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Arthur Avenue, Part 2: Cook Like An Italian

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - In the previous episode of The Dig, Italian-born restaurateur Beatrice Tosti took CBS2's Elle McLogan on a culinary tour of the Bronx's Little Italy.

In this episode, Elle joins Beatrice in the kitchen at her restaurant Il Posto Accanto, where the ingredients they bought are transformed into the day's menu.

Among the recipes Beatrice prepares are her old-school tomato sauce, rigatoni with oxtail ragu, and coffee granita:

Sugo Di Pomodoro (Beatrice's Old-School Tomato Sauce)


1 28-oz. can tomatoes
1 large carrot, cut into two-inch chunks
1 medium onion, quartered and halved
1 celery stalk, cut into two-inch pieces
A handful of basil
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/2-cup good extra virgin olive oil


  1. Heat the oil over a medium flame in a four-quart saucepan. Add half the basil (and be careful—it will pop and crackle). Add your veggies and a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Let the vegetables cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes, allowing them to stick a bit to the pot and caramelize. This is your base, and you want it bursting with flavor. Let it cook until it smells divine and the onions are starting to become translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes, and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a content bubbling. Stir to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. When the tomatoes at the outer edge of the pot begin to turn an orange hue, add the rest of your basil.
  6. When you can cut a piece of carrot with your wooden spoon, your sauce is ready.
  7. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  8. Put an immersion blender in that deliciousness, and let it go until everything is nice and saucy. I use a food mill.

Rigatoni Con Sugo Di Coda (Beatrice's Rigatoni With Oxtail Ragu)


4 lbs. oxtail
1 28-oz. can tomatoes
1 large carrot, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks celery plus the white celery heart, chopped
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 glass white wine
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 lb. rigatoni
Pecorino Romano, grated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (and you might need some more)


  1. Pour oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add your chopped veggies, and cook 8 minutes.
  2. Pat dry and season the oxtail on both sides with salt and pepper. Add it to the veggies and let it color on all sides.
  3. Add wine and reduce.
  4. Once the wine has evaporated, add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. The oxtails should be covered generously by the liquid. Add salt and black pepper if you think it really needs it, but wait until the end of cooking to adjust.
  5. Cook over super low heat for 4 to 5 hours, until the meat falls off the bones.
  6. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
  7. Either remove the meat, strain the sauce, pick the meat from the bones, and reunite them in the pot, or just pick the meat off and add it to the sauce without straining.
  8. Cook rigatoni extra al dente in salted roaring boiling water. Place a good amount of your sauce in a sauté pan, and warm it up. Add rigatoni to finish cooking in the sauce, adding pasta cooking water and letting it evaporate as it cooks. Serve with a generous amount of grated Pecorino Romano. You can freeze the extra sauce, if you have any.

Granita Di Caffè Con Panna (Beatrice's Coffee Granita)


1 quart sweet real espresso (It needs to be really sweet—sweeter than you can tolerate drinking)
1 cup heavy whipping cream, plus extra (I always need more)
1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Pour the espresso into a shallow glass or metal dish. Once it's cooled, place it in your freezer. You need a thin layer of espresso—about 1 inch.
  2. Once the espresso is frozen, use a fork as an icepick to turn the slab of ice into a frozen slushy. But do not let it melt.
  3. Place it back in the freezer until you're ready to serve it.
  4. Whip your cream with a stand mixer or hand mixer. When it begins to thicken, add your sugar. You want stiff peaks, but you don't want to over-whip your cream into butter.
  5. In your serving dish (I like serving in clear glasses), place some of your whipped cream— two horizontal fingers' worth. Add the flaked espresso. Finish with more whipped cream. Decorate with a cookie, if you like.

Il Posto Accanto
190 E 2nd Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 228-3562

What's something few people know about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The Dig. Join her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.

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