By Phebe Wahl By Phebe Wahl | January 18, 2023 | Food & Drink
The Scotto sisters, the pair behind New York City hot spot Fresco By Scotto, dish up the scoop on their new cookbook—and the recipe for their family’s famous Sunday sauce.
The sisters will soon celebrate the 30th anniversary of Midtown hot spot Fresco By Scotto.
The Scotto sisters have been cooking up something extra special this season. The power pair behind Midtown hot spot Fresco By Scotto recently dished out a fresh new cookbook, Meatballs, Mangia & Memories. Good Day New York’s Rosanna Scotto and former PR exec Elaina Scotto serve up more than a hundred of the Scotto family’s signature recipes with everything from appetizers, soups and salads to pasta, meats, fish, sides, desserts and cocktails. With a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani, the cookbook also offers some delicious dish like stories of the sisters’ friendship with Sylvester Stallone, their time in Lake Como searching for George Clooney and Chris Rock’s dinner with Kevin Hart shortly after the 2022 Oscars.
The Scottos share that their favorite recipe from the collection is “definitely Larry’s lemon capellini primavera as well as braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes.” As they also prepare to toast the 30th anniversary of Fresco By Scotto, we asked the sister act to share their recipe for Sunday sauce.
The cover of Meatballs, Mangia & Memories
Sunday Sauce with Meatballs, Sausages and Pork Chops
• ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound mild sausage
• ½ pound hot Italian sausage
• 6 thinly sliced pork chops (about 3 pounds)
• 2 cups dry red wine
• 2 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
• 2 onions, diced
• 1 cup pancetta, diced
• 1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
• 1 gallon canned Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
• 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
• 2 pounds cooked signature meatballs (see following recipe)
• 2 pounds uncooked rigatoni pasta
The Scotto sisters’ famous Sunday sauce
1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and saute the sausages and pork chops until brown, about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the meat is not cooked through, because it will finish in the sauce. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Keep pan over medium heat and deglaze it by adding 1 cup of the wine and scraping up the bits.
2. In the same pot, add the garlic, onions, pancetta and crushed pepper and cook until onions and garlic are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup of red wine and cook until the mixture is reduced by half. Add tomatoes and simmer for 1 hour over low heat.
3.Add basil, sausages, pork chops and meatballs to the tomato sauce, and simmer for 1 more hour over low heat.
4. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta for 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta, toss it with the Sunday sauce and serve immediately.
Fresco by Scotto’s Signature Meatball
SERVES 6-9 PEOPLE (DEPENDING ON YOUR APPETITE!)
• 2 cups of breadcrumbs or panko
• 1 cup milk
• 2 cups white onions, finely chopped (slowly cooked until tender)
• Canola or blended oil
• 2 Tbsp. salt
• 1 ½ Tbsp. fine ground black pepper
• 5 pounds ground beef
• 4 eggs, whole and whisked
• 2 cups provolone cheese, diced small
• 1 cup Bel Paese cheese, diced small
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine
1.Soak the breadcrumbs or panko in milk for at least an hour, until very soft.
2.Cook onions in c anola oil or a blende d oil on low-me dium heat until translucent and very tender. Strain any excess oil and se ason with salt and pepper.
3.Place ground beef in a mixing bowl. Add milk and breadcrumb mixture, which should be a soft, cohesive mass. Add eggs, whole or whisked. Then add all other ingredients. Mix well with a hook attachment (this allows some air in so the mixture doesn’t become tough or hard). After mixing for about 10 to 15 minutes, refrigerate meatball mixture for about an hour.
4.Preheat oven to 450F. Scoop or hand roll portions into the size you want for the meatballs. Place meatballs on a baking tray or large flat saute pan and bake for 5 minutes on each side, rotating occasionally to get color on all sides.
Photography by: PORTRAIT BY MICHAEL SIMON; COVER AND FOOD PHOTOS BY JUSTIN JAGIELLO AND HUDI GREENBERGER