Casella Cesare - Casella, Cesare

Cesare Casella

Biography

Chef Cesare Casella  is an acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur known for the ever-present rosemary sprouting from his shirt pocket. As Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center, his Tuscan roots have guided him through a career that celebrates simplicity and quality of ingredients. These days, Chef Casella acts as Chief of the Department of Nutritional Arts (DNA) at the Center for Discovery nestled in the Catskills. Cesare has also launched a salumi company, Casella’s Salumi where he makes salumi true to the classic Italian recipes and flavors of his childhood in... READ MORE

Chef Cesare Casella  is an acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur known for the ever-present rosemary sprouting from his shirt pocket. As Dean of Italian Studies at the International Culinary Center, his Tuscan roots have guided him through a career that celebrates simplicity and quality of ingredients. These days, Chef Casella acts as Chief of the Department of Nutritional Arts (DNA) at the Center for Discovery nestled in the Catskills. Cesare has also launched a salumi company, Casella’s Salumi where he makes salumi true to the classic Italian recipes and flavors of his childhood in Tuscany. He has written several books including True Tuscan and The Fundamental Techniques of Italian Cooking and most recently, Feeding the Heart and was the man behind celebrated New York restaurants such as Beppe, Maremma, and Salumeria Rosi.

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Favorite NYC Restaurant: NYC is the best city in the world for food. There are so many options, it is impossible to pick a favorite. Ultimate Meal: Enjoying prosciutto under a tree of ripe figs. Three things in Pantry: EVOO, Pasta, Cheese If you weren’t a chef… Farmer If you could cook with anyone? My mom. I love to spend time with her in the kitchen cooking.

INSALATA DI PONTORMO Casella’s Style
Serves 4

For the Pontormo Dressing:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad:
4-ounce mixture of bacon, Casella’s prosciutto, Giorgio’s sopressata picante, cut into thin strips about ½ inch long
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced mixed fresh herbs (use any combination of rosemary, thyme, basil, savory, chives, marjoram, and oregano) (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs)
6 eggs
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups washed, mixed salad greens, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons Pontormo dressing

To make the Pontormo dressing, whisk all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To make the salad, place meat, oil, and herbs in a nonstick sauté pan. Cook over medium heat until it begins to color and is aromatic, about 2-4 minutes. You don’t want the meat too crispy.

Take pan off heat. Pour eggs into pan. Return to heat and cook, stirring occasionally with a heat-resistant rubber spatula so that the yolks and white are still recognizable but mixed slightly (don’t break the yolk until the whites are cooked). Cook gently until eggs are just set but still a little soft, about 2 minutes. Take off heat.

Dress salad greens with Pontormo dressing. Pour egg/meat mixture over greens. Toss well. Greens will begin to wilt. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.