Three Italian Recipes You Can Master by Giacomino Drago

Giacomino Drago and his brothers own a number of beloved restaurants in the Los Angeles area, including a handful of favorites in Beverly Hills. During these trying times, Il Pastaio, Piccolo Paradiso, Il Segreto and Yojisan are temporarily closed but Via Alloro and Sushi House Unico remain open for takeout and delivery. 

“We had to close for safety and merged to keep one place in Beverly Hills and Bel Air for the community,” Drago told the Courier. 

During the forced downtime, the family is making improvements to the restaurants and working on recipes. Three classics are found below. 

“This has been life-changing, but those beautiful days will come out again,” Drago told the Courier. 

Spaghetti al Pomodoro Basilico 

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (1 tablespoon of salt for every 2 quarts of water). 

2. When the water boils, add the spaghetti pasta in a strainer and into the boiled water until the pasta is al dente. 

3. While the water is heating, in a heated pan add the tomato sauce and basil. Heat for 2-3 minutes.

4. Then, add a touch of butter and continuously mix. 

5. When the spaghetti is ready, add it into the pan.

6. After, add some parmesan cheese and butter, and mix. 

7. Finally, serve the pasta on a plate. 

• celery, small diced 1 Stalk 

• yellow onion, small diced 1?2 pc 

• tomatoes, drained and crushed 14.5 ounces

• rosemary 1 sprig

• bay leaf 1 pc

• parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish 4 flat 

• lemon zest, for garnish 1 tbp 

Panzanella Salad 

Diced Tomato
Diced Cucumber
Sliced Red Onions Squared Ciabatta Bread Red Wine Vinegar 1 Ounce Virgin Olive Oil
Iodized Salt
Ground Pepper 

• garlic, roughly chopped

• tomato paste

• dry red wine 

(such as Chianti)
• veal stock
• whole peeled plum 


1 cloves 3 ounces 

1?2 cup 6 cups 

1. Mix all ingredients together in a clean stainless bowl.
2. Put it on a deep white bowl.
3. Ready to serve. 

• veal shanks
• Kosher salt
• freshly ground pepper • all-purpose flour
• extra virgin olive oil
• carrots, peeled and 

small diced 

2 pcs – 12 ounces 

1?2 cup 1?2 cup 

2 pcs 

2 Ounces
1 1/2 Ounces 1 Ounce
2 Ounces 

2 Ounces 1 Pinch
1 Pinch 

• Preheat the oven to 350 . Tie each veal shank once around the circumference so that it holds the bone and meat in the center. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, dredge the veal shanks in flour, and pat off the excess. 

• Heat the extra virgin olive oil until shimmering in a large enameled cast-iron casserole dish over medium. Add the veal shanks, and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed to avoid burning the flour. Remove the shanks from casserole, and set aside. 

• Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the same casserole, and cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the casserole with the red wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the veal stock and add the crushed tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaf, and parsley.

• Return the veal shanks to casserole, and bring to a boil over high. Once the liquid boils, cover, transfer to the oven, and cook for 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes, until the meat is fork-tender and falling off the bones. • Remove the herbs from the braising liquid and discard. Using a skimmer or large spoon, skim off any grease or foam that rises to the surface. Season with salt and pepper. 

• To serve, cut and discard the twine from each shank. Transfer veal shanks to individual serving bowls, and ladle about 3?4 cup of sauce and vegetables over each shank. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped parsley. You may serve it with polenta, risotto, or pasta prepared with only oil, butter and parmesan cheese. 


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