Grill Seasoning & Lemon-Butter Sauce

There are some basic recipes/tricks to making sure your grilled foods taste great.  Seasoning your food well and then topping it with a rich lemon butter sauce is a good way to start!  Many of the recipes in this section were inspired by grilled food our family has enjoyed at Carrabba’s Restaurant. 

Jen's Traditional Meatballs

I’ve made many different meatball recipes, and this is by far my favorite. I really enjoy the combination of ground chuck and ground sausage. There are a lot of eggs in this recipe, which helps to make these meatballs very moist. I hope this becomes one of your favorite recipes too!

Beef Braciole

I often incorporate either beef braciole or pork braciole into my Sunday meat sauce. The filling ingredients can be modified to incorporate any flavors that you prefer. Make sure you allow enough cooking time for the meat to become tender (generally 2-3 hours, simmered in the sauce). The sauce that remains is deep and flavorful, and pairs beautifully with a penne pasta.

Chicken Cutlets

Chicken (or Veal) Cutlets are easy to make and absolutely delicious. The cutlets are also the basis for other dishes, such as chicken parmesan. The cutlets can be made ahead of time and frozen. I have many fond memories of entering Grandma Colombo’s house and enjoying the fabulous smell of veal cutlets that were being cooked in her kitchen.

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is a dish I prepare often. Pair with any type of pasta for a fantastic meal. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Chicken Cutlets with Pesto & Provolone

This chicken cutlet dish is really delicious. The warm cutlet, paired with the deep flavors of the pesto and the smooth provolone makes a wonderful meal. Feel free to substitute any cheese you prefer.

Sausage Giambotta (Sausage & Vegetables)

Sausage dishes are my Dad’s favorites, so I always prepare a variation when he visits. This dish is delicious with the addition of roasted potatoes, sweet bell peppers and spicy long-hot peppers. The sweet and spicy peppers pair nicely with the sweet and hot sausage in this recipe. The dish is deglazed with white wine and perfect for a weeknight meal. Marinara sauce can be added if desired.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Spinach Stuffing

This is a delicious pork tenderloin recipe, combining the savory flavors of bacon, spinach and onions. This is a perfect dish for a holiday buffet because the sliced tenderloin looks great on a decorative platter. The sliced tenderloin also pairs beautifully with pasta or risotto for a great weeknight dinner.

Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Gravy

This is a moist, delicious roast. I like to serve the pork tenderloin sliced thin, served with mashed potatoes and a sliced mushroom gravy.

Meatballs with Bocconcini Mozzarella Stuffing

I’ve made many different meatball recipes, and this is by far my favorite. I really enjoy the combination of ground chuck and ground sausage. There are a lot of eggs in this recipe, which helps to make these meatballs very moist. I hope this becomes one of your favorite recipes too!

Grandma's Meatballs (or Meatloaf)

This is Grandma’s recipe, sent to me by Aunt Caroline and Uncle Doug in 2002. Aunt Caroline indicated that this can be made into meatballs or an “outstanding” meatloaf. Uncle Doug said he “dearly loves the cold meatloaf sandwiches”. He rarely misses the opportunity to add in his wonderful comments when food is concerned!

Chicken Meatballs with Ricotta & Pesto

The smell of meatballs cooking in the house is intoxicating! I have included many different meatball recipes, using a variety of ingredients. In this recipe, the ground chicken meat is softened with fresh ricotta, and given a burst of flavor with the fresh pesto.

Veal Meatballs Marsala

Chicken parmesan is a dish I prepare often. Pair with any type of pasta for a fantastic meal. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Pork & Prosciutto Meatballs

This is another meatball recipe, highlighting the pork and prosciutto flavors. Ricotta and mascarpone cheese are added to create a creamy texture.

Sausage Meatballs

I thoroughly enjoy the pure taste of a meatball without any sauce. This recipe lightly brushes on a pesto sauce to give another dimension of flavor. You will be sure to enjoy.

Grilled Meatball Skewers with Pesto Sauce

I thoroughly enjoy the pure taste of a meatball without any sauce. This recipe lightly brushes on a pesto sauce to give another dimension of flavor. You will be sure to enjoy.


This is a delicious pork loin recipe.  The simple combination of pork loin with fresh herbs is tasty.  This is a recipe that’s served throughout Italy.  They generally wrap a large piece of pork belly around the outside of the pork loin for additional moisture and fat.  (Pork belly is not readily accessible in my area…so I omitted that step).

