find that there is very little variation.  So over the years, I’ve changed a little “this” or added a bit more of “that,” and I’m always extremely happy with the results.  I hope you will be too.

I wish you all a healthy and happy 2020!!

Recipe:  makes about 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size

1 pound canned almond paste

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large egg whites

1 cup pine nuts

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, if desired.

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Crumble the almond paste into a mixing bowl, and beat with a hand mixer (or standing mixer) until finely crumbled.
  4. Add sugar and beat until incorporated.
  5. Beat in egg white, one at a time, and continue beating until batter is smooth.
  6. Spread pine nuts on a plate.
  7. Scoop out a tablespoon-size piece of dough and roll in hands to form a ball.  Should be the size of a golf ball.
  8. Roll ball in pine nuts.
  9. Bake until lightly browned and soft and springy, about 20 minutes.
  10. Cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugars, if desired.

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Manhattan Cocktail (Holiday Lifesaver)

manhattan ****

I have a bit of guilt this Holiday Season for not posting any recipes for cookies, sweets or family traditional dishes.  But heck, I’ve decided to post the most important recipe to me. Yes, it’s an alcoholic drink,  And yes, I need this to get through it all.  After a day of shopping, a Manhattan cocktail makes you forget all the money you’ve spent.  After a day of body breaking  gift wrapping, a Manhattan will relax your muscles.  After a day of baking, there’s nothing better.  Especially after a day of decorating, it is just lovely to sit down and savor this drink, while enjoying how beautiful and festive your house looks.  Ahh…….

Now why does one need a recipe for such a simple beverage?  Traditionally, it’s two to three parts rye to one part sweet vermouth, and add a cherry.  Well, as with most things, as time goes by,  we feel the need to improve on something that really doesn’t need improvement, but what the heck, we try.   And so it goes…..

So now days a Manhattan cocktail is sometimes made with rye and sometimes bourbon, which is very in vogue and therefore used for this drink.  As for the vermouth, you can go crazy with all the choices.  Vermouth has undergone quite a transformation in recent years.  There are so many brands and styles of vermouth, that I honestly am just using “trial and error” to see what is my favorite.   As you will see from the pictures posted, I’ve been experimenting with two different types.  One is slightly bitter, and the other has a smoky sweetness.  I’m enjoying them both.  But truth be told, I also like my much cheaper “Martini and Rossi ,” or any of the “regular” vermouths, which have been popular for many decades.  Bitters also range from simple to fancy brands.  Who can keep up??

One key ingredient, however, is the maraschino cherries.  I like a good brand, as the juice of the cherry is very important to me.

I’m not pushing alcohol, but if you need a little stress relief or just want to enjoy a cozy evening at home, sipping a delightfully warming beverage, this is for you.

Wishing you all a very wonderful and cozy holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Recipe: 1 drink

3 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon

1 ounce sweet vermouth

2 dashes Angustura bitters

1 maraschino cherry….sometimes I like 2

  1.  Fill a cocktail shaker (or you can use a mixing glass) with 1 cup of ice.
  2. Add the rye or bourbon, vermouth, and bitters.  Shake or stir well.
  3. Put the cherry with some syrup in the bottom of the glass.
  4. Pour, sit, sip and breath……..

manhattan boozemanhattan sherrymanhattan cherriesmanhattan glassmanhattan clausmanhattan closeupmanhattan ****.jpg



MaryAnn’s “Perfect Every Time” Turkey

turkey pan cooked

As I have mentioned time and time again, sharing recipes with family and friends is one of the great joys in my life.  I truly believe it has brought me closer to family, old friends and new friends alike.  It can even make a relative stranger part of your life.  Sharing something that we love with another person naturally brings us closer together, not only in the moment of exchange, but for years to come.   Each time I make the recipe (or even just glace at it), I remember that person in a special way.    I love to remember the time and place of the exchange.  It always brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

This recipe for MaryAnn’s Perfect Every Time Turkey, as I call it, really brings an enormous grin to my face as I recall how she not only brought me the recipe for making a truly amazing turkey, but she also brought me the pan in which to make it.  She arrived one Tuesday morning to our writing class, with a large turkey roaster and a step by step typed recipe.  The week before, she and I had spent some time after class discussing the trials of cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  Yes, even after decades of orchestrating this favorite meal, it still astounds me at how much work goes into producing a “perfect” Thanksgiving meal. Mary Ann swore that this pan and recipe would take all the guess work out of at least the turkey portion of the meal.   I could not have been more grateful.  So, I left class that November Tuesday with all my notebooks, papers and pens, and a turkey pan and recipe.  Happy?  Oh yeah!!

