Neighborhood Eats: Anella's in Brooklyn

May 14, 2010 3:06:10 PM PDT
This week in Neighborhood Eats, we visit a restaurant in Brooklyn where once you step inside, you feel like you've been transported to the old world. The great grandmother is the the inspiration for her namesake restaurant Anella, located in Greenpoint.

Inside it's an old world feel with the bar made from wooden benches and vices used at the Steinway piano factory. There's an outdoor patio for warm nights.

The food is prepared in a sliver of a kitchen, with ingredients in season, like sweet peas, which chef Joe Ogrodnek pairs with ricotta, but his ricotta gets a twist. It's called Sweet Pea Crostini, Whipped Ricotta, and Fresh Mint.

The ricotta is layered on top of thick toasted bread and for the peas are sautéed with shallots, and seasoned with salt, pepper and tossed with mint, and lightly smashed.

That goes on top of the cheese with a garnish of flowers and grated pecorino.

Chef Joseph Orgrodnek
Serves 4

  • 2 cups English Peas, removed from pod
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 8 slices rustic Italian Bread, approx ½ " thick
  • 2 T chopped mint
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 ounces grated Pecorino
  • E.V.O.O.
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


    Using a small food processor, mix the ricotta cheese with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth consistency. Reserve under refrigeration.

    In a sauté pan, over medium heat, combine 1 T each of E.V.O.O. and butter and allow to melt. When the better becomes lightly browned, add the shallots and sauté briefly with no color.

    Add the peas and cover with 1 cup of water. Simmer until peas are tender and water has evaporated. Using a fork, roughly crush the peas in the sauté pan. Add the chopped mint and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

    Dress the sliced bread with a touch of olive oil and toast in 400 F oven until golden brown.

    Spoon the ricotta onto each slice of bread and top with the peas. Garnish with some grated Pecorino.