Boston Restaurants Entree/Dinner Italian Recipe Sources

Marc Orfaly’s Meatballs & Gravy

Here is a recipe from Marc Orfaly, esteemed chef and owner at Pigalle. Last night Marc taught this take on an Italian classic (for those of you that don’t know, gravy is the traditional, Italian term for red sauce) during a hands-on, casual class at the Boston Center for Adult Education. Other Boston-area chefs who have taught amateur foodies interested in learning from experts include: Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley’s Bistro, Rebecca Newell of The Beehive, Brian Poe of Poe’s Kitchen at The Rattlesnake, and Thomas Frost from Fairmont Hotels.

Sauce Ingredients

  • 4 each, peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 whole white onion
  • One small can of tomato paste
  • One large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 5 basil leafs, sliced
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 2 cups evoo

Meatball Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. of meatloaf mix from supermarket (beef, lamb, pork)
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. dried garlic
  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  • S&P (to taste)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup finely ground parmesan

Sauce Preparation

  1. In a heavy bottomed sauce heat over low heat, add EVOO, add sliced garlic and cook until no color, approx. 5 min in covered pot.
  2. When garlic looks translucent, add finely chopped onion, covered, and cook until translucent for another 5 minutes.
  3. When Tender, add basil, chili flake, and tomato paste, cook under low heat for another 5 minutes.  When tomato paste appears darker, add remaining tomato product.
  4. Puree sauce with a food processor.

Meatball Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and ‘kneed’ meat until well combined.
  2. Form into balls, place onto a cookie tray and broil for approx. 5 min until brown.
  3. Add balls and all remaining fat on tray to tomato sauce, cook over low heat until they float, approx. 1 hour
  4. Cook your favorite pasta al dente.
  5. In a medium saucepan take desired amount of sauce over medium heat and toss for a minute with the pasta, allowing the sauce and pasta to become “one”.


Entree/Dinner Featured Recipes Healthy Options Meals

Vegetarian Paella

Brehon Garcia-Dale has transformed the Food & Wine Program at the Boston Center for Adult Education. Since assuming her current position a year ago, the classes, with a consistent and steady explosion in popularity, have been taught by a veritable who’s who in the Boston restaurant scene and a steady group of professional culinary educators. Some chefs who have particpated are; Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley’s Bistro, Rebecca Newell of The Beehive, Brian Poe of Poe’s Kitchen at The Rattlesnake, and Thomas Frost from Fairmont Hotels.

Brehon learned this recipe from Chef Instructor Diane Manteca during the “International Vegetarian Cuisine” course at the BCAE. The dish serves six people.


  • 1 block tofu, marinated in 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 pound soy based sausage (smoky flavor if possible)
  • 2 cups dry rice (long grain – uncle ben’s is best)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, diced in about 1/8″ pieces
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced small
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1 tsp. dry thyme
  • 1 tb kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • a few pinches of cayenne pepper

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large pot add the olive oil and put heat on high.
  2. Add onions and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not allow the tomatoes to overcook and lose their shape.
  5. Add the sausage, stir and cook another minute.
  6. Add the rice, wine, vegetable stock, tofu, bay leaves, cayenne, and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat and cover, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  8. Add the peas .
  9. Season the dish to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley.