Recipe for Sangria LeBlanc

Here’s a recipe sent in from reader, Nina Mako.

Sangria LeBlanc

1/8 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 bottle dry white wine
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1 1/2 cups lemon-lime soda
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 orange, cut in wedges
Fresh strawberries, cut in half
Mint leaves for garnish

In saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. In large pitcher, combine sugar mixture, wine, and liqueur and chill for several hours. Just before serving, add soda and fruit, and garnish with mint leaves. Serve over ice. Out of this world! Cheers!.

Recipe for Deep-Fried Ravioli On a Stick

Thanks to those of you who have been sending us your recipes. This latest one is for deep-fried ravioli on a stick. Enjoy and don’t forget to share your favorites with us. Email Jack at

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min


1 quart vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
12 store-bought ravioli (or 20 tortellini)


Preheat vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Place flour in one shallow dish and eggs in another. In a third, mix bread crumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

In two batches, toss ravioli (or tortellini) in flour, gently shaking off excess. Dip in egg and then in bread crumb mixture. Thread 3 breaded ravioli (or 5 tortellini) onto each skewer.

Once oil reaches 350ºF, carefully place skewers in pot, two at a time, and fry about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan. Serve warm, with marinara sauce.

Basil—The Royal Herb

We came across a great essay written by Frank La Rosa from L’Italo-Americano Newspaper recently.

Here’s the piece in its entirety.

Whenever I smell Italian tomato dishes being prepared in the kitchen, I immediately think of basil, or basilico. Italian cooking and the herb basil are inseparable. Basil, or Oncimum basilicum derives from India where it is very highly revered. The Indian “Holy Basil” is used in many religious ceremonies.

In Rome, orators put a leaf of basil in their mouths to give their words sweetness and truth. In fact, the Roman and Christian basilicas take their names from the same root word, the Greek “basilikon,” which means the place of royalty. And of course, there is the area in Italy called Basilicata on the instep of the peninsula.Basil or basilica is one of the most popular and easiest of herbs to grow. It does like warmth, good earth and ventilation.

[Read more…]

Salad Days are Here Again

By Marie-Pierre Moine

A great salad can bring a meal together, particularly now that the days are getting a little longer and we are looking forward to the spring ahead. The chefs at the St.Bernard Hotel in Taos Ski Valley serve wonderful refreshing vibrant salads every day. Take a leaf from Cuisine St. Bernard and brighten up meals with these original new recipes. (


Avocado salad with sweet red onions & lime

The sweet red onion and the zingy dressing can be used to accompany other dishes. Chef Chris White at the St. Bernard has ‘deconstructed’ his salad recipe to make it easier to prepare the ingredients separately. A perfect starter.

[Read more…]

Healthy Recipe: Tortellini Soup

Here at Ciao Pittsburgh, we plan to post recipes for Italian-related food. We came across this recent recipe from the UPMC Health Plan. The quality ingredients below will help you make a nutritious, savory Tortellini soup. If you have any recipes you’d like to share with our readers, please email

1 cup dried Great Northern beans
¼ cup brown lentils
¼ cup green split peas
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon chicken broth granules
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon instant minced garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
¾ cup dried tortellini
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots (optional)
1 cup coarsely chopped celery (optional)
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Rinse beans.
  2. Put into a 4 to 5 quart heavy pot with 8 cups of water.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Simmer until the beans are tender (1¼ to 1½ hours).
  4. Add 4 cups water, the remaining ingredients, and the chopped carrots and celery if desired.
  5. Return to boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer ½ hour, until tortellini and vegetables are tender.
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Yields 6 (1½ cup) servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 210 calories, 13g protein, 37g carbohydrate, 2g fat, 5mg cholesterol, 11g fiber, 270mg sodium.