~ Italian

See also:  RED CLAM SAUCE under Meat-Seafood
Click Here for:  How to freeze fresh basil (for pesto!)


1/4 c butter (NOT oleo)
1/4 to ¾ c grated fresh parmesan cheese
1 c whipping cream
pinch garlic powder*
¼ t black pepper
pinch salt – wait & taste before adding

Melt butter in heavy saucepan.  Add cheese.  Stir well.
Add rest of ingredients.
Simmer 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t scorch, til thickened.
*Can use 1/4 t minced garlic cloves sauted in butter instead.

***Family Favorite***

2 (6 inch) individual round pre-baked Italian bread shells or foraccia
or pita flatbread
1/8 c pesto (or sliced of Provolone cheese, or Alfredo sauce)
1/2 c chopped chicken, cooked or grilled
2T c chopped red, white or green onion
4T c sliced pitted ripe olives
1/2 tomato, diced (1/2 c) sprinkled with garlic salt
2 (1 oz each) slices Provolone Cheese (or shredded mozzarella cheese)
Italian Seasoning
OPT:  3-4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
OPT:  pickled artichoke hearts
Heat oven to 425°.
Spread each bread shell with 1 T pesto or a slice of cheese.
Place on baking sheet with holes in bottom.
Arrange remaining ingredients on top of bread shells, topping with cheese.  Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.
Bake 10-12 min, til heated thru and cheese is melted.

MINI PIZZAS (makes 4)
***A Family Favorite***

4 (6 inch) individual round pre-baked Italian bread shells or foraccia
or pita flatbread. We prefer brand:  Toufayan Bakeries (HQ: Orlando Florida)
¼ c pesto
1 c chopped chicken, cooked or grilled
1/3 c chopped red or white onion
1/4 c sliced pitted ripe olives
l large tomato, diced (1-1/2 c)
4 (1 oz each) slice Provolone Cheese, cut into quarters
(or shredded mozzarella cheese)

Heat oven to 425°.
Spread each bread shell with 1 T pesto.  Place on cookie sheet.
Arrange chicken, onion, olives, and tomato on top of bread shells.
Top with cheese.
Bake 10-12 min, til heated thru and cheese is melted.


Makes about 1½ cups

2 cups of basil leaves, packed, stems removed (about 4 oz)
½ c virgin olive oil
1/2 t salt
½ t fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic
¼ to 1/2c pine nuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped
5 or 6 oz.(3/4c) Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy.   (NOTE:  get a center cut.  DON’T get a top or bottom cut or you’ll waste several dollars in rind.  Grana Padano is next best. American Parmesan off of a wheel or in a solid wedge is acceptable…Frigo brand was good–only comes in a 5 oz pack, which was enough.  DON’T use Krafts in the green can)

Prepared angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti, bowtie or fettuccini noodles.
Process basil leaves, salt and pepper, oil and garlic in food processor till mush.
Grate Parmesan or cut into half inch or less chunks, then drop them into running processor ONE at a time.  Blend till it’s all very pasty, smooth, not lumpy.  If too thick, gradually add up to ¼ c hot water with machine running.
NUTS:  Some recipes also blend nuts to mush, but it seems a waste; so you can just add nuts at the end and spin it a few times so that they’re chopped but still chunky.

If pesto sauce is too thick, add more olive oil.  It should have a very strong flavor.  Sprinkle more pine nuts on top when serving.
OPTIONAL:  Top with tiny ham chunks, onion or cherry tomato slices, but don’t grind them.  Also, traditional recipes blend in parsley with basil.

NOTE:  If you heat it up (even for a few seconds) in the microwave cheese will melt and make a real gooey mess.  Keeps in fridge for weeks (tho it will turn dark), but let it warm up to room temperature before using.
Store sauce separately from noodles.
Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano cheese.


Prepared fresh pesto
Paul Newman’s Alfredo Sauce
Fettuccine noodles, cooked (or bow tie noodles)
Cooked chicken, diced

Heat Sauce and add pesto and chicken.  Mix well.
Garnish with sliced cherry/grape tomatoes, chopped green onions


1 jar of Paul Newmans Alfredo Sauce–it’s the tastiest!
12 oz. bowtie or shell pasta (not a whole pound!)

MEATS:  Use 1 or 2 kinds of meat
¼ lb Genoa Salami (THIN sliced, cut in bite size pieces)
½ lb Italian or Polish sausage (round kind) cooked, diced (or grilled chicken)
Or shrimp or Fajita chicken meat
1 t minced garlic
¼ to ½ c fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese or 3/4c Ital. blend
1/2 t fresh ground pepper (no salt needed)
½ t oregano
1 t red pepper flakes
2T to 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c white wine or sweet vermouth-optional

Saute or microwave meats to remove grease.
WARM up Alfredo sauce—add Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, red pepper, garlic, and wine.

