Pinot, Pasta, and Parties


By Dee Dee Sorvino

By Paul Sorvino

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$39.00 CAD



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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 18, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Goodfellas star Paul Sorvino and Emmy-award winner Dee Dee Sorvino create delicious, authentic Italian recipes in this entertaining cookbook.

Dee Dee and Paul Sorvino do their best to make everyday a party. They celebrate life and being with each other in big and small ways as often as they can. They believe that the best way to celebrate or to solve the problems of the world is with a nice glass of wine and bountiful meal. No subject is taboo at their lively dinner table-especially when cocktails are served!

Providing a glimpse into their bi-coastal life and tales of Paul’s acting career, this authentic Italian cookbook offers 80 recipes with menus for relaxed entertaining. From a Goodfellas’ feastto a picnic with an Italian accent, from an abundant buffet to elevated Italian street fair food, the Sorvinos know how to turn out meals that are as delicious as they are fun. Their easy-to-prepare, mouthwatering recipes range from regional Italian classics to new takes on traditional food. Stuffed clams oreganata, unique bruschetta combinations, pasta e faigioli, pizza salumeria, farfalle with asparagus and pancetta, Pauls’ famous meatballs and spaghetti sauce, chicken scarpiello, panzanella, grilled figs with honey and walnuts are just a few of the outstanding recipes found in Pinot, Pasta, and Parties. The food is so good at the Sorvinos’ that theirs is the place of choice for casual get-togethers wherever they are.


Dee Dee has the bliss gene.


When Paul is around, there is always a reason to celebrate. Paul is a warm, wonderful person, who always has the biggest heart in the room.



Paul is the ultimate Renaissance man. I have heard that description thrown around a lot, but Paul is the real deal. He loves people, places, art, music, and food. Aside from being a great actor, Paul does so many things remarkably well. He sings opera, creates monumental bronze sculptures, paints, plays the piano and guitar, can do a perfect impression of anyone, is an ace at tennis and archery, and is a genius in the kitchen. I am one lucky girl.—DEE DEE SORVINO

It took me a long time to get it right, but I finally have. The first time I saw Dee Dee she was wearing a periwinkle dress. She had a golden aura around her that was astonishing. I said to myself, "That's the woman for me and she is the most extraordinary woman I have ever met." —PAUL SORVINO


A Tale in Two Voices

The odds of us ever meeting were slim, because our worlds do not often intersect.

DEE DEE: I was in politics, originally in the Midwest and then in Washington, DC. Paul lived in Los Angeles, where he had a wonderful acting career. As unlikely as it may seem, our paths crossed on the set for a TV news show in New York. Paul was appearing on the show late in the afternoon of December 11, 2013. I was scheduled to take my chair right after he was done. I was waiting to go onto the set just as he was leaving.

PAUL: I took one look at Dee Dee, and I was smitten. I arranged through the producer for the three of us to have a drink after the show at Del Frisco's, a restaurant next door to the studio. I successfully maneuvered to sit in the chair next to Dee Dee and surprised myself by doing something very much out of character. I am old-school and a gentleman and have never been forward with women. But I was so overwhelmed by the beautiful woman sitting beside me, I was compelled to act. Without a moment's thought, I put my arm around Dee Dee and then leaned in to kiss her. For me, that was that. After twenty years of being single, I knew I had found a woman with whom I could celebrate life. That evening turned into our first dinner. I had planned to meet friends elsewhere, but we ended up staying at Del Frisco's and invited them to join us there.

DEE DEE: I was not expecting anything to come from the meeting. I had lots of friends in town and was enjoying everything New York had to offer. Truth be told, I didn't like actors. I found them demanding. They were like children and divas expecting to have everything revolve around them. Besides, I was not a fan of Los Angeles, and Paul lived there full-time.

PAUL: When I got back to Los Angeles, I called Dee Dee often, unaware of a serious communications glitch: When Dee Dee returned my calls, her caller ID appeared on my phone as Private Caller. All of her calls were blocked. Though I didn't understand why she was not getting back to me, I continued to call. I was a man on a mission.

