In 1967, Master Chef Carlo Sena came to the United States from Napoli, Italy. He brought his wife and eldest son Luca and together they began a new life in Philadelphia. In 1976, Chef Carlo and Luca Sena started the acclaimed fine dining restaurant La Famiglia on South Front Street in Philly, which is now owned and operated by Luca’s brothers Gino and Guiseppe. Luca presently owns Panorama restaurant adjacent to the renowned Penn’s View Hotel, continuing the family’s hospitality heritage in the former American capital city.
Below is one of the family’s much-loved recipes, for Gorgonzola Salad, from their cookbook.
4 peeled and cored pears
8 oz. arugula
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
½ cup walnuts
½ qt. water
½ cup sugar
1 /3 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 oz. apple juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
Place pears and sugar in pan of water and bring to a boil. Once pears are fork tender, remove and allow to cool for ten minutes. Reserve poaching liquid from the stove and place on the side.
Chop pears coarsely and return them to the reserved liquid. Add the balsamic vinegar, apple juice, salt and pepper. Pour this dressing into a blender, mixing well until combined.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the arugula with the pear dressing and place on plates. Top with walnuts and Gorgonzola.