Chef’s Blog

 

 

 I am really happy to be back in our kitchen on a day to day basis.  I had no idea how many of our regular customers missed stopping by for a slice of pizza, a sandwich, salad or one of our cherry chocolate chip cookies.  One of our customers said “while you were closed I would drop a tear now and then at the front door”.  It’s funny how clear it is when you are  closed for a  few months that you know what people want and you aren’t trying to do it all.  Maybe I should only have a few items on the menu that people really love and I wouldn’t have to work so hard. 

Honestly, food is my passion and I enjoy making meals for all of our guests.  Thank you to all of our catering customers last week.  It was nice to be able to make lunch for 75 deserving teachers in CPS for teacher appreciation week. I also had the opportunity to do a Lunch and Learn at the Daily Herald and a number of other private jobs.

Come Join Us Next week starting on Monday, April 15th for our Re-Grand Opening!  Have a slice on us.

Buon Giorno! We have some great news for all our loyal customers and all our new customers.  On April 15th we will be having a grand re-opening and to commemorate the event we will be giving out free pizza slices for anyone who had to pay income taxes in 2012.  Ha! Ha! that has to be everyone.  I guess I will be making a lot of pizzas that day.  Don’t forget to stop by and see us.  We have a new menu with new hours.  Check out our Spring - Summer Menu it is viewable and printable on this site.  We will be open Monday – Saturday.  We are also offering breakfast items, grab & go and of course our salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta & more.  Come visit me in the Kitchen!  Buon Appetito!  Chef Lucia

Buon Giorno!  I deliberated over this decision and I decided that I would have to cancel the St. Joseph Table this year. Sorry for any inconvenience.  I will be with my family as my dear cousin has major surgery tomorrow.  Please keep us all in your prayers.  Boun Appetito! Chef Lucia

Mardi Gras was a blast and now that I have finally rested I am ready for another event.

Have you ever heard of a St. Joseph’s Table?  I have been thinking about my heritage and decided it is time to pay homage to the Italians. When I was young my grandmother would take me all over the City of Chicago going to various churches and peoples homes that would celebrate this feast day.  There you would have the traditional St. Joseph’s bread, zeppole of course for dessert (a scrumptious fried donut with Italian crema with a cherry on top), pasta con sardi or marinara, cookies, calzone, pizzas, frittata and the list goes on.  We at Piatti Pronti will be reenacting my childhood memories and my love of Italian cooking.  Don’t forget to make your reservation for our St. Joseph’s Table on the 19th of March.  Buon Appetito! Chef Lucia

It’s Mardi Gras time at Piatti Pronti.  This will be our third year of celebrating this event. We are going to feature all of our past specialties as well as adding in a few new ones. click here to view details  Mardi Gras 2013.  Bon Appetite!  Chef Lucia

Happy New Year to all of our followers and guests.  I am here at Piatti Pronti today making Beef Stew and remembering how good my mom’s was.  Already have 9 orders and it isn’t even finished.  Along with those orders I am making my famous Chicken Limone for a catering job tomorrow. 

Remember, even though we have changed a few things around here…I am always available to cook a meal or two or three for you.  Give me a little lead way and I am off in the kitchen preparing one of your favorites.

Mardi Gras is right around the corner and we are celebrating one weekend only.  Saturday, February 9th, Sunday, February 10th, Monday, February 11th and of course Tuesday, February 12th (Fat Tuesday).

If January is looking like a very long and boring month for you think about taking a cooking class with us.  We still have openings for next Thursday night January 17th for our Pasta bility class.  That is a three course pasta class.  Perfect class for all you pasta lovers.  Just think appetizer, main course & dessert all pasta.

I can smell my beef stew calling me back into the kitchen.

Have a blessed day and Buon Appetito…Chef Lucia

Saturday we had a fantastic Health and Wellness Initiative Fair at the Arlington Heights Library.  The title of the day was “Health in the Heights”.   Our next big one is the 5K that will take place on October 6th at the Arlington Heights Racetrack.  That’s right we will be finishing on the finish line right were the thorobreds end. If you missed it keep your eyes open for the next event.  You can always check the Arlington Heights Chamber website for details of up coming events. 

A number of people that came to my table where I was making vegetable soup with everything and anything that I brought along wanted me to post my recipe.  I also made a Pistou that was the added flavor of the soup.  This is the recipe for the soup.

Have you ever opened your refrigerator or found a few potatoes or other vegetables that needed a purpose…well this is what you do with them.

1 Potato, 1 Zucchini, 1 Eggplant, 3 Mushrooms, 1 Onion, 1 Sweet Potato, 1 Carrot.  You need not have all of these to make soup…any or all will do.  Medium dice them and put them into a hot sauce pan with a little water.  On medium/high heat let them start to create their own juices but do not let them burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.  Add more water as needed until you have a wonderful fragrance.  Now you can add more water.  Enough to cover the vegetables plush at least four inches more.  Add a bay leaf or two, some parsley sprigs and thyme.  You can tie all this together (bouquet garni) and drop in pan for easier removal. I also add just a few sprinkles of red pepper.  Let it come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes and your soup is done. I didn’t add any salt or pepper at this time either.  However, I did use the end (rind) of my Pecorino Romano cheese for some flavor after I added the water also.  It isn’t necessary.  It add a little salty taste and let’s not forget a cheesy taste also.

