Portofino Restaurant is currently undergoing very exciting renovations and will reopen in time for Valentine’s Day. And while owners, Simone and Karen Maranzana reassure us that the much-loved aspects of the restaurant will remain (including menu favorites and the vintage Italian photographs) the restaurant’s look will be enhanced and improved upon and new menu items will make their debut! In the meantime though, you can bring Portofino into your own home by cooking up these recipes for Branzino, Orecchietta and Polpo e Patate. While the main restaurant is still closed for renovations, it’s worthy to note that the restaurant’s take-out section will still be open from 11:00am to 10:00pm on Monday to Friday and 4:00pm to 10:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
2 x 500g Mediterranean sea bass, scaled and gutted
4 potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
8 black olives, pitted and halved
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Ground black pepper
Put the potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini in a baking dish. Add the oregano, olives, garlic, salt and pepper and put in a 185°C oven for about 20 minutes. Then add the fish and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Fillet the fish and serve immediately with the vegetables.
14 oz. package Italian sausage, casing removed
12 oz. Orecchiette Pasta
6 1/2 cups fresh broccolini, no stems (16 oz)
5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. pine nuts
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente (for about 7 minutes). Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the sausage while breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon until browned. Add broccolini and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes; remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and mix well adding more if needed. Serve in pasta bowls with additional grated cheese on the side and toasted pine nuts on top.
Polpo e Patate
1 medium-sized octopus
2 stick of celery
1/2 tsp. saffron
2 lbs. potatoes
2 oz. green beans
2 oz. cherry tomatoes
In a large pot, combine the onion, carrot, celery and water. Add a small handful of salt and bring to a boil. Add the octopus and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 45 minutes. Let the octopus cool in the broth for 30 minutes, then drain. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add saffron and boil until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. In a medium bowl, mash the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Cut the octopus tentacles and grill them and then toss with green beans and cherry tomatoes, Serve on top of saffron mashed potatoes.