I wasn’t cooking Thanksgiving dinner that year, but I waited patiently to try this.   One Sunday, a few months later, when I had a full house for dinner, I abandoned our usual pasta with Sunday sauce tradition, and made a full Thanksgiving dinner.   I used the pan and followed MaryAnn’s recipe to a tee.  All I have to say is, “THE BEST TURKEY EVER!”

There’s still time to buy this pan on Amazon, or I’m sure in many stores.  Just remember that you don’t need to buy an expensive roaster.  However, if you already have a roaster, try this recipe.  You’ll be able to stop the worry and focus on the rest of the meal.  I guarantee you’ll be thankful for a “perfectly” moist and flavorful turkey with “perfectly” crisp skin!

PS  I apologize for the lack of pictures.  No one could keep their hands off the turkey meat and skin long enough for me to get some good pictures….including the puppy!  It’s that good!


 14 to 18 lb turkey will fit in this pan.

5 TBSP butter

1 lemon

1 onion

few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 cup chicken broth

carrots celery and onions, chopped in large pieces, optional ( if you don’t have a rack for your pan.

  1.  Clean, dry and season turkey generously, inside and out, with kosher salt and pepper.  Brush all over with 2 to 3 TBSP melted butter.  Stuff the inside with a whole lemon, onion and fresh thyme.
  2. Place on a rack in the pan, or if you don’t have a rack, chop up big pieces of carrots, celery and onions, and place that on the bottom of the pan instead.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the turkey with the lid on for 1 hour.
  4. After the first hour, pour in 1 cup of chicken stock.
  5. Baste it and brush it with additional 2 TBSP butter and roast with the lid on for another 30 to 60 minutes, until you achieve 165 degrees (breast).
  6. Take off the lid for the last 15 minutes to crisp it up nicely.

**NOTE:  Read MaryAnn’s recipe, as she will really convince you to use this method, if I haven’t done so already. turkey pan recipe

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Pasta with Cauliflower & Chick Peas

cauilflower pasta bowl**

I think that you could make pasta every day for an entire year (my kind of heaven), and never need to duplicate a recipe.  I really do.  Right off the top of my head, I could name close to 100 dishes that make my mouth water.  If I thought longer, and perused my Italian cookbooks and the internet, I know I could find an endless amount of recipes.  Sometimes it’s just the tweaking of an ingredient or two, and then you have an entirely new dish, with an entirely new taste altogether.  As a matter of fact, I have a cookbook titled, “Sunday Pasta” by Edwin Garrubbo, in which he claims that he made a different pasta for his family every Sunday for 5 years.  That seems incredulous, but I believe him!  And by the way, it’s a wonderful cookbook.

This being said, I feel I must share another pasta recipe with you, which is actually a combination of several recipes.  In my family, we love pasta with chick peas (see the archives) and we love pasta with just about any vegetable you can name(  so many in the archives).  So let’s put chick peas and cauliflower together with pasta, and yum!  You’ve got something new and full of flavor and texture.

Pasta with cauliflower and chick peas will be my 52nd pasta recipe on this blog.  I’ve got a long way to go to catch Edwin Garrubbo!  I just might take the challenge.  I’m feeling competitive.  Care to join me?

