Patsy’s Cookbook

The Slanted Door
June 1, 2018

Classic Italian Recipes from a New York City Landmark Restaurant

by Salvatore Scognamillo

From the Restaurant That Frank Sinatra Made Famous

Of the thousands of restaurants in New York City, very few withstand the tests of time—and only one can lay claim to being Frank Sinatra’s favorite. And where Frank went, his friends followed—from close pals such as Tony Bennett and fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. to the show-biz colleagues they brought in.

Established nearly sixty years ago, Patsy’s has long been a celebrity favorite and a New York institution. Why? Great food, family friendliness, and a welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve come home. And the fare is the classic southern Italian cuisine that’s become America’s comfort food: Mussels Arreganata, Fettuccine Alfredo, Rigatoni Sorrentino, Chicken Parmigiana, Veal Marsala, Shrimp Scampi, Tiramisù . . . a greatest hits of Neapolitan-influenced dishes.

And Patsy’s Cookbook provides more than recipes: also in the mix are anecdotes from family and friends, including the occasion when Pablo Picasso tried to give Patsy a painting; the time that the restaurant opened on Thanksgiving Day just for Frank Sinatra; Aunt Anna’s rather unorthodox autograph request of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs; and the story of the roast suckling pig delivered to Jackie Gleason’s hotel suite.

Here is a remarkable collection of 100 perfectly executed, delicious recipes, heartwarming stories of a successful family business, and entertaining celebrity tales, capturing the full experience of a New York City institution. Patsy’s Cookbook is an invitation to join the extended family that’s proud to call Patsy’s their second home.

TSG Review

A New York landmark restaurant that was frequented by many celebrities is a good way to get me interested in a cookbook from them. Top it off with simple recipes that seem to favor fresh ingredients I can't wait to get started. There are some cool interstitials in the book telling stories about Frank Sinatra and the Patsy's family that are entertaining. Looks like this book has all the classic italian recipes you would expect and more!
I followed all the recipes exactly as written.

Franks Veal Cutlets Milanese

Serves 8
Never made veal at home before and have only had it at a couple italian restaurants. I wasn't impressed until now. The recipe was simple, ingredients fresh, and the technique quick! Simply put a tender breaded tenderloin with parsley and lemons. No wonder this was one of Frank Sinatra's faves!

Sauteed Mushrooms with Cognac and Cabernet Savignon

Serves 4
Oh boy this went over well. I added this deep flavored mushroom dish to a grilled New York strip. The rich flavor of the alcohol and cream turned a standard steak into something you would get at a steakhouse with little work.

Tomato Sauce

Makes 7 Cups
The only reason I made this recipe was so I could make the rigatoni the way the book recommends and I'm glad I did. very simple tomato sauce recipe and it makes a lot that you can eat right way, refrigerate or freeze for later. It uses fresh tomatoes and herbs making a bright sauce that is amazing on noodles. I added the recipe so you can give it a shot.

Rigatoni Sorrentino

Serves 6 to 8
A lovely casserole of noodles, tomatoes, and a variety of Italian cheeses; ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. If you like lasagna you will enjoy this treat.

Chicken Cardinale

Serves 4
Similar to Chicken Marsala, this dish is a sauted chicken breast with a Marsala wine sauce. The addition of a roasted red pepper gives it the name then it's topped with melted mozzarella.

Summary

I was really happy with this book. There are very few recipes that serve under four people and a lot that makes enough for eight people but most of them can easily be reduced by half. The recipes are simple and easy to make with as few ingredients as possible. What makes this such a good book is the use of fresh ingredients and herbs. I even liked the stories scattered through out of the history of the place and the celebrity visits.