Chicken Cacciatore Formato Brothers Style

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Thanks to our wonderfully talented friend, Gary Marino, here’s a new version of Chicken Cacciatore, Formato Brothers Style

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • ¼ cup of Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Bottle of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera


In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown, in batches, for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl as they are done.


Remove the skin from the chicken, pour the fat off from the pan and discard.  (Short cut:  buy precooked chicken, remove the skin and cut it up.)


Turn the heat down to medium then add chopped garlic and cook until the garlic begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low.

Add one bottle of tomato sauce

Add 1/2 cup Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera

Add ¼ cup of Kalamata Olives

Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cooked chicken to the sauce mixture.

Stir and simmer for 30 minutes to allow chicken to be flavored by the sauce mixture.  OMG……….the flavor is amazing if stored overnight in your refrigerator.

This classic Italian dish must have hundreds of versions, all resulting in a rustic braise of chicken, aromatic herbs and spices. “Some like it hot” my version uses Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera as the heat and flavor component.  If you prefer a milder sauce then I suggest using Formato Brothers Muffuletta as the flavor enhancer.


Gary Marino, Formato Friend & Chef Extraordinaire

Spicy Muffuletta & Pepper Jack Cheese Bread

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Bread 2 smaller size











Not like I need a reason to enjoy baking / eating bread; however, now that Fall is almost upon us, I’m going to use that as my excuse. I love that freshly-baked-warm-bread dipped in olive oil & balsamic vinegar any time of the year, but it seems especially extraordinary in the Fall months. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the cozy feeling snuggled up to the warm kitchen. There are many bread recipes floating around out there, but this is what I’ve found works the best.



  • 4 packets regular active dry yeast (or if you’re like me and have bought the small jar of yeast, it’s 9 tsps)
  • 1 C warm water (~110°)
  • 1 C warm milk (~110°)
  • 4 C Bread or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 C drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta
  • 1 C cubed spicy pepper jack cheese
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 T reserved Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta oil
  • 1 tsp sugar


Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.  If you have a mixer with a hook attachment, you can use that.  If not, just use a large bowl and you will mix with your hands.  Mix/stir in milk, 4 C of flour, salt, drained & chopped Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta, 1T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil, cubed cheese, & sugar.  Add extra flour as needed to make sure dough is not sticky.  If using the mixer, dough is ready after adding enough flour that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is completely wrapped around the hook attachment (~6 min).  If kneading by hand, add enough flour so dough is springy and not sticky (~8 min).



Use the extra 1 T Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta reserved oil to lightly grease a separate bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat all sides.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubles (~45 min).
























Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Gently push first into dough to deflate and pat dough into 14X10” rectangle on lightly floured surface.  Roll up tightly, beginning at 10-in side.  Place seam side down on cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise in warm place (~30min).












Heat oven to 450°.  Make 3 slashes, about ¼” deep, across loaf.  Bake 35 min or until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.  If using an electring thermometer, the internal temperature should read just over 200°.  Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.



You’ll find that you’ll have a little extra Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta left over, as we are not using the entire jar in the bread recipe (unless, of course, you want to!!!)  So my dad always taught me, “Waste not, want not.”  Oh wait, or was that Benjamin Franklin?  As I started early in the morning making this bread, I was getting a little hungry while waiting for it to bake.  So, I decided to whip up a healthy egg white omelet.












I diced some ham, threw it in a non-stick pan, added some egg whites, and topped it all off with the remaining Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta.  I diced some cherry tomatoes I found lying around and added them as a side to my omelet.  It turned out fresh and delicious!













After the bread finished cooling, I sliced a few pieces and enjoyed with an Italian coffee.  You don’t need Fall to enjoy a delicious loaf of freshly baked home made bread, so use this recipe any time of the year!  Plus, you’ll feel better about baking bread using quality ingredients that are good for you and your family.  I’d love to see what you created using this bread – be it sliced alone with coffee, or toasted with butter as my brother likes to make.

Take a pic and post it to our Formato Brothers Facebook page!   We love learning from YOU as well!

–Andrea Formato Castner

Pagliacci Italian Seasoning

Monday, April 13th, 2015


Pagliacci seasoning 1

Being Italian is awesome.  I love all the various types of cuisine from the different regions of Italy.  Some days I’m a marinara type of gal, & some days I want to snuggle with a creamy bowl of Alfredo.  however, on certain occasions, I do love a gold, old-fashioned American cheeseburger.  As to not make my inner Italian jealous, I’ve combined the best of both worlds to create a healthy variation on an American classic.  Here’s what I use:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cloves (or more) roasted garlic *
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 T Pagliacci Italian Seasoning

* To roast garlic:  take a head of garlic & carefully cut off the tops of all the garlic bulbs, keeping them all in tact.  Wrap in aluminum foil & drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top.  Cover with foil & bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Let the garlic cool completely & squeeze the garlic out of the bulbs.  If you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, 1 T of garlic powder will do just fine.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Note that I did not use salt or pepper in my ingredients.  The park cheese intrinsically has enough salt, & the Pagliacci Italian Seasoning has everything else I neeed!  Form into 4 patties.

Spray your grill, indoor or outdoor, w/ non-stick spray & turn the heat to medium high.

Cook the patties on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 1654 degrees F.

Grab a few buns & toast if you like.

Place patties on the toasted buns & add your favorite toppings.  I like freely cut tomato, basil & a slice or two of mozzarella.  If you’re feeling spicy, add 1 T Formato Brothers Spicy Pepper Spread.

This burger was health enough that I didn’t feel like I needed to hit the gym right away, & Italian enough so I didn’t feel like I was cheating on my heritage.  My only dilemma now is deciding which beer should accompany my burger:  domestic or imported?  : )


–Andrea Formato Castner


Pagliacci seasoning 3


Pagliacci seasoning 2


Pagliacci seasoning 6

Turkey Meatballs Sunday Night Dinner

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Sunday Night Dinner (Turkey Meatballs)

If you’re like me, Sunday night is family night. It’s a time to settle down after a weekend filled with soccer and other nonstop kid-stuff. It’s a time to get together with family & friends and to be thankful for a wonderful Saturday and Sunday and look ahead to what the week holds before us. And Sunday night is definitely a time to enjoy a home cooked pasta dinner! My kids love being Italian and are always begging me to make my “famous” turkey meatballs with pasta. How can I refuse?FB Blog pagliacci sauce fabienelli pasta 1

This recipe is so simple and yet is bursting with flavor. You probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge:

  • 1 lb ground lean turkey breast*
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • ¼ C Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Italian herbs seasoning
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

*Take out ground turkey breast about 30 min before you start making the meatballs. The turkey is easier to handle at room temperature; plus, you should cook meat straight out of the fridge.