Recipe:  serves 4 to 6

1 pound fusilli or other short pasta

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes, if desired

1/4 tsp oregano

1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets

1 19 ounce can of chick peas

3 TBSP bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for passing

salt and pepper to taste

  1.  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the cauliflower and pasta to the water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the garlic and hot pepper seeds.  Sauté for 5 minutes, making sure not to brown the garlic.
  3. Add the chick peas and oregano to the skillet and cook through, about 10 minutes on low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. By the time the pasta is done, the cauliflower should be a nice texture.  Drain.
  5. Put pasta and cauliflower in a large serving bowl.  Add the chick peas.  Toss well.
  6. Add the breadcrumbs and grated cheese and toss again.


Easy Crab Sauce Over Spaghetti

crab sauce plated closeup **

Before I even begin this blog post, I’m going to ask you to go to the archives and check out “Crab Sauce over Spaghetti.”    That recipe is the real deal.  However, it’s a lot more involved than this one.   Also, eating the dish prepared that way is quite a laborious and messy task.  My husband would say it’s more fun to cook and eat it that way (his way), but while I may agree, the effort is sometimes just too much for me.  When I want that delicate fish sauce quickly, and eaten without much fuss, a can of lump crab meat can do the trick.

To be honest, I had never made crab sauce this way, but I felt certain that this can of wild, jumbo lump crabmeat could be turned into something delightful.   Luckily for me, I had recently found this website called “Eat Your Books.”  It’s fantastic!  I highly recommend it, especially for cookbook lovers. You enter all your cookbooks onto their website  (a labor of love) and then, when looking for a specific recipe, you just type in a key word, and it will search all your cookbooks for a recipe.  It will then direct you to the exact cookbook where you can find the recipe.   So, I typed in “lump crab meat,” and it directed me to Michele Scicolone’s cookbook (one of my favorites), “1000 Italian Recipes.”  I followed it, and I was delighted with this fabulous sauce from the sea!!!!  It was easy and oh so delicious!!!  You don’t need a bib to eat it, nor do you have to crack shells and spend time digging out morsels of crabmeat.  Your hands stay clean and no smelly shells in the garbage.

However, it’s maybe not as much fun.  I hate it when he’s right!!!

Recipe:  makes 4 to 6 servings, according to Michele.   4 servings, according to me

1/3 cup olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, crushed

Pinch of crushed red pepper

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces lump crabmeat (I used jumbo)

8 fresh basil leaves, torn (never cut) into bits

1 pound of spaghetti or linguine

  1.  Pour the oil into a large skillet.  Add the garlic cloves, and red pepper and cook over medium heat, until the garlic is golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Remove garlic and set aside.
  2. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes are softened and have released their juices, about 10 minutes.  I covered the tomatoes for half the cooking time.
  3. Gently stir in the crab and basil.
  4. Cook the spaghetti or linguine until al dente.  Take out a little of the cooking water and set aside (always a good idea).
  5. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.  Toss over high heat for 1 minute, adding a little water if you feel it is dry.  Serve immediately.

crab sauce ingredientscrab sauce tomatoes halvedcrab sauce garliccrab sauce basilcrab sauce pan 1crab sauce pan 2crab sauce pan 3crab sauce pan 4crab sauce pan 5crab sauce pan 6crab sauce bowl 2crab sauce cookbookcrab sauce plated closeup **




Cousin Richard’s Vegetables on the Grill

grilled veggies plated closeup

I know that Labor Day has come and gone, but I can’t let grill season end without sharing what became my signature vegetable dish this summer.    Actually, I should say “dishes,” as I started to make just about every vegetable in this way.  Watching my cousin Richard prepare yet another delicious meal, mostly cooked on the outdoor grill, made me realize that he was on to something great. There’s no need to fuss over vegetables in the summer.  Simply wrap them in aluminum foil with a little salt, pepper, olive oil or butter, and then throw them on the grill for 15 to 20 minutes, while the rest of the meal is cooking.  Without a mess or bother, you have a wonderful side dish or two….or even more!  I guarantee you’ll be experimenting with every vegetable imaginable.  I have!

My two favorites are grilled corn and grilled fennel.  The hot grill brings out the flavors of these two vegetables in a way that’s hard to explain.  I prefer this to corn on the cob, and although I adore a fennel salad, this is even better.