Be creative!  You can add beans (canned, washed & drained) or fresh (cooked ahead), barley, faro,pasta anything you like.  I kept it simple because I added a Pistou.

A Pistou is a French term for garlic, basil & olive oil combined together.  Some may say pesto.  I don’t want to get technical about pistou and pesto right now I am just trying to share the recipe I made and why.

As my vegetable soup were cooking I added 4 large cloves of garlic into my mortar & pestle. Pounded it until it broke up a bit.  Then I added a generous handful of torn basil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste and continued to pound alternating with turning with a grinding motion, until mixture forms a paste.  I then worked in enough romano cheese (1/2 cup) to make a very stiff paste, then added about 1 firm tomato peeled, seeded and cut into chunks and continued pounding and grinding into the paste.  I gradually added another 1/2 cup of cheese and 1 more firm tomato peeled, seeded and cut into chunks.  Now is when I started to slowly add my Extra Virgin Olive Oil a little at a time until mixture is a barely fluid paste.  All in all you add about 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (Pistou will not be a emulsion, so it should be thoroughly mixed each time it is dished out.)

To serve scoop out the soup into a bowl and dollop a small amout of the Pistou on top and let your company decide how much or how little to use. You can always serve the soup and have the Pistou in a separate bowl to pass around.  Don’t be surprised if your guests start putting the Pistou on bread and eating it that way.  It happened to me on Saturday at the Health Fair.

Buon Appetito!  Chef Lucia

We are changing the look of 

Chef Lucia’s Piatti Pronti!

 Originally, my dream was to have a sit down restaurant but after three years of trying, it still hasn’t materialized. My desire has always been to stay in the community. The best way I can serve this community and stay in business is to be your caterer, cooking instructor and personal chef.

 Beginning on September 1, 2012, we will only be offering personal chef meals, catering and cooking classes. I would love to continue to cook for you and I would consider it a personal chef meal or a small catering job given the proper preparation time (night before or morning of would be preferred).  Our regular menu will continue to be posted, however, all items may not always be available.

Chef Lucia’s Heat & Eat Meals will also be available. We make all of our meals fresh and without preservatives and therefore are requiring a 48 hour advanced order.

Again, thank you for your patronage and we hope that you will continue to support us in our newest endeavor and dream!

Catering, Cooking Classes, Special Events and Special Meal Orders are on going.

Piatti Pronti means “The Dishes Are Ready”

We are here to offer you good food, made fresh to order.

See you soon.  Buon Appetito!!! Chef Lucia

Only a few days left in August to take advantage of our Back to School Special.  Take any culinary class offered in September for $35.  If you always wanted to learn to make sausage the Italian sausage class is for you.  Maybe you wanted to learn how to make pasta and a few quick sauces.  Try the Pasta Class samples go with the class and you also get to take the recipes home and left overs.  Looking forward to seeing you in class.  Buon Appetito Chef Lucia!

I started work early this morning because we had a catering job due out by 11:00 am.  By the time I finished the order I had already put in 3 hours of work in the kitchen and I really needed some breakfast and something to drink. 

Honestly,  I had some of the Quinoa Salad I made for the catering job which is one of my favorites.  It has a little crunch, alot of flavor and it’s very colorful.  Anyway, what I really needed was something to drink. 

In the summertime it isn’t unusual for us to drink gallons of water because of the heat.  Soda is not one of my favorites and I am tired of just plain ole water.  I had some limes that were crying to be used so I took eight of them and squeezed them into a pitcher.  I took some of the fresh mint and basil I have growing outside of the restaurant and muddled them in.  It still  needed something else.  Now I am not a person for hot stuff but I had this jalepeno pepper staring at me in the walk-in refrigerator.  So I decided to cut it up seeds and all and muddle it in also. 

I needed a little sweetener but I am trying to stay away from sugar so in went some stevia.  I muddled everything for about another two minutes…added some water and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  I couldn’t wait much longer so I took a glass out and strained my flavored water.  

Ordinarily I wouldn’t ever strain but I was afraid of the jalepeno seeds.  Amazing, satisfying, thirst quencher and no calories.  Try it you may like it.  Had some more about 3 hours later and it is even better colder.  Buon Appetito!  Chef Lucia

 August Special…You have 27 days left to register & buy a cooking class online for September for only $35.  That’s right any cooking class we have scheduled for the month of September.  You can also set up a class of your choice with 9 other friends for the same price of $35 each. Check out the September calendar today!

Summer is going to be over before we know it.  You still have time to take a cooking class with us in August.  The only class that is filled at this time is the Pasta Bility class on August 14th.  If you have already taken a class with us you will receive a $20 gift certificate toward your next class for August.  Our new September class list posted today.

