Growing up in New Jersey, Sott Tacinelli shared his Italian-American family's passion for food. He began a career in advertising but felt the call of the kitchen so he left for cooking school and eventually some top jobs in the industry.
His best move may have been teaming up with, and marrying, fellow chef Angie Rito. After tying the knot in Florence, Italy, the two opened Quality Italian for the Quality Branded group with locations in New York and Denver.
Now, they run their dream restaurant, Don Angie, an Italian venue with a very modern twist in New York's West Village.
Here are some of Tacinelli and Rito's signature recipes:
Garganelli giganti, broken meatball ragu, guanciale, pecorino
For the oven-dried tomatoes:
3 (28-ounce|794 grams) cans whole peeled San Marzano DOP Tomatoes
6 tablespoons|100 grams granulated sugar
6 tablespoons|65 grams kosher salt
6 teaspoons|22 grams freshly ground black pepper
non-stick cooking spray
For the garganelli:
1 1/3 cups|250 grams durum flour
1 1/2 cups|250 grams Caputo "OO" pasta fresca
33 grams|3 tablespoons semolina
8 large egg yolks
2-3 whole large eggs
For the broken meatballs:
1/2 head garlic garlic
6 ounces|175 grams ground beef
6 ounces|175 grams ground veal
3/4 cup|50 grams grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3/4 cup|50 grams grated pecorino
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 whole large egg
4 ounces|90 grams bread
1/2 cup whole milk
1 medium yellow onion
For the guanciale sauce:
1/2 pound|250 grams ground guanciale
1 large red onion, finely diced
pinch chile flakes
2 1/2 cups|550 ml tomato juice (strained from 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes)
1/2 cup|125 ml chicken stock
For the breadcrumbs:
1/4 cup|60 ml olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and smashed
3/4 cup|80 grams coarse bread crumbs
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup|125 olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 shallots, finely diced
12 ounces guanciale sauce
12 ounces San Marzano tomato juice
8 ounces chopped oven-dried tomatoes
12 ounces grated Pecorino Toscano cheese, plus more to serve
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons chopped basil, plus leaves to garnish
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1. Make the oven-dried tomatoes: Set the oven to 225°F. Spray an oven rack with non-stick cooking spray. Place the oven rack over a roasting tray. Drain San Marzano tomatoes, reserving the tomato juice. Mix sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place the drained tomatoes on the oven rack. Sprinkle the salt mixture over the drained tomatoes, coating as evenly as possible. Place the tomatoes in the oven and allow to cook until tomatoes are partially dried, about 1 hour. Remove tomatoes from oven and let them cool before roughly chopping them.
2. Make the garganelli: Place dry ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Gradually add in the yolks and whole eggs. Depending on the humidity of the environment, more or less whole eggs will be needed to achieve desired consistency. Dough should appear a bit dry and firm; it will soften and relax as it sits and hydrates. Remove from mixer, wrap in plastic and allow to rest for at least an hour. Pass through sheeter, cut into 3-inch squares, then roll each square into a giant garganelli shape using a 1" diameter dowel and a cavarola board. Store in freezer until ready to cook.
3. Make the meatballs: Heat the oven to 450°F. Wrap the garlic in foil and cook until roasted and soft, about 30 minutes. Squeeze the garlic out, discarding the skins, and place in a large bowl with the beef, veal, cheeses, pepper, salt, parsley, and egg. Place the bread in a large bowl and cover with the milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, then squeeze out all the milk, discarding it. Add the bread to the bowl with the meat and cheeses. Meanwhile, place the onion in a food processor and purée. Squeeze out all the liquid, then add the onion to the bowl. Gently mix until everything is combined, taking care not to overmix. Roll into 2 ounce|50 gram balls (about 2 tablespoons). Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow to cool and then break meatballs into smaller pieces. Set aside.
4. Make the guanciale sauce: Place the guanciale in a large saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and chili flakes and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato juice and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced and thick, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool.
5. Make the breadcrumbs: Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook until the garlic is golden, 2 1/2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the breadcrumbs are golden, 4 minutes. Lay the finished bread crumbs out on paper towels to cool. Set aside.
6. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook garlic and shallot in olive oil until fragrant and garlic is cooked through, 2 1/2 minutes. Add guanciale sauce and tomato juice and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, 4 minutes. Add the oven dried tomatoes and meatballs. Drop pasta into the boiling water and allow to cook until desired doneness. Remove cooked pasta from pot and drop it into the pan. Toss the pasta with the sauce to coat. Add butter and pecorino. Toss until cheese and butter have melted. Add the chopped basil and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with salt. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with toasted bread crumbs, more pecorino cheese, and small basil leaves.
Spicy antipasto salad
For the spicy deli pepper dressing:
1 C Sweet Deli Peppers, deseeded and chopped (Such as B&G brand)
¾ C Lemon Juice
½ C Sugar
½ C Red Wine Vinegar
¼ C + 1 T Hot Sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)
1T Sriracha hot sauce
2 Garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
2 t Oregano, dried
½ C Olive Oil
½ C Soy Oil
For the Salad:
¼ head Red Cabbage, thinly sliced on a mandolin
½ lb Button mushrooms, thinly sliced on a mandolin
½ bunch celery, thinly sliced on a mandolin
¼ lb Sopressata, cut into thin strips
¼ lb Provolone, cut into thin strips
4 scallions, cut thinly against the grain
4 sprigs dill, roughly chopped
1/2 C Manzanilla Pimento Olives, juice removed and olives cut in half
1. Blend all dressing ingredients except for oils in a blender on high until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and soy oil and blend until incorporated. Set aside.
