Italian American Greatest Hits Cookbook Bellino

by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
Ladies and Gentlmen, here it is! My latest, Italian-Americans Greattest Hits … It’s almost ready and should be out for publication in about 3 months … As the title implies, the book is a Greatest Hits Book …  The Greatest Hits of Italian-American Food that is !!! The book includes recipes and always stories of Italian-America, the people, the kitchen, the Food, places and all things Italian (Music,Wine and such). Some recipes are previously published from some of my other books (it’s a Greatest Hits Album so to speak). With some of these previously published recipes, there are many new ones as well). Maybe you’ve purchased one or two of my books (Thank You!) and maybe you like the work, the stories, the recipes, and you like to get some of my work as a gift to a loved one, a friend, whoever, you might want to get a copy of this as a compilation of my work. Anyway, look for it, Italian-America’s Greatest Hits  –  Spaghetti Meatballs Sausage & Peppers  …. Oh, there’s much more .. Favoirte dishes of The Italian-American Table, “You know what they are.”
CURRENTLY Available from Daniel Bellino-Zwicke
SUNDAY SAUCE  …. Learn How to Make SUNDAY SAUCE alla CLEMENZA  and …

LEARN HOW To Make a NEGRONI and more vital skills of Italian-America …


LEARN How to Make It !!!!

with Daniel Bellino-Zwicke ‘s

Ingredients ?

Recipe in La TAVOLA

by Daniel Bellino-Zwicke










Richard Castellano
Al Pacino



Hot Sauce





1.  That TABASCO Bottle Is an Old Cologne Bottle from the New Orleans Glassworks.

2.  Invented in 1868 by Edmond McIlhenny, originally from Maryland.

3.  About 720,000 bottles are bottled a day and sold in 165 countries around the World.

4.  Tabasco is aged in used Jack Daniels Bourbon Whiskey Barrels ..

5.  1/8 Ounce Bottles of Tabasco  with Presidential Seal are served on Air Force 1


Valentina has become my favorite Hot Sauce of the past 3 years or so .. I picked it up at a .99 Cent Store one day, a 12 oz. bottle is just $1.29, average price of Tabasco is about $3.99 for a 5 oz. bottle .. It would cost me about $9 for the same amount of Tabasco or more than 7 times more expensive .. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Tabasco and like its taste once and a while, it’s definately destinctive and a good deal hotter, but now by most preferred Hot Sauce by far is VALENTINA from Mexico .. It’s not too hot, which for my personal taste I like ..  And the spices they use has a reall nice flavor. And yes, Tabasco and some of the other brands are too dam expensive.

Before I started up with VALENEtINA I was using CRYSTAL HOT SAUCE from Louisiana for a while .. I like Hot Sauce from Louisiana and as we all know Tabasco can be a bit expensive as compare to Crystal and Valentina and some others, Crytal is way cheaper than Tabasco, but it is also a lot less hot and not as florvorful.  I did notice that in New Orleans Crytal is pretty popular and I saw it on many a restaurant table sometimes along with Tabasco and other bottles. I don’t use Crystal that much any more since I discovered my fave, Valentina … Sometimes I will have in the house; Tabasco, Valentina, and Crystal, and will mostley use Valentina, and Tabasco and Crystal here-and-there …  
My favorite is on Scramble Eggs with buttered Peas on the side for Breakfast or a lite lunch .. Sometimes when I make FRied Eggs I like to douse on a bit of “Maggi Seasoning” with Valentina as well. These make for some super tasty fried eggs. Try em!