Keep in mind if you don’t see a class that you would like to do…just ask.  If you put together a class of eight or more we can always do a private class for you and your friends and your class will be FREE!

If you are growing cucumbers this year think about attending our pickling class.  We have a wonderful recipe waiting to share with you.

Thursday night we had a great time cooking at the Uptown Arlington Heights Event at the Courtyard Marriot in Arlington Heights.  Soon to be Chef Mat, Cheryl and myself cooked up some great burgers and stuffed peppers with our Italian sausage and cheese wrapped in Bacon.  They must have been a success we ran out.  Have a great weekend!  I am off to fill an order.   Buon Appetito!  Chef Lucia

4th of July Chef Lucia’s Heat & Eat Meal Deal is on.  We will be offering this deal for the entire month of July.  You can choose to pick your meals up anytime during our regular business hours on Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays.  Check it out on our Home page under Chef Lucia’s Heat & Eat Meal Deal. 

I wanted to do something different this month so here is what I came up with.  It’s all about the Ravioli’s.  I will be making handmade raviolis cheese, meat, butternut squash, spinach/zucchini & artichoke to start.  You can pick the sauce basil marinara, bolognese, alfredo, pesto or brown sage butter.  Check out our pasta menu for more details. 

We will be sending out an email to all of our students who have taken class with us for future discounted classes in the very near future.  Some of the classes will include sausage making, knife skills, sauces, breads and tapas.  We will also be offering a special meal plan for our Heat & Eat line of meals.

Look forward to hearing from you.  Buon Appetito…Chef Lucia

I think we made it…Spring is really here!  However, we do live in Chicago and the weather can change in a blink of an eye.  I will be leaving on Friday for the jungle.  That’s right the jungle I am going to Costa Rica as a guest of my daughter Nikki Costello who is hosting a yoga retreat.  She has already told me that it is very humid and 95 degrees.  I told here it will get me in condition for the summer at Piatti Pronti when the kitchen is 130 degrees. 

She also informed me that the food is esquisite.  I can’t wait.  I hope to bring back some great ideas for our menu.  Today I wiped up a new salad it’s a fresh broccoli with bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions in a creamy sauce.  It’s the salad of the week served on a bed of mixed greens.  I just indulged in it for lunch and it is yummy.

Our corned beef and cabbage last weeks special was a great hit.  The only comment I kept getting is what is an Italian/French chef doing making an Irish dish.  “Having a ball doing it all” was my answer.  I love the challenge and when it comes out tasting wonderful as people commented it makes my heart sing.

Today is a teaching day and we have two full classes tonight.  It is going to be crazy in here but fun.  I love meeting all the different people.  Well the kitchen is calling me it’s time to do some butchering of chickens.  All out of marinated chicken breasts for grilling.

See you in the Kitchen! Buon Appetito!   Chef Lucia

Today is a beautiful day.  The sun is streaming down on our front windows and it is a mere 58 degrees outside.  Who would believe that we could have such amazing weather in February?  This is a special day the 29th of February and since it only happens once ever four years I am going to make the best of it. I just finished getting 5 pizza’s over to Rolling Meadowns High School for the Italian Club and we have two sitting in our pizza box up front waiting for you to stop by.  Two slices and a soda special $5.00 everyday.   I was thinking this morning that the next  29th of February  2016..I will be ready to start Medicare.  That is if it is still available. 

Here is the latest at Piatti Pronti.  I have been urged by some customers to bring back my Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner I made last year for St. Paddy’s.  Yes, that is right an Italian, French Chef that makes a mean Irish dish.  Some say it was as good or better then their moms.  Last year was my first attempt and I only pray I can do it as good or better this year.  My mom made corn beef and cabbage every year of my life.  I always thought it was a little crazy since she was 100 % Italian.  She always would invite these Irish friends of ours straight from Ireland for dinner every St. Paddy’s Day. They must of loved her cooking because they never refused a St. Paddy’s Dinner.  She was an amazing cook…someone that I continue to emulate.

March Madness at Piatti Pronti will be all the different pies I can think of making.  So far we have Blueberry, Pizza Pies, Chicken Pot Pies, Lemon Meringue, Banana Cream and Key Lime.  We are offering them in two sizes a 5 inch and a 2 inch.  That’s right we are the different ones.  A 5 inch is just enough for two servings and a 2 inch well it is great for the late night or early morning or mid afternoon break.  Anyway, this all begins tomorrow March 1st.  Come for the pie and say Hi!

 Buon Appetito… Chef Lucia

This has been a wonderfully busy time.  I believe the great weather we have had in January and February has contributed to the busy time we are having at Piatti Pronti.  Needless to say, the Groupon Pizza and Ravioli classes have kept us quite busy.  Mardi Gras began last weekend for us and it was a huge success.  I am still wondering how we managed to make all the items on our menu.  I believe it had a lot to do with Chef Missy who has been working with us.  She is one of my classmates from Le Cordon Bleu.  Give her a knive and vegetable and she is a wizzard cutting and prepping. 

