Friday, October 19, 2012

Nello Cucina Introduces New Fall Specials!

Fall is here & so are Nello Cucina’s New Fall Specials!

Rotelle di Pasta, one of our most requested specials is back.
Rolled pasta with prosciutto cotto & béchamel,
with melted mozzarella cheese & tomato vodka cream sauce.

We also are introducing a new ravioli dish, Ravioli di Pollo.
House made chicken & porcini mushroom ravioli
with toasted walnuts, shaved grana & truffled brown butter sauce.

How about seafood with a twist?
Try our Misto Mare Insaccato.
Poached seafood “links” served on a bed of sautéed spinach & lentils, drizzled with a champagne beurre blanc sauce.

For our meat lovers we have Braciola di Maiale.
Rolled pork filled with prosciutto,
smoked mozzarella & spinach, served over cannellini beans
with a light white wine tomato-onion sauce.

In the mood for a sandwich?
Try Nello’s version of the Frankfurter.
The FrancoForte is 12” of grilled Italian sausage with sautéed mushrooms, pancetta (Italian bacon) & melted provolone cheese.

If you are looking for something light
try the Insalata D’Autunno.
Shredded Belgian endive, radicchio & Savoy cabbage,
with asian pears, gorgonzola cheese & toasted hazelnuts
tossed with lemon-oregano dressing.

To complete your meal all desserts are made fresh daily,
along with a full bar and an extensive wine list to compliment your culinary experience.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wine Dinner - Featuring Food & Wine from the Puglia Region

Join Nello Cucina for Dinner

Wednesday, October 24th 6:00PM
Featuring Food & Wine From the Puglia Region
$39 per person plus tax & gratuity
Reservations required 714-540-3365

Located in the “heel” region of Italy’s classic boot shaped figure. From olive trees to vineyards the Puglia region is rich in agriculture. The flatlands of the Salento peninsula have an exceptionally warm climate, alleviated by the continual sea breezes, which yields massive grape production. The region also grows large quantities of grains, vegetables & olives. In fact, Puglia is the largest producer of olive oil in Italy. The cuisine in this area utilizes what is readily available. Fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, and of course pasta. Orecchiette pasta, translated means “little ears”, is a common staple.

Gravina, a blend of 40% Malvasia & 60% Greco grapes, is considered one of Italy’s most ancient white wines. Gaining DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) status in 1983, Gravina is currently only produced by Botromagno. Bright yellow-green in color with hints of green apple, apricot & white peach, slight acidity on the palate.

100% Chardonnay, contains select grapes from the estates of Minervino Murge (20%) and San Pietro Vernotico (80%). Slightly yellow in color with green tones. With hints of white flowers, orange & thyme on the nose, very fruity on the finish.

100% Primitivo, considered the mother of the Zinfandel grape. Rich & elegant, with hints of currant & blackberry on the nose.

The Menu

Passed Hors D’ Oeuvres
Chef’s Selection
Gravina Bianco, Botromagno, 2010 DOC

Insalata di Mare
Rock shrimp, bay scallops, sea bass, baby greens, citrus vinaigrette
Chardonnay, Tormaresca, 2010

Braciola alla Barese
Rolled top sirloin filled with pecorino cheese, pancetta, garlic, parsley, in a tomato sauce
Primitivo, Poggio Basso, 2010

Crostata di Fichi
Lemon-vanilla crust, filled with almond praline & black mission figs
All’ Espresso, Coffee Liqueur, Villa Vessia

Wednesday, October 24th 6:00PM
$39 per person plus tax & gratuity
Reservations required 714-540-3365
Nello Cucina 3333 Bear St. Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nello Cucina's Wine of the Month - Pecorino, Monti Guidi del Carmine, 2010 IGT

Monti Guidi del Carmine, Pecorino, 2010 IGT
is Nello Cucina’s Wine of the Month for September.

