Monday, January 21, 2008



Sprouzzi ala Jounzzi #2

As a reminder, your book La Nostra Costa reminded me so much of growing up in the Los Gatos - Santa Cruz area, especially the large Brussels Sprouts farms such as you were raised on. I thought I would pass on the latest dish I served my bride over the holidays.

The Osso Buco is first braised, then slow-roasted with a zesty medley of shallots and oven-roasted garlic blended with portabello mushrooms, ripe Roma tomatoes, rosemary and thyme. Serve with Risotto alla Milanese. The vegetables, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and, of course, Brussels sprouts, are tossed with thyme, sage and a little grated nutmeg, then oven roasted with a small amount of Marsala in the bottom of the pan.

Buon Appitito Russ



Ciao Ivano,

Ho pensato di mandarti la ricetta per fare il minestrone. (1) Perhaps your mother made it this way. This is how Baffi preferred it:

Ingredients: Salt Pork
Pinto Beans (the pale colored ones with darker speckles. Baffi called them "Kentucky Wonders")
Cabbage (the dark, curly variety is preferred, but not available in Oregon)
Tomato Sauce
Pasta (optional) (small like rosary beads)

Soak the beans overnight or longer. (2) On cooking day, boil them till tender and force them through a sieve. Discard the husks.
Put the resulting bean puree back into the water in which the beans were cooked.
Lo Sfritto (the fry-up) Cut the salt pork into very small pieces. Place in frying pan to render it. Use the hide part also. ( left in one piece It makes
a special treat for the youngest family member)
Chop the onion, celery, parsley, and carrots and add them to the pan with the salt pork. When all is properly sautéed, put all into
the pot with the beans. Pour in a can of tomato sauce.
Cut the cabbage into manageable pieces and add to the pot. (Baffi wanted it in very large pieces)
Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender.
Add pasta, if desired, during the last 8 minutes of cooking.

For his supper, Baffi would have a huge bowl of this. Ada made 20 pints at a time, which lasted him 6 days.
He would add a large slice of French bread torn into small pieces, and top it all off with olive oil, and some of his homemade vino rosso.
(I draw the line after the olive oil)
Proportions are left up to the cook's imagination. There are as many varieties of minestrone as there are people who cook it.

(1) Pronounced: "ME-neh-STRON-eh" Means: "Big Soup".

(2) I heard on TV that if the beans are soaked in just enough water to cover them and they are allowed to begin sprouting, it
will release the explosive power that they contain. I was never able to prove that.

Allora Ivano, mangiamo? Migliori auguri.



1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter,softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange peel
1 tablespoon orange juice

FILLING (The good stuff)
1 container 15 oz ricotta cheese in old days they used loose ricotta sold by the pound
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar depending on how sweet you like your sweets
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons flour, all purpose
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons finely chopped citron, optional
1 egg, separated


Sift flour with baking powder and salt.
In average size bowl with egg beater (old way) now use electric mixer, beat butter with sugar and one egg until fluffy. MIX in vanilla,orange peel and orange juice. Add half of flour mixture. With a wooden polenta spoon or just wooden spoon mix until well blended.

TO THIS add remaining flour mixture. Using your hands mix until the now dough leaves the side of the bowl and can hold itself together. On the wood ranch table I used to knead this until it was all blended in together. Now set it aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

MAKE FILLING the good stuff
Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl and beat with hand beater until creamy or use electric mixer.
NOW add sugar, eggs, flour, almond extract and if you choose to use the citron, the citron.
MIX until all ingredients are well mixed.

You can use waxed paper to roll out pastry or do as I do which is to use flour on the wood table and moisten the dough lightly before rolling out with rolling pin. Fit the pastry into a 9 inch pie tin or glass pyrex pie plate. Once the pastry crust is in place in the pie tin, trim the pastry to the edge, leaving about 1/4 to1/2 inch extra pastry around the edge. LIGHTLY brush the bottom of the pastry layer with an egg white.
ROLL OUT the other half of the pastry either on the wooden table or between wax paper. The pastry should be no more than 1/8 inch thick. NOW cut with a knife which is what I used but a pastry cutter can be used to cut this, go ahead and cut the pastry into strips that are no more than 1/2 inch wide.
PLACE FILLING on top of pastry in pie plate.
NOW place strips across the top about 1/2 inch apart. Design a lattice or some other design with the strips and with a fork turn the extra pastry at the edge of the pie tin upwards and with the tines of a fork press down to seal the edge.
REMEMBER THE EGG WHITE? Well now it is time for the egg yolk. Mix the egg yolk with one tablespoon of water. Now slowly brush it on the crust.
Years later I saw a similar recipe in McCall's magazine. In the McCall's recipe they used aluminum foil to go around the edge of the pie plate. I am of the opinion that this prevents too much cooking on the edge. It did get somewhat brown on the edge but not all of the time when cooked the old way.
PLACE in the oven and cook for around 50 minutes, more or less. Check it when it gets to forty five minutes.
This is a wonderful low calorie dessert and tastes good cold. So, I would let it cool and then refrigerate overnight and eat. You can serve it with various berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.