Pork Tenderloin

Pork tenderloin is easy to make and is relatively inexpensive. This cut of meat is also delicious cooked on the grill.  The recipe below is seared in a sauté pan and then baked in the oven.  I often serve pork tenderloin on my appetizer buffet.  Cut the cooked tenderloin thin and serve on crostini with a spicy fruit salsa.  (You can purchase premade habanero salsa in the market). 

Fat Clemenza's Sunday Gravy

Our family has always enjoyed the Godfather movies.  This is an excerpt from the first Godfather movie, when Fat Clemenza teaches Michael Corleone how to make gravy.  He says: “You see….. you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic, then “trow” in some tomatoes, tomato paste, and you stir to make sure it doesn’t stick.  Then you bring it to a boil, and you shove in all your meatballs and “salsigge”.  Add a little bit of wine and a little bit of sugar…and that’s my trick”.  Listed below is my take on this recipe - with actual quantities!

Grilled Veal Chops

This is a great recipe using either veal chops or pork chops.  The veal chop is seasoned simply with salt, pepper and herbs, and is served warm with grilled lemon.  

Sausage with Broccoli Rabe

The peppery flavor of broccoli rabe is complemented beautifully with the savory flavor of sausage.  I like to use the thin luganega sausage in this recipe. 

Grilled Lemon Chicken

This is a basic grilled lemon chicken recipe that I make often.  It pairs beautifully with any type of salad for a light weeknight meal.

Easy Chicken Scampi

This chicken scampi recipe is incredibly easy to make and very flavorful.  I like to pair this with either a risotto or creamy rice dish. Your guests will rave at the delicious taste!

Baked Pesto Chicken Parmesan

This chicken cutlet dish is really delicious.  The warm cutlet, paired with the deep flavors of the pesto and the smooth provolone makes a wonderful meal.  Feel free to substitute any cheese you prefer. 

Grilled Sausage Ring with Onions & Cherry Peppers

This recipe highlights delicious grilled sausage with spicy cherry peppers. This is a wonderful dish on its own or served on a delicious semolina roll.

Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary Port Sauce

It’s easy to make pork tenderloin.  The key is to make sure that the roast stays moist, and to complement the natural flavors of the pork with a rosemary port sauce reduction.

Grilled Chicken Spiedini

This dish is basically skewered, seasoned chicken with grape tomatoes and yellow peppers.  Any of your favorite vegetables can be added.  I have made this dish with sausage as well….just be creative.

Grilled Chicken with Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes

The addition of goat cheese and sundried tomatoes complements this dish nicely.  I often substitute other types of cheese (like fontina), and have served this with oven roasted tomatoes as well.  Feel free to use your favorite ingredients.

Beef Braciole Spiedini

An old friend of mine used to make this family recipe for beef braciole spiedini, which was skewered and broiled.  This recipe has been adapted and modified…with the same delicious flavors and crispy texture. 

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Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic & Rosemary

I made these baby lamb chops for a holiday party.  A friend had shared this recipe, and I improvised to make a quick blue cheese sauce that was smooth and creamy.  This is definitely worth trying.

Baby Lamb Chops with Garlic and Rosemary

Sausage San Gennaro

My Dad loves any type of sausage dish.  This is one of my favorites, because I love the flavors of the hot cherry peppers mixed with the roasted potatoes on top of the Luganega sausage.

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Grilled Bistecca Fiorentina (Florentine Steak)

This is a very simple and delicious preparation for grilled steak.  The grilled lemon and extra virgin olive oil complements the steak beautifully. 

Grilled Bistecca Fiorentina - Florentine

Biscotti Stuffed Pork Loin

When I heard that you could stuff a pork loin with crushed biscotti….I was intrigued.  The balance of flavors is really delicious..and this is relatively easy to make.

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Shrimp Scampi

It’s hard to resist this dish, especially when served with garlic crostini or fresh semolina bread for dipping into the white wine, butter garlic sauce. This recipe can easily be served over linguini. I doubt you will have any leftovers!

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

This baked stuffed shrimp recipe is one of my favorites. I always include this dish on my Christmas Eve buffet. The stuffing can be used to top scallops, salmon, or any type of fish. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Baked Scallops

This recipe is also perfect for a Christmas Eve buffet. The topping for the scallops is the same as the ingredients used in the baked shrimp recipe. This makes preparing both dishes at the same time a bit easier. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Seafood Salad (Insalata di Mare)

This is a perfect dish to serve on Christmas Eve… contains 3 of the 7 fishes required in one dish!  This recipe was inspired by a Soprano’s family cookbook recipe.

Broiled Fish Skewers with Prosciutto

This is an interesting preparation for baccala (cod fillets).  The salty prosciutto and fresh herbs really add big flavor to this fish.  Broiling the fish helps to make this a quick and easy dish to make for a weeknight meal.

