Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fettuccine with Arugula and mushrooms

Something new that I am anxious to share with you tonight.  This combination of ingredients resulted in a scrumptious pasta dish.


Baby portabello  mushrooms
Bacon, coarsely choppe
Olive oi
Garlic and onion
Dry basil and oregano
Red pepper flakes
Sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Arugula, coarsely chopped

 I've become a big time fan of this brand of pasta...available online


Cook the bacon, remove and set aside to drain, and remove most of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add olive oil and saute the garlic and onion until soft. Add the mushrooms and seasoning along with the tomatoes and cook uncovered over low-medium heat.  Just before the pasta is ready mix in the bacon, then add the pasta and the arugula and mix well.  Add some pasta water if needed and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve with Parmigiano or Romano cheese.


Patience and I both went a little nutty over this.  If you like arugula you will love this dish.  Don't overdo the sun dried tomatoes.  I used 3 or 4, and I think as few as 2 would do just as well. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I find that working in a variety of mediums prevents boredom and complacency and helps keep the work fresh.  I spend time in my studio everyday, and manage to stay engaged, either painting and drawing, taking care of "busy work", or reading.  (The nap time doesn't count.)   In the past several days I've completed the following:

Isolated...acrylic, markers, pastel...12x12
 Clean Cut...watercolor...pencil, ink

Two new additions to the Paducah Portfolio:

 Cynthias...markers, ink...7x7

Before the Condos...markers, pencil, ink...5x7

Thursday, January 26, 2012

About 6 years ago I came across a box of oil pastels that I purchased from the estate of a Wilmington Delaware illustrator in the 1970s.  Out of curiosity more than inspiration I began painting with them.  For some reason I tried working on some failed clay prints lying around the studio and, as so often happens, ended up with a body of work that grew to over 30 pieces.  To my delight they were quite popular and most have been sold.  Yesterday I was moving some stuff about - something I tend to do a lot - and uncovered 4 of the few remaining pieces.  I'm fond of them and would like to share them with you.

 #9...oil pastel...16x4

 #7...oil pastel...10x11

 #6...oil pastel...13x15

Lacy...oil pastel...16x18

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The joy of broccoli rabe

I realize that I can be "over the top" in my comments and descriptions of the pasta we've been eating, but sometimes it simply can't be helped because the food is so damn good.  That was the case last night when I prepared fettuccine with the Broccoli Rabe from Whole Foods brought to us by Elliot and Tom. 
Patience and I both thought this was the best BR we had ever had.

I have posted the recipe on several occasions and will not repeat it here, but there were two variations in last night's dish; I added sweet onions with the garlic, and bacon bits to the final dish.  I don't know if it was this, or simply the broccoli rabe itself, but the result was the wonderful flavor of the greens, without the bitterness, plus an element of sweetness (I hate trying to describe flavors) that combined to create a memorable meal.

I think the most important thing is not to overcook the broccoli rabe.  It should be blanched for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, then sauteed with the garlic and olive oil for about 5 more minutes, allowing it to retain it's bright green color.  This means timing the pasta so it is ready when the broccoli rabe is.

Monday, January 23, 2012

1-23…Egg noodles with scallops, mushrooms, and snow peas

Something very different tonight, thanks to special friends in the Nashville area who visited yesterday with a most incredible care package, sea scallops, broccoli rabe, and wine, among other things, all from Whole foods.  Patience and I want to marry them!


Egg noodles
Sea scallops
Snow peas
Green onions
Penzy spices mural of flavor ( check out Penzy spices online…great resource)
Olive oil
Dry white wine
Portabello mushrooms thinly sliced
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
Fresh lemon juice


Saute the snow peas, mushrooms, garlic, and green onions in olive oil. Add a splash of white wine and lemon juice and cook for about 10-15 minutes.   Remove and set aside and keep warm.

Qiickly cook the scallops in oil and butter while the pasta is cooking.  Present them on the plate in any manner that appeals to you.


