Showing posts with label Italian

Jack's Pizza

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, November 19, 2023

Pizza doesn't get better than this!  Many, many years ago we had a neighbor named Jack and he made the BEST pizza!  He perfected his dough and gave me the recipe.  This is Chicago style, decadent pizza and it's beyond delicious.  It's a bit of work, making homemade crust, but so worth the effort and the Cuisinart simplifies things.  Don't be tempted to buy a premade crust for a shortcut, the crust is what makes the pizza so good.

This recipe make 2 pizzas

Pizza Dough

4 cups bread flour

1 pkg. yeast

1.3 cups warm water

2.5 tbs. oil

1 tsp. salt

.5 tsp. sugar

Put the warm water with a 1/2 teaspoon on sugar in the Cuisinart, add one package of Red Star yeast sprinkled on top and let it set for 10 minutes until it starts to form bubbles. The sugar activates the yeast. Once it's active and bubbles, add the flour, salt and oil. Using dough hook, let it spin until all the dough doesn't cling to the sides and it forms a smooth ball, about 8-10 minute.

Dump into an oiled bowl and let it set until doubles. Punch down and you are ready to roll out. 

Sauce for 1 pizza:

8 oz. can tomato paste, thinned with a bit of water

pinch of sugar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

add additional spices to taste, Italian seasoning is a good option

If making sausage pizza, brown sausage lightly


Roll out crust in a circle, I use a pizza stone which I sprinkle with cornmeal

Add tomato sauce, preferred meat, sautéed sausage or pepperoni, mushrooms and raw veggies, if desired, then top all with parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, take out of oven and add mozzarella, the amount you add depends on how much cheese you like, I usually add 1/2 to 3/4 a lb. of cheese per pizza.  Bake an additional 10-15 minute or until edges are brown.

The Original Pizza King Stromboli

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 27, 2022

What's better on a cold Sunday night than a Stromboli  and football.  Well, no football for me, but the rest of you, go ahead enjoy it.  I'll just be in the kitchen, eating my Stromboli, catching up on past episodes of my favorite soap, The Young and Restless...

The original Pizza King in Evansville, In is home to Stromboli's, and there are none better.  We lived there for years and ate them many, many times, but now that we live in Middle Tennessee, they aren't readily available, so the search was on to duplicate their recipe.  I searched online, made several variations and this one is the closest I can come to Pizza King's.


1 pound mild bulk sausage
1 pound hot Italian sausage (casing removed if using links)
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Trader Joe's tomato basil)
about 30 pepperonis chopped (stack and chop, makes it easier)
1 8 ounce block mozzarella cheese, grated
3 tsp crushed red pepper flakes - Pizza King Stroms always have heat, you choose the degree
6 deli type hoagie rolls 
olive oil
6 sheets of aluminum foil, about 12-14 inches long
baking sheet


Brown the sausages and onions in a saute' pan.  Drain any fat from the pan.  Add the garlic and chopped pepperoni when the sausage is browned.   Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes.  Stir until thoroughly mixed and heated through.

Brush the top and bottom of a deli roll with some good olive oil.  Put the sliced deli roll in the middle of a piece of foil, fill with sausage mixture.  Put several heaping hands full of cheese on the sausage.  Bring the edges of the foil together and roll down to the sandwich and roll the ends up.

When all the rolls have been filled and wrapped, place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree  oven for about 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Unwrap and enjoy.
#pizzaking #pizzakingstromboli #stromboli #italian #italiansandwich #evansville #evansvillein #midwestfood #sausage #italiansausage #cheese# #jancooksrealfood #cheesesteak #y&r #theyoungandtherestless

Spicy Lasagna Soup, perfect for cold evenings...

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 24, 2022

I combined Half Baked Harvest's Lasagna soup with Carlsbad Cravings Lasagna Soup and came up with a wonderful variation.  Carlsbad Craving's recipe calls for you to break lasagna noodles in half and simmer  in the soup.  Well, have you ever tried breaking dry lasagna noodles?  All they do is fly all over the kitchen and break unevenly.  So then I found Half Baked Harvest's recipe and Tieghan called for cooking the lasagna noodles separately, then cutting them into manageable pieces because they are pliable after you cook them.  That made a lot more sense to me, and it was much easier.  Anyway, this is my variation of both of their recipes for an excellent cold winter evening soup, full of all the lasagna goodness we all love so much.


1 pound ground beef 
1 yellow onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 24 oz. jar Prego Traditional Italian Sauce or marinara sauce
6 cups chicken broth - I use a big tablespoon of Chicken Better than Bouillon instead of chicken broth
1 14 oz. can can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried oregano, salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 whole bay leaf
8-10 oz. cooked lasagna noodles
1/2 cup heavy cream,optional**


shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly finely grated Parmesan cheese
ricotta cheese, whipped


Heat large Dutch oven/large soup pot over medium high heat. Add beef and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beef is browned. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat.