My C.I.T. that is chef in training Mat is no slouch either.  He is amazing when it comes to working hard and efficient.  The main key I believe to our establishment is my second right hand Cheryl she keeps the front of the house going.  The phones have been ringing off the line because of all the Groupon friends that procrastinated in waiting till the last week to get into a pizza class.    I think I can teach pizza making with my eyes covered and my hands behind my back.  In the past few weeks we have taught over 200 people how to make pizza!!!

The kitchen is calling me.  I have to go recreate a sauce I made this afternoon for a customer that wanted something different.  Vodka sauce with roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on top.  I mentioned it to a customer and they want four orders for 5pm.   Still openings for our Mardi Gras this weekend and next.

Bon Appetit….Chef Lucia

I know a lot of people have showed an interest in taking our Knife Skills Class.  I will be offering it again on January 19th. There is still time to register.  Check out the details on our Culinary Class Page.  Yes, this is a demonstration, hands on, eating class. Come hungry and ready to learn.

Happy New Year!  It looks like a very exciting year at Piatti Pronti.  I am overwhelmed by all the lovely people that have come our way through Groupon.  Did you get to see the article that was written about our Ravioli Class?  http://triblocal.com/arlington-heights/section/food-and-drink/  The greatest part of my job is that I enjoy every moment of it.  I am not saying that I don’t get tired. 

Over the years people claimed that I was the ever ready battery.  I have a lot of energy but I must admit that I even tired myself out this holiday season.  We were so blessed with catering orders and I enjoyed cooking for all the family gatherings during the holidays.  It was as if my Christmas celebration was bigger and better than ever.  I got to share my cooking skills in many events.  I hope all of your holidays were as memorable as mine.

It’s Mardi Gras time and it is right around the corner at Piatti Pronti.  We are already scheduled and closed on a number of dates.  If you are wanting to join us this year, please do not be disappointed and make your reservation early.  We have one seating on Thursday evening, two seatings on Friday & Saturday nights.  There will be more food than you can eat, cooking demonstrations, music, virgin hurricaines that you can spike, beads and more.  Our regular menu will be down at this time.  However, we will still have Heat & Eats and pizzas!  The dates for Mardi Gras are January 19th – February 21st.  Bon Appetit!  Chef Lucia

The Art of Ravioli Making will begin next Wednesday, December 7th.  Thank you to all that bought a Groupon for this wonderful event. 

Ravioli making is one of my most foundest memories with my grandmother.  She would begin with making the dough by hand (which is how we will be doing it here).  We would then roll the dough out by hand.  I was always amazed that my grandmother could roll the dough out half the size of our kitchen table.  She used a dowel rod that my uncle had sanded down at his shop for her.  We have the same kind of rolling pins here.  I forgot to mention that while the dough was resting we would make the luscious ricotta filling.

Now it was time to dollop the ricotta on the dough that was stretched out on the table.  She did this with such accuracy.  Then she would carefully fold the dough over and press down with her fingers between each ravioli before cutting  across the row and down.  She would then caress each ravioli in her hands pressing the dough closed  before she would hand them over to me to fork.  I would carefully fork around the three sides of the ravioli and finish with a criss cross on top for venting. This was my job for years and years.  She never retired her job of rolling and making the ravioli’s until she was up in her seventies. 

By this time I had earned my degree in forking.  The first time she handed me the rolling pin my heart started pounding in my chest.  I couldn’t believe I finally made the grade.  I was excited and scared to death.  She only watched and didn’t criticise me.  She was an amazing teacher and I only pray that I have that gift also when I share my grandmothers technique in the Art of Ravioli Making.   Buon Appetito!

The Heat is on…what I mean is the Chef Lucia Heat & Eat meals are in full production.  Thank you to all our friends that purchased a Groupon.  I know I will enjoy making the meals for you to take home and Heat & Eat.  I also believe you will love eating them.  

Also wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all the Veterans who have fought for us so this country could remain safe.  My toque is off to you.

Buon Appetito!  Ciao Ciao  

Good Morning my dear friends of Piatti Pronti.  My cast is off and I am in an ankle brace.  It is going to be a slow go,  I am supposed to start physical therapy however, I am going to give it a go myself for one week.  I always prided myself in my strong beautiful dancer feet and I am obsessed with having them look the same again.  Yes, in my past I was a dancer and a teacher it was my first love and you know what they say about your first love.  I started doing stretching and extension exercises and I really have to push myself.  I will be compliant and listen to my doctor if I do not make any headway in a week.  

Here we go again.  We have a new Groupon up.  It is for our Chef Lucia Heat & Eat line and Catering.  If you haven’t tried our heat & eat meals this is a great opportunity.  Also if you have to bring that side dish to a party over the holiday or you want something to add to your menu…don’t pass this one up.  