Good dinner.  Thank you Elliot and Tom.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Aglio Olio crude...a dish to die for

OK...before I say anything else, let me explain tonight's photo.  I am preparing what is probably my favorite pasta dish, the meal I would request if I had to choose the last meal of my life, and I am very, very hungry.  So, when dinner was ready I completely forgot about the camera and focused all of my attention on the pasta...perfectly understandable.

I have posted this recipe before and you can easily find it my searching for Agli Olio crude.  The only difference tonight, I added some grape tomatoes for color.

I'm still working on the barns, preparing for a Gallery 5 show at the end of March.  Most of the work will be small, ranging from 4x4 inches to 11x14, with an occasional larger piece in the mix.  I'm using a variety of media which keeps the work interesting and fresh.  My two latest pieces are:

 Pastel on paper toned with acrylic inks and mounted on hardboard...11x14"

 Pastel sketch on colored paper...4x4"

At the same time I'm still working on the Paducah drawings, planning to show the work later this year.

Whitehaven...pastel, ink, and markers on gray paper...approximately 8x10"

Friday, January 20, 2012

I was thinking out-loud about what to prepare for tonight's pasta dinner when Patience suggested mushrooms, onions and bacon.  That sounded inspired and since her wish is my command...that is what we had.


Portobella mushrooms
Italian parsley
Olive oil
Sweet Vermouth
Dry basil and oregano 
Bacon coarsely chopped


Cook the bacon, remove and set aside, and drain of excess bacon fat.  Add olive oil to the pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft, then add the mushrooms, some of the parsley, seasoning and cook over medium to low heat, adding a splash of wine after 5 minutes.

When the pasta is done, add it to the pan and mix in the bacon and remaining parsley, drizzle with olive oil and serve with parmagiano reggiano cheese.


There were no leftovers!  And if I had cooked more than the 6-7 ounces of pasta, there still would have not been any leftover.  This was an absolute TEN.

Josephine Rondinelli Renzulli...A Tribute

I have been sending out an e-newsletter from Gallery 5 about once a month for the past 2 years, occasionally posting them on this blog. Yesterday's letter evoked such a remarkable response that I thought I would share it with my blog readers.

Josephine Rondinelli Renzulli...A Tribute

Mom, dad, and me at my graduation from Jefferson Medical College

Last month marked the 20th anniversary of my mother’s death. She was my age when she died, an age that has suddenly assumed much more significance for me. I think of her often, almost daily, and give quiet thanks for all that she has given me. She loved art and music, and could sit at a piano or pick up a mandolin and play a tune “by ear”. (Sadly the music gene snuck right by me.) She was always drawing or painting, and constantly encouraged me in my own efforts, providing me with the necessary materials to do so.

She and my father did everything they could to see that I had the opportunities that they never had. I can still feel and sense their pride when I graduated from medical school, and fifteen years later, when I told them I was leaving my practice to become an artist…They simply asked If I was absolutely sure of that and their support and encouragement never skipped a beat. I owe them so very much.

And I will always wonder, what could she have been, what could she have accomplished, given my opportunities? Far more than me, I am certain of that.

Here are four of many paintings:

If you would like to receive the Gallery 5 e-letter please email me at wfrenzulli@mac.com.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1-18…Perciatelli with bacon, sundried tomatoes, and Kalmata olives

Looking for something different tonight, going for the rustic flavor.

INGREDIENTS: Perciatelli Bacon Sundried tomatoes Onion Olive oil Pecorino romano cheese

PROCESS: Chop and cook the bacon; remove and set aside to drain. Cook the thinly sliced onion in the bacon fat until soft, then add the chopped sundried tomatoes and olives and simmer. A
dd the pasta to the pan, mix in the bacon, and drizzle with olive oil. Add the grated cheese and serve.

COMMENTS: This was as delicious as it was different. P gave it a ten! I’m already planning a variation of this dish; adding eggplant to the sauce. I recommend it without reservation.

Monday, January 16, 2012


It has been a while since we’ve had this dish, typically with a cream sauce. I thought I would stay away from the cream tonight and stick with butter, lemon, and a bit of wine.