So before the season is over, please give this a try.   Its absolutely delicious in all it’s simplicity.  Plus, it’s cleanup free!   That is unless you make Richard’s Summertime Pasta (in the blog archives) as a first course.   This pasta dish takes a simple summer meal to a new level.  Richard seems to have created a perfect summertime menu that is now a “family tradition.”


4 ears of corn on the cob

3 fennel bulbs

salt and pepper

2 – 3  Tablespoons of butter

2 – 3 Tablespoons of olive oil

  1.  Strip the corn from the cob using a good knife or corn zipper.  Another cousin suggested to use a bundt pan to catch the kernels in a neat manner.  LOVE this idea!
  2. Slice the fennel into strips….you determine the thickness.
  3. Lay out two sheets of aluminum foil or use heavy duty if you have it.  Pile the corn onto the foil.  For 4 ears of corn, use 2 -3 Tablespoons of butter; 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.  Wrap up the sides  of the foil well.
  4. Lay out 2 more sheets of aluminum foil and add the sliced fennel.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.  Then drizzle with the oil.  Mix a little, and seal up the sides of the foil.
  5. Place foil packages on the grill over medium heat.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Make sure the grill is not too hot, as you don’t want to burn the bottom.
  6. Once ready to serve, open the packets and give a good stir.  Adjust for seasonings  and place in bowls if desired.   They look so nice in the open packets that you don’t even really need bowls!  It’s nice to keep it even more casual.  It’s up to you!

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Bev’s Mediterranean Salmon

Bev's salmon plated*?

At least once or twice a year, for the past 35 years , my friend Bev sends me a recipe in the mail (never email) that she absolutely knows I will love.  She is always 100% correct!  I have loved every recipe she has sent me, and they have over the years become “family favorites” that I make over and over.  From muffin recipes to pasta…from fish recipes to stews,  she “gets me.”  She knows what I like, and is willing to take the chance on a recommendation.  Food and Friendship is such a lovely combination.  For me, it means “love”……..the love of sharing; the love of caring.

I’ve been making Bev’s recipe for Mediterranean salmon for many years.  It’s easy enough for a quick mid-week meal, and yet elegant enough for entertaining. It looks beautiful when plated, and always receives enthusiastic “oohs and aahs” before it’s even been tasted. And the taste never disappoints. So often, a dish looks absolutely divine, and then your taste buds want to scream out in displeasure.  That won’t happen with this salmon.  You will enjoy every bite of the salmon with the delicately mingled flavors of tomatoes, olives, capers and zucchini.   It’s Mediterranean cuisine at it’s finest, which also means  it’s healthy.    The Mediterranean Diet has been touted by the medical  world as the best way to eat for your health and longevity.

So open a crisp bottle of white wine (or light red), and enjoy the “good life.”

I’ll be waiting with anticipation for my next recipe from Bev.  I believe it’s just about time.

Recipe:  serves 4

1/4 teaspoon  salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 (6 ounce) skinless salmon filets, about 1 inch thick  (I used one large piece of salmon)

Cooking spray  (or 2 TBSP olive oil, as I prefer)

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini

2 Tablespoons capers, undrained

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained *** (I used a mixture of mediterranean olives and pitted them.  Please do this.   It’s worth it.  I also doubled the amount of olives)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the fish.
  3. Place fish in a single layer in an 11 x 7 inch baking dish, coated with cooking spray or *olive oil.
  4. Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Stir to combine and spoon the mixture over the fish.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 22 minutes.

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Maida Heatter’s East 62nd Street Lemon Cake

lemon cake sliced:lemons****

Last week, the food world was all a buzz about the death of Maida Heatter, cookbook writer and “queen of cake.”   She was 102 years old.  I was intrigued by her obituary, and her notoriety in the world of baking.  I am embarrassed to say that I had never heard of her.   I’d never heard of her famous Chocolate Mousse Torte,nor had I heard of her East 62ndStreet Lemon Cake. She had a cult following, but I wasn’t a part of it.  How was this possible, being the cookbook lover that I am?   She published her first cookbook “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts” in 1974, when I was in my heyday of baking.  I made a cake a week in those days.  I was just married and loved every minute of baking in my very own kitchen. Dinner had to include dessert, which almost always meant cake.  Was my head under a rock then?   The culinary world was overjoyed with the publication of this cookbook in 1974.   I wish I’d known.