Crystal Claims To Be Louisiana’s # 1 Hot Sauce





Excerpt from Daniel Bellino Zwicke’s “SUNDAY SAUCE”
Due for November 30, 2013 Publication

Tagliolini with Salsa Segreto. Secret Sauce? We lost our beloved Old-School Italian Red-Sauce Restaurant Gino’s of Lexington Avenue a couple years back. Gino’s opened in 1945 by Neapolitan Immigrant Gino Circicello was a Gem of a Restaurant loved by its many loyal customers who kept the place packed and vibrant night-after-night. The place was perfect; Great Food and good wine at reasonable prices coupled with excellent service by friendly attentive waiters inside a homey comfy dining-room that everyone loved, from its cozy little Bar at the front of the restaurant, its Phone Booth (one of the last surviving in New York), and the famed Scalamandre Zebra Wallpaper that is as much a part of Gino’s as the tenured old waiters and the popular Chicken Parmigiano.
Among all the tasty dishes with the Pasta with Salsa Segreto, “The Secret Sauce,” it was as tasty as can be, and a perennial favorite with Gino’s legendary clientele, including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Joe DiMaggio, and a string of luminaries to long to name. Gino’s had many wonderful dishes that were soul satisfy, unpretentious, but tasty as heck. They were all the usual suspects of Italian Red-Sauce Joints everywhere; from Baked Clams Areganata, to Shrimp Cocktail, to Spaghetti With Clam Sauce, Lasagna, the famed Veal Pamigiano, “the entire menu.”
I used to go to Gino’s with my cousin Joe, my sister Barbara came a couple times, as my brother Michael. But it was usually me and Cousin Joe and if anyone else tagging along. Now I love my pasta as all good Italian-Americans do, but my cousin Joe? He had me beat. The guy loves his pasta, and wanted it practically every day. I believe we tried the Secret Sauce on our first trip there together. I think with Tagliolini, but you can have it with Spaghetti, Rigatoni or whichever pasta you like. Well we loved it from the very first, and would get it every time we went. Often we’d get Baked Clams and Shrimp Cocktail, followed by a Half Portion each of Tagliolini with Salsa Segreto, and as our main we might split a Veal Milanese with a “Nice Bottle of Chianti.” We’d finish the meal with Espresso and a couple of Desserts, maybe a Tira Mi Su and a Chocolate Tartufo.
So the Secret Sauce, what’s in it you want to know? Yes I identified the Secret ingredients one day, I made it, and it tastes exactly the same, and that’s as tasty as can possibly be, a 10 out of 10, you can’t get any better. It’s quite simple and you’d be amazed, but that’s the essence of all Italian Cooking, simply tasty. The Secret of The Secret Sauce is, “I shouldn’t tell you but I will.” I should be charging you $100 just for this one recipe but I won’t. “I hope you know what a bargain you people are all getting; my Sunday Sauce, Clemenza’s Sunday Sauce, my Lentil Soup recipe, Marinara Sauce, and so much more.” I’m getting robbed. But here you go, The Salsa Segreto (Secret Sauce) from the former Gino’s Restaurant on Lexington Avenue across from Bloomingdales is _________ and __________________   added to a simple tomato sauce as you toss the pasta (your Choice) with the Sauce. Basta! That’s it! The Cat is out of the Bag. Enjoy!

Chianti Comes To Town


Sassello and awesome reserve production CHianti from Castello Verrazzano

by Luigi Cappellini


Daniel Bellino-Zwicke and Cavalier Luigi Cappellini of Castello Verrazzano at DeGrzia Restaurant

New York  …

Yes Chianti came to town the other day. The town? New York City. The Chianti, Castello Verrazzanno … Luigi Cappellini of Castello Verrazzano (Owner) visited with me and tasted me on his latest offerings from his equisite wine estate in Greve in Chianti Classico .. Chianti Classico is the great wine region in Tuscany that produces Italy’s most storied wine “Chianti” along with Vin Santo and porprietory Super Tuscan Wines .. Mr. Cappellini is the proud owner of one of Chianti Classico’s and Italy’s finest most beautiful wine estates. They produce three different Chianti wines; a Chianti normale, Chianti Riserva, and a special limited edition Cru Chianti in Sassello which was formally bottled as a Super Tuscan but has by a good choice of Mr. Cappellini been made and classified into Chianti Classico Riserva status. Luigi brought the Sassello to me to taste along with other fine wines. Let me tell you, when I tasted the Sassello, it blew my wine. The “Sassello” Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 is one of the finest wines that I have tasted of a few thousand wines this year. The wine has everything going on for it, and I’m not going to go into some drrwn out boring discription other than to say it was delicious, tasty, “In Perfect Balance,” and just one of those extra special wines. I love it, and ordered 2 6 packs on the spot. We have many great wines in our extensive cellars of Big Names of great prestige and storied vintages, and I can easily say, that when we take delivery of this wine next week it will be among our greatest wines in our cellars of a couple thousand, the wine is great as great can be, “Basta!”

Luigi also brought his 2009 Chianti  normale and Chianti Reserva 2007, both quite tasty. Unfortunately, I wasn’t tasted on their (Verrazzano’s) great Vin Santo, which I’ve drank on numerous occasions in Greve at the Verrazzano Estate .. I wasn’t tasted on it, as the importer Palm Bay does not import that particular wine from Verrazzano, but I can tell you from experience, the wine is nutty, lush, and just perfect …

One wine that Luigi tasted me on and of which I just bought 2 cases as I love it, is a wine called Verrazzano Rosso, with a subtitle of MiniTuscan … The wine is super tasty and very affordable … It is made of Sangiovese, Cannaiolo, Mavasia, and a tiny bit of Trebbiano. This wine is made in the classic true old style of Chianti of which white grapes were allowed in the blend of mostly Sangiovese Grapes along with the native Cannaiolo, and white native grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia. The wine is quite tasty of medium body and ripe as well as a tad of bitter fruit flavors. As I said, this wine as made in the way that Chianti used to be made with native grapes of the Chianti Classico wine region. The laws and rules of what is a Chianti Classico by the law of the Italian Goverment and Chianti Consorzio were changed in 1996 to incude the sacraligious inclusion of international grapes like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon … For those who know me, they know I distane this practice along with a few other people who are Chinati lovers and purest. We wish for the laws to change back and exclude all “non-native Grapes” like Merlot, Cabernet Suavignon and any others, and for Chianti to incude only native grapes and a blend of mostly Sangiovese and including small amounts of native grapes like; Cannaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nero, and very tiny amounts if a property so chooses of the white grapes of Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianco. This is true CHianti and the kind of Chianti Luigi Cappellini makes at the Verrazzano Estate.

Daniel Bellino Zwicke



"La TAVOLA" is Greenwich Village Italian by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

“La TAVOLA” is Greenwich Village Italian by Daniel Bellino Zwicke





A Foodie’s Dream, it said on the Shake Shack Website, speaking of what was billed as

Cronut Concrete Day at The Shake Shack Flagship Madison Square Park location on September 17, 2013 to Benifit The NY Police Widows & Childrens Fund and The Madison Square Park Conservancy. Uber-Hot Pastry Chef of The Moment, the creator of the Uber famous Cronut, Chef Dominique Ansel joined forces with Danny Myer and Shake Shack combining what is arguably New York’s Best and most beloved Burger Joint, The Shack Shack with 2013’s Hottest Food Item and story the Cronut which is Half Donut & Half Croissant into one tasty little pastry. New Yorkers line up for both. They are both super tasty items that are at the top of their games, and both democratically affordable for just about anyone, with a Cronut going for $5.00 and a Shack Burger at just about 5 Bucks as well at $4.90 …  They are both as tasty as can be, and I will  go on record for about the 20th time right hear and now, since we’re speaking of it, The Shake Shack Burgers are without a doubt New York’s Best, A # 1, Best Burgers in Town .. I don’t care if you say it’s The Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern, “No Way,” and actually thier less hyped Minetta Burger is the “better burger” at Minetta .. No, it’s not The Brindel Burger which Josh Ozersky has now marked as his choice of NY’S # 1 Top Burger. No I like the Brindel Burger, but the Shack Burger has it beat for the true great American Burger. Yeah, I like the Burger at Peter Luger which is a sort of un-known secret and great value, but Shake Shack’s Burger is better. I love PJ Clarke’s and JG Melon is in my top 3 New York Burgers, but I’ll still give an edge to Shake Shack. Well, there I go and said it again, Shake Shack Burger is the Best ..

