Knives and Needles

Where Chefs can talk tattoos and Tattooers can talk food

Archive for the tag “italy”

Alessandra Palotti

My new and dear friend, Alessandra Palotti is a great tattoo artist and a great cook! Alexandra is Italian from Bologna, Italy where she has been tattooing for over 6 years. Alessandra and her husband, Koji Ichimaru, run their private studio in Bologna, what a beautiful place to live, definitely on my go-to list!


Alessandra and I got to cook together one day. I made beef Milanese and she made Bolognese sauce. I had never had traditional, authentic Bolognese before and had a completely different idea in my head on how it is made. I learned so much from her that day.


Here is a mix of Alessandra’s tattoo photos, her recipe and photos of the process. Please enjoy and try out her recipe, it will become a staple in your culinary repertoire!


Alessandra’s Bolognese Sauce

makes about 4 servings

To be served with pasta of your choice and garnished with a good grated parmesan cheese!

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

2 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

1/4-1/2c olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1/2 tsp sugar

salt and pepper if desired

26-27 oz crushed tomatoes

15-26 oz water

2-3 TBLS butter

Brown carrots, celery, onion over medium heat in the olive oil for about 10 minutes.


Add the ground beef and cook until the beef is cooked. Then add the basil, salt and pepper (if desired) and sugar. Let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and 1/2 the water.


Let the sauce lightly simmer for about 2-3 hours. If the water starts to evaporate too much, add more water little by little.


You will want to end up with a very thick sauce, you want most of the water to be reduced in the cooking process. Add the butter at the end, before serving. Eat with pasta and parmesan. Enjoy!!



Grazie Mille, Ale!!  Thank you for coming out to visit and for showing us all this amazing recipe!!!!!!!! We can’t wait till you come out next time!

You can catch more of Alessandra on her Instagram, @ale1126

If you are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer and want to be featured on this blog or Instagram, email us at



Recipe of the Day, Make Ahead and Take to Work!


Milanesa de Napolitana with Butternut Squash Puree and a Fennel and Roma Tomato Salad

Serves 4

This is a great go-to recipe that is not really very difficult. I used to eat this all the time in Argentina but it is originally Italian. It is usually made with veal or beef but I am doing it with chicken today. Happy eating!!

BTW, you can check out a bit of the history of the Milanesa on my other blog,!


Fennel and Roma Tomato Salad

1 Fennel plant, thinly shaved and toss into the salad some of the thin needle-like leaves slightly chopped

5 Roma tomatoes, cut in medium-sized wedges

2 Lemons, juiced

1/4c olive oil, start with half and add more depending on your taste on how tart you want the salad

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the fennel, leaves, tomatoes and lemon juice. Add the olive oil to taste and then season with the salt and pepper to taste. Chill until served and serve with the Milanesa and puree.


Butternut Squash puree

1 medium-large butternut squash, trimmed and cut into medium chunks

4-6 TBLS unsalted butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil. Add the squash and boil until soft. Strain the water out and mash or whip squash with either a masher, a fork, a whisk or mixer with the whisk attachment. Add butter and combine both until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Warm up before serving and serve with Milanesa and salad.


Milanesa de Napolitana

4 thinly sliced chicken breast filets, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper

1/2c flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 1/2c dry breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs are great)

4 TBLS tomato paste

3-4cloves of garlic, minced

2tsp oregano

4 pieces of a good ham

1c mozzarella cheese (fresh mozzarella is amazing)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat each piece of chicken int he flour first, then egg, and last press the panko firmly (but gently) onto the flour and egg coated chicken filet. You really want to make sure the panko is pressed onto the meat, otherwise the breading will fall off. Sprinkle a little olive oil over each Milanesa and place them on one or two baking sheets depending on how they fit and size. Put in the oven and bake for about 7 minutes. Take them out of the oven, flip each Milanesa over and top with first the tomato paste, then the garlic and oregano, and after the ham and mozzarella. Put back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starts to turn golden on the edges. Remove them from the oven and transfer each one to a plate. Serve while hot and with the puree and salad.


Photos by me

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