Category Archives: Dinner

Go ham on panko-crusted ham for Easter

Not your traditional Easter ham!

Not your traditional Easter ham.

This recipe looks delicious, we love panko!

Eatocracy

America’s Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full­time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most­ foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen’s online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a glorious ham centerpiece for your dinner table. That is why we’re presenting you with our delicious, beautiful crumb-coated ham. It doesn’t require much work, packs tons…

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Cultural Traditions – Enjoying Life’s Moments

Do you & your family have cultural traditions that were shared & handed down by the elders?  Chances are you do.  Whether your Italian, Italian American or have a different heritage; you are probably thinking of a time-honored ritual that your family shares, as you read this blog.  I am not talking about holidays necessarily, but about the day to day precious moments that we have the opportunity to enjoy.

Our family is Sicilian American, closely associated with Italian American

Our family is Sicilian American, closely associated with Italian American

In our family we sit down to dinner and share our day, thoughts, struggles, dreams & family history.  In the Italian (Sicilian) American culture; Sundays are known as a day for family, friends & food… then more food!  You may have heard us making reference to the pot being on stove all day on Sunday, ready to welcome & feed everyone who comes to visit.  The food is delicious & nurturing but the camaraderie – stories told, instruments played, singing & dancing amongst the laughter; these are precious moments in life we get to relish.

Stuffed Eggplant Appetizer

Stuffed Eggplant Appetizer

Today; in this day & age, it is commonly heard that “I am too busy,” having no time to participate in these vital, nourishing customs.  We are hoping to encourage everyone to stop; put down the cell phones, laptops, iPads & iPods – take time to say hello, how are you, let’s sit & talk over a nice meal… enjoy these cherished occasions & the people you love.  Don’t rush – make the time; you will embrace these memories dearly as generations grow & pass.  Imagine being able to share stories of family traditions, history, funny times & maybe even adventures experienced with the younger generations; inspiring them to take the time to share & enjoy life’s moments.

What are some of traditions you share with your family & friends?  We would love to hear your story….

Southern Italy, Northern Italy & yes, Central Italy – There is a Difference in the Regional Cuisines.

Are you, your family or ancestors from Southern or Northern Italy?  Than it is likely you know the cuisine of these regions, while may having similarities, are also very different.  There are many “regions” in Italy, generally cuisine is divided into two – Northern or Southern… but there is also Central Italy!  The food in all three areas bring something unique to the dining table.

Map of Italy

Map: 3 Main Regions of Italy

Let’s start in the North where you are likely to dine on meals that are rich & creamy along with stuffed meats & pastas; Parmigiano-Reggiano may well be the most popular cheese.  The Ligurian coastal section of north-west Italy boast fish (baccala), like Cod.

In contrast, Southern Italy is known for it’s tomatoes  – cooked in a sauce or served fresh; as well as peppers, olives, olive oil, garlic, Ricotta cheese, eggplants, zucchini & fish, like Tuna or Sardines.  As you can see, Southern Italy has had a great influence on American Italian fare.  For all you Pizza lover’s out there… it hails from Naples, also part of Southern Italy.

Organic Black Eggplant

Organic Eggplant in our Garden at Home.

Zucchini Squash

Organic Zucchini fresh from our garden.

Do you hear Italians mention Central Italy often?  Honestly, I don’t think I have ever heard that once!  Traditional Central Italian cuisine uses ingredients such as tomatoes, all kinds of meat, fish, and pecorino cheese.  In Tuscany and Ubria, pasta is usually served alla carrettiera (a tomato sauce spiked with peperoncini hot peppers).

As you can see by our menu; we offer a dining experience that is influenced by all the above, in addition to the induced Italian American dishes that came from our ancestors when they moved to United States. Comment below & share with us which style of cuisine you like best… or maybe like us, you enjoy it all!

Penne Baked

Baked Penne

What is the proper pour for wine?

We have been asked many times “What is the proper pour for wine,”  so we thought we would share a little information about this topic.

First, do you know what “One Serving of Alcohol is Considered?”  It actually varies depending on the type of alcohol you are serving, like wine or beer.  Here is a basic outline for proper pouring & serving:

  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 12 ounces of a beer or wine cooler
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor
  • 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits  (Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, etc.)

Keep in mind that some States have different regulations regarding how much alcohol is served at one time, so an alcohol beverage could be served according to State Law.

Wine figures

Restaurants may offer different pours of wine, like 3oz., 5oz., or 8oz. – at different prices. So in this case the “Proper Pour” of wine would depend on the size you prefer.  We have never come across a proper pour being any larger than 8 ounces.  You will also notice that there are all different sizes of wine glasses; it is always better to have a larger glass so you are able to swirl the wine to aerate, helping to release it’s essence.