INGREDIENTS: Angel hair pasta Asparagus spears cut into 1 inch pieces Salmon fillets cut into bite sized pieces Olive oil Garlic Onion Dry Dill Fresh chopped parsley Butter Fresh lemon juice Dry white wine

PROCESS: Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil then add the asparagus with some dill and parsley. Cook for about 10 minutes before adding the salmon and butter. About 5 minutes later add the lemon juice and white wine and cook uncovered until the salmon is done. Add the pasta to the pan with some pasta water, sprinkle with parsley, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.


Patience worked today, which means we did not eat until after 8 PM, which means I was quite hungry, which means cardboard would probably taste good. BUT…this was truly good. I would rate it an 8 plus on a scale of 10. And it is an easy meal to prepare.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Working on the "less is more" theory

It is a very rare visitor to my gallery who knows what a clay mono type is. Despite the herculean efforts of Mitch Lyons who developed this unusual process, it remains an unknown art form to most people, including artists. I quickly learned that my attempts to describe the process failed miserably, and as a result I resorted to demonstrating the technique by creating 3 to 4 small abstract prints. After giving one to the each visitor I would toss the remaining demos in a box, thinking that someday I will find a use for them. Well that someday has arrived. For the past few days I've been selecting some of the demos to serve as support for a series of small pastel paintings. Today I have several more to share with you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Patel on clay

There is simply no telling where the muses will take us. I am still dutifully following them as they lead me along this path of small paintings and drawings, from one medium to another. Currently I find myself rummaging through my box of discarded clay mono type scraps (I guess they really weren't discarded.) looking for interesting patterns and colors that I can enhance with soft pastels. Here some results from the past 2 days:

Friday, January 13, 2012

In the midst of preparing for a weekend book sale in the gallery I managed to find enough time for these two small pastel paintings:
pastel on paper mounted on 8x8 panel
pastel on toned paper...image aproximately 4x9"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1-11…Fusilli with Kale and Mustard greens

Patience described to me the “brain benefits” of eating greens, recently broadcast on an interview on NPR. Of course I immediately went out and bought 18 pounds of greens, which has resulted in tonight’s dinner.


Fusilli Fresh Kale Bacon coarsely chopped Anchovies, 3 or 4 fillets finely chopped Olive oil Garlic and onion Basil and oregano Salt and pepper


Cook the bacon, remove, drain, and set aside. Add olive oil to the pan and cook the garlic, onion, and anchobies until soft. The anchovies will melt into oblivion. Chop the greens and blanch in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, drain, and add to the pan, along with red pepper and seasoning, and cook over low heat.. Cook the pasta in the water used for the greens, add to the pan with the greens and mix well. Mix in most of the bacon and serve with bacon sprinkles and parmigiano reggiano cheese.


Those of you who read this blog regularly no how stingy I am with praise, so you will be surprise when I go APE over this dish. It was fantastic!!! I loved it!!! I suspect it was the combination of the Kale and anchovies that gave it an almost sweet taste, or maybe the bacon and cheese….no…it was the anchovies and cheese….or was is it the kale and bacon? Whatever it was….it was great.


Some of them have been with me for over 40 years; most of them were acquired twenty to thirty years ago. I'm referring of course to the books which have been both inspirational and instructional as I worked to create a second career for myself. They have served me well, but it is time to move on, especially since space is no longer as unlimited as it once was. About half of the books I've used frequently, a quarter of them were used occasionally, and the remainder rarely or not at all. I have never hesitated in acquiring a book or a journal that I thought would help me become a better artist. The books reflect my early interest in architecture and have served as references and resources for my work, as well as providing instruction in architectural drawing and rendering.

I will be holding a book sale in my gallery and studio this weekend with everything priced "to go". ($1.00 to $5.00) Wish me well.

Monday, January 9, 2012

1-9…pasta with leftover pork loin and vegetables

The secret to the success of tonight’s dinner was the marinade I used in last night’s feast of roasted pork loin and vegetables.