FB Blog pagliacci sauce fabienelli pasta 2

Preheat oven to 350º F & line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until they are fully incorporated. Divide the meat into whatever size meatballs you prefer. I try to get about 12 meatballs from this recipe.

FB Blog pagliacci sauce fabienelli pasta 3

In a large saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp of canola oil. When oil is hot (drop a tiny bit of breadcrumbs in the oil – it should sizzle up), place half the meatballs in the oil and fry on all sides for about 5-7 minutes until evenly browned. Place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Repeat this process with the remaining meatballs.

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Place all meatballs on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 min or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reach 165º F.

I like to serve my meatballs with Formato Brothers Fabianelli Elbows Pasta & Pagliacci Roasted Garlic Sauce. Cook pasta & sauce according to directions on package. When pasta is done cooking, place pasta & sauce in a bowl and top with the meatballs. Add some parsley flakes for color, and enjoy!

FB Blog pagliacci sauce fabienelli pasta 8

Kids aren’t the only ones who are grateful for being Italian! The good news is – even if you aren’t Italian, thanks to Formato Brothers, you can cook like an Italian! Enjoy your special Sunday nights, too!


–Andrea Formato Castner

Vigo Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix

Monday, October 6th, 2014


FB Vigo Cajun Rice Mix 1

FB Vigo Cajun Rice Mix 2

FB Cajun Rice Mix 3

FB Cajun Rice Mix 4

Vigo Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix

October 2014

Every year, the hubby & I visit New Orleans for our anniversary. It is a fun-filled week of listening to live Jazz & Zydeco bands on Frenchmen Street as well as visiting the local historical eating establishments sprinkled throughout the French Quarter. While we enjoying sampling all the food NOLA has to offer, there is one traditional dish I just can’t get enough of — JAMBALAYA! I love the mixture of Cajun spices, dirty rice, and shrimp all prepared harmoniously in one big bowl. My only problem is that before we know it, our vacation is over, and we must return to our daily lives.

Thanks to Formato Brothers, I don’t have to wait one year to visit NOLA and get my fill of jambalaya. Instead, I can easily whip up this spicy dish in the comfort of my own kitchen. It is so easy! I just followed the directions on the back of the Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix package (which is essentially: boil water, add butter & shrimp, add Jambalaya Cajun Rice Mix, stir, and simmer for 25 min). If you are allergic to shellfish, don’t worry. You can add precooked bite-sized ham or sausage instead of the shrimp*.

Now my only problem is saving some Jambalaya for the family!

*Quick note about using shrimp. I used frozen shrimp that I first thawed under cold water as directed on the shrimp bag. I elected to keep the shrimp tails on because that adds extra flavor. Be careful as little pieces of tail might break off while thawing. I added the thawed shrimp by hand (instead of dumping the bowl) so those broken shrimp tails didn’t fall in my pot.


–Andrea Formato Castner

Goat Cheese Stuffed Spicy Meatballs

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Here’s another exciting & very tasty recipe for spicy meatballs.

4 lb 80/20 ground beef
2 lb pork sausage
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dired basil
2 tsp dried oregano
5 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
2 eggs
2 tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain excess oil)
5 oz goat cheese for stuffing into meatballs once they are thoroughly mixed

Mix all ingredients together.  Use your hands….it’s therapeutic.  : )

Roll about 2 Tblsp into palm of hand, with your thumb press down to create a space to accommodate 1/2 tsp of goat cheese.  Use a small measuring spoon to be consistent.

Place on a rack on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for 25 minutes until brown.

Or….fry in canola or vegetable oil at 360 degrees turning over after a minute or so until brown.  Then place on a metal rack to drain off excess oil.














–Carl Formato



Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

5-7 Sweet Potatoes
(ok, you may use yams if you want the traditional orangey autumnal color)
5 tsp butter
5 tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (include the oil)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Trim off the ends to make the process easy for yourself, then peel the sweet potatoes, then cut into small pieces (but not too small).

Steam the pieces/chunks/cubes (or whatever you want to call them) for a few minutes
(but don’t let the water burn under them….been there…done that).

Drain, mash, add butter & Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread.

Ta Da!  Serve warm.  That’s it!  Enjoy!

A very autumnal dish….and yummy.  Buon Appetito!

Fra Diavalo Parmesan Stuffed Eggplant

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

10 baby eggplant
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bottle marinara sauce 25 oz.
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
3 tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain excess oil)

  1. Wash and dry eggplant.  Cut off both ends.  Slice 5 slits in each baby eggplant.  Do not cut completely through the eggplant.
  2. Pour evoo onto each cut.
  3. Place in aluminum foil pan and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool.
  4. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese together.
  5. Place mixture between each cut of eggplant.
  6. Place several tblsp of sauce on bottom of 8 inch aluminum foil pan or oven proof serving dish.
  7. Place stuffed eggplant in each pan.
  8. Sprinkle Hot Pepper Spread on top of each eggplant.
  9. Sprinkle some additional Parmesan cheese on top of eggplant ( to taste).
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 300 degrees.

Mangia bene.

Papa Carl’s Eggplant Parmesan

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

3 large eggplant
Pagliacci marinara sauce
Pagliacci grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt in a grinder
pepper in a grinder
Pagliacci dried oregano leaves (do not use fresh)
Pagliacci dried basil leaves (do not use fresh)
goat cheese
aluminum pans (round or square)

Rinse eggplant under cold water, then dry w/ paper towels.
Slice 1/8″ thick (thicker slices produce a different taste; I like to use very thin slices for this recipe).
Heat non-stick pancake griddle or frying pan; needs to be very hot.
Do not spray w/ anything.
Cook slices about 2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.
Remove slices from pan, place on a dish for a few moments.

Put 2 Tblsp marinara sauce in each pan, spread evenly over bottom.
Place 1 layer of sliced eggplant over sauce.
Lightly sprinkle dried oregano over the slices.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the oregano.

Add 3 Tblsp marinara sauce.
Place 1 layer of sliced eggplant over sauce.
Lightly sprinkle dried basil over the slices.
Add several turns of the pepper mill over the slices.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the basil & pepper.

