In the kitchen with Mario Manfredini

This segment is produced with and sponsored by Alessi & Pete's Market.

In our "In the Kitchen" segment we are sending our cooks out to shop - to create a dish that they love! Today's "In the Kitchen" cook is firefighter and home cook extraordinaire Mario Manfredini.

We followed Mario as he shopped at the Pete's Market in Wheaton to see what ingredients he wanted to use for some sweet and savory dishes.

Visit the Alessi website for all their products.

Check out Pete's Market's website to find a store nearest you.

Alessi and Pete's Market have a surprise for our viewing audience. Until 2 a.m. tomorrow, click here to enter the WCL Grocery Instant Win contest for your chance at winning one of these great prizes:

-$50 gift certificate to Pete's Market or
-$90 Alessi gift box

And you can opt in for a free Alessi Avocado Toast Seasoning Grinder!

Mario's recipes:

Mario's Quick Salsa
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 28oz can ALESSI Italian Peeled Tomatoes, drained
3 tbsps. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. ALESSI Garlic Puree
1/4 tsp. ALESSI Sea Salt
Pinch black pepper


1. In a food processor or stand mixer pulse onion, cilantro, and jalapeno until finely chopped, approximately 5 pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper and process until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. Season with extra salt and lime juice to taste.

2. Chill before serving with your favorite tortilla chips.

*** For a spicier salsa, reserve and add the jalapeno seeds.

Mario's BLT
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed with fork
1/4 tsp. ALESSI Avocado Toast Seasoning
2 strips candied bacon (see recipe below)
3 tbsps. ALESSI Balsamic Reduction
4 slices thinly smoked turkey breast
2 slices Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices hearty bread, toasted
1 slice ripe tomato
1 leaf lettuce

Candied Bacon
12 oz center-cut thick bacon
2 tbsps. ALESSI Balsamic Reduction
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cooking spray

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray. Cut bacon in half crosswise. Arrange bacon on prepared sheets.
4. Using a brush coat the bacon with the balsamic reduction, sprinkle with pepper (do not flip and sprinkle on second side).
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bacon is dark brown.
6. Transfer bacon to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

1. In already preheated oven. Brush bread with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, place in baking sheet and lightly toast on one side. Flip bread and add cheese to one piece turning oven to broil to melt cheese.
2. Remove bread from oven and construct sandwich from cheese bottom
3. Add lettuce, tomato, drizzle with 1 tbsp. balsamic reduction. Add turkey, mashed avocado, sprinkle with Avocado Toast Seasoning, then top with bacon. Add last piece of bread to complete your sandwich (you may add Mayonnaise to the bread if you desire).

Mario's Olive Oil Cake
1-3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup ALESSI Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup milk


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch springform pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 cups sugar and lemon zest, increase speed to high, and whip until mixture is fluffy and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and, with mixer running, slowly pour in oil. Mix until oil is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Add half of flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Add milk and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Transfer batter to prepared pan; sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over entire surface. Bake until cake is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove side of pan and let cake cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Mario's Tiramisu
2-1/2 cups of ALESSI Café Espresso Coffee, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons of ALESSI Café Espresso powder
10 tablespoons of Frangelico
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 pounds mascarpone cheese (cold)
3/4 cup heavy cream (cold)
14 oz package ALESSI Biscotti Savoiardi Cookies
3-1/2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate grated


1. Stir coffee, espresso, 5 tablespoons Frangelico in wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.

2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 5 tablespoons Frangelico and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

3. In now-empty mixer bowl, beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

4. Working one at a time, drop half of cookies into coffee mixture, roll, remove, and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge cookies in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming them as needed to fit neatly into dish.

5. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over cookies; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

6. Repeat dipping and arrangement of cookies; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over cookies and dust with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Sprinkle with grated chocolate; cut into pieces and serve chilled.