DEE DEE: When Paul came back to town to New York to shoot Brooklyn Banker, directed by Federico Castelluccio (aka Furio from The Sopranos), he went to see me perform in a political satire called Electoral Dysfunction. We went to Sardi's after the show, which was our "official" first date. We had a great time. Paul got me a walk-on role at the very end of Brooklyn Banker. In the course of the movie, the character Paul was playing went from being a gangster to a boss. The movie ends with all the guys and many extras showing the new capo respect. I was in that scene looking with deference at the boss like everyone else.

PAUL: Not long after Brooklyn Banker, I was working on a movie called Cold Deck in Canada and asked Dee Dee to join me. One of the stars of the movie invited us for Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, which falls on our Columbus Day. I was so caught up in the spirit of the celebration that I asked Dee Dee to marry me.

"You ask me sitting down?" she responded.

I got down on one knee and proposed again at the Thanksgiving table. I couldn't wait any longer.

Dee Dee accepted.

DEE DEE: We married a little more than two months later, on December 27, 2014, in what I call "the simplest wedding ever." We had a thirty-second ceremony performed by Judge Matthew Sciarrino, my consigliere from early politics, at the fountain at Lincoln Center. Our witnesses were Paul's oldest friend, Paula, and her partner Riccardo, who had joined us for dinner the night we met, our photographer, and Stacy Blum Sciarrino, the judge's wife. A very tight knit wedding party—the only way to elope. Perfect, just the way we wanted it. Our small wedding party walked across the street to celebrate our marriage at Fiorello's. And we are still celebrating.

In Pinot, Pasta, and Parties, we have collected our favorite recipes so that you can effortlessly prepare special food for your family and friends. Pinot, Pasta, and Parties features ten party menus—from an intimate dinner to a Goodfellas feast, from an abundant buffet to a picnic with an Italian accent. We include more than eighty simple recipes that you can enjoy with your guests.

A sample menu begins each chapter. We loosely followed the courses of a traditional Italian meal:

Aperitivo—small bites served with drinks


Primi—pasta course

Secondi—main course

Contorni—side dishes

Insalata—salad (always served after the main course)


We are far from formal and go all out only when the occasion merits it. That being said, we can get excessive at holidays! But if we are serving a six-or seven-course meal, we keep the portions small.

If you don't want to prepare an all-out feast, you can pick and choose from the menus rather than serve every course listed. And though some menus, namely Made in America and Nice Guy Meets Pundit, are designed to be buffets, you can select one or more dishes from those menus for a simple meal for two. Feel free to mix and match these recipes to create a meal that fits your tastes and needs. In every chapter we've added "alternative" recipes for mixing and matching.

We enjoy treating our guests to a great spread. We like to serve them the traditional food they have come to love and expect at our table and to surprise them with new twists on the classics. Pinot, Pasta, and Parties provides you with a culinary "playlist" for creating party food guaranteed to delight your friends and family.



From Meatballs to Marinara

Roman Days and Italian Knights

DEE DEE: We honeymooned in Rome. It was perfetto! I could just feel the history. The Pantheon is one of my favorite buildings in that magnificent city. It has a magical energy that fills me with awe. I've read that when Michelangelo first saw the Pantheon, he said the building was of "angelic and not human design." Originally a pagan temple that had been converted into a Christian church, the Pantheon was 1350 years old when Michelangelo made that observation. The Pantheon is as majestic today, more than 500 years later. Its giant dome, which has a hole on top—an eye, open to the sky—remains the largest in the world.

PAUL: Our honeymoon in Rome was an incredibly beautiful week. Walking the streets of Rome, we were surrounded by art. From masterwork sculptures and paintings in the churches to breathtaking fountains in the piazzas, from modern Italian design in fashion and furniture to stunning blown glass and ceramics, just about everywhere we looked we experienced beauty.

DEE DEE: Paul is at home in Italy, which feeds his aesthetic sense. His Italian heritage is at the root of who he is. He could easily live in Italy. He knows the customs and culinary traditions of every region of the country. The recipes in Pinot, Pasta, and Parties capture his deep appreciation of Italian cuisine.

