Cooking with Pasquale came about due to a desire to showcase Pasquale’s famous restaurant recipes and show all his friends, how they can WOW their friends with phenomenal Italian dinners. Pasquale Barba, owner of Caffe Positano, is originally from Positano, Italy on the Amalfi Coast. After studying the culinary arts in several European countries, he now resides in Orlando Florida, where, among other things, he enjoys cooking, painting, and an occasional game on the links.
The Pasquale Project – Cooking with Pasquale is a series of DVDs, cookbooks and monthly workshops primarily showcasing the easiest and best tasting Italian recipes that you can make in your kitchen TODAY. The simplicity and versatility of Pasquale’s recipes lend themselves to any home kitchen setting… and Pasquale’s sense of humor makes cooking fun! This project also allows Pasquale to share his family heritage, home, and recipes, all of which are very dear to him.
Our Marinara Sauce Recipe
Pasquale’s Basic Marinara for Two* with Fusilli
Have prepared and ready:
- One can pomodorini (cherry tomatoes), opened.
- Several cloves of garlic, to taste, peeled and smashed, not chopped or diced.
- Basil stems.
- Grated Parmigiana cheese, about a handful.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fusilli pasta, enough for 2 people..
- Begin by boiling water for fusilli in a large pot.
- On high heat on stovetop, place a large, deep skillet with about 2-3 tbsp olive oil until very hot.
- Add garlic (it should sizzle).
- When garlic is a golden brown color, add one can of pomodorini (cherry tomato).
- Add 3-5 pinches of salt, or to taste.
- Add several grinds of peppercorn, to taste.
- Add entire basil stem (this will be removed later).
- When tomatoes are heated through well, slightly crush the tomatoes with a potato masher, leaving much of the tomato texture intact.
- Add in about 1/3-1/2 of the pomodorini canful of water to the marinara. Let the marinara cook through for a few minutes, until texture is thick and not too watery.
- Remove basil stems and taste for salt and pepper.
- Drain fusilli and add to skillet with marinara, folding the pasta into the sauce. Add the grated cheese, to taste, and continue folding until mixed.
- Serve on a large plate adorned with torn (never cut) basil pieces..
Total cooking time approximately 4-6 minutes. Voila!
* For each can of tomato (2 people), add an additional 5 minutes of ..cooking time for the marinara.
Delicious Pizza Bread
- Cut a loaf of crusty Italian bread on an angle for a more elegant look.
- Combine marinara and tomato sauce, and spread onto cut bread pieces.
- Place mozzarella cheese and grated parmigiana cheese on top.
- Broil for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until cheese starts melting, then remove from broiler.
- Sprinkle a bit more parmigiana.
- Top with basil leaves.
And kids will love this!
Have prepared in advance:
- One opened can plum tomatoes (pomodoro)
- One diced onion
- One carrot cut into chunks
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- Fresh basil stems, 1-2
- In a medium-sized deep pot, with stove on high power, coat pot wit olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add in onion and carrot. After approximately 2-3 minutes, when onion is golden brown, add in can of tomato.
- Bring to boil. Add in about 1/4-1/2 tomato can of water into pot. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- With a potato masher, avoiding the carrot, mash the tomato to a relatively smooth texture.
- Add in basil stems. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat.
- Remove carrot and basil.
Voila! Tomato sauce is done!
Cream of Tomato Soup
- Have ready 1/2-3/4 cup of heavy cream and whipping cream, either home made or store bought.
- Grated parmigiana cheese, about a handful, and a few basil leaves.
- Take half of the prepared tomato sauce and put into a second pot, pushing with a whisk through a sieve in order to capture any seeds and pulp.
- Reheat the strained tomato sauce. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Add in heavy cream, starting with about ½ cup and then add according to color and taste.
- Whisk in heavy cream to combine into tomato sauce, thus creating a cream of tomato soup.
- When color and seasoning are to your taste, remove from heat and pour into two larger bowls (or 3-4 smaller bowls).
- Take the whipped cream, starting with a dollop in the middle of the soup bowl. Using the handle of a spoon, capture the whipped cream and make any design you like.
- Garnish with grated parmigiana cheese and some basil leaves.
- Cut off both ends of the eggplant and discard.
- With a vegetable peeler, peel down the long side of the eggplant, alternating leaving the peel with a peeled length, approximately 2 inches each alternating, like a zebra.
- Cut into rounds, or for a more elegant look, cut the rounds on a bias.
Lets get Started
- Salt and pepper the eggplant and then dredge in flour.
- In a skillet on high, add corn/vegetable oil (such as Mazola).
- Fry eggplant rounds until golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes, then turn the eggplant and continue frying, not as long, until golden brown.
- Drain eggplant on paper towels.
- On a flat baking sheet, place eggplant rounds so that they do not overlap.
- Place a spoonful of remaining tomato sauce on each eggplant round.
- Top each round with some basil and mozzarella cheese.
- Sprinkle tops with grated parmigiana cheese.
- Place eggplant under a preheated broiler for approximately 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted.
- Spoon some sauce in center of plate and center an eggplant round in the middle.
- Boil 2-3 cups of salted water in medium-sized pot (can also use chicken broth).
- Crack 2 eggs into boiling liquid and let them cook for one minute.
- When the whites start to surface, stir the eggs a bit but keep some of the pieces intact.
- Add cooked tortellini to heat through.
- Add fresh chopped spinach.
- Serve in bowls garnished with fresh chopped spinach and grated parmigiana cheese.
Cold Fish Salad
Have prepared the following:
- One pot with boiling water.
- Mussels and/or clams, one- lb bag of each, frozen if fresh is not possible.
- Lobster cut in pieces, or just lobster tails, frozen if fresh is not possible, to preference (can substitute with langostino).
- Calamari (squid), 1/2-1 pound, frozen if fresh is not possible.
- Shrimp, large, 1/2-1 pound, frozen if fresh is not possible.
- Alaska king crab legs, precooked, broken into smaller pieces.
- Several pieces of desired fish, i.e., salmon.
- Olive oil.
- Red pepper flakes.
- Lemon wedges from 2-3 lemons.
Drop the calamari into boiling water, and remove and set them aside to cool and dry, after only one minute in boiling water. (The water will be strong smelling and will look dirty- it is the water that cleanses the calamari.) The calamari should be white in color when removed from pot.
In another larger pot with boiling water, add salt only to taste if desired. Add in desired fish (i.e., salmon), shrimp, lobster (or langostino), mussels, clams, and crab legs, but let boil for only 3 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside the seafood to cool and dry.
When the seafood is dried and cooled, arrange on a large serving plate. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp olive oil, red pepper flakes, and parsley. Decorate additionally with lemon wedges.