In The Kitchen

Trending Recipe: How To — Anna’s Carbonara

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Annas Carbonara brian weavel pasta

By Brian Weavel, Anna’s Pizza & Pasta, Winnabego, Illinois   At Anna’s, we don’t do a traditional carbonara. This is our twist on the original. Give it a try. I hope you like it! Watch my how-to video on this dish. Anna’s Spinach Tortellini Carbonara 3 ounces baby spinach 2 ounces Romano cheese 2 ouncesMore »

Know When to Fold ’Em

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Calzone

Calzones are a no-brainer   If you are thinking about adding calzones to your menu, now is the time to do it. Calzones bring diversity to your lineup without getting off base from your menu theme. It’s the perfect spinoff from pizza — and it is more portable and easy to eat. Think about itMore »

The World is Flat

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tomato spinach flatbread

Flatbread sales heat up — are they right for you?   In my region, Northern Illinois, Flatbread pizzas are becoming popular. This is a trend that is worth investigating for every pizzeria owner. Some have perfected it already, but I think many of us are missing out on this remarkably versatile menu item. Most operationsMore »

Big and Beefy

Italian Beef sandwich

Italian Beef — the Chicago staple is gaining popularity   I’ve been fortunate to have worked in and traveled to many fantastic places around the country and I just love the fact that many different areas have unique specialty dishes that are known only to their region. It makes traveling back to those areas aMore »

Dough Doctor: Cut it out

Slicing pizza borriello brothers

What slicing tool is best for your operation? Q: I’m putting together an equipment list for a pizzeria that I plan to open soon and I’m trying to decide between using a pizza wheel or a rocker knife to cut my pizzas. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to using one over the other? A:More »

Respecting the Craft: Pizza Romana

Tony Gemignani headshot

One of my favorite styles of pizza is pizza Romana. Some people can get confused because, like New York-style, there are sub-categories. For example, there’s Pizza in Teglia (pizza in the pan), Pizza al Taglio (pizza by the slice), Pizza a Etro (pizza by the meter), Pizza Focaccia and Pizza in Pala (pizza on woodMore »

No weigh? No way!

weighing ingredients, scale, dough

If you aren’t weighing ingredients, you are throwing money away   Anything worth doing is worth doing correctly, right? Your pizza is no exception. Your goal with every pizza should be two-fold: Make a profitable pizza. Make a consistent pizza. Anything less than that means you are cheating your customers as well as yourself. DoMore »

Primo Pasta

primavera, pasta, vegetables

Get those garden-fresh veggies into a versatile primavera sauce   It’s summer, and that means a bounty of fresh vegetables are at every corner farm stand and are at their best price through your vendors. Some say there is a primavera phenomenon going on and I say it’s simply that time of year where produceMore »

Big Dave Ostrander talks dough consistency

Pizza Industry Expert Big Dave Ostrander talks dough consistency

Q: Dave, I make my dough fresh every day. Some days it’s perfect and others it’s either too soft or too firm. Since I hand stretch, this is a big deal. What am I doing wrong? Tony S. via e-mail A: Hey Tony! Early on, I also suffered from this dough problem. Back in theMore »

Yeast performance

Tom Lehmann

Which yeast provides the best crust flavor?   Q: Between instant dry yeast (IDY), active dry yeast (ADY) and compressed yeast (CY), which one provides the best flavor to the crust and why? A: This question has come up many times over the years. Back in the early 1980s I did a comprehensive study onMore »