David Rocco, star and producer of David Rocco's La Dolce Vita which takes place in Florence, Italy, airs Tuesday nights on The Food Network.


Q: What is your fondest memory from your family kitchen?


A: It is Sunday lunch. A meal that we all looked forward to as it meant that extra dish or two which usually lasted several hours. It also meant eating with extended family — aunts, uncles and cousins.


What kitchen aromas bring back fond memories?

A:Definitely espresso just being made. While my dad and I watched the soccer matches we would drink espresso. Even today walking by an espresso bar in Italy takes me back to my childhood.

What is your favourite food to cook?

A: Any pasta dish! My favourite food to eat would be penne with fresh tomato and basil sauce.

What kitchen gadget can't you live without?

A: Good knives and large, thick cutting boards.

What ritual from your background do you partake in?

A:If I'm in town during the fall, I love to participate in jarring peeled tomatoes. It's fun spending a Sunday afternoon with a group making sauce.


David Rocco's Salsicca con Cime di Rape


  • large bunch of rapini cleaned, cut in half

  • 8 x 3-oz. pork sausages

  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • salt and whole chilies to season


  • Cook the rapini in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. In a saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

  • Add garlic cloves and chili peppers, cook until garlic is golden brown.

  • Add rapini to the saucepan and sauté for a few minutes. Salt to taste