I am so excited to be back in the kitchen I feel like a child in a candy store.  I want to make everything I haven’t done in weeks.  Yesterday, we made bread and it was wonderful to have my hands in the dough again and rolling homemade buns.  If you haven’t tasted our bread; it’s a must!

Big plans today to start my Gingerbread House Creation that will be viewed in the front of the restaurant.  I will be building it right before your eyes.  I would love to raffle it off for charity and give the proceeds to cancer.  My sister in law is cancer free today after being diagnosed 1.5 years ago with breast cancer and she is going to do the three day walk in the spring.  How about it friends of Piatti Pronti would you like to support here and take a chance at winning our Gingerbread House.  Come by and let me know or send us a line!  

Time to get ready to go to work.  Have a great food day!  Buon Appetito! Chef Lucia

OK so I thought having ankle surgery was not going to be a big deal.  I had myself coming back to work in a couple of days.  Well, it will be a week tomorrow and the most I am able to do is to transport myself from bed to the bathroom and back to the couch.  Oh yes I have stopped off in the kitchen to make myself some food balancing myself on my crutches. What I have to go through to get the food to the table is challenging.  

I don’t do a lot of cooking at home since I spend most of my time at Piatti Pronti.  Sometimes at the end of the night on Saturday I will cook something up to have on Sunday.  I did in fact bring Heat & Eat meals home for the first couple of days of my recuperation.  They were amazing if I should say so myself.  I got to enjoy the Lasagna, Herb Crusted Pork & Stuffed Chicken. Fresh made, no preservatives and the best & freshest ingredients. Sounds like a good recipe for great food. Let’s not forget the chef or should I say chefs that are busy working on these meals.  

Yesterday I was completely bored and hungry and out of food.  So I ventured into the kitchen and scanned the refrigerator.  Coincidentally,  two of my children Tona & Johnny both brought me meals this week also.  Funny thing they both cooked me Salmon.  Prepared differently both dinners were amazing one had rice and the other had couscous. When I looked into the refrigerator this is what I saw.  Left over lettuce cut up in a bag with tomatoes and red peppers.  Fresh asparagus, cured-dried black olives, fresh garlic, a small piece of salmon and cooked broccoli.  I managed to reach the saute pan and melted about a tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  I sliced the garlic and picked the tomatoes and peppers out of the bag.  I cut the tops off the asparagus because they were getting a little soft and used the stems with the broccoli and black olives.  I did not pit the olives I threw them in whole.  In the meantime I cooked some farfale (butterfly) pasta.  I managed to stand on my crutches in front of the stove never moving more than four inches the whole time.  Before you knew it I could smell the aroma of an amazing unique pasta dish coming to life.  

The pasta was finished and I grabbed for a little strainer that was in the drawer.  No problem because I wanted some of the pasta water anyway.  I threw the pasta into the veggies and tossed.  I finished the dish with the salmon and put it in a large Japanese Bowl.  Yes, that was all I could reach.  Finished the dish with sea salt and fresh grated pepper.  The big question is how do I get the pasta to the table?  I decided to slide the dish along the counter.  Managed to sit on the edge of the couch reach over for the dish and passed it over to the end table.  Oh my goodness this just took me more than 30 minutes to do.  Needless to say when I finally got to eat my creation it was wonderful and I truly enjoyed cooking it.  I think it was the best medicine of the day.  

We take so much for granite in life.  In 30 minutes on a good day I can make 4 pizzas, 4 pasta dishes, 4 sandwiches, 4 salads and a whole lot more.  I know now why patience is a virtue because it is something that has to be acquired and worked on.

My grandmother always told me I had to have both patience and balance.  I looked up the meaning of  virtue it is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.  Balance  is an ability to maintain the center of gravity of a body within the base of support with minimal postural sway.[1] When exercising the ability to balance, one is said to be balancing.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d9/Model_Balancing.jpg

Check out this picture it is a perfect illustration of balance.  I will be working on both my patience and balance over the next few weeks until my cast is off. Now just add a pair of crutches to the above and think of me.  Buon Appetito!

The first week of our Kitchen being closed is behind us.  However, it was a very busy week of classes & catering along with menu planning and shopping.  I am really excited about offering a different menu weekly.  However, I think it is going to take more time and organization then I thought in the beginning.

Why am I changing our menu? It’s been two years of the same menu with a number of changes here and there like our Mardi Gras week and Get Your BBQ on but for the most part we have had the same menu.  I believe it is time for a change for both our customers and myself. I hope you all enjoy our new menu as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

There will always be regular items we will have such as our Pot Pies.  Three people came in on Thursday asking about them already.  Tomorrow will be dedicated to making Pot Pies.  We will also have a number of daily soups and also some specials.  We are bringing back French Onion, Lentil, Minestrone, Split Pea and adding Chicken Tortilla as a daily special.

Tomorrow night we have a Pizza Class at 7:30 – 9:00pm.  There is still opening in all of our classes.  Check out our Cooking Classes.

We look to seeing you all soon.  Good Night and Buon Appetitio!!!