Dam, I went off track there for a minute. Sorry, couldn’t help it, when I’m on the subjects of Burgers and the awesome and wonderful Shake Shack.

Back to the Cronut and Cronut Concrete Day at the Shake Shack. The people at Shake Shack and Dominique Ansel, the Cronut Person put together a day to raise money for two great foundations, combining New York’s Best Burger and NY’S Hottest new sweet dessert treat the Cronut. The Cronut offering was actually a collaborative effort combining Shake Shack’s Butter Caramel Frozen Custard in a paper cup with Cinnamon Sugar Cronut Holes on top. Wow!

The day was a huge success with many happy fans of both items. And it has us wondering will Danny Myer be putting together a deal to bring the Cronut permanently to The Shake Shack? Hhmmm!!???? Would be interesting and quite wonderful. Time will tell ….





Daniel Bellino Zwicke




Image  For 2013’s Second Hottest Seet treat See The Dudes BIG LEBOWSKI COOKBOOK “GOT ANY KAHLUA” ??? and Make “Chocolate Kahlua Covered Twinkies” with The Dudes Chocolate Kahlua Sauce to sweetly cover just about any Sweet Treat .. Abide !




Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce


Well, it seems we’ve been waiting forever, 41 years to be exact since the release of one of America’s most epic movies, The Godfather by Italian-American Director Francis Ford Coppola. What have we been waiting for? A book dedicated to the legendary scene when Corleone Family Caporegime Peter Clemenza teaches Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) how to make “Sauce,” Sunday Sauce that is, aka Gravy, the beloved, monumental, most important dish in all of Italian-America, its cooking, eating and gathering of the family. Clemenza fries up some garlic with tomatoes and Tomato Paste, then “throw in your Meatballs and Sausage,” he adds a little wine, a bit of sugar, and that’s his secret. It’s a piece of movie, AMerican, and Italian American History, purely classical and it’s in Daniel B. Bellino’s new book Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce, the most anticipated cookbook of 2013 ..

Yes, Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce “Gravy” recipe is in their in all its fabulousness, as is Charlie & Big Paulie’s Goodfellas Sunday Sauce and Henry’s Veal & Peppers recipes. LEarn how to make Meatballs, Pasta Fazool, Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, Mussels Marinara and much more. Daniel even includes the top secret recipe for Salsa Segreta, the “Secret Sauce” of beloved (now defunct) New York Italian favorite restaurant Gino’s …

There’s Daniel’s own famed Sunday Sauce and Amatriciana recipes and much more. This book is an absolute Gem “Must Have” for anyone interested in the wonderful Food and History of Italian-American, Italian Food and of course the star of the show, Sunday Sauce. You will delight in every recipe and the whimsical stories and anecdotes of the Italian American lifestyle, particularly in New York and of Mob Movies. As I’ve said it is a must have and especially now with Daniel’s generous introductory offer of just .99 Cents a copy. It’s a steal.

ClemzaMBSunSauceCOVER copy





Cubano, Sandwich Cubano, Cuban Sandwich, it’s a marvel, and one of The World’s Great Sandwiches. It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been extolling its virtues for years. 27 to be exact, as I had my first way back in 1986, thanks to by good buddy and fellow cook (back then) John Lee .. He knew about them and turned me on to them, and it’s been a Love Affair with the “Sandwich” ever since. And speaking of the single word “Sandwich” this is what’s it was known of originally in Cuba, a Sandwich. in Cuba you wouldn’t call a sandwich a Cuban Sandwich or Sandwich Cubano, all though now some do, as the Cubans have picked up on the American and Cuban-American term for this wonderful sandwich the Sandwich Cubano.

