I have to admit, I have a thing for actor Stanley Tucci. He was brilliant as Julia Child’s husband in Julia and Julia and as Nigel in Devil Wears Prada. I even wrote a review (here) about Big Night where he and Tony Shalhoub play intrepid immigrant brothers who open an Italian restaurant on the Jersey Shore.
Recently, I stumbled upon The Tucci Cookbook, a collection of recipes written by Stanley himself. This further added to my infatuation. Not only does he act and direct, but he cooks too! This gem of a cookbook is full of Italian dishes from his family table. His mother, Joan Tropiano, and his father, Stan Tucci, grew up in Upstate New York and were the children of Italian immigrants from Calabria in Southern Italy.
As it turns out, Stanely Tucci and his family lived in Katonah and he went to Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York. This is pretty special because my dad attended that school, and my cousin remembers going to school with Stanley. Small world!
Stanley, his mom and his dad each write a short introduction at the beginning of the cookbook about their family history. By the time I finished reading their personal stories and their love of excellent cooking, I felt like a member of the family and couldn’t wait to try some of the recipes.
Each recipe is unique in its own way. The special sauce made with olive oil and marinara gives this dish its panache. Enjoy with crisp white wine and thick slices of bread to soak up the sauce.
Italian Roasted Vegetables
A savory blend of root vegetables, zucchini, potatoes and Italian herbs roasted in extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 Tablespoon each of basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and oregano, chopped and mixed together
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 sweet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 carrots cut in half and cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 zucchini, cut in half and cut in 1 inch pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a roasting pan, add potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, half of the herbs and 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix well and roast for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Add sweet potato, zucchini, 1/4 cup olive oil and the rest of the spices. Mix everything together and continue roasting for about 60 minutes until everything is tender. Stir once or twice during cooking. Pay close attention during the last 15 minutes of cooking. The vegetables should be cooked through but not mushy.
- Remove from oven, drizzle with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve hot or warmed. These roasted veggies can be served on top of pasta, on a salad or as a savory side dish. Serve with a crisp white wine while watching a Stanley Tucci movie!