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.
2 to 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs (make sure to use seasoned breadcrumbs)
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and mix. Cover and cook until broccoli is bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and mix until incorporated. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.
1 pound dry linguini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add 2 tablespoons salt. Add the linguine and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until al dente, tender but not mushy. Try to time it so that the garlic is done when the pasta is ready.
While the pasta cooks, place a large skillet over low heat and add the oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir for 3 minutes, or until the garlic softens and then becomes a light golden color. It is important not to let the garlic get too brown as this will result in a bitter, unpleasant taste.
Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, reserving about 1/4 cup of the starchy cooking water. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, to the garlic mixture. Toss well to aerate the pasta, making the sauce slick and creamy. Sprinkle in the parsley, toss well to coat evenly, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a large warm serving bowl or divide among 4 warm shallow bowls. Pass the grated cheese around the table for serving.
Notes: This pasta recipe is as simple as it gets. In this timeless Italian peasant dish, hot pasta is tossed with lots of fresh garlic sauteed in olive oil, seasoned with a little crushed red pepper, and finished off with Parmesan cheese. This basic pasta dish leaves much room for improvisation and versatility. Add sauteed zucchini, spinach, steamed broccoli, artichoke hearts, or your favorite grilled vegetables.
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.
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.
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.