WKYC guest chef dishes her tasty recipes

Easy Italian Sauce Recipe - Stefanie Paganini

CLEVELAND -- Hungry?

You will be…

Chef Stefanie Paganini was WKYC’s special guest co-anchor Thursday morning, and she shared with us some of her favorite recipes.

So cozy up to the counter and get ready to scarf down some good eats.

Arrabbiata Sauce

Serves 6

1/2 lb. pancetta bacon cut into small cubes

1 onion, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 lbs. fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Kalamata olives

1 tsp. fresh basil

1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper

 Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, pancetta, red pepper flakes and black pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Add fresh tomatoes. Cook at high heat to reduce. Cook sauce until it thickens. Add fresh basil and olives to the sauce.

Mascarpone Filled Cannoli

Makes 20 Pieces

20 ready made cannoli shells


16 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp. lemon zest

1/4 cup chocolate pieces or mini-chocolate chips

1/4 cup dried fruit (cherries, apricots, etc.), minced
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla sugar

For assembly:

4 cups vegetable oil

Candied Cherries

Confectioner's sugar

Doilies, for final presentation

Combine mascarpone cheese, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar and heavy cream. Fold in lemon zest, fruit, and chocolate. Refrigerate, covered.

To serve, use a pastry bag with a tip to fill the cannoli with the cheese mixture. Arrange them on a tray, and sprinkle confectioner's sugar over the tops. Place half of a cherry at each end. Serve immediately.

Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad

Serves 4-6


4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons drained capers

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and Pepper to taste


3 cups cooked Quinoa 

2 grilled chicken breast, sliced into pieces

½ cup grilled red pepper, sliced

½ cup grilled yellow pepper, sliced

½ cup grilled zucchini

½ cup grilled yellow squash

¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced

½ cup Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a food processor blend together dressing ingredients. Adjust to taste. Set aside.

Toss together all salad ingredients with dressing.

Turkey Spinach Panini with Honey Dijon Dip

Deli sliced smoked turkey breast

Green apple or pear, sliced thinly

Fresh spinach, washed

Bacon strips or pancetta slices

Spread able brie or goat cheese

Olive oil

Texan toast bread or thickly sliced Italian bread or large dinner roll

Heat panini grill or large skillet pan. Brush bread slices with olive oil. Spread cheese on bread. Layer remaining ingredients in sandwich as desired.

Place sandwich in grill and cook until bread is golden brown. Serve with honey Dijon mayonnaise dip.

Note: You can bake pancetta slices in the oven at 300° F on a parchment lined baking sheet until they are crispy as an alternate to frying them in a pan.

Honey Dijon Mayonnaise Dip

1 cup honey (preferably lavender honey)

1 cup Dijon mustard

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups sour cream

Whisk together honey and mustard until blended. Add mayonnaise and sour cream.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

2 sheets puff pastry

1 lb. ham of choice, sliced

1 lb. Swiss cheese, sliced

Egg wash (1 egg & 2 Tbsp. water)

Preheat oven to 400° F. 

Layer ham and cheese over each sheet of puff pastry. Roll up puff pastry and cut into 1 inch round slices. 

Place each puff pastry slice on a parchment lined cookie sheet. 

Brush with egg wash. Place cookie sheet in oven for 1-15 minutes and allow dough to turn a golden color.  Remove and serve warm.


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