Add 2 – 3 Tblsp marinara sauce.
Place a third layer of eggplant slices over the sauce.
Add several turns of the sea salt

Add 2 -3 Tblsp marinara sauce, filling in the gaps where needed.
Abundantly sprinkle Parmesan cheese to cover.
Break up goat cheese & position several dollops on top of Parmesan cheese.

Add a Tblsp EVOO over the top.

Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes or freeze for another day.  Delicioso!

Buon Appetito!



Formato Brothers Hot Eggplant & Sausage Lasagna

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Here’s an incredibly tasty, slightly spicy, delicious lasagna dish created by Chef Gary, using Formato Brothers Hot Eggplant Salad.


  • 9 pieces lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp Antica Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 7 Italian sausages, cut the casing & remove
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (24 oz)
  • 1 bottle Formato Brothers Hot Eggplant Salad (16 oz)
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups mozarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Drain, lightly oil & set aside.

In a medium saucepan, saute the sausage in olive oil, until no longer pink.  Remove cooked sausage from the sauce pan & spoon off excess oil, discard.

Add Formato Brothers Hot Eggplant Salad & garlic to the sauce pan, sauteing for another 4 minutes until the mixture is cooked through.

Add marinara sauce to the mixture & set aside.

In a medium bowl blend ricotta cheese & 1/4 cup of the grated parmesan cheese; set aside.

Coat a 9×14″ baking dish with olive oil & spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom.

Top with 3 lasagna noodles.  Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture on the noodles & layer on 1 cup of the sauce mixture.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella chees over this along with one cut cut up cooked sausage.  Repeat this process two more times, starting with the noodles & finishing with the remaining 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Place a layer of the remaining four cooked up cut up sausages across the top of the lasagna & then sprinkle with oregano and basil, then cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes until hot & bubbly in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.


From Chef Gary Marino, one of our favorite inventive Italian friends.  Always thinking of new ways to use Formato Brothers products!!!  Grazie, Chef Gary!




Steak Stuffed Mushrooms

Monday, April 9th, 2012











Dice 2 lbs cooked steak (ok to use leftovers from last nite’s dinner).
Remove stems from 50-60 large white mushrooms, then chop into small pieces.
Spray mushroom caps w/ butter spray.
Finely dice 5 cloves garlic.
In a heated frying pan add 3 Tblsp EVOO.
Saute mushrooms stems until soft.
Add chopped garlic.
Add diced meat.
Add 1/2 tsp sea salt.
Add 1/2 tsp pepper.
Add 1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cook about 5 mintues.
Stuff mushrooms.
Bake 15-18 minutes.
Sprinkle w/ parmigiano reggiano shredded cheese & serve w/ Cabernet Sauvignon or any other wine you like.

This can be frozen for a couple months, but why save this delicious appetizer or main dish?  Enjoy!

Options:  add finely chopped Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad or Formato Brothers Muffuletta Olive Salad for a unique tasting dish.


Hot Pepper Spread Meatballs With Parmigiano Reggiano

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

3 lb lean ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs, stirred
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper1/4 cup chopped white onions
2 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drained of oil)

Mix thoroughly by hand.
Roll into tennis ball size meatballs.
Spray grill on cookie tray with canola oil.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Buon Appetito!

Can be frozen.


Spicy Cauliflower With Garlic

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

1.  Heat frying pan.
2.  Add 1 Tblsp Antica Italia EVOO.
3.  Add 2 cloves chopped garlic.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste (Carl used 1/4 tsp each).
5. Add 2 Tblsp water.
6. Add 1 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain first).
7. Cover & heat.  Not too long.

Looks good, tastes good!

Spicy Broccoli With Garlic

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

1.  Heat frying pan.
2. Add 1 Tblsp Antica Italia EVOO.
3. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic.
4.Add salt and pepper to taste (Carl used 1/4 tsp each).
5. Add 2 Tblsp water.
6.Add 1 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain first).
7.Cover & steam for awhile.

Spicy Green Beans With Garlic

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

1.   Heat frying pan.
2.  Add 1 Tblsp Antica Italia EVOO.
3.  Add 2 cloves chopped garlic.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste (Carl used 1/4 tsp each).
5.  Add 2 Tblsp water.
6. Add 1 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain first).
7. Cover, cook for awhile to create steamed effect.

Ta Da!

Spicy Goat Cheese Meatballs

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012



1.5 lb ground beef (use lean)
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1/2 lb goat cheese
1 cup garlic/herb Italian bread crumbs
4 cloves garlic (chop into small pieces)
2 large eggs
1 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (drain first)
1 Tblsp oregano leaves (dried)
1 Tblsp basil leaves (dried)
salt – add as needed
pepper  – add as needed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all items together.

Place on wire racks over a cookie sheet.  Bake for 22 minutes.

Can be frozen for impromptu parties.

Crispy Hot Muffuletta Ravioli

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Here’s what you need for a delicious snack or appetizer:

  • Cooked turkey chopped into tidbit size pieces
  • Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta Olive Salad
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Oil from FB Hot Muffuletta Olive Salad

Prepare wonton filling:

Chop turkey into small tidbit size pieces
Add Formato Brothers Hot Muffuletta ( to taste ) and mix in a large bowl

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Spray cookie sheet or large oven tray with non-stick Canola oil ( or vegetable oil spray or olive oil spray if you prefer )
Place wonton wrappers on tray, evenly spaced so that sides do not touch each other or tray/pan edges
Place a tablespoon of turkey/muffuletta mixture on wonton wrapper
Wet all four edges with water
Place another wonton on top of wonton with turkey/muffuletta mixture
Seal top wrapper to get any air pockets out by pressing edges together
Brush lightly with a small amount of hot muffuletta oil on one side only

Place tray(s) in oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until crisp

Enjoy !













Four Cheese Pizza

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

You can either buy a pizza crust from the supermarket or go online and get a recipe from your favorite chef or cook book.

Place crust on a pizza tray and sprinkle Antica Italia Olive Oil Infused with Garlic.  Use a pastry brush and coat the surface evenly.
Cut thin slices of mozzarella cheese and place them randomly on the crust.
Sprinkle pieces of Goat cheese on ¼ of pizza.
Sprinkle Blue cheese on ¼ of pizza.
Sprinkle shredded Cheddar cheese and on ¼ of the pizza.
Spread 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese over the entire pizza.
Add a little salt and pepper and then a quick drizzle of the garlic infused olive oil.

