tempt your palate WITH THESE GREAT RECIPES

These are old family recipes that I hope you will enjoy as much as we have. I have fond memories of make them with my Mom and Grandmother, sometimes Dad would help too! I have tried to simplify them for you. You will find most of the ingredients at our Deli. If you have any questions please do call me. Mary at 818 352-7213.

What is ricotta cheese?

Technically, ricotta is not a cheese at all, but a cheese by-product. Its name, ricotta, means cooked again, an obvious reference to the production method used to make it.

Mention ricotta cheese and the first thing that comes to mind is probably a classic Italian lasagna. Ricotta works well in many desserts as well as savory dishes. In our family our favorite ricotta dish is Ricotta Gnocchi. Most people make Gnocchi with Potato which is a much heavier dish. I can remember making these delicious Ricotta Gnocchi with my Grandma Mary, and my Mom as a little girl. Mom and I still make them (we have to make 5 times this recipe to take care of all the family. It is quite a job!)

If this recipe sounds complicated, it isn’t. Mom and I will be happy to have a demonstration class in January for those of you who wish to see it prepared. Just give me a call so we can set up a day and time. It will be fun, we can all make them together and of course we will have to eat some to make sure they came out good!

Ricotta Gnocchi

Makes 6 to 8 servings

• 1 Lb Ricotta (Polly-o Ricotta is the best)
• 1 Egg
• 2 Tablespoons of Corsica’s Deli Grated Cheese
• 1 tablespoon of dry Parsley
• 1 1/2 cups All purpose Flour
• ½ Teaspoons of Salt
• Quart Corsica’s Deli Marinara Sauce ( if you like extra sauce add a Pint)
• Corsica’s Deli Grated Cheese to sprinkle on top of Gnocchi

You can find some of these ingredients at Corsica’s Deli in Sunland, California.

Call Mary (818) 352-7213


In medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, grated cheese, and parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, mix with a spoon or mixer. Sprinkle flour over ricotta mixture and, with your hands, work mixture into soft, dough, slightly sticky almost smooth. Work dough just until flour is incorporated into cheese mixture; do not overwork. Sprinkle a little flour in a bowl, place gnocchi dough in bowl cover with plastic film, refrigerate 4 hours or over night.

Break off piece of dough; on lightly floured surface, roll into 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut dough rope into 3/4-inch lengths. Using a cheese grater lay it on its side, (the side you would grate a hard cheese) lightly flour grater. Place one piece of dough on grater, gently pressing on dough with 2 fingers as you roll the dough along the grater. Allow dough to drop off the grater, slightly curling in on itself, forming an oval. One side of gnocchi will have makings and opposite side will have an indentation. Repeat rolling, cutting, and shaping with remaining dough.

Remember to lightly flour the grater as you go. Gnocchi can be made up to 4 hours ahead to this point. Arrange on a wax paper lined and floured jelly-roll pan; cover and refrigerate. Can be made a day ahead, refrigerate until time to cook.

You can also freeze the gnocchi, up to 2 months; just make sure that they are well wrapped for the freezer. Place in the refrigerator to thaw out the day before you wish to use them.

Warm your marinara sauce so that it is ready to cover your ricotta gnocchi.
(Check *Note below if you wish to have meat.)

In 5-quart saucepot, heat 4 quarts water to boiling over high heat. Add half of gnocchi and cook until gnocchi float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to warm shallow serving bowl. Add a little Corsica’s Deli Marinara Sauce gently mix, repeat with remaining gnocchi. Place on serving plates, cover with extra Sauce. Serve with Corsica’s Deli grated cheese. (If you have a larger pot 10 or 12 quart, you can cook them all at once, and drain them in a colander.)

Yield: 6 to 8 first-course servings, you have not lived until you tasted this wonderful homemade pasta! The texture, and the flavor is unique!


We like to have meat in our sauce to serve with the Ricotta Gnocchi.

If you like to add meat you will need another quart of Corsica’s Deli Marinara Sauce. Nice with Italian Sausage, Corsica’s Deli Meatballs, and Chicken or just one type of meat. We have cooked Sausage at the Deli or you can also purchase them from our freezer and cook them to add to the sauce. The meatballs are ready to heat and serve. If you wish to have chicken, you can use your favorite cut of chicken with or without bones.

(If using chicken breast, remove the rib bones or they will fall off into the sauce.) You need to brown the chicken add 1 cup of water plus 2 quarts and a pint of Corsica’s Deli Marinara Sauce, bring to a boil then simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until chicken is cooked. If using cooked sausage and meat balls you can simmer them in the sauce for about 30 minutes. If you like mushrooms add a drained 8 oz can of sliced mushrooms.

Remove all the meat from Sauce just before cooking the Ricotta Gnocchi, place the meat in a warm dish, cover set aside, then serve with the cooked Ricotta Gnocchi and grated cheese.

Nice with our famous Corsica’s Deli garlic bread, a green salad, and a bottle of Our San Antonio Classico Chianti.

Ricotta “Cheese” Cake

Makes 8 to 10 servings

This Ricotta “Cheese” Cake is literally Cake with Cheese! It is easy and Delicious, My cousin Lisa gave me this recipe, I use it when I want something really nice but don’t have much time to cook!


• 8 X 13 Glass Baking Dish
• 1 Yellow, White, or Lemon Cake mix (use cake mix with pudding)
• 2 LB of Poly-o Ricotta
• 3 Eggs
• ¾ of a Cup of Sugar
• Orange Zest from one Large Orange
• Juice from one Orange divided in ½
• Powdered Sugar

You can find some of these ingredients at Corsica’s Deli in Sunland, California

Call Mary (818) 352-7213.


Heat oven 350°

Lightly grease a 9 X 13 glass baking dish.