Located near Abruzzo in the Terre di Chieti IGT (indicazione geografica tipica) region,
this varietal is made from 100% Pecorino grapes.
Handpicked, in early September, this selection of grape is considered one of the most Italic grape families still in existence.
Refined in stainless steel tanks for several months before released,
produces a full-bodied white wine with modest acidity.
Exhibiting flavors & aromas of white spices, yellow fruits, with scents of green apples & bananas, followed by nutty hints of almonds & hazelnuts.
Pairs perfectly with fish, white meats, cheeses & salads.

We recommend - 

Di Cesare   

Romaine lettuce, grana, croutons,
creamy Caesar dressing

Spiedini di Pesce Misto

Skewers of grilled mixed seafood, marinated in citrus, E.V.O.O. & tarragon, served over linguine, garlic & oil

Trittico Adriatico

Thin spaghetti, clams, mussels, shrimp,
spicy tomato sauce

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wine Dinner Featuring Francoli USA Selection

On August 29, 2012, in honor of Wine Wednesday we are hosting a Wine Dinner,
featuring a selection from Francoli USA.
$39 per person plus tax & gratuity.
Reservations required. Please call 714-540-3365.

The Italian translation of due’ means two. due’ Chardonnay vodka is hand crafted in Italy, combining grain & grape giving this spirit a distinctive taste.  Six soft grains are used to produce the vodka. Chardonnay grapes, with a hint of oak, are then added prior to the distilling process. due’ is quadruple distilled & filtered through charcoal & Italian marble to result in superbly pure vodka. The distinguishing essence of grapes adds hints floral & fruit notes.

A sparkling Italian wine, fresh & fruity, with hint of Pinor Noir. Perfect for summer.

A remarkable blend of 90% Merlot & 10% Alicante, sweet cherry, licorice herb aromas on the nose. Rich & full on the palate, well balanced, with a clean finish.

A scrumptious blend of rich cocoa, dark chocolate & Grappa.
Serve chilled, drizzled over desserts, in coffee, or create delectable chocolate martinis.

The Menu

Passed Hors D’ Oeuvres
Chef’s Selection
Due, Chardonnay Flavored Vodka Aperitif

Carpaccio con Granchio
Thinly sliced raw beef, crab pilaf, capers, petit arugula, EVOO 
Sparkling Rose, Canella, N/V

Cosciotto di Maiale
Slow braised Berkshire pork shank, Yukon gold potato puree,
English peas, pancetta braising jus
Le Redini, Tenuta Degli Dei, 2010

Torta di Cioccolato
Flourless chocolate cake, soft whipped cream, seasonal berries
Grappi, Chocolate Liqueur

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Recipes from Nello Cucina's Quinoa Cooking Class

Keep in mind 1 cup of dry quinoa is equal to 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa.

Measure 1 cup quinoa & rinse well with cold water. Pour rinsed quinoa into a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Add a dash of salt (optional). Cover & bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Quinoa Italian Summer Salad

Serves 2 people
4 oz. Fresh mozzarella
2 medium size Roma tomatoes
4 oz. Quinoa (cooked and cold)
1 chopped green onion
3 large leaves of Basil
Salt & pepper  to taste
Balsamic vinegar
Cut the fresh mozzarella & tomatoes into bite sized pieces & place into a mixing bowl, Add Quinoa, chopped green onions, & basil. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss with E.V.O.O. & balsamic vinegar.

Wine pairing:
La Fornarina Prosecco Spumante
Fizzy, fresh & fruity with straw yellow & light green highlights. Serve chilled.

Scampi Quinoa Arrabbiata

Serves 2 people
4 large shrimp
1 glove of  finely chopped garlic
1 oz. chopped Italian parsley
12 oz. chopped & peeled  tomato filet
6 oz. Quinoa
White wine
Chili flakes to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
In a sauté pan place E.V.O.O., chopped garlic & brown with the shrimp, add Italian parsley, chili flakes, salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes and deglaze with white wine. Remove the shrimp and set aside, add tomatoes to the sauce, cook & reduce for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp & cook for 1 minute. Serve over a pilaf of Quinoa.