Bake in oven at 400 degrees foe 12 minute or until you see that the crust is brown.

A delicious alternative to a tomato based pizza.

Buon Appetito!!

Meatless Eggplant Meatballs

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Makes 16 meat-less balls

4 medium Japanese eggplants peeled, sliced into cubes
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup Formato Brothers Muffuletta Olive Salad (chopped)
½ cup Reggiano Parmegiano shredded cheese
½ cup Pelago Arrosto Italiano Seasoning
2 eggs
1 tsp Salt (to taste)
1 tsp ground pepper (to taste)
1 tblspn Antica Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Flour
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking eggplant meat-less balls)

Boil water and put eggplant in water for 10 minutes.  Drain, and press all water out of eggplant and let cool.
Mix all ingredients together and roll into just larger than golf ball size balls.  Roll in flour and set aside on a plate.
Place oil into frying pan and heat to medium high.  Balls should sizzle when placed into the oil.
Cook on all sides until brown.
Place on plate with paper towel to remove excess oil.

You can warm up some Antica Italia Marina Sauce and place eggplant meat-less balls into sauce.

Meatballs Amalfitana

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Raisins make this meatball dish tasty!

2 lbs ground sirloin
2 large eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tblsp dried Pagliacci oregano (or use fresh which has been finely chopped)
2 Tblsp dried Pagliacci basil (or use fresh which has been finely chopped)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
2 tsp Alessi Sea Salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 Tblsp Antica Italia Olive Oil Infused With Basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

Mix together.  Fry in 4 Tblsp vegetable oil.  Delicioso!

Hot Dogs Formato Style

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Several Hot Dogs that will make you the envy of ANY tailgate party, backyard bar-b-que, or gathering with friend on a Sat or Sun afternoon to watch your favorite  college or pro football game.

Chicago Style

Chicago Dog
Pagliacci Sport Peppers
Dill pickle

Blue Cheese? Yes!

Provence Dog
Blue Cheese
Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad

Southwestern Dog

 Southwestern Dog
Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread
Tortilla Chips

Try this one, y'all!

Texas Dog
Nacho Cheese
Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread
Tortilla Chips

Sauerkraut evokes NY memories.

New York Dog
Formato Brothers Mild Pepper Spread


New Orleans Dog
Formato Brothers Muffuletta Olive Spread
French Fried Onion ( sold in cans )

Spaghetti Dog

Spaghetti Dog
Aglio Olio Spaghetti  ( see online  recipe for spicy spaghetti )

Aglio Olio Spaghetti

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

1/2 lb Pasta Classica Spaghetti
1-2 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (2 Tblsp will be very spicy)
2 cloves of fresh garlic, diced
4 Tblsp Antica Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste (a pinch should work)
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Boil 7 quarts of salted water.  Cook pasta for 9 – 10 minutes (al dente).
In a large skillet pour EVOO, diced garlic, Hot Pepper Spread.  Heat, then simmer (be careful not to burn the ingredients)
Add drained pasta into skillet and mix all together.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese atop the mixture.

Serve with crusty Italian bread and a fresh salad for lunch or dinner.

Buon Appetito!

Spicy Meatballs With Eggplant

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

3 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage ( breakfast links will work; remove casings )
2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 cup Formato Brothers Hot Eggplant Salad ( chopped )
1 tspn salt
1 tspn fresh ground pepper
1 cup canola oil ( vegetable oil works too )

In a large mixing bowl mix beef, pork, breadcrumbs, eggs, eggplant, salt and pepper.  Use your hands, it is a great feeling.
Take about a large golf ball size of meat mixture and form into a ball.  Place on a plate until completed.
You should have about 25 wonderful meatballs.

In a 9 in skillet heat oil until medium-high.
Gently place meatballs in hot oil and carefully turn them about every 90 seconds until brown on all sides.
Remove meatballs and place on a paper towel on a plate to remove excess oil.

Wait until cool and then take a bite into a heavenly delight.
You can freeze for up to 3 months.

Buon Appetito!

Risotto with Mushrooms

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

2 cups Antica Italia Superfino Arborio Rice
4 large mushrooms (any type will work fine); slice into 1/8 inch slices
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup white table wine (anything that you would drink)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped into small pieces)
1/2 red onion (chopped into small pieces)
4 Tblsp of Antica Italia Olive Oil with Basil (or evoo)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat vegetable broth until almost boiling in medium sized pot.   Add mushrooms and simmer.
Put olive oil in a 9 inch skillet and heat.
Add garlic and reduce flame to medium low.
Add mushrooms from broth pot.
Add rice and stir.  Be sure to cover all rice with oil.
Raise flame to medium.
Add wine and wait for rice to absorb all the liquid.
Add 1 ladle of broth and let rice absorb all the liquid.  Continue until all of the broth has been added.
After adding last ladle of broth, cover skillet and reduce flame to low.  Keep on low for 15 minutes and turn heat off.
Let skillet remain on stove for another 20 minutes.  Lift cover and add Parmesan cheese.

Serve and enjoy!!   Buon Appetito!!

Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Eggplant Salad & Goat Cheese Salad

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Mix all of these ingredients together.  Add sea salt & freshly ground pepper as desired.

2 large tomatoes chopped into chunky pieces
2 large cucumbers cut into chunky pieces
1 cup Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad, drained
4 Tblsp crumbled goat cheese

When serving, add Antica Italia Olive Oil With Lemon Flavor or a slightly citrusy flavor.   Definitely chill this concoction since the flavors have a chance to mix together & the result is a crispy combination.  Serve with your favorite pasta or soup or sandwich.  Buon Appetito!

Rigatoni With Marinara Sauce And Eggplant Salad

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Rigatoni ready for tonite!

Boil pasta for 8 – 10 minutes.  Drain.
Simmer 1 jar Antica Italia Marinara Sauce til heated.
Add 3 Tblsp Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad.
Mix sauce & pasta.
Shave fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on the pasta.
Buon Appetito!

Seasoned Croutons

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet w/ butter-flavored cooking spray.
  3. Place 6 slices day old bread on sheet & spray visible side lightly w/ EVOO or butter flavored spray.
  4. Sprinkle each piece w/ Pelago Italian Dipping Herbs seasoning.
  5. Drizzle EVOO atop all pieces.  Bake for 8 minutes, then turn & repeat above steps on reverse side.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes more.  For variety, sprinkle freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese on one or both sides.
  7. Remove from oven, cool, trim edges, cut into small serving pieces.  Serve w/ salads, or as a snack.
  8. Store in a tin container.

Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
6 medium sized green peppers (red or yellow are also good to use) or 4 large
3 Tblsp Antica Italia EVOO in large skillet
3 cloves garlic chopped
3 extra large button mushrooms – clean & chop
6 sausage links – remove casings (pork makes for an interesting flavor)
1 cup grated fresh parmesan or reggiano
1 Tsp salt
1 – 2 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread
Feta cheese or more parmesan or reggiano to sprinkle on top, if desired

Heat EVOO in large skillet.  Brown sausage.  Add 1 Tsp salt & 1 – 2Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread.  Add a little at a time to test for desired spicy flavor.  Cook together.  Stuff 4 large or 6 medium peppers.  Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Top w/ cheese & return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Crusty Italian bread, toasted or plain, would complement this dish, as well as a really red wine.  Buon Appetito!

Fried Ricotta Cakes

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Easy to prepare!

Carl Formato II preparing fried cheese cakes w/ Carl Formato Sr.

2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup pre sifted flour
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 large eggs (whisked together in a small bowl)
2 cups canola oil
3 Tblsp Antica Italia White Truffle Oil

Use small ice cream scoop to scoop out 18-20 round cheese balls.   Freeze for 20 minutes to harden.
Remove from freezer, flatten by hand, cover in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.  Gently place in hot canola oil.  Turn after 2 minutes, then repeat w/ other side until both sides are browned.

Place on paper towel to absorb oil.  Place on serving dish & drizzle with truffle oil.

Makes a wonderful appetizer.

Chicken Muffuletta Sandwich

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Formato Brothers Muffuletta Olive Salad Sandwich

2 slices whole wheat bread (or your favorite)
Seasoned roasted chicken (slice thin) – place atop bread slices
3 Tblsp Formato Brothers Muffuletta Olive Salad – put as much as desired atop the chicken slices
Lettuce – 1 large red leaf or romaine leaf

Slice & enjoy a taste of New Orleans!

Tomato, Eggplant, Mozzarella Salad

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Tomato, Eggplant, Mozarella Salad

1 large beefsteak tomato (or any large firm tomato)
3 Tblsp Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad (drained)
3 Tblsp red onion sliced & slivered
5 or 6 basil leaves (tear into small pieces)
4 or 5 slices of mozzarella cheese
2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil (Antica Italia is delicious)
Salt & pepper (as desired)

Arrange tomatoes on plate, top w/ remaining ingredients.

Spaghetti With Artichoke Hearts & Sun Dried Tomatoes

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Delicioso with Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread

Cook 1 lb spaghetti as directed on the package. Drain.

Simmer 3 Tblsp EVOO in a frying pan.  Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, a twist of freshly ground pepper, 1 cup of halved artichoke hearts, 3 Tblsp sliced sun dried tomatoes. Sun dried tomatoes in oil should be drained first.  also add 1 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread.

Drain pasta, add it to saute pan, mix together briefly, plate the mixture & sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.  Your guests will oooh & aaah when they see this colorful dish presented to them.

Buon Appetito!

Grilled Chicken Breasts With Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Season thawed or fresh chicken breasts with Pelago Chicken Vesuvio rub, flavorful, easy to use.

Grill til done, turning once.  Serve with a green vegetable; we used broccoli & cheese, but grilled asparagus seasned w/ a litle olive oil, salt & pepper would work just as well.  Top each chicken breast w/ 1 -2 Tblsp of Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad.

The result is a nice blend of textures & flavors & colors.  Buon Appetito!


Marino Maccheroni

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Here is a wonderfully fresh & tasty pasta meal using the Formato Brothers Mild Giardiniera.  Fresh herbs & tomatoes atop the Maccheroni makes for a healthy main dish at your next gathering.

Marino Maccheroni

At the end of the recipe you’ll find a few more fotos from the Marino kitchen where this meal was created for Formato Brothers.


  • 1 pound dried pasta
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled & fine chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves – coarse chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes – coarse chopped
  • One bottle of Formato Brothers Mild Giardiniera

Fresh Ingredients + Formato Brothers Mild Giardiniera


In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water.  Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.  Drain pasta in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water.  The reserved pasta water will help create the sauce.  Do not rinse pasta with water — you want to retain the pasta’s natural starches so that the sauce will stick.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté until light brown and fragrant.  It’s important not too burn the garlic or else it will become bitter.  Add the entire bottle of Formato Brothers Mild Giardiniera to the oil and garlic in the sauté pan.   Add the red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute.  Carefully add the reserved pasta water and stir to combine.  Place the drained pasta back into the large pot along with the Mild Giardiniera sauce from the sauté pan and mix well for 1 minute.  Heat briefly on low setting.

Remove the pot (that originally was used to cook the pasta) from low heat.  Empty the combined pasta and sauce mixture onto a large serving platter, top with fresh herbs and chopped tomatoes.

Olive Oil, Mild Giardiniera, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil, Mild Giardiniera, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes

Gary Marino in his kitchen.

Gary Marino in his kitchen.

Pasta on the plate.

Pasta on the plate.

Gary & Peggy Marino adding tomatoes to the Marino Maccheroni.

Gary & Peggy Marino adding tomatoes to the Marino Maccheroni.


Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread Pasta Sauce

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

4 lbs ripe tomatoes**
Blanch, cool in ice water, remove skins & core.  Smoosh all together, use or freeze for a couple days.

Peel & chop many fresh garlic gloves (a whole head will work), or if you don’t like to peel & chop, use the already-chopped kind you can buy in a little jar in a grocery store.  Saute garlic in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a flat bottom deep saute pan.  Continue until someone walks into the house & says, “What smells so good?” or “When do we eat?”  That really means until slightly browned.

Add the fresh tomato mixture, a lot of sea salt, 1 ½ – 2 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread.

Cover & cook over medium flame on the stove for at least one hour.  The sauce should thicken just a little, but it should not be thick.  Stir once in awhile.

Add fresh basil leaves.  The minty flavored leaves especially provide a nice contrast to the spicy pepper spread.

Serve over cooked pasta, cavatelli, farfalle, fusilli, trofie are suggestions;  any shaped pasta will work.  Avoid heavy shapes which work better with a meat sauce.

