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Garden to Table Recipes: Billy Famous Pesto and Mama Failla’s Rosemary Bolognese, Butter Sage Sauce and Meatballs!

Billy's Famous Walnut Pesto

Inspired by Samin Nostrat's Pesto Journey in Salt Fat Acid Heat



Basil (2 to 1 ration of how every many walnuts you have)

Parmesan cheese (or sharp cheese)

High Quality Olive Oil

Coarse Salt


  1. In a mortar and pestol, crush walnuts down to a paste consistency
  2. Add the basil leaves and start to smash
  3. Add salt to help break down the leaves (this is where it will start to smell dreamy)
  4. Add cheese (to taste)
  5. Transfer walnut/basil/salt/cheese mixture into a bowl or container
  6. Add olive oil and slowly incorporate it
  7. Add more of whatever you want to taste and enjoy it on EVERYTHING!

*if you use a food processor, put the basil in first and THEN the walnuts because the walnuts weight the basil down and gets everything blended evenly*


Mama Failla's Rosemary Bolognese

Inspired by my Nonni (grandma's recipe)


Fresh Picked Rosemary

1 lb of ground beef (you can sub mushrooms for the meat for vegetarians)

1 small can of Contadina Tomato Paste

1 or 2 onions, cut small (red is preferred but white or yellow is fine)

Olive oil


Shallow Pan

  1. Saute onions in a nice layer of olive oil until transparent and fragrant
  2. Add Ground Beef and smash it so it's a nice thin layer, cook till brown
  3. Add can of tomato paste and smash it through the ground beef so it's incorporated
  4. Take the rosemary leaves off of the rosemary stems – at least 4-6 stems worth
  5. Chop up the leaves, it makes it easy to chew at the end
  6. Add to sauce
  7. Add water until there is a thin film of water covering the whole sauce
  8. Raise it to a simmer and let sit for an hour of so, continue to add water as it continues to cook off the sauce
    1. If you cover the pot, leave a space open for the air to escape, Mama Failla doesn't cover the pot
    2. Don't be afraid to keep adding water and letting it cook off
  9. When you're done you'll have a nice “juicy, wet, beefy, red sauce… it's gonna be delicious” – Mama Failla
  10. Mama Failla prefers a short rigatoni- you want a pasta with a hole in it and that has ridges on the side so you can capture as much sauce as possible

Mama Failla's Sage and Butter Sauce with Boiled Potatoes



Fresh Picked Sage from the Garden

Russet Potatoes (boiled and halved)


Cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino or

Frying Pan


  1. Melt butter in a frying pan
  2. Chifonade (or just cut up into ribbons) the sage and add it to the butter
  3. Let the butter and sage become friends
  4. Add a bit of salt
  5. Take the boiled potatoes and stick the halved open side in the butter mixture and allow to crisp and brown in the souce (about 5-10 minutes)
  6. If you don't want to do potatoes, serve this with gnocchi or pasta!

Mama Failla's Famous “Polpetti” or Meatballs


Fresh Parsley from the Garden (leaves removed from stems)

Fresh Thyme from the Garden (leaves removed from the stems)

1 lb of shredded turkey

Italian flavored breadcrumbs

“Handful” of cheese (whatever you got!)

1 slice white bread

Cup (ish) of Milk (or chicken broth for dairy free)

1 Egg

Olive Oil


Frying Pan


  1. Soak bread in milk
  2. Put turkey, cheese and soaked bread in a bowl and combine
  3. Add egg
  4. Add herbs “More herbs = more flavor” always use FRESH
  5. Mix mixture with your hands. Aim to make your meatballs “bigger than a marble, smaller than a golf ball”
  6. Roll the balls of meat
  7. Put breadcrumbs in a bowl and roll the meatballs in breadcrumbs
  8. Put a nice “puddle” of olive oil in the frying pan “It should sit in a pile of oil, not bathe”
  9. Put meatballs in the oil, let them sit for 4 minutes and then flip them. Work to get a “nice brown, sauteed, panfried look to your meatball”
  10. Take the meatballs out and drain them on a paper town and IMMEDIATELY “hit 'em with salt”

“You're gonna love these meatballs, you cannot eat just one” – Mama Failla

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