Lunch with Chef Judi: Cassariano

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Cassariano is the perfect blend of Bistro flavors and fine cuisine. The restaurant’s name is a combination of both partners last names; Luca Cassani and Antonio Pariano, both born and raised in Northern Italy.

After years working together in the restaurant business both Luca & Antonio made the decision to venture out on their own and open Cassariano Italian Eatery. Driven by their strong passion for food and a deep love for their profession, these partners prepare authentic contemporary Italian cuisine while cultivating a casual, relaxed atmosphere for their patrons.

Cassariano is located at 313 West Venice Avenue in Venice

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4


• Nonstick vegetable oil spray

• 1 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded

• 2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth

• Pinch of grated nutmeg

• 1 cup nonfat milk

• Nonfat sour cream (optional)

• Chopped fresh chives or green onions (optional)

• 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Place squash cut side down in prepared dish. Pierce each squash half several times with toothpick or skewer. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.

Using large spoon, scrape squash into processor; discard peel. Add 1 1/2 cups broth and nutmeg and puree until smooth. Transfer puree to heavy large saucepan. Mix in milk and enough broth to thin to desired consistency. Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with dollop of sour cream and chives, if desired.


As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at