Make a double batch because it will be wonderful the next day when the flavors blend even more; you’ll want to have some in case there are any leftovers needing more sauce.  Hopefully your dinner guests will leave you with empty pasta bowls, but you’ll have extra sauce ready just in case.

Buon Appetito!

** Roma Tomatoes are tasty for sauce, but you can mix varieties

Note From Mama Formato:  I recently made this using a few of each:  Roma Tomatoes on a Vine, Hydroponically produced large red tomatoes—delicious, fresh, flavorful results.

Award Winning Formato Brothers Spicy Italian Chili

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

We are so excited about this recipe.  For the first time ever we entered it in a Chili Cookoff contest & won first prize!  We’ve never entered any contests before, so this was exciting & fun for us.  We competed against 19 others & received a fantastic trophy to acknowledge our efforts.  Woo Hoo!   Thanks to our friend & food consultant, Sam Manfer, for his assistance, & also to our family for helping us with the behind-the-scenes work to make this happen.   Click on the link below the recipe to see how this wonderful chili is made.


Msgr. John Urell, Sam Manfer, Carl Formato, Patricia Bates (CA Assembly), Robert Ming (Mayor, Laguna Niguel CA) – May 29, 2009

2 medium sized yellow onions, finely chopped
Antica Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
Celery, finely chopped to make 1 cup
2 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread
1 lb hot or spicy sausage
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste (with or without seasonings)
3 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz with or without seasonings)
1 can black beans (15 oz) drained & rinsed
1 can kidney beans (15 oz) drained & rinsed
2 Tblsp Alessi Sea Salt
1 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tblsp garlic powder
2 Tblsp oregano

  1. Saute the following in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo):  onions, red pepper, celery (no leaves), 2 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread.
  2. Split the sausage casing lengthwise; remove casing.  Use the back end of a knife to scrape the casing to remove the sausage.  Use a spatula to break the sausage into manageable little pieces.
  3. Add the sausage to the saute pan while vegetables are heating.  Cook over low heat until sausage is almost cooked.
  4. Stir in 2 cans tomato paste.
  5. Transfer all to a large pot.  Add 3 cups water.
  6. Stir & simmer on a low flame.
  7. Drain & rinse black beans & kidney beans.  Add to mixture in large pot.
  8. Add diced tomatoes.  Stir all together & cook a little while longer.
  9. Add the following in this order:  sea salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, oregano.
  10. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.  Add a little water as needed to adjust consistency to your liking.
  11. Serve in cups or bowls with or without garnish, as desired:  more chopped onions, Reggiano, Parmesan, Cheddar or Manchego cheese.  Whatever cheese you find in your refrigerator will work.
  12. Serve with a crisp green salad, some crusty Italian bread, a glass of red wine, such as Cabernet or Pinot Noir, & enjoy a flavorful, delicious meal.  Buon Appetito!  This may be made a day before serving & then reheated.

Click on the link below to see Sam & Carl in action in the kitchen preparing this chili.

Award Winning Spicy Italian Chili

Meatballs With Eggplant

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

These flavorful meatballs, made with Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad, will be well received, served with your favorite pasta & sauce.  Delicious by themselves or on an Italian bun.  Pour some Marinara sauce over them for added flavor.

1 lb ground beef
1 cup Vigo Italian Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 Tsp oregano
3 Tblsp Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad (drained & chopped)
2 Tsp black ground pepper
2 Tsp Alessi Sea Salt
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together by hand in large stainless bowl.
Roll an average amount into 1 1/2 – 2 inch wide balls & place on a raised cookie rack on a cookie sheet (with sides).  This will allow the excess fat from meatballs to drain onto the cookie sheet while they are baked in the oven.
Bake in oven for 22 – 25 minutes.  Enjoy.   Buon Appetito!

Sam’s Chicken Broccoli Bake

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

1 pkg Pillsbury Grands Home Style
2 boneless chicken breast (without skin), cut up pieces, not cooked
1 Tsp EVOO
1 large onion
1 red pepper, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
1 Tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (of, if you dare, add as much as you like)
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
1 Tblsp garlic powder
1 Tsp oregano
1 box Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese Sauce

  1. Use 1/2 pkg of Grands & form into a ball of dough.  Roll to create a square shape & place in glass 9″ square baking dish.  Form up the sides about 1/2″.  It is not necessary to grease the pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake bottom for 12-15 minutes until slightly browned.
  3. Select a large frying pan for the following steps.  Wet the pan w/ EVOO.
  4. Saute the following:  cut-up onion, red peper, Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano.
  5. Add to chicken pieces.  Cook until slightly tender.
  6. Scoop chicken mixture atop pre-baked bottom pie crust.
  7. Bake for 15 minuts.
  8. While this mixture is baking, cook the Pillsbury Broccoli Cheese mixture in microwave, as per package instructions.
  9. Add it to the top of the prebaked mixture.
  10. Sprinkle a little of the Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (or to your taste) on top of the chicken mixture.
  11. Use 1/2 pkg of Home Style Grands & form into another ball of dough.  Roll dough to create another square shape & place atop the mixture.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes.
  13. Wait 15 minutes for flavors to blend a little more.  Then serve this very colorful & enticing dish with a crisp salad for a flavorful & healthy meal.  Buon Appetito!

Farfalle & Zucchini

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Antica Italia Olive Oil: 1/3 cup + 3 Tblsp
4 cloves garlic, minced (ok to use already minced garlic)
2 lbs zucchini, trim, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
2 1/2 Tsp salt (we like sea salt or kosher salt)
3/4 lb plum tomatoes, seeded & diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (do not used dried)
1/4 cup + a little more wine vinegar (look at the many vinegars offered at www.formatobrothers.com)
1 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
1 package Farfalle pasta

Heat 3 Tblsp oil in a large frying pan. Do not overheat. Add garlic, zucchini, 1/2 Tsp salt. Cook about 5 minutes, til tender, stirring occasionally. Put zucchini into a decorative serving bowl & stir in tomatoes, basil, vinegar, 2 Tsp salt, pepper.

Cook Farfalle about 15 minutes or a little less, until just done. Drain & toss with the marinated zucchini & 1/3 cup oil. Buon Appetito!

