Archives for category: Italian food

Welcome to Themed Thursday — every third Thursday of the month, I post a themed blog. This month, it’s all about Alfredo sauce. I made a batch of it and there was a lot left over! I don’t like to waste food, so I  had to figure out how to use it all. Below are the recipes I came up with using the sauce.

What are your favorite dishes using Alfredo sauce?

Alfredo sauce (from allrecipes.com. Click here to view original)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (I sometimes use fresh, minced)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, stirring to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly. Thin with milk if cooked too long.

alfredo sauce

Cajun style pasta

  • Your favorite type of pasta such as spaghetti, angel hair, macaroni, or spiral (I used spaghetti)
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Red bell pepper, diced
  • Tomato, diced
  • Spinach
  • Pre-cooked, Cajun-seasoned chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat Alfredo sauce, adding Cajun seasoning to taste. When pasta is cooked, toss all ingredients together. Add extra Cajun seasoning to taste.

Alfredo pizza This is based on the ingredients I had on hand that day. Feel free to add your favorite pizza ingredients.

  • Alfredo sauce
  • Your favorite pizza crust (I used Boboli)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Spinach
  • Red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • Store-bought meatballs, diced (I used Aidells)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Spread Alfredo sauce on the crust. Layer with cheese and top with remaining ingredients. Bake in oven 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Alfredo and meatballs

  • Your favorite type of pasta such as spaghetti, angel hair, vermicelli, or fettuccine (I used spaghetti)
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Store-bought meatballs (I used Aidells)
  • Broccoli, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat Alfredo sauce. Over med-low heat, in a small non-stick pan, heat meatballs, turning to evenly brown. When pasta is cooked and meatballs are heated through, toss all ingredients together.

Wing and I decided we wanted to do something a little different for a change. We decided to take the trolley to get lunch. You see, San Diego isn’t big on public transportation so most people don’t, or aren’t able to, take it on a daily basis. It was only during the last 30 years that we saw the trolley being installed and it still doesn’t go to some places you’d think a trolley would go to. But that doesn’t stop people from using it. As a matter of fact, during baseball season, if the Padres are playing home field, the trolley is packed. During school, if you’re on the green line, the trolley is packed with San Diego State students. And then sometimes the trolley is just plain packed on a random Saturday and you can’t figure out why. When Wing and I took it, there was standing room only. I’m not complaining… I’m just saying. Well, we decided to go get food at a place I’d been to before and remembered fondly called Bencotto. It’s located in a part of San Diego known as Little Italy (where the trolley does make a stop). Despite its name, Little Italy has a ton of different types of restaurants, but, yes, Italian food does dominate.

Bencotto is a small walk from the trolley stop but not bad at all. The atmosphere of the restaurant is modern with lots of natural light. After being seated, they brought us bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was fresh and light and, for two, there was a generous amount. Our waitress told us that their meats are freshly sliced, but we didn’t really think twice (who wouldn’t say that?) until we saw them cutting prosciutto slices on a slicer and serving those slices to the guests.

After looking over the menu, Wing and I decided on an appetizer, the meatballs with spicy tomato sauce dip called polpette bencotto. The meatballs were good and there was a perfect amount for two people. The sauce wasn’t spicy to us at all, but we’ve learned we have a high tolerance for spice, so don’t take our word for it. For our meals, Wing ordered the tagliata alla senape, steak with a tomato salad, and I ordered the pollo alla pizzaiola, chicken in tomato sauce with mashed potatoes. Wing’s was picture perfect and tasted amazing. The beef was seasoned perfectly and the meat was so tender, it almost melted in your mouth. I was jealous. My food was pretty normal. It tasted fine, but no pizzazz really. And I think I’ve decided that I don’t really care for mashed potatoes with tomato sauce. But, hey, you have to try once, right?

bencotto lunch

Wing and I also ordered drinks. He ordered the lemon pop and I ordered the lemon-cake cocktail. Wing’s was a pretty drink (it was bubbly!) and tasted good, but mine was worthy of wow. The glass was rimmed with sugar and when you held it to your lips for a sip, the drink smelled of sugar cookies! Then when you took a sip, it tasted like lemon cookies. It was so good! How can you go wrong with a drink that smells and tastes like sugar cookies? And if all of this wasn’t enough, we decided to try a dessert. We split the tris cannoli that comes with three flavors: chocolate chip, pistachio, and espresso. I was really looking forward to the espresso and the chocolate chip, but Wing and I both agreed that the pistachio was the best. They were good, but I think we’d both try something else should we go again.

bencotto dessert drinks

Wing and I definitely want to go back to try other things (I’ve heard their gnocchi is great) and bring others with us. We decided that we want to take KlyRad because he claims he doesn’t like Italian much, but we wonder if he’d like it here since it has such a diverse menu. Mars “oohed” when I told him about my drink and so now he wants to go. We hope they’ll enjoy it as much as we did… and we hope you do, too, should you ever find yourself there!