PAUL: Though I was born in the United States, there is something about being Italian that resonates strongly with me. For my charitable work, I was made a Knight of the Great Cross in the Order of the Carinzia, founded by St. George for the protection of the Pope. When the Italians did a background check before making me "Sir Paul," they discovered that my family was noble and had a very long history in and around the city of Naples. I knew my father had been born there, and Neapolitan was the dialect I heard most as a child. I discovered that my family has a coat of arms that dates back to 1150. Despite my aristocratic background in Italy, I still have to come up with cab fare when I'm in New York. So much for nobility!

I consider Italy the font of civilization as we know it today. The Italian Renaissance brought about a richness of intellectual and artistic contributions that have shaped our culture. Aside from art and music, Italians have affected people in more ways than can be measured. Alessandro Volta discovered the principle that powers the electric battery. Antonio Meucci, an Italian immigrant, invented the first working model of a telephone in 1849, but Alexander Graham Bell got the patent in 1876, although Meucci was there first. And let's not forget Guglielmo Marconi, who developed and demonstrated the first successful long-distance wireless telegraph and broadcast the first transatlantic radio signal in 1901, winning a Nobel Prize in 1909 for his work. The parachute, the machine gun, and the helicopter were all invented by Italians. I am proud to be of Italian descent.

DEE DEE: Paul is saving the best for last—Italian food. To his way of thinking, Italian cuisine is the finest in the world, whether prepared in Italy or just in an Italian manner. Classic Italian cooking is simple and depends on the freshness of the ingredients.

I love to watch Paul work in the kitchen. He really can slice a clove of garlic with a razor blade like Big Paulie in Goodfellas! I have learned a lot from Paul about the Italian culture and love for food and drink.

PAUL: I have such great childhood memories of Sunday dinners with my extended family—aunts, uncles, and cousins. I loved sitting around the table eating delicious food and talking about things that were important to us. I wish more of that happened today. Bringing friends and family together for a meal is a joyful ritual. It beats staring at a screen.

I learned to cook mostly from my mother. By the time I was twelve, I was turning out meals for my brothers during the week. I'm comfortable in the kitchen. Cooking is therapy for me. Now that I have Dee Dee to help me, preparing a feast is even more of a joy.

Some of my favorite dishes have been made the same way for centuries, and coming up with new combinations of traditional ingredients is a pleasure for me. I channel my creative energy into so many areas, but preparing delicious food brings me great satisfaction.

DEE DEE: Much of the entertaining we do is a throwback to Paul's Sunday dinners. Fun cocktails, good wine, hearty food, and lively conversation are what it's all about. We love to gather good friends together to enjoy each other's company and a delightful, relaxed meal. When Paul is cooking, everyone wants to join the party.

We wanted the first menu in the book to focus on some Italian classics. In addition to Paul's famous meatballs, we include recipes for eight classic sauces that you can use with pasta, vegetables, salads, meat, chicken, and fish, plus basic recipes for pizza dough, homemade bread crumbs, and Paul's advice about using olive oil.



Serves 6 to 8

Antipasto can contain any number of ingredients. Our version uses two types of salami, but you should feel free to use whatever Italian cured meats you prefer. We often use slices of prosciutto and pepperoni. Marinated mushrooms, and varied cheese assortments are also good additions.

What we love about this dish is that it can be made several hours ahead and refrigerated without the fresh basil. Just mix in the basil right before you serve.

8 ounces soppressata, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and quartered

8 ounces Genoa salami, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and quartered

8 ounces provolone cheese, cut into bite-size pieces

8 ounces bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 (14-ounce) can artichokes, drained and quartered

1 cup sliced pepperoncini, drained, 2 tablespoons juice reserved

1 cup halved Peppadew peppers, drained, 2 tablespoons juice reserved

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

¼ cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup shredded fresh basil leaves

In a serving bowl, combine the soppressata, Genoa salami, provolone, bocconcini, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, pepperoncini and their juice, Peppadew peppers and their juice, and red pepper flakes. Toss well.

