Bertucci's Corporation, a casual-dining chain, owns a collection of full-service Italian restaurants that operate under the name "Bertucci's Brick Oven Pizzeria." During the early years of the 21st century there were roughly 80 Bertucci's restaurants scattered throughout the northeastern United States, each of which featured wood-fired brick ovens, which cook hotter than conventional pizza ovens, and served Tuscan-styled food, including gourmet pizzas, salads, soups, seafood, and pasta dishes. Founded in suburban Boston by Joseph Crugnale, Bertucci's expanded quickly during the 1980s and 1990s, growing from a single restaurant in 1981 to a sprawling restaurant chain by the mid-1990s. N.E. Restaurant Co. Inc., Bertucci's owner since 1998, adopted the Bertucci's name in 2001.
FETTUCCINE ALFREDO with ASPARAGUS
Bertucci's Brick Oven Copycat Recipe
1 pound asparagus
3/4 pound fettuccine
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
pinch grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until almost done, about 8 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook until it and the pasta are just done, about 4 minutes longer.
Drain the pasta and asparagus. Toss with the butter, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.
Chicken Parma sauteed breaded chicken topped with
pomodoro sauce, basil and provolone cheese, served over spaghetti.
The video cooking demonstration will show you how to make this classic Italian dish.
Bertucci's also serves the Chicken Parma as a baked casserole
with your choice of pasta.
ROASTED ARTICHOKE FONDUTA
Artichoke hearts blended in a mozzarella, asiago and
romano cheese spread, then baked and served with crispy flatbread.
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, white pepper. Mix well, and spoon mixture into a 1 quart baking dish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Notes: You can substitute an Italian blend of cheese for the mozzarella cheese and use roasted artichoke as well.
TOMATO FLORENTINE SOUP
Bertucci's Brick Oven Copycat Recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cups V-8 vegetable juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 oz.) package fresh baby spinach
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
In a large saucepan, saute garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook and stir for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Add the vegetable juice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in spinach and basil. Cook 5 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.
Notes: V-8 juice makes a wonderful base for any type of tomato soup. The low salt version is great from dietary restrictions and the spicy type is for people who like a little heat.
PASTA FAGIOLI SOUP
Bertucci's Brick Oven Copycat Recipe
1 lb lean ground beef or mild Italian sausage
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
3-4 cups beef broth (chicken broth works fine too)
1 cup water
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup ditalini pasta, uncooked
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
Romano cheese (parmesan is good, too), for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat, crumble in ground beef or sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Put beef into a bowl, set aside. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in same large saucepan, saute carrots, celery and onion over medium high heat until tender for about 4 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
Reduce heat to a low, add tomato sauce, beef broth, water, canned tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, cooked beef along, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and allow to simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until veggies are soft.
Meanwhile prepare ditalini pasta according to directions on package, cooking to al dente. Add cooked and drained pasta to soup along with kidney beans, great northern beans and an additional 1 cup broth if desired to thin soup, and allow to cook 5 minutes longer. Serve warm with grated Romano cheese if desired.
Notes: Pasta Fagioli is usually made with cannellini beans and some type of small pasta in a tomato based broth seasoned with Italian spices. The longer the soup rests the more liquid the pasta will absorb so you can thin it with additional beef broth if desired or keep the cooked pasta separate amd add to the bowl just before serving.
Roasted peppers, zucchini, artichokes, olives, prosciutto, asparagus,
broccoli, fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes served
with baby field greens and a balsamic vinaigrette.
To make your own vegetarian platter, have on hand the following seven ingredients:
- a good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on vegetables
- a good quality balsamic vinegar,
- fresh lemon
- fresh garlic
- fresh herbs like oregano and basil
- a "good crusty bread
Obviously, if these ingredients don't appeal to you or if you're allergic to them, find substitutes that will enhance the flavors of your foods. The point is to create an Antipasto Misto to satisfy your personal taste.
The next step is to identify five or six vegetables that you like. Your objective is to assemble a platter with a variety of colors, shapes and textures. (See sidebar for roasting vegetables.)
When available, use leftovers. It will shorten your preparation time plus cooked vegetables can always be combined or seasoned to make them more interesting. Remember also that foods like olives, tomatoes and peppers serve double duty: They can be used on their own, graced simply with herbs, oils or lemon to enhance their flavor or they can be combined with other vegetables for added richness and complexity.
Now you're ready to decide whether you want a dish of warm vegetables, cold vegetables or a combination. If you're feeling brave, simply go for five easy ideas: assorted olives with or without chopped oregano; sliced tomato, sliced mozzarella and basil with an olive oil drizzle; carrots sauteed with garlic and mint or basil; fried eggplant or sauteed zucchini with tomato sauce; and bruschetta or garlic bread.
MEDITERRANEAN PESTO SALMON SALAD
Basil pesto grilled salmon flaked over a green salad
with roasted zucchini and eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes,
roasted peppers, capers, basil and white beans
in a balsamic dressing with house made garlic croutons.
To make this Bertucci's dish at home see the sidebar for how to make the Roasted Tuscan Vegetable Recipe. Grill the salmon and brush with pesto from a jar. Balsamic vinaigrette is readily available at any grocery store.
BALSAMIC TOMATO MOZZARELLA SALAD
Bertucci's Copycat Recipe
3 large tomatoes, sliced
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
Place tomato slices, alternating with mozzarella slices, on a large serving platter.
Combine oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid; shake well. Drizzle over tomatoes and mozzarella; sprinkle with basil.
Sauteed chicken tossed in a white wine sauce with
gemelli pasta and spinach, finished with Asiago cheese