As I thought more about this in the past few days since her passing, I realized that when I was first married, I only baked from the recipes that came from my mother and her friends, Ann and Ginny.  I had countless index cards full of wonderful desserts from family and friends. !  I only owned one or two cookbooks. It’s no wonder I didn’t know anything about Maida Heatter

I’m so happy I know about her now!  Her recipes were floating all over the internet this week, since her death.  I didn’t know which dessert to make first. They all looked fabulous, and I’m sure I’m going to bake my way through all of her most famous ones.  Since summer is upon us, my mind (and tastebuds) always turns to lemons.  I want lemon everything once the temperatures climb and the sun shines.  So it was only natural that I’d bake her East 62ndStreet Lemon Cake. It is a delicious Bundt cake, and so lemony that I couldn’t have been happier that I choose this one to bake.  Everything about this cake was just perfect….the texture;  the sweetness; the moistness; the light, lemon taste.  The only problem with it was that I couldn’t stop eating it. It was delicious for breakfast with a cup of cappuccino or mid afternoon with a cup of tea.

I enjoyed Maida Heatter’s cake for several days, enjoying every morsel.  Once the cake was finished, there was only one thing to do. I ran out to the Kitchen Arts and Letters Bookstore, a bookstore on Lexington Ave in NYC devoted only to cookbooks, and bought her recently released  ( 3 months before her death) cookbook,“Happiness is Baking.”  I can tell that she has many more dessert recipes that will soon become “favorites.”  I’ll keep you posted!



butter and flour to coat the bundt pan… OR I always use Baker’s Joy spray

3 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk

2 TBSP lemon zest


1/3 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

  1.  Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Coat the bundt pan with butter and dust with flour or use Bakers Joy.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk.  Stir in the lemon zest.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the batter.  Bake 1 1/4 hours, or until the cake tests done.
  5. While the cake bakes, make the glaze.  Warm the juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Cover and remove from the heat.
  6. When the cake is done, immediately unfold onto a cake rack or cake plate and apply the glaze with a pastry brush to the top and sides of the cake until it is all absorbed. lemon cake ingredientslemon cake batterlemon cake panlemon cake plated**lemon cake slice ?*lemon cake sliced:lemons****




Alberto’s Orecchiette and Brussels Sprouts


Whenever I think I have nothing in the house to cook for dinner, I call upon my husband to save the day. He always does!  I found myself staring into the refrigerator one evening, hoping something would call out to me, “here, make me.”

There were two containers of sliced Brussels sprouts, which didn’t appeal to me at all.   I didn’t have meat or fish to accompany them, so I couldn’t use them as a side dish.  I can put just about any vegetable over pasta or into risotto, but not Brussels sprouts! Yuk!   So I shut the refrigerator door, opened a bottle of white wine, and waited for either some inspiration to hit me, or for my husband to come home. The latter happened before there was even a glimmer of inspiration.

He didn’t need any wine for inspiration.  He immediately got to work on dinner.  I saw him fill the pasta pot with water, and pulled out a large fry pan.  When I saw him take the Brussels sprouts out of the refrigerator, I cringed!  I should know better by now to doubt him in a situation such as this, but I did express my concern.

“Take your wine and go relax inside and let me do this,”  he urged, as he gently nudged me out of the kitchen.  Gosh, I love this man!!!

Twenty minutes  (and a half bottle of wine) later, he called me in to dinner.  As I walked from the den to the kitchen, I knew I was in for a treat.  The aroma was out of this world!  What could he have done with Brussels sprouts??

You’ll find out the answer to that question when you try this recipe.  It was so delicious that I asked him to make it one week later for guests!