2. Mix ingredients together in a bowl until well-combined. Dress with desired amount of spicy deli pepper dressing.
Scott and Angie's lasagna
For the pasta dough:
1 1/2 C plus 1 tablespoon AP flour
8 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
For the besciamella:
1 lb unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 pint AP flour
2 quarts cold whole milk
2 shallots, sliced
2 pieces bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
For the bolognese:
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1/4 lb pancetta, ground or processed in food processor
1 lb ground veal
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 C tomato paste
1 C white wine
1-pint whole milk
2 pieces star anise
2 Spanish onions, chopped coarsely
4 cloves garlic
5 ribs of celery, chopped coarsely
2 carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 small cans San Marzano DOP Tomatoes, processed in food processor
For tomato sauce:
2 cans San Marzano DOP tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs basil
4 tablespoons olive oil
To assemble lasagna:
Cooked pasta sheets
1. Mix dough in a food processor until it comes together into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Roll dough into large square sheets with a pasta roller to desired thickness. Cook pasta sheets in salted, boiling water, submerging in the water for one minute then immediately placing into an ice bath. Remove from ice bath and set aside to cool.
2. For besciamella: Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add shallots, bay, thyme and peppercorns. Cook over low heat until shallots are translucent. Add flour and stir well. Cook over medium heat for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and stir. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and strain through chinois. Place in refrigerator to cool.
3. Process onions, garlic, celery and carrots together in a food processor. Set aside. Sear sausage and veal in olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Remove from pot and set aside. Add pancetta to the pot and cook over medium heat until crispy. Add processed vegetables and cook over medium heat until soft. Add tomato paste and stir. Cook for five minutes. Add wine and allow to cook until fully evaporated. Add veal and sausage back into the pot. Add milk and San Marzano tomatoes. Stir well and cook over low-medium heat for two hours. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator to cool.
4. For the tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and cook over low heat until soft. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and add basil. Season with salt to taste. Remove basil and garlic. Place in refrigerator to cool.
5. Lay out a pasta sheet on a clean countertop. Spread a thin layer of besciamella evenly across the pasta sheet. Sprinkle parmesan and mozzarella over the besciamella. Place another sheet of pasta on top. Spread a layer of bolognese evenly across the second pasta sheet, leaving one edge uncovered with sauce in order to seal the roll closed. Roll the layered pasta into a log. Place in refrigerator to cool. When cool, slice the lasagna log into pinwheels. Ladle the tomato sauce into a casserole to cover the entire bottom of the dish. Lay lasagna pinwheels into the casserole until the dish is full. Add dollops of robiola cheese in between the pinwheels. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about fifteen minutes or until pasta edges are golden brown. Top with chopped parsley. Serve.
Prosciutto and melon with tamarind, chilies and lime
For the tamarind dressing:
3/4C tamarind concentrate
1/2C lime juice
1/2t Calabrian chilies, dried, ground
1/2C olive oil
1T fish sauce
1 1/2t Garlic, grated on a microplane
For the hazelnuts:
3/4C Tamarind Concentrate
1/2C Lime Juice
1/2t Calabrian chilies, dried, ground
1/2C Olive Oil
1T Fish Sauce
1 1/2t Garlic, grated on a microplane
1½ lb Honeydew, cut into small, bite-sized wedges
¼ lb prosciutto, sliced thinly
1C feta cheese, crumbled
½ bunch Mint, picked
Candied hazelnuts, chopped
Zest of one lime
Salt to taste
Finishing olive oil
Fresh-cracked black pepper
1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk together egg whites and lime zest until thick and frothy. Add lime juice and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, mix all remaining ingredients except for hazelnuts. Toss the egg-lime juice mixture with the hazelnuts until well-coated. Add dry ingredient mixture to the coated hazelnuts and stir until fully incorporated. Spread nuts on a silpat (sprayed with Pam) and bake in oven for 10 minutes. Stir well with a spoon sprayed with Pam, ensuring that all candy evenly coats the nuts. Return nuts to oven for an additional 10 minutes. Stir well again. Return nuts to oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a new sheet tray lined with a silpat and sprayed with Pam. Spread nuts evenly onto the new tray and allow to cool. Set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl, dress melon with desired amount of tamarind dressing. Season with a pinch of salt, the lime zest, and half of the mint leaves, torn into smaller pieces. Place the dressed melon on desired serving dish. Sprinkle crumbled feta over the top, followed by a layer of the chopped candied hazelnuts. Top with prosciutto, loosely folding the meat to create volume on the plate. Top with the remaining mint leaves. Finish with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper.
To clean the lettuce:
Pick Leaves from the stem. Separate leaves and soak in ice water for five minutes, or until extra firm and crispy. Spin lettuce in a salad spinner and set aside.
For the sesame breadcrumbs:
5 garlic cloves, papers on, smashed
2T olive oil
1/4c Bread Crumbs, coarse
1T toasted sesame seeds
For the dressing:
1 ¾ c mayonnaise
1/3c Lemon juice
1/3c Soy oil (or any other neutral oil)
1/3g Olive oil
1/4c Parmesan, grated (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano)
1/2T Garlic, grated on microplane
¼ t fish sauce
1/2t Black Pepper
1. Process dressing ingredients in blender on high until well-combined. Adjust seasoning with salt if desired.
2. In a saute pan, heat garlic and black pepper with butter and olive oil. Allow to cook over medium heat until garlic starts to turn golden brown in color. Add bread crumbs and salt. Toss continuously while cooking over medium heat until crumbs turn golden in color. Add sesame seeds and toss to combine. Lay the finished bread crumbs out on paper towels to cool. Set aside.
3. Toss greens in desired amount of dressing, adding some grated parmesan while tossing the leaves. Place the coated lettuce in a bowl and top with sesame bread crumbs. Serve immediately.