Nothing Speaks ‘Amore’ Like a Soul Satisfying Meal!

All of us at some point in our lives have heard “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. This proverb in essence describes my family aptly. There is nothing more satisfying to my family than something, anything as long as “MOM” makes it. So what better way to treat my family than a menu consisting of few of their favorites and some new creations to tantalize their palates?

After all, Love is all you need!! And Love is my secret ingredient to all my successful creations.

My Family Sunday Supper menu:
Teaser:              Champagne & Raspberry Gelee
Starter:              Savory Red Pepper Cheesecake
Entree’:              Veal Osso Buco with Truffle – Saffron Risotto
Dessert:             Marsala Spiced Poached Pears

Champagne & Raspberry Cocktail


  • 2 cups  fresh raspberries or strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 750-ml chilled bottle of your choice of Champagne. (I used Italian since my menu is Italian)
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tsp rose or orange flavored extract



  1. Place fruit, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbs lemon juice in a bowl, toss, and let stand for 20 minutes to release the juices.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin in 1/2 cup of Champagne and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Boil 1/2 cup Champagne with rest of sugar till dissolved. Mix with the gelatin mixture and pour rest of Champagne to combine.
  4. Add lemon juice and rose extract.
  5. Divide fruit equally in glasses and pour Champagne mixture equally. Chill for at least 3 hours.



Roasted Red Pepper Savory Cheesecake


  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Blood Orange Marmalade or your choice of savory jam
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot water


  1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix all the cheeses till smooth by hand. Add sugar, salt, and egg. Whip till thick and creamy.
  3. Fold the roasted peppers into the cheese mixture.
  4. Pour into your mold of choice. (I used a loaf pan).
  5. Fill a baking dish with warm water till it comes half way till your mold. Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
  6. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Chill for at least 4 hours.
  7. To serve, remove cheesecake from mold, top with warmed jam and crackers.


Veal Osso Buco with Truffle-Saffron Risotto


  • 4 Veal Shanks (12oz or more)
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Olive Oil1 packet
  • Dry Porcini Mushrooms
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 6 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Rosemary stalk
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 Bottle Dry Red Wine
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock


  • Finely Grated Zest Of 2 Lemons
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Finely Minced
  • 6 Tablespoons Parsley, chopped


  1. Sprinkle shanks liberally with salt and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. Rinse and pat dry. Tie each shank with twine to hold the bone and meat together. Season with salt, pepper, and flour.
  3. Brown the shanks in a deep oven safe casserole on each side. Keep aside.
  4. Saute the vegetables until softened, around 5 minutes
  5. Add wine and reduce till half.
  6. Add rosemary, thyme, stock, and shanks to the pot. Bring to boil, cover and transfer to oven.
  7. Braise the shanks in the oven 2 to 2.5 hours till fork tender.
  8. Remove the cooked shanks. Strain the braising liquid and reduce until thickened.
  9. Remove the twine.
  10. To serve, place a single osso buco on plate, ladle with sauce, and garnish with gremolata.

Buon Apettito!! Since my friend doesn’t eat Beef, I whipped her a batch of spicy Shrimps with Lemon and Risotto for her entree.



Marsala Poached Pears with Star Anise, Cinnamon, & Orange


  • 2 cups dry Marsala
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • 2 long strips orange peel
  • 6 Bosc pears, peeled, stems left intact


  1. Bring marsala, water, sugar, cinnamon, orange, star anise, & vanilla strips to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Add peeled pears and simmer till tender, approximately 30-40 minutes, turning the pears every 15 minutes. Remove pears.
  3. Boil syrup till reduced to 1.5 cups. Pour over poached pears.
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours. Serve with drizzled syrup.

Delicate, spicy, and light ending to any satisfying meal.


Looks like another successful Family Sunday Dinner. My daughter loved the melting in the mouth marrow. Personally, for me the truffle risotto did it!!

Recipes adapted from Buon Appetite magazine.

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