2 oz. capers, drained-optional
½ lb mushrooms, fresh, sliced and cooked
4 green onions, finely sliced/chopped
4 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1/2c. cooked green peas
small can sliced black olives
1/2c red or orange bell pepper-julienne strips–sauted
1/2c Carrots (matchstick or julienne) cooked
1/2c Zucchini rounds, cut in half–sauted
Top w/1 large fresh tomato (peeled & diced in small pieces) or grape tomatoes
If you don’t have picky eaters, you can mix ingredients of your choice and sprinkle parsley over the top.

CHERIE’s SPAGHETTI SAUCE  (Makes 4 servings) 10/15

4 servings spaghetti noodles
1 med onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
2 t minced garlic cloves
2t Italian Seasoning
1 t dried basil
1t dried oregano
1 t salt
2T sugar
10 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

Cook noodles per directions.
In dutch oven pan, saute onion in olive oil with seasonings, stirring occasionally til soft.
Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on very low heat for 6-8 hrs.
Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
Water may be added if sauce gets too thick.
Towards end of cooking time, you may add meatballs or Italian sausages, etc.


1 prepared recipe of your favorite spaghetti sauce
6 oz. Spaghetti
¼ c butter, melted
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Drain
Mix together cooked spaghetti noodles with butter, Parmesan cheese and eggs.
Placed in greased 10” pie plate.
Bake at 350° for 20 min.  Or microwave at 50% power.
Cut into slices and spoon your favorite spaghetti sauce over it.

SPAGHETTI SAUCE  (Aunt Virginia Ott’s recipe)

2 (30 oz) cans tomato and herb spaghetti sauce (or spicy)
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 can diced tomato Rotel
2-3 t Basil
1 t Salt
1 t Cilantro
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1 t Chili Powder
2-3 t Oregano
1/2 t Thyme
Sugar, to taste

Mix and simmer, stirring often for 3-4 hours


12 oz. box lasagna noodles (17-18 slices)
1 Hillshire Farms Polish Sausage Ring*
32 oz. spaghetti sauce
1 t basil; 1 t oregano; 2 t Italian seasonings
2 eggs
1 t salt
¼  t pepper
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
¼ c chopped dried parsley (optional)
2 c small curd cottage cheese
2-3 c grated mozzarella cheese

1.  Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package.
2.  Chop sausage into circles, then cut circles in fourths.
Place on paper towels on plate and micro 2-3 min, til lots of grease cooks out of them.
3.  Simmer spaghetti sauce with basil, oregano, and Italian Seasoning for at least 10 min.  (can do covered in micro.)
4.  Mix cottage cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 dish, to prevent sticking.
Layer 5 cooked noodles, slightly overlapping them; then spread layers of cheese mixture
Then spread thin layer of sauce on top of cheese mixture
Sprinkle 1/3 of the polish sausage on.
Repeat  layers two more times, ending with sauce and sausage.
Will have 3 layers of noodles total.

Cover with foil and cook at 350° for 30-35 min. til piping hot.  Remove foil.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top.  Cook just til cheese melts.
Remove from oven and let stand out 10-15 min before cutting and serving.
(The standing time helps it to stay in squares when serving it.)
*Can substitute 1 lb ground beef, browned for Sausage and mix with spaghetti sauce.

SPEEDY CARBONARA        (Concocted by Chess & Cherie)

12 oz pasta—your choice (we like mini-bowtie pasta)
12 oz thin sliced bacon, cut into 1” pieces;*See note re meats below
1 T oil (can be olive or veg.)
1-1/2 t garlic, minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes
¼ c parsley (fresh or dry)
15 oz jar Newman’s Own Alfredo Pasta Sauce
6 oz (3/4c) shredded Romano OR Parmesan cheese (we prefer Parmesan)
OPTIONAL: 8 large mushrooms, sliced;  1 peeled, diced tomato; 4-5 green onions, chopped fine; 2 T fresh parsley; 2 oz capers; 5T fresh finely chopped basil; 1 cup white wine; 4 oz fresh chopped spinach; 8 oz cooked frozen green peas

Cook pasta per directions, but DON’T add SALT. Drain and pour back into cooking pan.
Heat oil in skillet–add garlic and red pepper.  Cook 1 min.
Add bacon pieces. Don’t need to separate them—they will separate themselves.
Cook til bacon is softly done, turning often.
Remove bacon from pan and sauté mushrooms in bacon grease. Drain off grease.
Heat pasta sauce in pan used to boil pasta.
Add (opt) wine. Mix sauce with cheese, bacon and spices (parsley, onions, etc.)
Stir in pasta. Serve in bowls and top with optional items like: diced tomatoes, capers, green peas.
For Smogasboard:  Serve above mixture with bowls of optional ingredients to select from and stir into Base Carbonara
For One Dish:  Make Base recipe and mix ingredients together and serve.
Can cook more noodles – but will need more sauce – so add wine and/or cream or milk to make sauce go further.