OK, so what is it you say? Well, it’s a marvel and without question one of the World’s Great Sandwiches, right up there with; Pastrami, Roast Beef, Sausage & Peppers, the Croque Monsieur, and The Central Grocery Muffuletta. The Cuban Sandwich consists of; slices of Roast Pork Leg, Ham, Swiss Cheese, thin slices of Pickle and Mayonnaise on Cuban Water Bread. Some put on Mustard and though i love the stuff, for me it throws off the balance of the sandwich, but? Anyway, the main ingredient inside the Cubano is the roast fresh Pork Leg, a Slice of Swiss Cheese and some boiled Ham with a couple then slices of Pickle and mayonnaise  please leave off the mustard. These ingredients go in-between Cuban Water Bread a long bread that looks much like French Bread, though a bit less crisp. Less crisp before the sandwich is made that is, as one of the great features of this wonderfully amazing sandwich is that once it is filled it is put on a plancha. This is an electric sort of grill, much like the modern day Panini-Press. The sandwich is put into this press for about 8-10 minutes until the bread gets a nice crunchy slightly brown crust. All the ingredients heat up nicely in the press and when it’s done, the maker cuts it in half with a nice angular cut, and Voila, get ready for one of life’s great culinary treats, The Sandwich Cubano.

When I started eating these puppy’s way back in 86, I used to eat them mainly at one of 3 places. The Casa De Jagua on Rivington Street in New York’s Lower East Side, another place around the corner on Essex Street which sadly no longer exists, and at Chelsea Havana (still open), another place my good buddy John Lee turned me on to. Back then, not many (non-Hispanics) knew of this great sandwich which was sold at Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican Diners (Loncherias), some would think of as Latin Greasy Spoons. It seemed as though Caucasians were afraid of these places, or whatever and would never set foot in them. I delighted in taking as many white-people as I could to these places, simply because the food and ambiance were wonderful and the prices quite nice. many have thanked me for doing so, and I say that the pleasure was all mine and always has been to turn people on to places, different foods, and to cook for them myself as well.

Even to this day there are still many who have never delighted in this great culinary marvel. percentage wise many more people have eaten Cubanos as compared to back then, but still there are many who have not. So all I can say is, if you’re ready this, and have never had one, a Cubano, “What The Hell Are You Waiting For?” don’t be left around, get thee to a good Cuban, Dominican, or Puerto Rican Restaurant, order a Cubano and enjoy. As Tony Montana would say, “The World Is Yours Chico.”


My Buddy Don Daniele at Home in Havana .. 





Yes folks,sad but true, Joe’s Dairy is closing. After 60 years in business, the beloved little Cheese Shop, a.k.a. “Jimmy The Cheeseman’s Store” from The Pope of Greenwich Village, will sell their last ball of fresh Home Made Mozzarella (The best in The City) at 6 PM today May, 11 2013, and New York and the Italian Community of South Greenwich Village loses but one more beloved institution.

This is particularly a major blow to we Italian-Americans who lost our much loved Rocco Restorante on Thompson Street in The Village last year. Rocco’s, after 90 years in Greenwich Village lost it’s lease last year and The Torissi Boys quickly swooped in to open “Carbone,” which promised to be a classic Old School Downtown New York Italian Red Sauce Joint like Rocco’s was, but with $50 Veal Parmigiano and $52 Veal Marsala on the menu, it just doesn’t seem so.

And so my friends we lose another beloved old New York Mom-and-Pop business to greed landlords.  It’s a Sin, and we all wish something could be done about this scourge. Bye-Bye Joe’s we’ll surely miss you there on Sullivan Street, and we’re gonna miss New York’s Best Mozz. So we’re do we go now? I still refuse to set food in that awful, overprice commercial enterprise Eataly, that’s for tourist and another type of person I will not mention. Guess I’ll have to walk down to DiPalo’s. Joe’s was only 2 blocks from my house. I’ll miss it so.






Daniel Bellino-Zwicke