Go to Lee's Recipes Father Leo's Recipes

- - Collections - Cookbooks - Restaurants - Dinners - Friends' Recipes - Italian - Lee's Recipes -

TopBorn in the Philippines and raised in the Baltimore area, Fr. Leo Patalinghug developed his love for cooking while attending the seminary at the North American College in Rome. There, he became friendly with several Italian restaurant owners whom he often invited back to the student kitchen to trade cooking secrets. They taught him about rigatoni and lasagna; he showed them how to make hamburgers and ribs. Today, a skilled cook, Fr. Leo still enjoys learning new dishes, and loves the process of preparing a meal, as much as sharing it with a table full of friends.

See Father Leo on YouTube Grace Before Meals

Sour Apple with a Sweet Vanilla Bite

This is a rather simple but unique way to sweeten up sour apples and give another level of warmth. It's also an easy and delicious way to make someone smile after some disappointment in life! It's all the warmth and goodness of an apple pie, but without the fuss of making a crust and waiting for it to cook! The addition of vanilla extract adds another level of sweetness and aroma that will make people wonder what makes this simple apple dessert so extra sweet and special?

Ingredients: Serves 2-3

1 sour apple
1 Tbs butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbs light brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp (or pinch) of salt
Vanilla ice cream

Sour Apple Vanilla Sweetness
Sour Apple with a Sweet Vanilla Bite

Sour Apple Vanilla Sweetness


Peel and section apple. Sprinkle cinnamon on it and mix around. In a saute pan, melt butter, vanilla, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Add the apples, and cook until apples are tender. Plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you really want to have the texture of the apple pie, serve it with a graham cracker.


Angelic Easter Eggs

[Pancakes] [Scotch Eggs]

What do you do with your dyed eggs after Easter is over? Here's an idea that could help you find new meaning for those leftover colored eggs.

Vegetable oil
2 hardboiled egg
1 Tbs flour for dredging
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of water
2 Tbs seasoned breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Angelic Easter Eggs

Instructions: Remove shells from hardboiled egg. Roll egg in flour. Dip egg in egg wash. Dredge in seasoned breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a small saucepan to 350 degrees. Deep fry egg until golden brown. Remove egg and season with salt and pepper.

Wait until cool before cutting in half.

To add extra flavor and texture, remove the yolks and mix with 1/2 tsp of mayonnaise and 1/2 tsp of mustard. Mix together and scoop yolk mixture back into the egg white. These are not deviled eggs. They are kicked up angelic eggs!

Scotch Eggs

[Pancakes] [Angelic Easter Eggs]

Not angelic, but definitely tastier, Scotch Eggs, are peeled hard-boiled eggs coated in spicy sausage. I used to make these in Chicago for car trips.

Scotch Eggs
Scotch Eggs


4 hard boiled eggs
1 lb. sausage meat
1 egg
1 tbsp. seasoned flour
1/2 c. crisp bread crumbs
Oil or fat to fry


Shell the hard boiled eggs. Press the sausage meat into meat squares on a floured board. Wrap the eggs in the sausage meat, making sure this is completely sealed without any air space on cracks. Brush with the beaten egg. Roll in bread crumbs. Heat oil and test it by placing a piece of stale bread with oil for 1 minute and it turns golden brown; 1 1/2 minutes if using fat. Put in the scotch eggs. Fry steadily for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Lift out, drain on crumpled paper and serve hot or cold. It is possible to bake these in the oven. Allow approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Source: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1750,156170-242200,00.html


Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas


1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 4-oz can green chili peppers
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
12 6-inch tortillas

In a large saucepan, cook onion and green peppers in the 2 Tbsp butter till tender. Combine onion mixture in a bowl with chopped chicken and green chili peppers; set aside.

For sauce, in the same saucepan melt 3 Tbsp butter. Stir in flour, coriander and salt. Stir in chicken broth all at once; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir 1/2 cup of the sauce into the chicken mixture. Dip each tortilla into remaining sauce to soften; fill each with about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture. Roll up. Arrange in a greased 13×9x2-inch baking dish; pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven about 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 6.

Cook's Notes:

Father Leo cooked and used the whole chicken using the broth for the sauce. He heated the tortillas in the microwave before dipping in the sauce.and added more cheese to the tortilla when filling with chicken mixture.

Source: http://gracebeforemeals.com/soul/?cat=5

Penne della Palma

[Scallops] [Italian] [Pasta]

(serves 3-4)

Penne della Palma
Penne della Palma


1 pound penne pasta
1 can hearts of palm
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup starchy pasta water
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 Tbs salt and pepper (or to taste)


Boil pasta until al dente. Drain water, but reserve 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water. Drain water from palms and cut into 1/4 inch pieces. In a large pan, heat olive oil and butter, then saute garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and palm. Add cheese and breadcrumbs, and combine. Add brandy, water, and cream (attention: cooking with liquor is flammable). Add pasta and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese for more flavor.