Add Prego Sauce, 6 cups chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally (approximately 20-30 minutes).

 Discard bay leaf and stir in cooked lasagna noodles and heavy cream (optional).  Garnish individual servings with desired amount of cheeses.


#lasagna #italian #yummy #jancooksrealfood #soup #italiansoup #lasagnasoup #lasagnalover #lasagnarecipe #comfortfood #homemadefood #halfbakedharvest 


by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 21, 2022

This is my favorite pasta dish of all time and I'm a pasta lover.  I first ate this at The Olde Spaghetti Factory years ago and have made it countless times since.  If you haven't eaten this, you're really missing a wonderful dish.  Don't let the picture of this simple dish fool you, this pasta is full of flavor, it's pungent, intense, delicious, comfort food, it's simply divine and it takes only minutes to make.  I've made
 this  for years and it never disappoints. If you've never had mizithra cheese, its readily available in your grocery store, I find it with the specialty cheeses.  

1 lb. spaghetti or your pasta of choice
1 cup browned butter
1 cup mizithra cheese

Brown butter by bringing butter to a boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly and watching so that it doesn't foam over the edge of the pan.  Once the foam starts to subside, continue boiling until it turns an amber color - 1 or 2 minutes should be long enough.  There will be sediment at the bottom of the pan, don't disturb the sediment, you don't want this in your finished browned butter.  Let the butter cool for a couple of minutes in the pan and strain, leaving sediment residue in the pan.

At this point it can be refrigerated to use later.

To make the dish, boil the pasta, divide into four serving bowls, top each serving with 1/4 cup of the cheese and spoon over 1/4 cup hot browned butter. 

These cute retro bowls are showing up everywhere.  How cute for pasta, cereal, ice cream. 

Here's the link...


#pasta #food #foodporn #italianfood #foodie #pizza #instafood #foodphotography #pastalover #foodblogger #dinner #foodlover #yummy #foodstagram #delicious #homemade #italy #lunch #spaghetti #instagood #italian #cucinaitaliana #restaurant #cooking #chef #love #italia #oldespaghettifactory #cheese #mizithracheese

World Famous Donatelli's Meat Sauce

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 07, 2022

 Arriving at Donatelli’s in White Bear Lake, patrons are greeted by 41 years of rich history. You can see it on the walls, decorated with images of the Pink Panther (or the Italian Panther as he is referred to at Donatelli’s), on the faces on the longtime staff and in the intimate booths—tucked snugly against the walls, dimmed lights hanging over them to create the mood. 

Most of us can't visit this legendary restaurant, but what we can do is duplicate their famous meat sauce in our own kitchen.

Lasagna Roll Ups with Bechamel Sauce

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, December 01, 2020


My friend, Carlene, gave me this recipe years ago and I misplaced it. I’ve searched for a couple of days, finally gave up, and she graciously sent it to me again. I’m not losing it this time, she is a wonderful cook and I posted this so I don’t lose it again.  She covers this when she bakes it, uncovering at end to brown a bit.

Nick And Toni's Penne alla Vecchia Bettola from The BareFoot Contessa

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, February 28, 2010 recipe is from Nick & Toni's, a popular restaurant in the Hamptons. It's their signature dish, obtained while traveling in Italy twenty years ago, and served in the restaurant ever since.

1/4 cup good olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 cup vodka
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes (Cento's San Marzano)
Kosher salt
1 pound penne pasta
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over
medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes
until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes, dried oregano and vodka,
and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve,
crush them with your hands, and place them in a 5 quart ovenproof pot
or Dutch oven. Add the onions to the tomatoes and cover with a tight
lid. Place the pot in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the
pot from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water
to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Set

Place the tomato mixture in a blender and
puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency, and return to
the pot.

Reheat the tomato sauce and add the heavy
cream, fresh oregano and salt, to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Toss
the sauce with the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, to taste.

Source:  The Barefoot Contessa

A new twist on an old favorite....

by 👩‍🍳 Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA 👩‍🍳, January 11, 2007

Spaghetti with Stuffed Meatballs

Kids will love to lend a hand—literally—with this recipe. They can mix the meat and other ingredients together, a task best accomplished with their hands. (Be sure they wash their hands before and after mixing!) Children can help roll the meat mixture into balls, then make an indentation in each one and place a cheese cube inside.


1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground veal
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more
for garnish
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 lb. mozzarella or provolone cheese, cut into
1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil for frying
About 6 cups tomato sauce (see related recipe
at right)
2 lb. spaghetti, cooked and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread crumbs. Add the ground pork, veal, beef, the 1/3 cup parsley, the eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix briefly with your hands. Form the mixture into 2-inch balls. Press a mozzarella cheese cube into the center of each ball, sealing it inside.

In a large electric skillet set on medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch of oil until almost smoking. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray.

Discard the oil in the pan. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.

Put the pasta in a warmed large, shallow bowl. Top with the sauce and meatballs and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and pass the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table. Serves 10 to 12.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.