Joannes & Mark’s Favorite Bucatini Ala Vodka (serves 8-10 people)

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

 1/2 pound prosciutto (Italian cooked ham)

2 Tblsps olive oil

2 Tblsps unsalted butter

1 large white onion

2-28oz cans crushed Italian tomatoes

3 Tblsps finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

1 quart heavy cream reduced by half (simmer over low heat until approximately ½ quart remains)

¾ cup vodka

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds cooked Conte Bucatini (break in half before cooking)


Finely dice the cooked ham and set it aside.

Place a heavy bottom sauté pan on medium-high flame.  Add the olive oil and the butter.  When the butter melts and becomes foamy add the chopped onions, let it sauté until crispy, DO NOT let it brown.


Add the diced ham, mix it in, lower the flame and let it sweat for about 15 minutes, stir it occasionally.


Add the crushed tomatoes, mix it in, let it simmer for another 20 minutes, then add the parsley, simmer for 3 minutes, add the reduced heavy cream and the vodka, mix it well and let simmer for 20 minutes.   


Check the consistency, simmer for another 10 minutes if you need to, season with salt and pepper  mix in the cooked pasta, let it simmer for 2 minutes.  Serve it HOT!

Linguine With Octopus

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

1 lb linguine
1 tin Roland Octopus
1 small onion
2 cloves grlic
1/2 lb Fontina cheese, chopped or shaved
1/2 cup white wine
1 Tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread

Chop onion, garlic, parsley, saute in frying pan with oil & 2 Tblsp water for 1o minutes.  Add octopus & continue to cook for 10 minutes.  Cook linguine, al dente, toss into frying pan with white wine for a few minutes.  Just before serving sprinle cheese onto pasta.  Buon Appetito!

Spaghetti With Anchovies

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

1 tin Roland Anchovies
1 small onion
3 ripe tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 lb Conte Spaghetti (try flavored for variety)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 sprig parsley
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread
1 clove garlic

Chop up the garlic, parsley, onion & brown slowly in a frying pan for 10 – 15 minutes.
Add the tin of Roland Anchovies & wamr for 5 minutes.
Pour in the white wine & cook until all browns.
Add tomato (cut into eighths), tomato paste, Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread, then cook for 10 minutes.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions, al dente, drain, toss into frying pan with other ingredients for a few minutes, then serve.  Delcioso!

Risotto With Oysters

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

1 pkg Antica Italia Arborio Rice (instan) 17.64 oz
2 tins Roland Oysters
1 small onion
1 carton chicken broth
1 Tsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup sparkling white wine
1/2 cup oil
Pagliacci Parmesan Cheese

Chop the onion & parsley, saute in pan until onions are brown.  Boil rice with chicken broth.  Once the rice has absorbed most of the chicken broth add the ingredients from the saute pan along wih the oysters & let rest for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & serve.

Anchovy Stuffed Green Peppers

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

4 green peppers
1 medium white onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup Vigo Italian herb breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 sprig parsley
1/4 lb Pecorino cheese
5 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
6 Tblsp parsley
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 tin Roland Anchovies

  • Chop the onion into julienne slices.  Saute with 3 Tblsp chopped parsley in 5 Tblsp EVOO.  Remove from heat & add breadcrumbs to absorb the oil
  • Cool, then add 3 Tblsp parsley & chopped anchovies.  If too dry, add a little water to make the mixture more pliable.
  • Cut the top off of the green peppers, remove the seeds & membrans.  Fill to the top with the mixture.
  • Dip the open end of the filled pepper into the beaten egg & then into the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Dip the open end of the pepper into the frying oil until a golden crust has formed.
  • Lower the heat & continue to fry the pepper on all all sides until cooked.  Multi Bene!  Buon Appetito!

Black Ink Squid Spaghetti With Clams

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

1 pkg Conte Black ink Squid Spaghetti (al nero di sepia)
1 jar of Roland Baby Clams
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups of Cora Brand Peeled Tomatoes
1 Tblsp parsley
1 cup grated Pecorino cheese
5 Tblsp Antica Italia EVOO

Boil the spaghtti until al dente, about 9 minutes.
Saute chopped onion until transparent &U 5 Tblsp EVOO.
Add parsley & tomatoes.
Add baby clams & let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Drain pasta while still al dente & place into pan.
Simmer with cover on for several minutes.
Serve with grated Pecorino cheese.  Buon Appetito!

Meat Stuffed Artichokes

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

10 artichokes
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (extra lean works well)
5 Tblsp pine nuts
1/4 Tsp cinnamon
4 Tblsp Antica Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

  • Trim artichoke tops & remove tough outer leaves.
  • Saute artichokes in 4 Tblsp EVOO.
  • In same oil saute gound beef, add choppd onion, pine nuts, cinnamon, a pinch of salt.
  • Fill each artichoke with a Tblsp of the meat mixture.
  • Place artichokes in an oiled baking pan & fill pan with enough water to cover the artichokes about half way.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Buon Appetito!

Conch Fritters

Thursday, April 30th, 2009
  • 1 can La Monica Scungilli ( 6 1/2 oz)
  • 1 small to medium white onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbslp butter, melted
  • 8 Tblsp flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp salt, or to taste
  • 5 cups of vegetable oil for browning fritters

Chop scungilli in food processor.
Grate onion & pepper into conch.
Add eggs, salt & melted butter.  Mix well.
Sift flour & baking powder into mixture.
Blend until it is thick enough to spoon into hot oil.
Fry until golden brown on all sides.
Serve with seafood sauce of your choice.  Makes 14 – 18 fritters.  Buon Appetito!

Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Ingredients:  2 large potatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 1 Tblsp rosemary, 1 Tblp salt, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2-3 Tblsp Antica Italia Infused Oil With Basil

  1. Clean & cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Chop garlic into fine pieces
  3. Place into very warm pan of vegetable oil.  If you hear the cracking when you put the potatoes into the pan the oil is hot enough.
  4. Fry for 8-10 minutes, turning when each side of potato gets evenly brown.
  5. Put garlic, rosemary & salt into pan & lower heat.
  6. Cover & simmer for 5-8 minutes.
  7. Place potatoes on paper towels to dry some of the oil.
  8. Salt to taste & drizzle Antica Italia Infused Oil With Basil over the potatoes.

Buon Appetito!

