Food February 13, 2023

Chef Joe Isidori whips up four of his favorite dishes

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Chef Joe Isidori shares four of his signature Italian dishes.

Chef Joe Isidori is an award-winning chef and restaurateur, known for the expansion of Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer.

He joins us in the "GMA3" kitchen to make his signature meatballs, spicy vodka rigatoni, cannolis and spumonis, his way.

Chef Joe Isidori's signature Meatballs, rigatoni, cannolis and spumoni

Family Style Meatballs with Ricotta,

Serves 4

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

2 #10 cans La Valle Ground Tomatoes

¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil

1.5 cups of onions, diced

1 cup of garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons of kosher salt

1 tablespoon of Oregano

2 tablespoons of Granulated garlic

1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper

2 cups of Mutti tomato paste

Tomato Sauce Directions:

1. Toast garlic in EVOO until golden.

2. Add onions and cook until soft. While the onions are cooking down, add salt, pepper, oregano and granulated garlic to release aromatics. Then add the tomato paste and cook until the bright red color turns to a lighter rust color.

3. Add the ground tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 3 hours.

Roasted Garlic Ingredients:

1 Qt Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups Garlic, thinly sliced

Roasted Garlic Directions:

1. Combine oil and garlic together in a 4qt sauce pot. Slowly bring to a simmer while constantly stirring.

2. Remove from heat when garlic has a golden color. The garlic will continue to cook in the carry-over and will attain a toasted color.

3. Continue stirring until off heat until it has cooled.

4. Once cooled, strain roasted garlic and reserve the garlic and garlic oil for various applications.

Meatballs Ingredients:

2 lbs. Ground beef

1 lbs. Pork King Sweet Italian Sausage

1 cup Italian Bread crumbs

3 Eggs, whole

4 oz Romano cheese, grated

3 Tbsp Parsley

10 oz Polly-O Old Fashioned Ricotta

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Salt

3 Tbsp Roasted garlic, chopped

Meatballs Directions:

1. Crumble the beef and pork in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until evenly combined. Be careful not to overwork.

2. Portion out 3 oz balls of the combined mix.

3. Once all is portioned, deep-fry meatballs using blended oil at 350˚F. Fry in small batches, in single layers, until golden brown or 4-5 minutes.

4. Remove from the fryer and place in a stainless steel rondeau. Cover meatballs with tomato sauce until they are just submerged.

5. Braise in the tomato sauce with a lid in the oven at 350˚F for 3-4 hours.

6.Place meatballs into a family style serving bowl.Ladle tomato sauce over meatballs.

7. Top meatballs with dollops of ricotta cheese, drizzle with EVO and season with salt & pepper, garnish with torn basil leaves, shaved parmesan cheese.

8. Serve with a serving spoon.

Spicy Rigatoni Alla Vodka

Serves 4


16 oz of rigatoni (Bronze Cut)

5 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste

3 cups of heavy cream

1 shallot, sliced

8 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon Calabrian chili paste

1/4 cup of chopped speck or prosciutto

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1/2 cup vodka

1 chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano for shaving

Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a pan, sauté the shallot, garlic and speck or prosciutto with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and pepper until slightly brown.

2. Add tomato paste and chili paste, cook until combined and slightly caramelized.

3. Carefully deglaze the pan with vodka and then add heavy cream. Slightly reduce the sauce and add cooked rigatoni. Use pasta water to adjust the sauce if a bit too thick.

4. Toss all with Pecorino Romano cheese and plate. Shave fresh Parmigiano Reggiano with a microplane over the top and enjoy!


Ingredients for the filling:

32 oz Impastata cheese

1 ¼ cups powder sugar

¾ cup mini chocolate chips

½ tsp cinnamon

Store bought cannoli shell, some of Joe’s favorites are from Artuso Pastry Shop and Ferrara NYC


1. Mix the cheese, sugar, cinnamon until they are well combined.

2. After mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag with a star tip and fill the shell.

Spumoni "My Way"


2 oz Nutella

3 scoops pistachio ice cream, homemade (recipe below) or store-bought

6 pc Amarena cherries

Drizzle of Amarena cherry juice

5 Amaretti cookies

Dusting of powdered sugar

1 Spumoni cup (dessert bowl)

1 Paper liner

1 Small saucer plate

Dessert spoons

For the pistachio ice cream 2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

8 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)

4 oz. Vincente Sicilian Cream of Pistachio Nut Spread

2 tbsp almond extract


1. In a heavy saucepan, bring milk and cream just to a simmer.

2. Remove from heat. Add in Pistachio Cream, almond extract and vanilla bean with seeds, and stir until completely combined.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and steep for 1 hour.

4. Remove the bean once it has been properly steeped.

5. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until well combined and light in color.

6. Place dairy mixture in a small sauce pot on low heat. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the dairy mixture, whisking well to combine. Cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens, coating the back of a spoon, but leaving a clean line when swiped with a finger.

7. Strain and refrigerate until cold. Place into an ice cream machine and churn to desired consistency.

Spumoni Assembly Directions

1. Take one large spoonful of Nutella and spread it around the inside half of a spumoni cup.

2. Place 3 scoops of pistachio ice cream in a cup to resemble a pyramid.

3. Drop cherries and drizzle juice over the top.

4. Crush two Amaretti cookies and sprinkle over the top of the ice cream.

5. Neatly place remaining 3 cookies in different spots.

6. Dust the dessert with powdered sugar.

7. Place Dessert on top of saucer with folded liner. Serve with desserts spoons.