Baked Salmon with Mascarpone & Spinach

This salmon dish is my go-to recipe for special occasions.  The creaminess of the filling ingredients, combined with the breadcrumbs really matches well with the meatiness of the salmon fillets.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe I originally read in a Bon Appetit magazine years ago.  If you cannot find mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese), just replace with cream cheese.

Sicilan Swordfish

The combined flavors of lemon juice, capers and kalamata olives are traditional Sicilian ingredients, and really accentuate the meaty texture of the swordfish steaks.  You will love this recipe! 

Clams with White Wine Sauce

This is a delicious and quick summer appetizer, using fresh clams from your market.  Pair with bread to mop up the wonderful flavors!

Baked Sea Scallops with Butter Basil Sauce

If you like scallops, you will love this dish.  The fresh herbs really complement the flavor of the sea scallops…and this is incredibly quick and easy to make.

Pan Seared Shrimp with Lemon Butter Sauce

This is another recipe for a quick, delicious weeknight meal.  The lemon butter sauce really enhances the flavor of the shrimp.  I like to serve this with slices of thick, crusty bread for dipping in the lemon butter sauce.

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers with Lemon Vinaigrette

I always think of May as the beginning of the "grilling season". This is a really simple dish to prepare. The pesto coating really kicks up the flavor, and the olive oil and grilled lemon finish this dish beautifully. You will be sure to enjoy.

Flounder Piccata

Every year, my family celebrates the Christmas Eve holiday with the "Feast of the Seven Fishes".  The feast is a meal served in Italian households on La Vigilia (Christmas Eve).  The seven fishes that are served are symbolic of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church (at least that's one story you will hear).  Growing up, we were served traditional fish dishes like eel, smelts, anchovies, etc. (ughhh).  These days, we look for more updated recipes that appeal to all.  I hope you enjoy the following recipes!  This is a simple preparation for fish, and any thin fish (like tilapia) can be used as a substitute for the flounder.  Serve warm with lemon wedges if desired.

Fettuccine with Pesto Shrimp

This dish is delicious and easy to make for a quick weeknight meal.  You'll be surprised at the deep flavors developed from the pesto and fresh fettuccine pasta.

Dad's Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

We have enjoyed this dish for years, especially since the clams are readily accessible in my parent's the bay of North Wildwood.  We have all taken our turn "clamming" and have fond memories of returning to the house so Dad can prepare this delicious meal.

Flounder Marechiara

This is a very flavorful preparation for flounder.  The dish looks beautiful and tastes even better.

Crabmeat Stuffed Flounder

I actually made this recipe with the leftover crabmeat stuffing I used with my stuffed mushrooms.  You can really stick with ingredients that you enjoy, and cross them over from recipe to recipe.  Feel free to omit the bacon, or change ingredients based upon your preference. This is definitely a dish that is served on my Christmas Eve holiday buffet. 

Grilled Tuna Steaks with Lemon & Oregano

This is a delicious recipe for tuna steaks, seasoned simply with fresh lemon juice and fresh oregano.

Linguini with White Clam Sauce

This is one of my favorite linguini recipes.  The flavors of the white wine with the garlic and butter sauce are delicious with the fresh clams.

Linguini with White Clam Sauce - 2nd Ver

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms

Crabmeat stuffed mushrooms are a staple on my holiday buffet. The mushrooms can be prepared ahead of time (up to 1 day in advance), and baked the day of the event.

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Shrimp Cocktail with Sauce

Shrimp cocktail is on my menu whenever I entertain.  I like to serve this in a large decorative glass.  I place ice cubes under the shrimp to keep the shrimp chilled.

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Mussels in Wine Sauce

Jessica and Nicholas love this dish.  I always double the recipe, and make sure that I serve plenty of bread for dipping into the lemon, butter sauce.  Make sure you provide another bowl for the shells.

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Cold Baccala Salad

This is the traditional cod salad we enjoyed every Christmas Eve.  The baccala is sold dehydrated, and must be soaked for 2-3 days to reconstitute.  Mom and Dad would always setup some type of bath in the garage for the baccala.  The garage was a cold location in the winter to keep the cod while it soaked, and it was a perfect place to absorb the “scent” of the wet cod.  The water must be changed several times a day while it is soaking.  I found that some of the stores now sell the baccala reconstituted.. definitely a time-saver!

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Stuffed Calamari

I’ve made this dish many times.  It’s important to cook the stuffed calamari until tender.  This recipe calls for a cheese stuffing, although there are many different stuffing options.  Feel free to experiment based upon your preference.

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