This Lent, we have an opportunity to fast and sacrifice from certain foods. Yet Lent also provides us a chance to be creative, bold, and daring in our attempts to follow the letter and the spirit of the Lenten Practices. So I've provided a rather delicious, not so simple, but definitely family-friendly recipe fit for a true food lover.

Scallops with Sweet Pea Risotto

[Scallops] [Italian] [Rice] [Risotto]
[Risotto with Scallops and Peas - Getty]

Scallops with Sweet Pea Risotto
Scallops with Sweet Pea Risotto

(Serves 2):


6 scallops per serving (3 per person)
1/2 cup sweet corn flakes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Sweet Pea Risotto

1 cup arborio rice
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup sweet peas blanched and pureed
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3-4 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups white wine

1 quart vegetable stock (or more depending on desired consistency)

Instructions for Scallops:

Rinse scallops in cold water and dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of the scallops in the corn flakes. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan. Place scallops in the oil and sear both sides of the scallops, 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and rest before serving.

Instructions for Risotto:

Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sweat shallots and garlic. Add rice, and mix and stir until rice becomes slightly translucent. Add white wine, and stir until wine practically evaporates. Add the pea puree and one cup of broth at a time until rice is fully cooked. Before serving, add Parmesan cheese.

Italian Tuna Pasta

[Fish] [Italian] [Pasta and Tuna] [Pasta]

To make this little can of albacore come to life, Fr. Leo created his version of Italian tuna pasta that he ate in Florence during his seminary days. He has made it for several other people and they say it's definitely the opposite of penitential! But, it's still in the Lenten rulebook for fasting and it sure beats the texture and blandness of those sandwiches!

Italian Tuna Pasta
Italian Tuna Pasta

Ingredients: Serves 1 portion

1 cup of dried fusili pasta, boiled and cooked al dente
1 can of albacore tuna
1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh capers
1/2 tsp green peppercorns
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup tomato sauce


Sauté garlic in pan of hot olive oil. Add tuna (including the liquid in the can), capers, and peppercorns. Mix until tuna is warm. Add tomato sauce and let simmer for 1 minute. Add pasta and allow some of the pasta water to help “cream” the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

TopSource: Father Leo http://gracebeforemeals.com/soul/?cat=35

Spicy Pollo Pumpkin Pasta

[Pumpkin] [Chicken] [Pasta]

Spicy Pollo Pumpkin Pasta

Spicy Pollo Pumpkin Pasta

Serves 4-6


1 box rigatoni pasta
1.5 lbs (apx. 5-6)– chicken tenders
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 (apx. 1⁄2 cup) white onion
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup brandy
1 can pumpkin pie filling
1 tsp ground sage
1 cup milk
2 Tbs Parmesan cheese
4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp black pepper

Heat olive oil, and sauté garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes.

Cut chicken into 1⁄4-inch thick pieces and season with salt, pepper flakes and sage.

Add chicken to pan and cook for 1-2 miutes.

Add brandy, and flambé. Add pie mixture, milk, and Parmesan cheese, and mix.

Add pasta, incorporating apx. 2-4 Tbs of the heated starchy water.

Add fresh baby spinach leaves, and incorporate all the ingredients in the pan.

To serve, you could add a few more fresh spinach leaves around the pasta, with a light drizzle of oil, and then top with a light dusting of Parmesan cheese.

TopSource: Father Leo http://gracebeforemeals.com/soul/?p=1069

Chocolate Bread Pudding



2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate, chopped or shaved
2 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon blackberry or strawberry jam
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 eggs
Crusty baguette or bagel (at least 2 cups of cubed bread)
Nonstick spray
Spray whipped topping
Mint leaf garnish


Add milk and chopped chocolate together in saucepan and warm.
Stir in other four ingredients and stir until melted.
Beat eggs and temper with the warm liquid, then combine together.
Coat nonstick baking dish with nonstick spray.
Add bread cubes and pour mixture over top.
Stir to coat and let soak.
Place in 375º oven for 30-40 min.
Garnish with whipped cream and mint leafs. .


Source Savouring the Faith : http://www.ewtn.com/savoringourfaith/Bread_pudding.htm

Aglio Olio



Aglio Olio Pasta

Aglio Olio Pasta


2 cloves Garlic, casing removed and minced
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Fresh flat leaf Parsley
Parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes
3-4 Anchovies


Boil pasta until al dente.
Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil, anchovies, minced garlic cloves, salt & pepper in pan
Add red peppers flakes and pasta to pan and toss.
Top with cheese and sprinkle of fresh parsley.

TopSource Savouring the Faith : http://www.ewtn.com/savoringourfaith/aglio_olio.htm

rev 1/14/14; 2/13/15