*MEATS: Can use mixture of:  Mini pepperoni rounds; or Genoa Salami-sliced thin; Italian sausage or grilled chicken, cooked in bize-size pieces.

WEDDING BELLS CARBONARA   (From:  Cooking Round the Clock by Rachael Ray)  (Bacon and egg pasta)   We prefer to cheat and use a sauce like the recipe above!

1 lb spaghetti or bow-tie pasta
1-2 T olive oil
½ lb bacon or pancetta (Italian bacon) chopped in 1 wide” pieces
¾ t red pepper flakes
1 t minced garlic
½ c dry white wine (cooking wine works well)
2-3 large egg yolks
3-4 oz. Romano cheese, fresh, grated
2 T fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Boil pasta in salted water about 8-9 min. til al dente
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over med. heat.  Add bacon. Cook 2 min.
3. Add red pepper flakes and garlic to bacon and cook 2-3 min more.
4. Add wine and stir with bacon and pan drippings.
5. In separate bowl, beat yolks with fork; fill large ladel (1/2 cup) of pasta cooking water and stir furiously. (This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta)
6. Drain pasta and add it to skillet with bacon mixture.
7. Pour egg mixture over pasta, stirring rapidly to coat well.
8. Remove from heat and add cheese, parsley with fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste.  Stir pasta 1-2 min. til it soaks up egg mixture and thickens

SPAGHETTI  CARBONARA  (Marilyn Schroeder) (Rev 8/06)
Serves 6

8 oz. spaghetti or linguini noodles or bowtie pasta
{1/2 lb bacon, fried crispy, cut into 1″ squares
{OR:  ¼ to ½ lb Italian pancetta browned in olive oil)
1/2 lb ham or chicken, sliced, cut into 1/2″ chunks
3/4 lb mushrooms, fresh, sliced OR in chunks
1 large onion, sliced thinly into strips
1/2 c sweet vermouth
1/2 to 1 c fresh chopped parsley
2/3 c fresh, grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 c whipping cream
1 egg

Have all ingredients ready (chopped, sliced, measured, etc).
Add pasta to boiling water & set timer per pkg directions.
Saute bacon in Pan #1.
When cooked enough to coat the pan with bacon grease, put bacon in Pan #2 and continue cooking.
Saute mushrooms in Pan #1 for about 2 minutes, then add onions and continue to saute.
Add ham or chicken to bacon. Drain off bacon grease.
Combine Pan #2 (bacon/ham) with Pan #1 (mushroom/onions).
Add vermouth and saute 2 min.
Add parsley and cheese and saute about 1 more min.
Drain pasta when done.
Beat egg and add whipping cream.
Mix pasta with whipping cream/egg mixture and add meat/mushroom mixture, pepper & salt to taste.

Sauce by another recipe:
Beat 4 large egg yolks; add 2 large ladleful (1 c) pasta cooking water.
This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when adding to the pasta.  Toss the pasta til it soaks up egg mixture and thickens (1-2 min).


1 lb hamburger meat, browned with garlic salt; drain off grease
6 oz. egg noodles (4 c uncooked) or bowties, COOKED
16+ oz. spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce w/Italian seasoning
4+ oz fresh mushrooms, sliced, partially cooked, juice drained off (optional)

2 eggs
1 t salt; ¼ t pepper; ¼ c chopped dried parsley
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 c small curd cottage cheese
1 c sour cream

1 c grated Mozzarella cheese + 1/2c minced green onions
To cooked hamburger meat, add sauce and heat til hot.
Grease (PAM) 10 x 10 casserole dish.
Place noodles in bottom. Top with cheese mixture; then meat mixture.
Bake covered at 350° for 30 min. Turn off oven.
Remove cover, top with Mozzarella cheese and green onions-leave in oven til melted.
Let casserole rest for 5 min so cheese won’t be as stringy.
A double batch will fill a 9 x 13 pan to the top.