With electric mixer, mix Poly-o Ricotta, eggs, sugar, ½ of orange juice, all the orange zest, and set aside.

Prepare cake mix according to package, mix in ½ of orange juice.

Place Cake mix in baking dish first.

Gently add ricotta mixture on top of cake dough.

Bake 60 minutes

When cake bakes the cheese will be on bottom of dish, and cake will have risen to the top!

Let the cake cool, refrigerate until time to serve. Just before serving sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Easy, pretty and delicious!


For A Christmas Dessert

Easy Fruit Cake (NO Ricotta)

Makes 12 or more servings

NEED 9-inch Tube pan


• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 Teaspoon baking powder
• 2 eggs slightly beaten
• 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Milk
• 28 oz Jar ready made mincemeat
• 1 cup red candied cherries
• 1 cup green candied cherries
• 1 cup golden Raisins
• 1 ½ cup coarsely chopped Walnuts


Preheat oven 300°.

Butter a 9 –inch tube pan.

Mix all dry ingredients set aside.

Combine eggs, Eagle Brand sweet milk, mincemeat, fruit, and nuts.

With a spoon, add and mix in all dry ingredients.

Put in buttered tube pan.

Bake 2 Hours.

Cool 5 minutes in tube pan.

Remove cake from tube pan, turn right side up (the cake will be shiny on top as it cools) When completely cooled, wrap in foil paper until time to use.
It’s that easy!

This cake last for months in the refrigerator, as long as you keep it well wrapped. Can easily be made a week or two ahead, convenient when there is so much to do at the last minute!

When you slice the cake it will be colorful with the red and green cherries. Great for the Holidays. Even folks who don’t like fruit cake like this one! It’s yummy, yummy!

Bona Fortuna! (Good Luck)

More Cookin' with Mary!

Polenta translates as corn meal mush, but it's much more. It's the staple food of North Italy, where it still outshines pasta, and can be served in innumerable ways, as a first course, baked, with stews, or even as a bread substitute. Here are a couple of recipes you might like to try.

Traditional Polenta Recipe

Makes 6 servings

• 4 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt ( I like to use chicken Bouillon for savory recipes)
• 1 cup instant polenta (Find at Corsica’s Deli)
• 1 ½ Tablespoons of Butter or Olive Oil (Find at Corsica’s Deli)


Oil an 8 X 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Set aside

In a heavy saucepan bring water and salt (or bouillon), butter (or olive oil) to a boil and gradually whisk in polenta in a thin stream. Cook polenta over moderately low heat (it should be barely boiling), stirring constantly, until very thick and pulls away from side of pan, about 5 minutes for Instant polenta. Check your package for instructions some take longer.

Remove pan from heat, spoon polenta in oiled 8 X 8 glass baking dish. Cover with foil to keep warm. The polenta also needs to set for about 10 minutes. (Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 15 to 20 minutes)

Italian Sausage on Polenta

Makes 6 servings

• Quart Corsica’s Deli Italian Marinara Sauce.
• 1 ½ pounds bulk, Hot or Mild Italian Sausage or links with skin removed. (Find at Corsica’s Deli)
• 1 Medium Red Bell pepper sliced thin (the length of the pepper).
• 1 Medium Green Bell pepper sliced thin (the length of the pepper).
• 1 Medium Yellow Bell pepper sliced thin (the length of the pepper).
• 1 Medium Onion sliced thin (the length of the onion).
• Olive Oil for cooking. (Find at Corsica’s Deli)
• Grated Corsica’s Deli Italian Grated Cheese
• Cooked Polenta (Find at Corsica’s Deli)


If you don’t like sausage you can substitute boneless chicken pieces or ground Turkey, actually any boneless meat even left over cooked stew meat. Just make sure the meat is fully cooked and tender before you add the vegetables and sauce. You will also need to add salt & pepper to taste, (the sausage has those ingredients). Nice with a green Salad and a glass of San Antonio Classico Chianti!

Prepare Sausage & Vegetables with Sauce; cover and keep warm.


Heat a 10-inch skillet over high heat.

Add oil to coat skillet, add bell peppers and onion; stir-fry about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place in a dish, cover to keep warm.

Add a little oil to coat skillet, add sausage; stir-fry crumbling the sausage meat for 2 minutes, lower heat cook until sausage is no longer pink. drain.

Add vegetables to drained sausage in skillet; stir fry 1 minute.

Add marinara Sauce bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes.

Prepare Traditional Polenta Recipe. Cover & set aside for 5 to 15 minutes.

Cut polenta into 6 pieces.

Place a piece of polenta on plate.

Top polenta with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Eat & Enjoy!

For Dessert - Lemon Polenta Cake

Lemon Polenta Cake is best made the same day you will serve it. You will find that the cake does not rise as much as a traditional cake, and is harder, almost like a large cakey cookie. A delicious different type of cake that is easy to make.


NEED 9-inch spring form pan


• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup instant polenta (Find at Corsica’s Deli)
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup regular olive oil or melted butter cooled
(Do not use pungent oil like Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
• 1 cup heavy cream well chilled
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar


(Whip Heavy Cream with a little granulated sugar to taste about 1 to 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, on a hot day chill bowl & betters before whipping) Cover & refrigerate for later.


Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Sift together the flour, polenta, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil (or butter), lemon juice and vanilla.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the granulated sugar at medium speed until thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the oil mixture and the lemon zest. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the side and let cool completely.

Transfer the cake to a serving plate and sift the confectioner’s sugar over the top.

Serve with the whipped cream.

Also delicious served with sliced strawberries when they are in season!

Nice way to end an Italian Meal!

Bona Fortuna! (Good Luck)



Owner Mary Russo has the expertise, knowledge and caring attitude to make your intimate party or group event a success! Mary and her staff deliver, with a special touch that's uniquely their own.

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