Italian food with flair in Glendale

February 11, 2011 5:27:01 PM PST
Jason Zukas has cooked around the world, but Glendale is home to his restaurant "Tazzina." That's Italian for espresso cup. The perfect name since he says his restaurant is tiny, but big on flavor.

"My menu is a whole mix of food all the way up. It's definitely a family place," said Zukas.

Popular for the colder seasons, Zukas showcased his cavatelli with slow cooked pork ragu. Zukas browns the sausage and bacon, adds some red pepper flakes,celery, carrots, onions, and two kinds of wine.

"I like the depth of the red and white wines. It has a nice acidity that works well with the pork," he said.

The ragu includes crushed tomatoes, fresh herbs and sugar that slow cooks for 3 hours before Zukas pairs it with cavatelli, and fresh ricotta, while he tops it off with fried rosemary.

"No matter what dish I cook, I'm always reminded of my grandmother and re-live my childhood," said Zukas.

Tazzina is located at 75-01 88th Street in Glendale. The restaurant only has 30 seats but Jason can be found in the kitchen every night.

Pork Ragu


10 Italian sausages, casings removed and chopped
1/2 pound of bacon finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dices
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dices
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon red Chile flake and 1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 stem Rosemary, 3 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf in a sachet
2 tsp sugar
1 cup dry red wine, 1 cup white
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cans 14 oz whole tomatoes in their juice
Rosemary, ricotta and parmigiano reggiano for finishing.


First render out bacon fat in medium sized pot, when browned add sausage, cook on medium heat until sausage is cooked and starts to break up.

Add garlic, veggies, and onions. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.

Add your chili flakes and fennel. Stir to combine. Add your tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes until incorporated.

Add your wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Scrape off the bottom with a wooden spoon.

When the tomato paste starts to become thick add your tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to taste and sugar.

Let cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours on the lowest flame. You just want to see slight bubbling in the pot.

When done, finish with butter and cream.

Cook pasta (your choice, cavatelli is preferred) and combine with sauce and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Top with Ricotta and fried rosemary if you like.