Mix in the chopped olives and toss again. Drizzle the olive oil over everything, followed by the red wine vinegar and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix in the shredded fresh basil leaves just before serving.



Makes about 8 cups

Marinara sauce is fundamental to Neapolitan cooking.

Rather than opening a jar of sauce, try taking the time to make your marinara from scratch. It's simple and doesn't take all that long. Whether you use canned or fresh tomatoes, homemade marinara sauce has so much flavor that any ready-made sauce will be bland in comparison.

This sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. We like to freeze smaller portions in individual containers for later use in recipes that do not require an entire pot of sauce.

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes or 24 Roma tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 fresh basil leaves

⅛ teaspoon dried oregano

If using canned tomatoes, pour the tomatoes and their juices into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to break up the tomatoes until chunky.

If using fresh tomatoes, cut an X into the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 25 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel off the tomato skins and remove the stems. Then use your hands to break up the tomatoes in a bowl until chunky.

Put oil in a large saucepan, heat over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and sauté until light brown. Add the tomatoes and their juices, basil, and oregano. Simmer until the oil rises to the top, 30 to 40 minutes.

SPAGHETTI and Meatballs

Serves 4 to 6

I am known for my meatballs, which I learned to make as a boy. I was taught that frying the meatballs helps them retain their juiciness.

8 slices white bread

2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

½ cup light olive oil

1 pound spaghetti

1 recipe Marinara Sauce (here), warmed

Wet the bread with warm water and squeeze until the bread becomes a paste the consistency of mashed potatoes.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the bread, beef, eggs, Pecorino Romano, garlic, and parsley by hand. When the ingredients are well combined, add the seasoned bread crumbs slowly until the mixture holds together. (Use more bread crumbs if necessary.)

Form the mixture into balls 2 inches in diameter.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs in a single layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through and evenly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente, then drain.

Transfer the spaghetti to a large serving dish and top with the meatballs and sauce.

Caprese SALAD

Serves 6 to 8

This salad is best made when tomatoes are in season. I like to use red beefsteak tomatoes because they are so colorful, but any ripe tomato will be delicious. Use the moistest fresh mozzarella you can find.

6 ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 (1-pound) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced

Sliced red onion (optional)

Fresh basil leaves, some whole and some chopped

Extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped yellow bell pepper (optional)

Arrange the tomatoes, mozzarella, onion, and whole basil leaves on a platter or build individual towers. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and scatter the chopped basil and yellow peppers over the top.

ITALIAN CHEESECAKE with Lemon Curd Topping

Serves 8

This is a refreshing dessert with a light, airy texture and a bold flavor. You can make it a day in advance to get dessert out of the way. Our guests always ask for the recipe for this cheesecake.


8 ounces crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more at room temperature to grease the pan

1 (32-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 cup sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 lemon


½ cup fresh lemon juice

Grated zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup sugar

3 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with a little butter.

In a bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. This crust does not need to be baked.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the ricotta, sugar, and flour on low speed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix until combined.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust and bake until the top of the cheesecake is golden and the center still has some wobble, 1 to 1½ hours.

Let the cake cool on the counter or on a rack before releasing the springform. Before opening the springform, gently loosen the cake all the way around with a butter knife.

Meanwhile, to make the topping, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and eggs in a small saucepan. Warm the mixture over low heat, stirring continually, until the curd has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in the butter. Pour the lemon curd into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.


On Sale
Apr 18, 2017
Page Count
264 pages
Center Street

Dee Dee Sorvino

About the Author

PAUL SORVINO has appeared in nearly 200 films, a variety of television shows, and Broadway productions. Best known for his portrayal of tough guys, Sorvino portrayed Paul Cicero in Goodfella s, police chief Capt. Edelson in Cruising, and Detective Phil Cerrato on Law and Order. An operatic tenor and a man of many talents, he has performed at Lincoln Center and is an internationally known sculptor.

DEE DEE SORVINO is an Emmy Award winning television host and radio personality. She has appeared on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, CBS Morning Show and many others.

The Sorvinos call New York and Los Angeles home.

Learn more about this author