The marinade:

Olive oil, Coarsely chopped sun dried tomatoes,  Red wine,  Juice of one lemon,  Parmigiano reggiano cheese,  Fresh parsley,  Salt and pepper,  Dry basil and oregano

Combine and mix all ingredients in a bowl, then pulse in a food processor to a creamy consistency. Marinate the pork loin for at least an hour, then add left over marinade to the baking pan with the meat and veggies.. ( I used sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, brussels sprouts, and finger potatoes.) Tonight I cut the meat into ½ inch pieces and heated it along with the veggies and a splash of sweet vermouth, while the pasta was cooking. The pasta was added to the pan along with a bit of the pasta water and served with a sprinkling of cheese.

Once again I am restrained by my modesty from proclaiming this a FANTATSTIC, MOST WONDERFUL MEAL. So I will simply say it was delicious.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Loving the small stuff

I am enjoying the break from regular gallery hours (will open on Fridays and Saturdays in January and February) although I'm still spending most of my "free" time in the studio.  The work remains small, and there has been a gradual shift from markers and watercolor to pastels.

Here are 3 recent pieces that I've just added to my Etsy store:

 Tuscan Orange...pastel on paper...image 3x7"...$50.00

Purple Mountains...pastel on paper...image 4x8"...$60.00

Distant Hills...pastel on clay mono type...image...3x8"...$50.00

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1-5…Linguine with tuna and assorted vegetables

This is a variation of a dish I’ve posted before. The difference is in the tuna. Instead of StarKist tuna in oil from Kroger (which I thoroughly enjoy) I used tuna in oil from Sicily provided by my “Chicago” daughter.

Spinach Linguine, Tuna in oil,  Broccoli florets,  Small tomatoes,  halved and quartered , Green onions,  Celery,  Garlic,  Fresh parsley,  Dill,  White wine,  Fresh lemon juice, Dry white wine, Butter


Saute the garlic, onions, celery, and broccoli, in oil and butter while the pasta is cooking. Add a splash of white wine along with the dill and lemon juice. Add the pasta and tuna to the pan and mix well. Drizzle with olive oil, add the lemon juice, and the tomatoes, and some pasta water. Serve with parmigiano reggiano cheese.


Lee and Dee joined us tonight, making the dish especially nice. The difference in the tuna was striking; it was a much subtler flavor than the StarKist. If you enjoy trying something different, give this a try.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


After allowing my Etsy store to languish from neglect over the past year I have made it the focus of my one and only New Year's resolution, and have vowed to restore and maintain the shop with regular updates.  I am currently listing the small drawings and paintings done over the last several months, with prices ranging from $30.00 to $150.00.  I expect there will be some pieces at higher prices along the way, but my intent is to focus on the more affordable prices.

The subjects will vary so I hope to have something for everyone.  Here are 3 representative pieces now being listed:


The Last Stand

Monday, January 2, 2012


It’s time for another version of pasta fagioli, or, as we called in our family of three, past ‘n beans.  Nothing major here; just the addition of one very large Portobello mushroom.


Mezzi rigatoni  (small rigatoni)
San Marzano tomatoes
Cannellini beans
Portobello Mushrooms
Olive oil
Garlic and onion
Dry basil, thyme, and rosemary


Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10-15 minutes before adding the tomatoes and seasoning.  Simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat.  If your tomato sauce is too loose and watery add 1 teaspoon of tomato paste.

Place the pasta in the sauce, mix well, and serve with parmigiano reggiano cheese.


This was the perfect dish for a cold, windy night.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


We ended the year with a nice even number…150 pasta meals since I started this nonsense back in May.  I would like to continue for another 4 months so I can complete a year of pasta.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with new ideas, so some repetitions are unavoidable.  When they do occur I will try to come up with a new twist to the recipe.


Portobello mushrooms
Yellow squash
Bell pepper
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar


Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces of varying shapes and place in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and the parsley and mix well.  Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Spread the vegetables onto an oiled baking tray, trying not to overlap them and place on the middle rack with the oven at 425 degrees.  Roast for about 45 minutes, checking and turning the veggies as needed in about 30 minutes.



This was a great way to start the new year.  I went back for seconds and had to refrain from going back for thirds, so there are leftovers in the fridge.

Happy New Years everyone.