Recipe:  serves 4 to 6

1 pound orecchiette pasta…..or any short shape will do, such as fusilli or penne

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 pound bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1/2 large red onion, chopped

1/2 cup of white wine

1 lb brussels sprouts, sliced  (buy them already sliced if possible)

1 tsp. salt (more if needed)

red pepper to taste and black pepper to taste

Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano cheese

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add bacon and cook, until slightly crisp.
  2. Add the onion, and garlic and saute until soft.
  3. Add the white wine and cook for about 5 minutes until it evaporates and the onions melt.
  4. Add the sprouts, salt,  red pepper and black pepper.
  5. Cover and cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, until everything has blended and is soft.  Stir occasionally.
  6. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a pot of salted water.
  7. When pasta is nearly cooked (al dente, please), add 1 cup of pasta water to the sprouts mixture, and stir.  You can save some more water on the side, in case you need more.
  8. Drain pasta, and mix all together.  Add grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmigiano.  Mix again and serve with more grated cheese.orbrussels brusselsorbrussels ingredientsorbrussels in bagorbrussels pastaorbrussels saute 1orbrussels saute 2orbrusselsinpan1orbrusselsinpan2orbrusselsinpan3orbrusselsbowlorbrusselsplated**






Angela M. Raimo’s Mother’s Easter Cheesecake (Pizza Dolce)


It’s that time of year when I start to yearn for jellybeans, Cadbury eggs, Peeps, and my mother’s “ Easter sweet ricotta pie.”    It’s interesting how we always think our mother’s versions of our favorite recipes are always the best.  We love the flavors of our childhood, making it indeed “the best” to us.

To say I love my mother’s Easter sweet ricotta pie is an understatement.  I literally start to crave it when Easter time rolls around. I know that there are many variations of this Italian dessert (citron…no citron; whiskey flavoring….vanilla flavoring; orange zest….orange juice).  The amount of sugar or eggs may vary from recipe to recipe, but the key ingredients never vary, so more than likely, it’s always delicious.  However, my mother’s pie has always been the best in my eyes.

UNTIL, I tasted my friend Angela’s mother’s recipe.   There was something considerably different about it, yet still the same.  I ate an entire piece trying to figure out why it was lighter and airier than my mom’s.  The secret:  separating the eggs and beating the egg whites until stiff, before folding the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.  This created a much less dense cheesecake.  Also, the crust was very different, but I wouldn’t learn more about that until much later, when she gave me a typed, step-by-step recipe to follow.

Angela (not her mother) used frozen store-bought crust.  You’d never have known it.   I suggest you do that, or go back in the archives to my mother’s “Easter Sweet Ricotta Pie” for her crust.  I’ve tried Angela’s pie crust recipe twice now and it just doesn’t come out right. She either copied it down wrong from her mother, or perhaps her mother gave it to her wrong so it would never be as good as hers, as many Italian mothers have done.

One of the things I loved most about Angela was her sense of adventure.  I only make this pie at Easter time, as is tradition.    Angela made it all year round, any chance she’d get.  She’d proudly bring it to my house for summer barbecues, New Year’s Eve, anyone’s birthday, and even a Halloween party.   So don’t be like me, and only delight in this pie once a year.   It should be enjoyed all year long.  Angela would want you to do so.

Recipe: 1 pie  (I’ve halved her recipe, but feel free to double and make 2 pies)


1 1/2 pounds of ricotta

1 Cup sugar

4 eggs —separated

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

lemon zest

orange zest and 1 ounce orange juice

citron (optional)

  1.  Separate eggs, and leave out until almost room temperature.
  2. Beat ricotta
  3. Add egg yokes and other ingredients and mix well to blend.
  4. Beat egg whites in a deep bowl until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.

Crust:  buy 2 frozen pie crusts ( Angela used Pillsbury, which comes two in a box) or go back into the archives for my mother’s crust recipe for “Easter Sweet ricotta Pie.”

Place one round crust in a 9 inch deep pie pan.  Pour the ricotta mixture into the pan.  Cut the other crust into strips and crisscross on top creating a lattice effect.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.  “The batter will rise and appear like a mound…after cooling, it will drop.”

IMG_0267angela's pie ingredientsIMG_0280angela's pie ricottaangela's pi egg whitesangela's pie folding 1angela's pie folding 2angela's pi in shellangela's pie latticeIMG_1221IMG_1220IMG_0301