Italian Cuisine

Welcome to our Italian Cuisine page.  If you are a regular follower of our little family blog you know that I truly believe that I was Italian in another life or in some ultra reverse universe.  We love Italian food, everything about it, the spices, the cheeses, the pasta, the garlic!!  I will readily admit that my favorite movies are those that take place in Italy.  In the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” I want to know what Nona Cardinale is crumbling into that pot of water when she is helping Frances cook.  Is it breadcrumbs?  Is it Garlic?  As old as the movie is I still don’t know.  I love when Frances cooks up a storm for Pawel, Sasa and Valentine, the Polish immigrants who are remodeling her home.  I am in love with Italian cuisine!!

As always this page is a work in progress check back from time to time for new additions!


ALFREDO SAUCE (Olive Garden Copycat)

Alfredo Sauce

What You’ll Need:

2 oz. milk

1 Pint heavy cream

4 tbsp. butter

1/2 tbsp. flour

4 oz. Freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 oz. Fontina cheese

3/4 tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper


  • On medium heat, add butter, garlic, and flour until butter is melted. Do not brown garlic
  • Whisk in the heavy cream and milk until hot
  • Slowly add the freshly grated cheeses into the hot cream mixture
  • Finally add the salt and pepper
  • Stir often to make sure no cheese settles at the bottom
  • Simmer until all the cheeses are melted and the sauce reaches the desired thickness. Do not let this sauce boil, or it will begin to separate and the cheeses will become grainy
  • Turn heat off or on low before serving




Cheese Ravioli

What You’ll Need:

1 lb.  Ground Round

1 15 oz Tomato Sauce

1 8 oz Tomato Sauce

1 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (un-drained)

1 6 oz Tomato Paste

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Oregano

2 tsp dried garlic

16 oz bag frozen Ravioli


  • Brown ground beef – drain off fat
  • Return ground beef to pan
  • Add the tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar and spices….mix well
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Meanwhile cook Ravioli according to package directions and drain
  • Add to pasta sauce – mix well
  • Serve with fresh shredded parmesan cheese

Source: N. Rezich


LASAGNA (Walt’s Favorite)



9 Lasagna noodles – cooked and drained

15 oz.     Ricotta cheese

4 Cups   Mozzarella Cheese

1/2 Cup  Parmesan Cheese (plus extra to sprinkle on each layer of lasagna as you assemble it)

2 Eggs –  slightly beaten

58 oz.      Pasta w/meat sauce (I use my Sweet Spaghetti Sauce Posted here)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and the lightly beaten eggs.
  • Spread sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish (about a cup, maybe a little more)
  • Place 1/3 (3) noodles over the sauce in the baking dish
  • Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles
  • Add some sauce to cover ricotta mixture
  • Spread 1 cup of mozzarella cheese over sauce
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
  • Repeat layering; 3 noodles – rest of ricotta mixture, more meat sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan
  • Add remaining 3 noodles and cover with sauce only
  • Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes
  • Uncover – add remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and sprinkle with more parmesan
  • Return to oven uncovered for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly

Source: N. Rezich




What You’ll Need:

1 (10-oz.) pkg. Green Giant® frozen creamed spinach

1 (25-oz.) pkg. Frozen cheese-filled ravioli

1 (16-oz.) jar Alfredo sauce

2 oz. (1/2 cup) Shredded fresh Parmesan cheese


  • In a large pot bring water to a boil for ravioli
  • While waiting for water to boil, cook spinach according to package directions (I use microwave method)
  • While waiting for spinach – pour alfredo sauce into sauce pan
  • When spinach is done, carefully add to the alfredo sauce (be careful – spinach will be hot)
  • Heat alfredo/spinach mixture until bubbly, reduce heat and simmer – stirring occasionally
  • Add ravioli to boiling water, cook according to package directions
  • Drain ravioli and place in serving dish
  • Mix with spinach/alfredo sauce
  • Top with shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Serve

Source:  Pillsbury Recipes;



What You’ll Need:

1.5 lbs. Ground Round

2 Cans (29 oz. ea.) Tomato Sauce (I use Hunts)

1 Can (12 oz.) Tomato Paste (I use Hunts)

6 Tbsp. Brown sugar

1 tsp. Oregano

1 cup Chopped onion

3 gloves Garlic – minced


  • Brown ground beef and drain
  • Return beef to pot and add tomato sauce and paste – mix well
  • Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer 1 – 2 hours.
  • Add brown sugar, oregano, chopped onion and garlic

Note:  You can sauté the garlic and onion with the ground beef or just add it directly to the sauce

Source:  N. Rezich




What You’ll Need:

1 package (16 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed      and squeezed dry

1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Cook tortellini according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion in oil until tender.
  • Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Add the tomatoes, spinach, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in cream and cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until thickened.
  • Drain tortellini; toss with sauce.
  • Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.

Yield: 6 servings




Tuscan Pasta With Tomato Basil Cream

What You’ll Need:

1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli*

1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce

2 tablespoons white wine

2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped**

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish: fresh basil strips


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan.
  • Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well.
  • Stir wine mixture into saucepan.
  • Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Garnish, if desired.




2 thoughts on “Italian Cuisine

  1. Another movie you should watch is Big Night. Although an American movie, it reflects the Italians who have immigrated to America and gone into the restaurant industry. Great music as well.

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