Pachichetta: The Tastiest Meat Sauce for Pasta!

When my husband was a little boy, he told me of a dinner he had at the Italian Fraternal Society (La Fratellanza) in New Britain, Connecticut.  He thought it was the tastiest way of preparing a tomato sauce for macaroni or spaghetti.

Instead of adding meatballs or sausage or hamburg to a sauce, La Frantellanza added flank steak, simmering the sauce for hours, ideally over night, in order for the steak to break up into strands, allowing one to wrap the spaghetti and strands of meat around the fork and taste simultaneously.  Since my husband only knew that it was delicious, I had to work backwards attempting to figure out its recipe.  When I finally broke down after his repeated appeals to attempt to make it, to my pleasant surprise, it was absolutely delicious!


2 lbs of flank stead

1 – 28 oz can of San Marzano whole tomatoes

1 – 14.5 oz can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

1 cup of diced onions

2 T of minced garlic

2 T of dried oregano

1 cup of red wine

Few parsley sprigs

8 T of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. of your favorite pasta

Parmigiano Reggiano

Now you are ready to cook:

Take 2 lbs. of flank steak and cut it into 4 pieces

Lightly salt and pepper the meat

Brown for 5 minutes on each side in 4 T of olive oil in a large Dutch oven

Remove meat and set aside

Wipe excess oil out of the pan

Add an additional 4 T of olive oil to the pan

Add 1 cup of onions diced

2 cans of tomato paste

Sauteed 5 minutes

Add 2 T of garlic

Deglaze pan with 1 cup of red wine for 5 minutes, scraping brown bits off bottom

Add 1 can of whole tomatos with juice and 1 can of fire-roasted crushed tomatos

Add 2 T of oregano and a few sprigs of parsley, salt and pepper to taste

Simmer 1/2 hour

Break up (or whiz with Immersion blender) tomato pieces to desired consistency

Add flank steaks back to sauce and simmer 4 to 5 hours until meat is tender

Remove meat and pull apart with 2 forks

Add meat back back to sauce and serve over your favorite pasta

This tasty sauce serves 4

Cover with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese



Add a comment May 2, 2010
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Spinach-Stuffed Portebello Mushrooms

4 medium Portebello mushrooms

1 lb. spinach (washed)

1/2 cup finely diced sweet onions

5 cloves garlic minced

4 oz. goat cheese

4 T grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

4 T olive oil

Salt and pepper

Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes or until soft.

Add spinach and salt and pepper to taste, and cook until wilted.

Set aside and cool.

Clean mushrooms, then set in baking dish.

Thoroughly mix cooled spinach and goat cheese.

Spoon evenly into mushroom caps.

Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Add a comment December 28, 2009
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Passatelli (or, as we called them, pasta tai): Italian Lemon Noodle Soup

Marches region of Italy

Where all those Marchegians come from.

This is a very tasty Marchegian dish.  The Marches live on the eastern side of central Italy, between the Adriatic Sea and the high Apennine mountains.  Marches are known for their simple, but unique and tasty cuisine; however, they have been known to add rabbit, squirrel, and other little critters to their Polentas, so you would be well advised to hide your cats (i.e., Polenta Gatta) whenever a Marche is around. 

As a child, my husband would visit the Marchegian Club in New Britain, Connecticut since two of his uncles were born in that region of Italy.  There the Marchegians would feature a serving of Passatelli (or what they would colloquially call pasta tai) with the meals served at weddings, get togethers, and other family gatherings.   Mary Bessoni of the Bessoni Brothers, a construction firm located in New Britain, and Barbara Armentano, my husband’s cousin, were kind enough to give my husband this recipe.  It is truly a family heirloom.

Passatelli is a peppery lemon soup of noodles made from bread crumbs.  My husband’s mother used to make it, and he always asks me at Thanksgiving and Christmas time to make it.  The noodles are surprising tasty:  in fact, my husband eats them raw as soon as I make them, because he loves their taste so much.

4 to 6 cups Italian bread crumbs

Zest of 8 lemons

6 T grated cheese

1 T salt

2 T pepper

7  jumbo eggs

Put bread crumbs in large bowl.  Add grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix all above ingredients together with hands.  Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly each time until you can feel the mixture sticking together without being sticky.  Shape into baseballs and grind noodles about 3 inches long.  Separate noodles on wax paper and let set 2 hours before adding them to chicken soup.  Cook 1/2 hour or until tender.

