Recipes: Endless ‘Pastabilities’ with Chef Franco at Ristorante Di Sopra

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Chef Franco Pisani, owner of Paravicini’s Italian Bistro and Ristorante Di Sopra, is sharing some of his family favorite and authentic Italian recipes. FOX21’s Sarah Ferguson got a closer look at how Chef Franco is bringing his spin to pasta favorites and traditional family recipes.

Dig in to the recipes below!

1. Sausage and spinach with Beans Brodo 


2 pounds spinach 

8 oz loose sausage 

2 cups cannellini beans 

4 cloves of garlic 

4 cups chicken broth 

extra virgin olive oil 

salt & fresh black pepper 

grated Pecorino cheese 


In a large saute` pan add olive oil heat the add and the sausage. 

Saute` the sausage for 4minutes and add the crushed garlic. Saute` for an additional 2 mins. 

Add the spinach to the pan and saute` for a few minutes until they all become soft and the volume decreases significantly. 

Add the chicken broth and the Cannellini beans. Let everything cook for about 5 minutes at medium flame. 

Serve with plenty of Pecorino cheese and fresh black pepper as desired. 

2. Grilled Fennel and Orange Salad 


1 fresh fennel bulb 

1 fresh navel orange or  

1 fresh mozzarella 

1/2 small red onion thinly sliced 

Sliced roasted red pepper  

4 fresh basil leaves 

4 fresh mint leaves 

extra virgin olive oil 

salt and pepper 


Cut fennel length wise 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and grill until slightly charred on the edges and nicely caramelized. 

Set aside and allow to cool. 

Cut the mozzarella in thin slices and place on a plate or platter. 

Layer the grilled fennel with oranges and sliced red onion and roasted pepper on top of the mozzarella and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Tear the mint and basil leaves by hand and place in a bowl and salt pepper. 

Extra virgin olive oil and reaming juice from cut orange. Then drizzle over the salad.

3. Homemade fussilli pasta, with Spinach, Mushrooms and Pancetta


1 pound fussili pasta 

4 cloves garlic. sliced 

10 ounces roasted assorted mushrooms  

4 cups baby spinach 

4 ounces Pancetta. cubed 

1/2 cup white wine 

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese 

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

2tbs butter 

½ cup cream  

salt & pepper, as desired 


Cook the pasta in salted water until Al Dente. 

Heat the oil in a large Saute pan on medium-high heat and add the garlic add the Pancetta. 

Saute the garlic and Pancetta for about 2 minutes, then add the wine.  Add the roasted Mushrooms and salt to taste and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. 

Add the Spinach and cook just until wilted. Add cream and butter and let reduce  Add the pasta and toss for about 1 minute. 

Add the Pecorino over the top of the pasta and turn off the heat.  Toss the pasta one more time allowing the residual heat to melt the cheese. 

Serve immediately with more grated cheese on top if desired. 

4. Risotto e Piselli 


2 ounces butter, divided 

1 medium onion, chopped in 1/4 cubes 

1 pound arborio rice 

I cup white wine  

6 cups vegetable broth 

2 cups peas 

1 cup grated parmigiano cheese 

parmigiano shavings for garnishing 


In a tall pan, add half of the butter and the chopped onion. Once the onion has become translucent, add the rice. 

Toast the rice for 3-4 minutes and add all the wine. Stir continuously until the wine is absorbed by the rice  

Add 1 cup of vegetable broth at the time until the rice has become al dente. Stir continuously. 

Add the rest of the butter and the grated Parmigiano  and peas and stir for about 2 minutes. 

Serve with shavings of Parmigiano cheese. 

5. Oven Roasted Sausage Peppers and Potatoes


1 pound hot Italian sausage links 

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided 

1 pound baby red skinned potatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices 

1 pound sweet bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch strips 

1 medium red onion cut into thin slices 

8 garlic cloves cut in half 

salt and pepper as desired 


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Put a large saute` pan over a medium-high flame and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Using a fork prick the sausage links all over.  Slice in thirds Place the links in the saute pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

In a large mixing bowl toss together 1/2 cup of the oil, sliced potatoes, peppers, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper as desired. 

Spread the mixture in a large roasting pan or a 13×18 inch baking sheet. Top with the sausage and roast for 30-40 minutes turning halfway though. 

6. Veal alla Pizzaiola 


1 pound thinly sliced veal (for scallopini) 

Franco sauce 

1/2 cup white wine 

3 cloves garlic sliced 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

3 tablespoons capers 


Black olives  

fresh chopped parsley 


In a large Saute pan heat the oil on med-high heat and saute veal until golden add garlic then add tomato sauce, capers, olives bring to a simmer 

Add the freshly chopped parsley and serve. 

7. Zabaione with Berries 


½ lb strawberries (diced) 

2 oz. Grand Mariner  

½ cup sugar 

In a large bowl, strawberries, ½ sugar and half Grand Mariner together, set aside  

4 egg yolks 

4 tablespoons sugar 

4 tablespoons good Marsala wine 


In a rounded bottom bowl add the egg yolks and the sugar. 

With a hand mixer, mix the two ingredients well until you have a smooth whitish cream. 

Slowly add the Marsala wine and continue to mix.  Once the Marsala has been completely absorbed into the cream, put the bowl in a water bath and continue to mix for another 10-15 minutes. At this point the cream will have swollen, firmed up  and look velvety. Make sure the water never boils while you are mixing as you do not want lumps in the cream. 

Remove from water bath and serve warm. 

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