Food Network? Me?

My "Baby" Cooking Stool
My “Baby” Cooking Stool

Whadda youse crazy? I can’t compete on Food Network.

I don’t like tension in the kitchen. My focus is the food not the drama. And I gotta do things my own way.

When inspired I share recipes on my blog. When my producers’ and my stars align we shoot new cooking episodes for my YouTube channel. That’s it.

But, my producers saw a casting call for Next Food Network Star and they suggested I apply. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll be great, they said. You’ll love it, they said. They’re sneaky, my producers, and they talked me into it.

I couldn’t make it to LA last month to interview in person so my producers and I decided to shoot a video instead.

For the video, I made one of my favorite dishes, spaghetti aglio e olio. The garlic and olive oil sauce is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta. It’s typical of dishes I’ve been making for years. A few quality ingredients. Quick simple preparation. Incredible flavor.

This dish is near and dear to my heart because it comes from my mother. My family food traditions have their root in her birth town east of Naples. She learned to cook from her mother and I learned to cook from her.

I love to pass on the traditions, share the recipes that fill my belly and warm my heart.

Now, more than 100 years after my ancestors came to America our favorite dishes still draw us to the table. Our days together, many generations cooking in the kitchen and around the table, are precious.

Anyway, watch me make spaghetti aglio e olio in my Food Network video. It did turn out good if I do say so myself.

And wish me luck! Or maybe not.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Garlic & Olive Oil)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A quick complex sauce ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 pound (500 grams) imported dried spaghetti
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 anchovy filets, roughly chopped
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino
  • Italian flat parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
  1. In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.
  2. Add the salt.
  3. Cook the pasta to al dente, about 8 minutes.
  4. In a large pan heat the olive oil.
  5. Add the anchovy, garlic and chili and cook over medium-high heat until the anchovy dissolves and the garlic just begins to take on color.
  6. Add the pasta water and mix well.
  7. Over high heat add the drained spaghetti and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.
  8. Off the heat add the pecorino and mix well.
  9. For a little color sprinkle the parsley on top to add some color before serving.



10 Replies to “Food Network? Me?”

  1. Saw you video, I’m not Italian, did the pasta Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with whole wheat pasta and peppercinis along with Italian sausage, Came out fantastic. (I forgot the anchovies on the way home. Will remember next time. After years of pasta with tomato or alfredo sauce it was a welcome change. Thank you for sharing these recipes.

  2. I would love to see you get a series on KPBS. They still have real cooking shows with no drama or competition junk mixed in. Anyhow, I love your YouTube channel, you are a great teacher and a fantastic chef!

    1. Ciao Jimmy.

      Thanks for your support. I’m happy that you like my episodes. I try to keep my home cooking simple so you can enjoy my dishes too.

      Buon appetito!

  3. Don’t do it. There are no real cooking shows on TV. That’s why its a breath of fresh air to see cooks like you on YouTube. Please don’t do it !

    1. Ciao Bruno.

      I’m happy to share my love of cooking on my YouTube channel and blog. I’ll try to keep it real. Thanks for your support.

      Buon appetito!

  4. you would be a breath of fresh air (or garlic) on food network! if that doesn’t work out, how about pbs? you would fit in with all the other great cooking programs on pbs. good luck!


  5. Gianni, I like you too much to see you go onto Food network. I’d wish you luck, but you remind me so much of family long gone that it would break my heart to see that turned corporate. But I will wish you luck anyway. May you get twice what you deserve.

    1. Ciao Chris.

      Come what may I’m sticking to my home cook traditions. I gotta eat what I make you know so my food will always be the dishes I love.

      Buon Appetito!

      1. They should be so lucky to have you on their show! Our entire Italian and Croatian family enjoys your enjoyable & instructive videos. EVERYTHING
        we have made has turned out fabulous. We just made the eggplant and tiramisu…nothing beats quality ingredients and a Gianni cooking video to show you how to put them together. Can’t wait to t Thank you for bringing us the home cooking of our grandmothers!

        1. Ciao Antonette.

          My pleasure to share dishes I love. I am happy that my recipes work well for you and your family. Keep on cooking.

          Buon appetito!

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