I have been making sausage for about as long as I have been walking.  When my father died in 1956 I was a little thing.  Now if I tell you exactly how old I was you would know my age.  It really doesn’t matter much because I am old if I remember 1956.  Anyway, my mother was convinced she would make Italian Sausage and sell it to support us.  She was an amazing woman and she managed to get my brother and I to help.  Our job was to turn the crank on the machine.  I couldn’t even see over it and I would crank for what seemed like days.  Just this past Monday I had the privilege of teaching a Sausage Making Class here at Piatti Pronti.  We had a blast.  We made Hot, Mild and Barese Italian Sausage.  I also made some Turkey sausage for one of the guests that preferred Turkey to Pork.  

What a night.  After we managed to fill 70 pounds of sausage we had a great meal of …you guessed it Italian Sausage Grilled, Melrose Peppers fried with just the right amount of olive oil and red pepper, Roasted Potatoes and Piatti Pronti Salad.  Everyone took some home to enjoy their work with their families and friends.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity of working with the Red Champps Group from the Arlington Heights Chamber.  Buon Appetito!!!

GET YOUR BBQ IS OFFIC

IALLY OVER.
GROUPON CLASSES ARE IN FULL SWING AND WE ARE HAVING A BLAST. PIZZA DOUGH FLYING EVERY

WHERE. HONESTLY, IT HAS BEEN A LOT OF WORK HOWEVER VERY ENJOYABLE AND ESPECIALLY FUN TO MEET ALL THE NEW FACES BEHIND THE GROUPONS.
WE WILL BE MAKING SOME WONDERFUL CHANGES TO OUR FALL MENU IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS SO PLEASE KEEP CHECKING BACK WITH US FOR MORE DETAILS.I AM OFF FOR NEW YORK CITY TO CELEBRATE MY DAUGHTER’S 40TH BIRTHDAY. HOW FAST THE TIME GOES. LOOK FORWARD TO COOKING FOR ALL OF YOU WHEN I RETURN.
WE WILL BE CLOSE

D

ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH. RE-OPEN ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH AT 11:00 DON’T FORGET WEDNESDAY’S SPECIAL IS SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALL 5.00.
HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE LABOR DAY!