Saffron-Scented Couscous With Pine Nuts

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

3 cups chicken broth
3 Tbls butter, unsalted, divided
1/2 Tsp Vigo saffron threads, crushed
1/4 Tsp coarse kosher salt
2 cups Antica Italia Couscous
3/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Boil broth, 2 Tbsp butter, saffron, 1/4 Tsp salt in large saucepan, stir to melt butter.
Remove from heat.  Add couscous.  Cover, let stand until liquid is absorbed & couscous is tender, maybe 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork.  Add 1 Tblsp butter & 1/2 of green onions & nuts.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Add remaining green onions & nuts in  decorative serving bowl.

Carlo’s Spicy Meatballs

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup seasoned Italian garlic & herb bread crumbs
  • 1 Tblsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera (drain first before chopping)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Using a large bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients together by hand.  Add chopped Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera.  Form a meatball about 2″ in diameter.  Place on wax pape until ready to fry.  In a large skillet pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom.  Heat until very warm.  Cook meatballs for about 7 – 8 minutes, routinely turning to prevent burning.  Remove from skillet, serve with a hot pasta dish & sauce.  These can be made smaller to be served as appetizers.

Aunt Ida’s Hot Pepper Cheese Bread

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

3.5cups flour
2 Tsp salt
2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 egg
1 packet fast rising yeast
1 cup warm water
2/3 cup Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread  (Drain most f the oil from the mixture.  It should be relatively dry.)
2/3 cup of shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place flour in stainless bowl.  Make a well & place salt, sugar, oil in well.  Break egg into a small bowl, whisk it slightly.  Pour egg into other liquids.  Place yeast into liquids & put a small quantity of warm water into liquid.  Make sure that all of yeast is covered.  Wait 20 minutes for yeast to begin “bubbling.”  Once yeast has begun to work, mix in remaining water, bringing all of the contents together.
  3. Knead the flour mixture for about 15 minutes using the palms of both hands.
  4. Shape into a rectangular loaf.  Place the dough into a rectangular glass bowl & cover with a slightly damp towel for 3 hours to allow the bread to rise.
  5. Once bread has risen, take it out of the bowl  place it on a slightly floured bread board.  Hit the bread mixutre once with both hands to get all of the air out of the mixture.
  6. Roll the bread mixture out into a rectangular pattern.  Spread the Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread onto the dough.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Carefully form the dough into a roll shape.  Place into a bread pan.  Cover pan with dry towel for one hour to let bread set.  Remove towel.
  9. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until brown.  Yield:  1 medium sized loaf or 4 small loaves.  The small loaves can be used for bruschetta or appetizers.  Can be frozen.

Pasta Salad

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Cook one bag tri-color veggie pasta as directed on the package.  Drain & rinse with cold water.  Add the following ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Liberal amount of oregano
  • 3-4 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread; ok to use Mild Pepper Spread for a less spicy flavor
  • 1/2 cup white viegar
  • 4 heaping Tsp Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 lb mozzarella cheese, chopped into cubes (optional)
  • Black olives, pitted, sliced; ok to use sliced Kalamata Olives
  • Chill at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with garlic bread.

Buon Appetito!

Grandma Formato’s Antipasto Salad

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Grandma Formato's Antipasto Salad

We served this for a holiday get together recently.  It was well received & so flavorful with the Formato Brothers Eggplant Salad!

Excellent presentation for your next Italian themed party.  It looks appealing & tastes wonderful.
Mix the following together.  Cover & refrigerate.  Can be made up to 2 days before serving.

  • Formato Brothers Hot Giardiniera (drain some of the oil)
  • Formato Brothers Eggpland Salad (drain some of the liquid)
  • Pitted medium or large black olives (drain liquid)
  • Artichoke hearts (do not drain)
  • Green Salad Olives
  • Red Cherry Peppers (drain liquid)
  • Paesana Baby Pepperoncini (optional)
  • Dried salami & mozzarella cheese (optional)

Mini Muffuletta Sandwich

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
  1. Slice an 8″ – 10″ Italian round loaf in half to create upper & lower halves.
  2. Spread at least one cup of Formato Brothers Muffuletta Olive Salad on one of the halves.
  3. Add layers of salami & provolone cheese. Close the sandwich, cut into quarters or eighths & enjoy!

A true muffuletta sandwich will include additional layers of mortadella or prosciutto or capicolla & another sice of provolone and/or mozzarella. Some recipes call for sprinkled chopped cloves of garlic as well. It’s your choice. The Italian Muffuletta Sandwich originated in the early 20th century in New Orleans.

Auntie Jean’s Sausage Bread

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

(You will need a Kitchen Aid mixer with a bread hook)

  1. Sprinkle 1 Tblsp sugar over 1 pkg yeast.  Add 1/2 cup hot water.  Do not stir or mix.  Put this bowl aside until mixture doubles in size.
  2. In large mixing bowl mix the following ingredients together with Kitchen Aid bread hook: 1 Tblsp sugar, 1 Tblsp salt, 1 1/4 cups hot water, 2 cups flour, 1 egg, 4 Tblsp Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread (do not drain).
  3. Add yeast mixture to bowl while it’s mixing.  Gradually add 2 cups flour.  Continue mixing until dough pulls away from sides of bowl & texture is nice & soft, not sticky to the hands.
  4. Put dough into a greased bowl; cover with Saran Wrap; put in warm place until it doubles in size.
  5. Form dough into desired shape (almost a rectangle is a good shape).  Roll dough out on bread board.  Spoon marinara sauce over dough.
  6. Remove casing from Italian Sausage & saute in a frying pan until brown.
  7. In another frying pan saute fresh spinach in vegetable or olive oil, seasoned with a little minced garlic.
  8. Spread spinach & sausage on dough.
  9. Roll to form a rectangular loaf.  Place on greased cookie sheet; let it rise to double its size.
  10. Bake 350 degrees until golden brown.  Slice & serve.  Buon Appetito!

Spicy Pasta Meal

Sunday, April 26th, 2009
  1. Cook one 12 oz bag Penne Rigati as directed on the package. Drain
  2. Heat 1-2 Tblsp oil from a jar of Formato Brothers Hot Pepper Spread in a very large skillet. Add 1 large onion, chopped. Saute for 3 miutes. Add 1/2 cup chopped green pepper & continue to saute until soft.
  3. Remove casings from 2 -3 five inch pieces of Italian sausage. Break up into pieces & add to skillet.
  4. Saute until sausage is brown.
  5. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, liberal amounts of oregano, garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Add 16 oz tomato sauce & 4 oz water. Add the pasta. Stir & cook all a little longer.
  7. Serve with garlic toast & a crisp salad.