Despite this early love affair with food, Stellino left his hometown to complete his studies in the United States and eventually became a stockbroker.
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Equipped with Armani suits and an Audi , he thought he was living the American dream. But two events abruptly changed his hard-earned lifestyle.
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In a casual game of football with "fellow old-timers" years ago, Stellino injured his knee. Told he would never walk properly again - let alone play football - Stellino marshaled his inner reserves in a determined effort to rehabilitate his knee. It made me stronger and gave me the confidence I would later need to change careers.
That change came "like a bolt of lightning" to Stellino on a trip to Sicily in to visit his dying uncle, Zio Giovanni. As he recounts in the book - one of several narratives about his family - Giovanni whispered the words that would shape Stellino's destiny: "Nicolino, you should not die without following your dreams.
But his quixotic determination paid off. Within a year, Stellino was head chef.
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Stellino chose more than recipes for "Family Kitchen" based on two simple criteria: "The recipes had to be simple," he explains. And they must taste great. For the novice in Pierre, S.
Pumpkin and sausage? On pasta? Stellino pays homage to his family with such appropriately titled dishes as Grandma's Polenta, and My Mother's Cake - part of a surprisingly diverse dessert section. After trading stocks for a dish-washing sponge, he returned to Sicily to announce his dream of becoming a chef to his father. Hearing the news, the elder Stellino stomped out of the dining room, incredulous that his son was throwing out his education with the dishwater. Heartfelt conversation and a tender hug went a long way toward calming tempers. But Stellino claims it was his mother's special ricotta torte that healed the breach between father and son.
The elder Stellino blessed his son's dream with the admonition that he must "never do it halfway. With a newly formed production company bearing his name, Stellino seems to have taken his father's words to heart. Ever the entrepreneur, he is planning a series of Stellino restaurants to be launched by Though success has allowed him to again wear Armani suits, Stellino remains committed to the conviction he learned in the kitchen long ago: "Money comes, money goes, but family is forever.
In a large, deep saut pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. While sausage browns, break it up into bite-size pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Turn off heat; remove sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Cover and set aside. Keep 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan and discard the rest. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add the onion, garlic, and sage, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring until the onion and garlic start to brown. If you like things spicy, sprinkle in the red pepper flakes now. Add the sausage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well.
One-Skillet Lemony Chicken with Fennel and Tomatoes
Deglaze the pan with 1 cup chicken stock and cook for 8 minutes, scrap pan well to dislodge any browned bits. Add pumpkin puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the rest of the chicken stock and cinnamon, if desired , bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water, with the 1 tablespoon salt added, to a boil over high heat.
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