We will be officially starting our group Pizza Classes on the 23rd.  However, I had a wonderful time working with a soldier and her mom yesterday.  Sharing my knowledge of pizza making is nothing compared to the sacrifice this beautiful woman has made serving all of us in the Armed Forces of America.  She recently came back from Iraq and her husband is there now.  She will be leaving next week and would not have been able to participate had we not invited her and her mom into the kitchen earlier.  Everytime I have the opportunity to work with someone and to teach; I believe I learn more then my students.  I hope you both enjoyed your time in the kitchen at Piatti Pronti as I did having you in my kitchen. God Bless You and Keep You Safe!!!We made our maximum of 700 Groupon Art of Pizza Classes sold.  We started with a special class with my friend Sanjay on Wednesday evening.  He didn’t realize that the class had to be scheduled in the future and I didn’t want him to lose out on his purchase.  He is moving to Burma on Monday.  After a day at Sky Diving which I believe was also a Groupon Sanjay joined me in the kitchen.  He had to wait for me at times to make a meal or two but we accomplished the Art of Pizza Class.  He did a great job and I beleive I have a Facebook friend for life.  It was great working with him and he enjoyed the pizza.  His only regret was that he didn’t find Piatti Pronti sooner because he claims we have the best pizza he has ever tasted.  Buon Appetito!What an exciting day.  It’s Monday August 8th and we are two days into our Groupon Art of Pizza Making offer.  As I speak we only have 134 classes left to make our maximum.  I have just ordered some new pizza peels and supplies. I can hardly wait to start teaching class.  If you haven’t as of yet reserved a spot you have approximately 8 hours to go.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Pizza Making Class.  Buon Appetito!  I woke up this morning with a text from my son Ernie letting me know that we already tipped over on Groupon at 8:30 AM.  I am really excited about the thrill of teaching the Art of Pizza Making to so many people.  It isn’t just ingredients that make a pizza, it’s time, passion & the love that goes with sharing your knowledge with others.  I was very fortunate to grow up with a Grandmother that made everything fresh and from scratch. She never used a mixer and a teaspoon was the hollow of her hand.  We all know what a pinch was ( what you could hold between your thumb and your index finger.  My earliest memories (4 years old) punching the dough.  She would pour about 10 pounds of flour in a large stainless bowl…make a well…add some murky warm water that I later found out was dissolved cake yeast a little salt and have at it.   My job was to make fists out of my little hands and punch until it was just right.  My reward was fried dough with granulated sugar.  Oh how I can take myself back there every time I make dough.  The smell of yeast, the feel of the dough on my knuckles.  Then there is the baking and the aroma that fills the air in the restaurant when the bread is cooking in our rotating pizza oven.  Let’s not forget the memories of the times when I was just a little girl with my Grandmother.  I don’t think I ever put my hands in flour or make pasta that I don’t look down and see her hands working.  I believe it is what keeps me doing what I love.  162 Sold who’s counting.  Buon Appetito!GROUPON we are offering a $65 pizza making class for $25 this Sunday & Monday August 7th & 8th.  Wewill be showing you the art of dough and pizza making.  You will be making your own pizza that you can sit down and enjoy as well as taking dough home to try on your own.  Spinningthe dough in the air is at your own risk.  You may have to sign a waver. You are invitedto BYOB.  I will be making a surprise dessert!   Look forward to seeing you all in the Pizza Making Class.Gluten-Free Living – Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Cooking Demo a
nd Lecture featuring Naturopath Jennifer Green
and Personal C
hef Lucia Biscaglio
Piatti Pronti (210 East Grove Street, Arlington Heights)
7:00pm-8:3
0pm  This was the headline for last nights event.  We had a wonderful turnout of people enjoyed gluten free sweetpotato gnocchi in a sage butter sauce.  We also offered some treats our own peanut butter chocolate chip cookie gluten free of course and a new creation a rice flour coconut & chocoate gluten free and dairy free cookie.  Jennifer did a great job explaining Celiac Disease and Gluten Free Sensitivity.  The night was informative and fun.Thank you to all  our guests who joined us last night.  I enjoyed showing you how to make gnocchi and answering your cooking questions.  Gluten Free Living Well Without Wheat and you can do it right here at Piatti Pronti.  Give me some lead time and I can make you one of our handmade pizza crusts or a specialty meal.  Buon Appetito!SUMMER BBG SENSATION!!!  That’s right and it is coming to Piatti Pronti.  Kick off date June 7th…MY DAUGHTERS WEDDING  Have you ever planned a wedding?  Try doing it in less then six months.  You have to have a lot of patience and perseverance.  My daughter did a great job organizing what she wanted but now it was a matter of doing it.  She got engaged over Thanksgiving and two weeks later we had the most beautiful wedding dress from a small shop in Elmwood Park Annabelles.  She choose a vintage  Hollywood theme.  For my family this would be easy since we come from an entertainment background.  I looked at it as being just another theatre/dance production.  She wanted the siblings and their significant others to be in black and white.  The moms were asked to be in shades of grey.  This was harder then finding her dress for me.  Since my time is limited I chose to go shopping on the internet while visiting my son, his wife and my granddaughter in West Virginia over New Years.  I found what I thought would be a great dress and they only had it in one size 8.  I decided to buy it driving home in the car on the phone and thought if it didn’t fit there were always alterations.  Invitations were on order.  We met with my pastry chef/florist friend  John Montanile about the flowers and now it was planning the shower.  The day we planned the shower I managed to fall down one step and put myself in an air cast which lasted up to the week of the wedding but this isn’t about me.  However, it was interesting being on crutches and making pizza’s etc. at the restaurant. The shower in late February and was beautiful.   The shower was held at the Winstone Club House in Barrington. We had a beautiful brunch and for the first time I realized this was really happening.  My little girl was getting married.  My daughter and her future husband put the finishing touches on the photographer, videographer while I worked with them on putting a slide show together that would not only feature them but every person that was attending the wedding. Final fittings on the wedding dress, deciding on who was doing hair, nails & makeup for the bride and everyone else.  RSVP returning and finding out the 16 of my daughters friends and family from Italy were attending in her honor.  Now we needed more then just a  block of rooms at the Intercontinental on Michigan Avenue we would need a bus to transport the sixty plus people that were coming from out of the country and traveling from many states.  