Wine pairing:
Masoletti, Pinot Grigio
Bottled instantly, fresh & full flavored, fruity & full flavored, aromatic & fruity.
Served chilled, with fresh fish & seafood.

Filetto di Maiale con Quinoa

Serves 2 people
2  6 oz. medallions of pork tenderloin
4 oz. sliced shitake mushrooms
1 oz. chopped shallots
1 oz. Italian parsley
2 tsp. mustard
½  stick of butter
3 oz. red wine
Salt & pepper to taste
In a sauté pan add E.V.O.O. & heat. Dust pork tenderloin with flower & pan sear both sides, remove from pan. Add the shallots & shitake mushrooms, add mustard, deglaze with the red wine & reduce. Add butter to thicken the sauce, add the pork and reduce flame to medium until it is cooked to the temperature desired. On a serving plate make a bed of Quinoa (already cooked) and place the pork tenderloin, top with the mushroom sauce.

Wine pairing:
Poggio Bosso, Primitivo, 2010
The Italian Zinfandel
Aged in stainless steel, full bodied & elegant with hints of blackberry & spicy currant on the nose.
Pairs well with grilled vegetables & meats.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quinoa Cooking Class at Nello Cucina!

On Wednesday, July 18, 2012 Join Nello Cucina for a:

Quinoa is a grain like crop, native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Peru & Chile. Although Quinoa translates to “mother grain” in the Incan language it is actually considered to be a pseudocereal, not a cereal or grain because it is not a member of the grass family.

Prepared the same way as rice Quinoa is gluten-free & can be substituted in certain dishes for pasta or rice. Quinoa is considered as a source of complete protein, a great source of dietary fiber & a noteworthy source of calcium.

Join Nello Cucina for a Cooking Class
& learn how to incorporate Quinoa into Italian food!

Quinoa Italian Summer Salad

Quinoa, fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, green onions, basil, E.V.O.O., balsamic vinegar

Scampi Quinoa Arrabiata

Shrimp, white wine, Arrabiata sauce

Filetto di Maiale con Quinoa

Pork filet, mushroom red wine sauce

Live Music by Enzo Selvaggi!

Wednesday, July 18th 6:00PM
$30 per person, plus tax & gratuity
Seating is limited. Reservations required 714-540-3365

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pedroncelli Wine Dinner at Nello Cucina

On June 27, 2012, in honor of Wine Wednesday we are hosting a Wine Dinner, featuring Pedroncelli Winery. Located in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, Pedroncelli is family owned & operated.

Tonight’s featured varietals –

East Side Vineyards,  Sauvignon Blanc
Crisp & full-flavored on the finish, with hints of melon & grapefruit.

F. Johnson Vineyards, Chardonnay
Green apple, honeydew melon & lemon grass on the nose,  a combination of barrel & malo-lactic fermentation, with a slight creamy finish.

Russian River Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir
My personal favorite, well rounded & easy to drink, with a dash of clove spice & cherry.

Four Grapes Vintage Port
Berry, caramel & toffee bouquet on the nose, with hints of raspberry, spice, & cream soda flavors on the palate. Rich & flavorful dessert wine


Passed Hors D’ Oeuvres
Chef’s Selection
Sauvignon Blanc, East Side Vineyard, 2011

Cannelloni di Salmone Affumicato
Large tube pasta filled with smoked salmon, leeks, mascarpone,
light lobster cream sauce
Chardonnay, F. Johnson Vineyard, 2010

Arrosta di Lonza
Roasted pork loin with almond parsley pesto over creamy polenta
Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2010

Torta di Caramello
Almond caramel cake, whipped cream, macerated berries
Four Grapes, Vintage Port, 2006