Nancy Jacobs


Johnny Coltivita said...

Officer Jones you are a life saver.
I have this new girlfriend named Rozina, who happens to love 'osso buco'. I'm going to invite her to my apartment this Saturday evening
and will impress her with your recipe. I hope she likes Brussel Sprouts. Mille Grazie JC

Canadian Furlan said...

Hey Ivano is Officer Russ Jones an honorary Furlan? Looks like he can cook up a storm just like my mother. You mention about cooking up a good hearty minestrone alla Gino Baffi... when you refer to cold winter nights do you mean California Winter? Because today in the Niagara Region Canada it is COLD!!! This morning it was - 20 Celsius or about 10 Fahrenheit.. now that is cold. So a good hot bowl of minestrone or a plate of Osso Buco would go just right about now to warm up our spirits... The snow started blowing earlier today not much accumulation.. since its so COLD... we will need that Grappa to warm up as well..

Ciao e Mandi

russ said...

The "ME-neh-STRON-eh" sounds great, especially with this winter weather. I'll definitely give it a try.
And I enjoy reading the feedback. You must have quite a following on this site. Congratulations as I can tell you have put a lot of work into it.


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Thanks again Russ and Gino. If you review Chapter 8 (La Cuoca-The Cook)in the book, you will find additional 'scrumptious' recipies that I tried to remember form my mother's cooking. Also, in the same Chapter (P.91-92) you will find a rather "rough" description of that famous rancere
"Baffi" ivn0

Anonymous said...

Ei, Mister Jones,

Mamma mia! That's a beutiful dish.
So is the picture above.

saratoga sam said...

When I used to work in San Jose,many years ago, I used frequent Original Joe's on First and San Carlos Sts. I think on Weds their special was Osso Buco served over rice. Delicious. Also you could get menestrone soup there. It was good, but I think Gino's recipe is going to beat that.

To Derrill Kerrick: Here's a clue. Your wife Kathy, knows me better than you do. Take care. ss

johnny Coltivita said...

Hey Cand.Fur........ You want a quick minestrone fix. Buy two cans of chili con carne, one hot one not. Then add a couple of cans of Riviera Minestrone soup from the store. Stir and heat over moderate heat.. Probably will last you for a week without all that messing. JC

annonymous a-whole said...

Speaking of Brussel Sprouts and Bean Recipies:

How about setting up "farting stations" on every continent? We could get
grants to pay people to drop their pants, back up and insert their butt into rigid (albeit soft) tube & fart away. Machines will measure volume and
chemical composition The more farts the higher pay. I think Italians will win. AA

Pat Polentoni said...

The 'Blagga' certainly is getting 'colorful'. I'm not political, but maybe President Bush could offer tax rebates to top producers of methane gas. I know that's silly, but I just had to to 'let that one go'. pp

Carolina Cariola said...

Mr. Jounzzi: What a beautiful wife you have. I would love to meet her some day. I will try your Osso Buco recipe real soon. I think my "Bello" will be back from his vacation next week. It would be a perfect way to welcome him back. By the Way; What kind of red wine do you recommend? I perfer a Merlot. Will that do??

Russ Jones said...


Will Merlot do? Of course. My rule for choosing a wine is;
1. Does it have a nice label?
2. Does it come from a country you have been to or would like to visit?
Keep it simple. Jounzzi

Russ Jones said...

Saratoga Sam,

Original Joe's. More memories. I use to eat there 40 years ago. Remember the OJ's Special? I still fix it at home from time to time. What a place. Is it still there? If so, is it possible that it still has the same atmosphere?


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Russ: Original Jones,...I mean Original Joes is still there. However,because of the Downtown ReDevelopment it has gone a bit 'higha Classa'. For example they now take credit cards. Remember in the old days, cash or checks only. Better to do business with the laundry. Or some said. The prices have also shot Through the roof. Gone are those $1.50 hamburgers we all used to dine on. An honest cop can't afford to dine there anymore, or at least at our salaries back then. Gone are all the old faces, Tony Colla and Lupe the cooks and Mary the cashier and Nino the greeter. The menu is the same except with the higher prices. The last time I went back there , I though I recognized one of the waiters. I talked to him a bit, and sure enough he remembered the old days. He even remembered the night they stole my police hat off the cigarette machine in the corner. Lupe the Cook was so distraught over the incident (he was behind the counter at the time, and he thought he should have been more aware when I left to go to the men's room.)that he kept giving me free hamburgers. Them were the days my friend. ivn0

Canadian Furlan said...

