January 2010

San Marzano Tomato Marinara Sauce Recipe


San Marzano tomatoes are recognized for their fleshier pulp and low seed content. 

The flavor of these tomatoes are preferred to many for Italian cooking due to, what I feel, is their clean full sweet tomato flavor.

Many commercially available tomato products in cans are packed with salt and citric acid.  Citric acid and salt gives a higher tomato flavor perception which, for many American palates is preferred.

True San Marzano tomatoes are only found grown in the soils of the Agro Sarnese Nocerino region of Italy near Mount Vesuvius.  It is that volcanic soil combined with the genetics of the plant that produce this world renowned tomato.

Some tomato product you will find say they are from domestic sources made from San Marzano seed. True San Marzano tomatoes will have the DOP seal. DOP stands for 'Denominazione d'Origine Protetta' . In English, that's 'Denomination of Protected Origin' .

DOP is guaranteed by the European Union and was created to promote the authenticity and genuine characteristics of certain food and agricultural products across the continent.


Marinara (alla marinara ‘sailor-style’) Named so for its ease in preparation by the sailors at sea.  This great sauce is not limited to seafood and you will see it more often used as dips, on pizzas, as well as in pasta dishes.


This Marinara sauce recipe is a great base sauce for all your Italian cooking needs.  Think of it as a mother sauce.

  I will refer to this recipe in future posts.  Different than the Bolognese and Naples style ragu, it has no meat which make it perfect for vegetarian entrees like Eggplant Parmigiana.

Try this recipe simply with pasta and then explore more versions by adding a spoon full of Pesto or cream creating a Sauce Rosa!

So many possibilities once you have this mother of Italian sauces in your cooking repertoire!

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Anna Maries Baked Italian Lemon Chicken (Recipe)

This is my piece



My mother Anna Marie would make Baked Lemon Chicken often.  It was a favorite of my brothers and mine.  Its even better the next day cold  or chilled for a picnic!

 When I was making this my son Lucas asked me if I was making pizza, the aroma of the herbs filed the house. This is so good you will want to make it again and again!

Make this for Sunday dinner and serve it with some penne pasta and a fresh green salad!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Raspberries with Rose Flower Water (Recipe)




Rose Flower Water was created by Muslim Alchemists during medieval times which was done through the distillation of roses.

You will find Rose Flower Water used in recipes in Italy, France and Iran and all over Western Europe.  It once was the most used flavor in baking until the arrival of vanilla.  Rose syrup is used in France as well as the United States.  You probably have had it and not realize it, it is found baked in scones and even marshmallows.

There are many Italian pastry recipes that have rose water as well as orange flower water in them.  Many of the pastries on Cook-Italian.com! use one or both!

This recipe is simple and Splenda may be used instead of sugar.

Raspberries with Rose Flower Water (print recipe)


2 Cups of the freshest raspberries you can find!

Sugar and or Splenda to taste

1 -2 cap fulls (about 1/2 teaspoon ) of French, Turkish or Moroccan Rose Flower Water, NOTE: a little goes a long way.  start with a 1/2 cap full and continue adding it to your preference.  I used 2 cap fulls



And that's it!

2 Cups fresh raspberries

Try it over vanilla gelato, add a spoonful into your lemonade or serve it alone with freshly whipped cream which is lightly sweetened.