The Italians as we started calling them would be arriving the Tuesday before the wedding.  The bachelorette party was on hold until they all arrived so that happened on Wednesday.  Thursday night was rehearsal dinner and Friday was the Wedding.  Oh yes, let’s not forget the week at Piatti Pronti I had to call in all my friends, and chef friends to help with the sweets table and dipping oreo cookies for the favors.  We made a total of 2500 pieces of desserts and 300 favors.  A white chocolate orea with a dark chocolate T and a dark chocolate oreo with a white J. This was a project that only a mother could do.  However, I owe some dear friends.  Especially my friend who tied 300 pink bows on the boxes.  We choose pink because my sister-in-law is winning her battle against breast cancer.  We had our event at the Victoria on the Park in Mt. Prospect.  The venue was great because it was like getting married in your own home.  We had the entire place to ourselves.  We arrived at 11:00 am had our hair, nails & make-up done.  They arranged to have trays of food for us.  I could overview the flowers, setting up for the wedding ceremony  and make the final touches on the sweets table in the kitchen with my staff.  I was being summons by my daughter to come upstairs to help her dress and get ready myself.  Before I could blink she was walking down the aisle.  A vision of loveliness and excitement.  She was definitely going to enjoy her wedding.  The ceremony was memorable especially when the siblings all got up and talked about the bride and groom and especially when the pastor was blessing the couple and the sun broke through the clouds and covered the couple in the most beautiful amber color I had ever seen.  This is a blessed occasion…We all had the time of our lives.  
JOIN US FOR MARDI GRAS!  I am really excited Mardi Gras is right around the corner at Piatti Pronti.  We will kick off our Mardi Gras Buffet on Tuesday, March 1st and it will run through Fat Tuesday, March 8.  We will be closed on Monday, March 7.  If you have ever wanted to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras food… you won’t want to miss our Buffet.  You can watch Chef Demonstrations and enjoy the delicious food buffet.  We will be offering Crawfish Etouffee, Ham & Chicken Jambolaya, Shrimp Creole, Beignets, Kings Cake, Banana Pudding, Dirty Rice, etc.  Have we teased your tastebuds yet?  Call and reserve your time 847.342.8444.  Lunch is $12.95…Dinner and Sunday’s $16.95.You can also enjoy our a la carte carry-out.  We have not completely forgotten about our pizza menu we will be offering a special White Pizza with Andouille and Chicken.  Keep in mind we will not be having our regular menu during this time! Looking forward to seeing you at our French Quarters at Piatti Pronti. SNOW DAY! We are taking a snow day!  Unable to make it into Piatti Pronti this morning.  Sorry to say we will be closed Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  Hope to see you all on Thursday.GREAT NEWS FOR PIATTI PRONTI!!!  1/21/2011It’s A Wonderful Life! That was the theme of last nights Installation Dinner for the Arlington Heights Chamber.  I was amazingly surprised to have received The Emerging Business Award for 2010.  It’s an honor and a joy.  Thank you to all my peers who voted me in as well as my family, investors, employees & friends who have believed in Piatti Pronti from the beginning.  Most of all I would like to thank my customers who keep me going.  Food is an integral part of our being and I am so happy to have the talent and ability to nourish the many people who frequent our restaurant.  God’s Blessings and Love…Chef LuciaNEWS FLASH!!!We will be competing in a Chili Cook Off on Sunday, January 16th, Noon – 4:00 PM at Clementi’s in Arlington Heights.  Tickets are $25 a person which includes one beer or wine, tastings of chili from all ten contestants and entertainment.  This is a fund raiser for the Lions Club of Arlington Heights who do some great work helping people in need.  Come join us and contribute to a worthwhile cause.The first complete week of the New Year is coming to an end.  It was wonderful seeing all of our return customers this week and a few new ones.The holidays are now behind us and its time to have our rustic thin crust pizza again.  Don’t forget we make our own gluten free pizza crust also.  Please call ahead and order because the kitchen area that we make the gluten free has to be free of flour and it takes time to do this. All of our crusts are made fresh and to order.Thank you to all that catered with us during the holidays.  It was an honor to be part of your holiday meal.We have added new Pasta dishes to our menu also…Carbonara, Bolognese & Napolitano.  Getting good reviews from those that have tried them.  See you soon. Come for pizza and more and don’t forget to peak your head in the kitchen and say hello!Did you know that Piatti Pronti was nominated for the Clarence Award-Emerging Business of the Year.  Well we will have to wait until the 20th of January at the 2011 Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner to see how we did.  I think it is an honor to be nominated.  Thank you to all of you who voted for us.The New Year is starting out fantastic…we have a number of New Sandwiches on our menu including a Grilled Meatball Burger with herb aioli and mozzarella.  Of course our rustic thin crust pizza is still a number one hit.We are still offering Free Delivery locally.  Just got an order for Farfalle and Rapini and Spaghetti and Meatballs so I have to run.Class was a great success.  We made Fettuccini, Ravioli & Gnocchi.  Then we cooked and sampled everything with my fresh basil marinara.  The girls left with to go bags of fresh pasta to share with their husbands.  Thanks for coming by ladies and sharing my kitchen…Ciao!  Chef LuciaThank you for joining me today on my blog site.  Tomorrow at 1:00 PM we will be having a Pasta Making class.  We will be making Gnocchi’s & Fettuccini, cooking it to perfection, eating it and even taking some home.  There is still time for you to join us.  Come by at 1:00 PM and join the fun.  After this class you will be able to dazzle your family and friends this holiday season with your newly aquired skills.  See you in the Kitchen … Chef LuciaMARDI GRAS was a huge success.  Thank you to all of our customers, friends and family that joined us for our Chef Demonstrations & Chef Buffet.  I was very fortunate to enjoy my birthday on Friday with all of you.  You made it a special and memorable day even though I had to work.  Honestyly, this is rarely work I love what I do.  It was a thrill to be able to prepare all of the dishes for our chef buffet. However, I did notice that for the first time I developed a callous on my figer from mincing and chopping. Cajin and Creole cooking has a lot of preparation especially when it comes to the trinity which is peppers, onions & celery.  Almost every original dish we prepared had the trinity in it.  We still have some beignets available if you want to stop by for an order.  Other than that we are back to our rustic Italian menu pizza, pastas, sandwiches and more.  Come join us for St. Patty’s Day we will be having a Corned Beef, Cabbage, Carrots & Potato Dinner Special for 9.95.

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