½ lb ground beef
½ lb pork sausage
½ pkg pepperoni slices, cut in half
1 Jar Ragu traditional spaghetti sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
12 oz. pasta—bowtie, ziti, whatever you want
sliced black olives-optional
sliced fresh mushrooms-optional
sliced green onions-optional

Brown meats together.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in ½ Ragu sauce.
Boil pasta, drain and toss with remaining sauce.
In casserole dish, layer pasta, meat, ½ cheese; repeat layers.
Bake covered at 350° for 20-25 min.


2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
2 oz. anchovies, drained, chopped
2 cans (one 28 ounces and one 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1 small can tomato paste-optional
4 T capers, drained
1-1/4 cups black or kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
1 t dried Italian Seasoning
1/4 t dried red pepper flakes
1 lb spaghetti or your favorite pasta
Some recipes use onions; shrimp

Heat oil in large skillet over medium low heat.
Add garlic and saute briefly.
Add anchovies, tomatoes, capers, olives, oregano and red pepper flakes.
Simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sauce will reduce and thicken as it simmers.  T
Taste and add salt if necessary.
Serve with cooked pasta or rice.

MOCK  RAVIOLI        BH&G Cookbook
Serves 8-10.

Brown:  1 lb ground beef;  ½ c chopped onion (opt); 1 clove garlic, minced
Drain grease off, and add to meat mixture:

26 oz can spaghetti sauce w/mushrooms (spiced up as you desire)
½ t salt and dash pepper
Cook per pkg directions:
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach
Cook:  7 oz. elbow macaroni or spaghetti and drain
Add to pasta with spinach:
1 c grated sharp cheese or mozzarella cheese
½ c soft bread crumbs
2 well beaten eggs
1/3 c oil

Preheat oven to 350°.
Spread pasta mixture in 9 x 13 baking dish.  Top with meat sauce.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 min.
Remove cover and sprinkle with ¾ c grated mozzarella cheese.
Let stand  for 10 min before serving.    DO NOT OVERCOOK!!

ITALIAN RAVIOLI –  From Scratch – the old fashioned hard way!!
Makes 15 -20 dozen.

(Heirloom Recipe from: Louise Montgomery & Dot Berry)

1 loaf French bread
1 chicken
1 medium pork roast
1 large beef roast
6 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans spinach, drained; or fresh spinach
5-6 eggs
salt, pepper
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix, unmixed
One recipe your favorite spaghetti sauce

One day ahead of time, break half the loaf of French bread into pieces so it can dry.
Use the rest of bread with meal. Blend into small crumbs after dry.
Boil chicken, adding lots of water and salt, pepper and 2 cloves garlic.
Reserve broth  and debone. Chill meat.
Brown roasts together with remaining garlic, onion, salt, pepper.
Add water and boil until done. Debone and chill.
Blend meats in blender and put in large pan.
Add spinach.
Mix salad dressing mix into the can of tomato sauce and add to meat mixture.
Mix everything together, using hand mixer if desired.
Chill mixture.

DOUGH for 50-60 raviolis or a meal for 4:
3-1/2 c flour
4 eggs
1 t salt
4-5 T water
In mixing bowl, combine the above ingredients by hand; divide into three parts.
On floured board, roll out one part until quite thin. Cut with biscuit cutter.
Put a small spoonful of meat mixture in the center of each circle.
Fold in half. Use fork and press edges together firmly.
Set on cookie rack to dry for 10-12 hours.
Turn to other side after 6 hours. Don’t stack.
When you are  ready to serve them, drop into boiling chicken broth added water, if necessary for 10-15 minutes.  Serve in spaghetti sauce and eat and eat and eat.

The meat mixture may be mixed up and frozen.
Be sure to divide it into small portions.
Can make all mixture into raviolis and dry and freeze them in bags.
Can substitute other meats; i.e. use two beef roasts, etc.; use turkey for chicken
Save leftover roast and chicken in freezer until you have enough for a batch. Doesn’t take much.

LEMON PASTA W/TOMATOES             8/15/16

16 ounces angel hair pasta
2 cups ripe tomatoes, diced (4 small or 2 large) Remove juice
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 t lemon zest
2 T capers (no juice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 large basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (or more)
Himalayan or Sea Salt, to taste
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
Red peppers flakes, (optional) to taste

Boil water  for pasta (follow pkg. instructions). Place diced tomatoes on paper towels to absorb extra juice. Place tomatoes and basil a large bowl, set aside. Combine olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, capers and a pinch of sea salt in a small dish, whisk. Add to tomatoes. Add pasta to boiling water.

When pasta is done, drain and pour over tomato mixture. Toss til combined. Sprinkle with Parmesan (optional), sea salt and red pepper flakes, if desired.