The following message is first to Russ Jones. Last night at my Father's 84th Birthday bash I spoke about all the contacts I have made via Ivano Comelli, and in doing so my brother Paul spoke about Osso in Buco and how his last attempt it was very tough thinking he chose the wrong type of meat... well I came to the rescue and mentioned about the recipe Russ Jones had on the Blogg. I forwarded Paul your recipe and we will try it . Meals like this are great this time of year. Last night it was a little warmer snowing.. just like on the set of a Hollywood movie.. no accumulation it was about 20 degrees.. cold but a bitter cold like it was few days ago !!

ivano said...

Canadian Furlan. Your brother's cooking sounds like something that Johnny Coltivita might do. You guys better sick to 'Gino's Rancere Style Minestrone". I think Jounzzi's Osso Buco might be a little to fancy for you two Furlans. Also a tip: Osso Buco goes great with Polenta. Now there's a recipe for a cold winter day in Canada. Mandi ivno

Canadian Furlan said...

Here is a famous Friulano recipe for Crostoli. I am certain every Furlan out there in California has tasted Crostoli!! This is my mother's recipe. She has been making them every Christmas and Easter for the past 55 years. Enjoy Buon Appetito

Allegra’s Crostoli Alla Friulana

6 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
4oz (100ml) pure rum extract
1 grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
flour as needed
icing sugar as desired

· Place eggs, sugar, butter in electric mixer bowl with regular beaters and blend smooth
· While blending add milk, rum, lemon rind and salt very slowly
· While blending add baking powder, and add flour
· Blend slowly adding enough flour to form a soft ball
· Take mixture ball and place on clean pastry board ensure ball is soft and pliable
· Cut pastry ball into small sections and spread out into flattened sections with rolling pin
· Take small flat sections and place through pasta machine thinning it out 1/8” thick
· Continue this procedure for the entire pastry ball
· Take thin sections and using a serrated pastry wheel and section them into 2” x 6” strips
· Prepare a small frying pan with vegetable oil 1” deep add 1-3 table spoons of vegetable shortening bring pan up to temperature
· Place the 2”x6” strips into heated pan 4 at a time flipping them within 20 seconds
· This process is very quick you will note the strips become golden when ready
· Place crostoli on absorbent towels allow to cool and sprinkle icing sugar as desired

Buon Appetito

ivano said...

Hey Canadian Furlan. I can remember eating crostoli when I was a kid. Used to put lotsa of powdered sugar on top. That stuff used to get all over our shirts and pants. Sure were good. BTW: I sent your recipe to TEO the Los Angeles Furlan. He responded with the below e-mail:

ciao ivan
thank you very much for the recipe
infact now it is carnival time in italy
so a lot of people eat the crostoli a tipical "cake" for this period

take care

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano mio caro amico
I am glad you remember crostoli .. the famous Furlan ... desert. My Mother makes them religiously during Christmas and Easter The ladies of our Fogolar Furlan Club made thousands of them during one of our famous dinner dances... I could not believe how many plates of crostoli came with our after dinner coffee time. And once you have one ... you become addicted to them. And you are right on Ivano... the powdered sugar got all over your shirt and pants. Also I have another one for all my Furlan Friends in California... How about Muset??...or like they say Museto.. it's this time of year when all the men go down to "la cantina" to make two things, Grappa and Muset & Salami... let me know if there is anyone out there that knows what Muset is...??
Ciao e Mandi


thelma (micossi) gill said...

This recipe for Crostoli that the Canadian Friulan’s sent - my mother (Pina Micossi-'La Cuoca' at the Hotel D'Italia) used to call them “Bugie”. (English-liar -Bugiardo Pronounced:Boo jar' do)

Very good.

Thelma Gill

Canadian Furlan said...

Hey Thelma..I am glad you recognized the recipe. Crostoli is the name given in the region of Friuli. But I know growing up in our little Italy here in Niagara the Calabrese, Napoletani and Abruzese all made similar ones and they all had a different name for them. My Mother (Allegra) is 80 yrs old and still makes them as she did when I was a child. And for some reason I tried making them .. they are good but not as good as Mom's .. I guess I will just have to keep on practicing ... Have a good one out there in California. Today we have a snow warning ... we can expect close to 20 inches of snow... right now all the schools are closed and they recommend not driving unless it's absolutely necessary...

Ciao e Mandi

ivano said...


