Domenick Pucillo is a food enthusiast. Domenick grew up eating his grandmother Pucillo’s traditional Italian cooking, and learning how to create the dishes of her homeland in her kitchen. He spent his childhood creating his favorite dishes—minestrone, pizza margherita, gnocchi, lasagna, risotto—without recipes, following the skilled hands of his grandmother Pucillo and the other members of the Pucillo family. Then, when he entered high school, he began searching for recipes outside of the family.
Domenick Pucillo began following some of the biggest names in Italian cooking in America, like Mario Batali and Giada de Laurentiis. Domenick watched cooking shows avidly, writing down the recipes and tips and creating the dishes himself, then choosing and recording his favorite recipes. Soon he began researching contemporary Italian chefs like Massimo Bottura, chef owner of Osteria Francescana, an Italian restaurant that has been recognized as the best restaurant in the world, and some more historical Italian chefs such as Raffaele Esposito, the owner of Pizzeria de Pietro e Basta Cosi in the nineteenth century, and the man many would call the father of modern pizza. Pucillo loved learning about these famous chefs and learning the techniques that they had invented or perfected. So he began collecting these recipes as well, and attempting to create them with the same love and passion that his grandmother Pucillo had always had in her kitchen.
Domenick Pucillo Recipes is a collection of some of Domenick Pucillo’s favorite recipes that he has tried over the years, written and developed by some of the most famous Italian chefs of the 21st century. Domenick claims no ownership over these recipes, but hopes that you and your families can get together over a bubbling pot of marinara and enjoy the same warmth and togetherness that he shared with his grandmother Pucillo years ago.
Domenick Pucillo loves Italian food like lasagna, pizza, and heavy pasta dishes; these are all amazing, but not necessarily what you want for summer dining. Italian summers can get very hot, especially in southern Italy. Italians deal with summer heat by escaping to the beaches or mountains. They also adapt with light, fresh dishes featuring seasonal produce.
Pucillo’s Light Fresh Dinners
Fish and seafood dishes are popular in summer since many Italians vacation in seaside locations like Sardinia and Sicily. Grilled fish paired with a chilled white wine makes a great dish on a summer evening, substantial but not too heavy. Or try a classic like spaghetti vongole, a simple pasta, clam, and wine dish.
When Domenick want’s something fresh and healthy, friselle con pomodori is one of his favorite choices. This bread and tomato dish, popular in Salento, is incredibly simple and requires no cooking. Friselle is a dense, hard round bread that resembles a bagel. It’s not hard to find at Italian specialty stores, or you can use another dense bread as a substitute. Serve it up with some fresh mozzarella or ricotta and you have a quick, easy, and beautiful dinner.
Pappa al pomodoro is another personal favorite. Domenick Pucillo recommends this classic Tuscan soup that can be served hot, room temperature, or chilled, depending on your preference. The recipe is simple and it takes only 20 minutes to cook. You can make this dish with canned tomatoes, but it definitely tastes best in summer when you can take advantage of ripe, fresh summer tomatoes from your garden or farmers market.
Another amazing summer dish is carpaccio di bresaola. This recipe comes from northern Italy and its main ingredient is the bresaola, a very flavorful aged salted beef that is sliced paper thin. It is served on arugula tossed with olive oil, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar for a refreshing salad that again requires no cooking. Are you noticing a trend here? No one wants to slave over a hot stove in the middle of summer. Serve up the salad with some red wine, or with a rosé if you want something chilled, for a perfect summer meal.
For desert, you’ve got to try fruit Macedonia, a traditional Italian fruit salad. Combine several berries such as strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries with orange and lemon juices and let the whole mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours. You can also find variations featuring apricots, plums, peaches, bananas, cantaloupe, and probably just about any other fruit. Some recipes call for white wine and sugar instead of the citrus juices. This is a recipe where you can experiment and get creative. And however you prepare it, it’s a refreshing and healthy ending.
These are just a few of Pucillo’s favorite easy summer dishes. You see how Italian summer foods from various regions around the country can be fresh, quick to prepare, and require minimal cooking. Just let the beautiful fresh vegetables and seasonal fruit be your inspiration.