18 comments December 28, 2009
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Super Simple Scrumptious Salmon Recipe

1 lb. salmon fillet cut in 2″ pieces

3 Yukon Gold potatoes shredded

2 T butter

2 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze water out of shredded potatoes in tea towel.  Add to bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil and butter until foaming in an oven-proof skillet.

Pat 3 to 4 T of shredded potatoes on top of flesh side of salmon.

Place in frying pan potato side down.  Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.

Flip salmon pieces, and place in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.

Serves 4

Add a comment December 27, 2009
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Healthy Chicken Chili

1.5 lb. boneless chicken breast cut into small cubes

1 28 oz. can fire-roasted organic tomatoes

1 medium red pepper diced

1 medium green pepper diced

1 medium onion diced

3 stalks of celery diced

4 to 5 cloves garlic minced

2 T chili powder

1 T cumin

1 t cajun seasoning

1 T dry oregano

1 T paprika

4 T olive oil

4 12″ flour tortillas

4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Saute chicken in olive oil for 5 minutes.

Add seasonings and vegetables.  Saute 4 minutes or until vegetables are partially cooked.

Add tomatoes and simmer for 45 minutes.

Microwave tortillas for 30 second.  Form over inverted aluminum pie pan to form bowl.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool shells.

To serve, place shredded lettuce in bottom of tortillas, fill with chili mixture, top with cheddar cheese.

2 comments December 27, 2009
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The Best Chicken Burger

chicken burger in pita bread

My husband accompanies me on my daily sojourns to the supermarket only when I go to Stew Leonard’s in Newington, Connecticut because there the store offers a variety of free food samples, over which my husband never fails to make a pig of himself. 

On one such visit, a saleslady at Stews offered us a sampling of a chicken burger.  To our surprise, we both found it very tasty.  For those of you who love burgers but desire  or require for health reasons a beef substitute, this recipe is for you.

An added feature of preparing this recipe yourself is the savings afforded you:  the last time I looked at the price of this item at Stew Leonard’s, it was $5.99 per pound.  You can save $3.00 per pound buying ground chicken and following my recipe.

Plus by preparing the patties yourself, you can adjust the spices to suit your taste.  I like my chicken burger patties with a little kick.  Hence, the name of my blog:  “intense” flavors.

Hey, Stew Leonard’s, stop charging so much for just adding some spices and forming a few patties!

1 lb. ground chicken

1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely minced parsley

4 cloves of garlic minced

2/3 cup Panko crumbs plain

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T fennel seeds

1 t ground pepper

1/2 t salt

1/2 t Cajun seasoning

3 pita pockets split

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 small tomato sliced thin

12 slices favorite cheese

2 T olive oil

Saute parsley, scallions, and garlic for 5 – 6 minutes, or until wilted.  Set aside and cool.

Add ground chicken, Panko crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, fennel, and salt and pepper to the cooled mixture.

Form into 6 oblong patties 3/8″ to 1/2″ thickness

Saute in large shallow frying pan 4 minutes on 1 side.

Flip burgers, add 2 slices of your favorite cheese (my favorite for this recipe is Cooper Sharp cheese) to each burger, and saute another 4 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve in pita pockets spread with mayonnaise and sliced tomatoes.


Suggestion:  leftover mixture can be frozen and used at a later date.

Add a comment November 5, 2009
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A New Twist on Chicken Parmigiana

Traditional chicken parmigiana can be rather bland by modern culinary standards. Want to add zest to this dish of grandma’s? Try this twist!

Continue Reading 1 comment October 22, 2009
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Welcome to My Website on Intense Tasting Recipes!

This website is dedicated to all gourmets.  I love to cook and to eat, and I have many recipes to share on dishes offering intense flavors to the epicurean in all of us.

We at Accountants CPA Hartford, LLC serve many of these dishes to our very special clients.  We treat our accounting, tax, QuickBooks, and bookkeeping clients very, very well, because they deserve all the attention and service that we can provide.

My husband, William Brighenti, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, is my partner at Accountants CPA Hartford, LLC, where I provide the QuickBooks consulting services.  His ancestors were Veronese and Piedmontese; mine were Neapolitan and Lithuanian.  Consequently, many of our recipes reflect the cuisines of these regions of Italy and Lithuania.

If you have recipes that you would like to share, please send them to us.  We would be happy to publish them.

Again, please enjoy your visit, and come as often as you wish.  Please make yourself feel at home.

Buon Appetito!

Carole Romatis

2 comments October 20, 2009
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