When you come into dine with us, you have a choice of ordering house wines by the Full Carafe, Half Carafe or Glass & for those who prefer more diversity in their wine choices; we also offer a variety of wines by the Glass or Bottle.  We pour 1 size when serving by the glass – a measured 6 ounces & it comes in a nice 20 ounce glass to enable you to swirl without spilling.  It may look like a small pour, but we do measure it when pouring &  it is priced at what you may pay for a 5 ounce pour in many other establishments. If you would like to order a bottle of wine but don’t want to drink it all at one time; we also offer Wine Doggie Bags, which are approved by the State of New Mexico & you are able to take what is left in your bottle of wine home with you.  Have questions? Our staff, management & owners are happy to assist you in picking out the wine that you would most enjoy.

Click here to view our Beer & Wine List (Availability May Vary).

What are you doing on Tuesday & Wednesday Night?

How would you like Fish Fry or Prime Rib for Dinner?

You may think this is a funny question coming from an Italian restaurant, but in addition to our extensive Italian & Steak/Chop Menu we have added a couple special nights due to popular request… and we aim to please!

Starting tonight, Tuesday 2/26/13, we are offering Fish Fry as our Tuesday night weekday special… 2 pieces of hand breaded, cold water, wild caught Flounder served with a garden salad, fried potatoes & house made tartar sauce!  And don’t worry about your fish being fried in hydrogenated oil; we use 100% vegetable oil in our fryer!

Rib-Roast-3

But how about Wednesday night?  Maybe fish isn’t your favorite dish; well beginning tomorrow night, 2/27/13, we are featuring Prime Rib as our Wednesday night weekday special… All natural, slow roasted, Black Angus Prime Rib Served with garden salad & mashed potatoes!  Do you enjoy a tender piece of flavorful prime rib that isn’t dipped in liquid smoke?  Than you will want to join us on Wednesday night!

Both specials are offered from 4pm-9pm… while supplies last.  For more Weekday, Weekend & Take-Out specials visit us on:

 http://joespastahouse.com/index.php/dinner-specials/

At Joe’s Pasta House your not just getting the cultural taste of our Italian family recipes; you also get enjoy savory selections created & prepared by a fully trained culinary team!  We look forward to seeing & serving you soon.

Imported Pasta versus Pasta from United States

How GMOs Affect the Gluten Levels of Pasta

There are many debates going on in regards to GMOs & Gluten.  When we take a look at studies, A Tale of Two Gluten Studies and the history of wheat, What Happened to Wheat, we know that there is an increasing problem with GMOs & gluten.  What foods you decide to partake in is ultimately your choice; but we feel as restauranteurs & the fact that we are passionate about serving the same fresh, nutritious food to our guests as we do our family; we have a responsibility in helping you make an informed decision that could effect your health.
 
 
 At Joe’s Pasta House we choose to serve Imported Pasta.  What? Why, you may ask, when we serve so many foods that are local? Yes, supporting the local economy is very important… and so is offering delicious, healthier food.  This is where the choice to serve imported pasta, from Italy, is the only current choice for us.  Unfortunately, the United States allows GMO wheat to be produced in our country.   In the article, What Happened to Wheat, you can see a study conducted by the Mayo clinic shows 60 years ago Celiac Disease was rare.  Now it effects at least 1% of the population.  You can find more information about Celiac Disease here: The Mayo Clinic
 
So, what has changed in our wheat?  GMOs!  That is right; studies show that GMO wheat produces a higher yield of gluten & many people are having digestive issues because it is too much for us to process.  In “Which Countries Have Banned GMO Foods?”  there is a very informative list of which countries have modified what is allowed as far as GMO foods & countries that have banned GMOs.  Italy is one of the countries with a ban on GMOs & that is why we serve pasta imported from Italy!  It is important to us to provide as much minimally processed (if processed at all), natural, free-range, non-injected, non GMO foods as possible – this also includes organic & local selections when feasible.  Fresh, house-made recipes that provide good nutrition & value; this is one of our most important purposes when we are serving you & your loved ones.

 

 

 

Surprise! There Really is no Added Sugar in the Red Sauce….

Baked Lasagna

Many times over the last 12 years we have been asked “how much sugar to you put in your red sauce?” There is much disbelief when we reply “None, there is no added sugar in the sauce.”  We have literally had guests tell us they don’t believe us… “no way, your sauce has a light, sweet taste; you have to put sugar in it!” OK, we will let you in on a little secret…. it’s not added sugar, it’s all about the tomatoes we use.  You see,  it has to do with understanding the chemical reactions of different foods depending on how they are cooked & the type of food you are cooking.  Here is the secret ingredient: Imported Italian Plum Tomatoes & we make the sauce fresh every morning!  The chemical breakdown of this specific tomato is what makes our sauce have a hint of sweetness.  So, relax & enjoy the next time you partake in a dish with red sauce at Joe’s Pasta House… there are no refined sugars added to the sauce!

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