Ivano Mio caro Amico

You are partially right... It is more like a salami...and yes they boil it.. but it is made from all portions of the pig left over... and actually I always have it not a lot of it, just enough. It is very tasty and with Polenta even better. I am not sure if Bronco and Valentina made it.. but our friends still make it....

Ciao e Mandi

Canadian Furlan said...

Well Ivano Mio Caro Amico Furlan and all the Furlans in California. Here is more on the Friulana Cuisine. The exact translation of Muset. Muset pronounced moo-SEHT
This elongated, conical sausage is made of pork, lard, rind, and jowl (muso means jowl, hence the Furlan name muset or the Italian musetto), and resembles cotechino. Another Furlan dish is Brovade! does anyone "su per la costa" know what Brovade is? Brovade pronounced bro-VAH-deh
A peasant food that is virtually unknown outside the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, based on sliced turnips macerated for a month or so in grape skins. I will keep them coming...Ciao e Mandi

ivano said...

So that was how my God-father Tony Marcucci, made Brovada. He used to make it along side is Vat of Vino in the Garage. I always thought it was how the Italians made Sauer Kraut. I as I recall it had a real strong taste. ivno

Thelma said...

Ciao Ivano:

..... my dad (Frank Micossi) and mom (Pina) made Brovada with codigino. Do you remember that? I was up in the Napa Valley recently and went to the Cheese Factory there in St. Helena and they had codigino . Thelma

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano and Thelma... my fellow Furlans... I am glad that I can share all this with you. In fact I am certain both of you can share a lot more with me as I recall all ... the old Furlan customs. This is something we can all be proud of. Sounds like Pina and Frank Micossi were quite the Furlans.. And as I mentioned it to Ivano.. I feel as if I actually grew up Su per la Costa with all of you and I actually know all these people you mention...
Ciao e Mandi

Anonymous said...

When my family lived at Scotts Creek on the Foothill Ranch we enjoyed other desserts that were native to our point of origin in Italy. The following are a few.
Zabaione was made with egg yolks, honey, marsala and cream.
It is best cooked in a double boiler. But on the ranch we did not have a double boiler so we used a large pan with a smaller pan that was placed on top. I think that this dessert has ancient origins.
Another dessert that was not made very often was Zuppa Englese. My mother made this with ladyfingers dipped in a sweet wine, maybe port, and then layered with whipped cream, citron or candied fruit which was always hard to get on the ranch and frequently left out and slivered chocolate and it was quite a job to sliver the chocolate. This dessert is somehow associated with the English, possibly Lord Nelson. Not sure.
My taste was simple. I liked the biscotti with almonds. I also liked the amaretti. I still like to dip the biscotti in a good cup of tea!
As a point of interest, the ancient Romans were mostly vegetarians eating polenta sometimes with olive oil and vinegar. The Romans did not have cornmeal but they had an assortment of other grains. Cornmeal is native to the Americas. The Roman Goddess of Harvest, Ceres later becomes cereal! When you have your morning cereal be sure and think about the Goddess Ceres!
Nancy Quilici Jacobs

Canadian Furlan said...

Further to Nancy Quilici Jacobs' comments regarding polenta and it's origins.. review the following web site for some additional historical information on polenta..
As Nancy so eloquently states polenta humble beginnings fed the Roman legions, transforming itself into a favorite staple amongst the peasants and now returning as a part of fine dining.
We regularly make polenta.. we make it a day ahead of time spreading it out on a large flat cooking tray, and sectioning it in small pieces 3" x 6" grilling them on the barbeque adding cheese and tomatoes. Great addition to all meals. Sempre avanti con la polenta...
Ciao e Mandi

La Furlana said...

Hi Ivano

Always nice to read all of your e-mails. How I remember Brovada and Muset, my folks never made it because we use to get it from the Cuciz's from Milpitas. (BTW)Dr.Eric Del Piero is Timo's grandson, son of Richard and nephew of Rita. (Furlans) He is a twin (and if my mind recollects me), his twin is a lawyer. He also has another brother. This is good, it is taxing my mind.
Take care and keep in touch.

Gloria (Comelli) Polas

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano Mio Caro Furlan

I am glad that I am able to stir up some excitement out there with all the Furlan Traditions, foods and customs. Gloria Polas must be related Ivano if she is Furlan she is related!!
Take care and enjoy !! I will keep them coming!!

Ciao e Mandi

Jaio said...

It's looking like if all furlans would be in America :-)
Greetings from a furlan of Belgium for all of you.

ivano said...

Thanks JAIO: JAI0 has a fantastic Blog and it is in "Furlan". Click on photo above and it will take you to his webpage. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and click on il furlanar and it take you to the blog. ivno