Prepare dinner OF THE Week: Tupelo transplant specializes in Italian dishes | Foodstuff

TUPELO • When Dominic Cua was 12 years old, he fibbed about his age and got an soon after-faculty position at Giovanni Mineo’s restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“Within a thirty day period, I was traveling pizzas in the window” claimed Cua, a 2nd-generation Italian. “They also did other Italian dishes – ravioli, sauce, meatballs. They permit me view. They let me help. I felt like I was component of their loved ones when I was there.”

But Mineo’s Pizza Home, found in a mainly Jewish neighborhood called Squirrel Hill, was not Cua’s initial introduction to Italian cooking. His early memories contain his Irish mom earning genuine meatballs.

“She discovered from my father’s sister, Aunt Helen. My mother would go to her house all the time – I didn’t recognize then she was staying schooled in the artwork of Italian cooking,” Cua said. “She did meatballs just about each individual Saturday and shared them with the whole community. Persons would flock there. I bear in mind the social and celebratory character of the food.”

Cua, 61, in no way did restaurant work once more. But he did preserve cooking.

“I did all the Italian cooking when I was married,” reported Cua, who moved to Tupelo in the spring of 2020 to be nearer to his new sweetheart. “When we entertain now, it’s virtually normally Italian.”

Cua was a businessman for most of his career, initially in Pittsburgh, then in Nashville. He retired from the development enterprise in 2012, and the subsequent year he took a position in Tennessee as a counselor at a restoration middle.

“I’m the counselor and weekend supervisor there and immediately after a while, I received fatigued of the foodstuff that was becoming served, so I started off teaching cooking expertise to the purchasers,” Cua mentioned. “They really like it. Cooking for a team of people can be a pretty non secular thing.”

At household through the week, Cua also spends a whole lot of time in the kitchen. He may possibly prepare hen masala with a spinach salad, or grilled rib-eyes and asparagus.

“I’m self-vital of my cooking,” he mentioned. “I did Thanksgiving, and everyone was stating how fantastic it was. I just considered it was normal.”

When Cua prepares Italian food items, he ordinarily helps make massive batches and freezes the sauce and the meatballs. But he always will make his pasta refreshing, applying a hand-crank pasta device to make sheets for lasagna or ravioli, or to make angel hair nests or spaghetti.

“Cooking, no matter if for a beloved a person or friends – I uncover the pleasure is in the undertaking, instead than making the most of the meals afterward,” he mentioned. “The joy is not in consuming, but in serving. Cooking is staying inventive, it is services and it’s friendship.”


4 cups chopped bell peppers

5 quarts San Marzano-model tomatoes or Roma tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped clean oregano

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

In a huge pot or Dutch oven, saute onions, bell peppers and garlic in olive oil. Increase tomatoes, oregano, sugar and salt and pepper to style and provide to a simmer. Stir in tomato paste and enable simmer for 4 several hours, stirring at times.


1/2 loaf Italian bread, cubed

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/4 cup Italian seasoning

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 kilos ground beef or chuck

Soak cubed bread in hefty product. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil right until distinct. Whisk eggs and insert Italian seasoning and parsley.

Blend ground beef, Italian sausage and Parmesan. Get rid of bread cubes from cream with a slotted spoon and fold into meat mixture. Insert sauteed onions and garlic, then increase egg combination. Blend properly, then sort into 3-inch balls and position on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 levels for 20 minutes flip meatballs more than and cook an additional 20 minutes.

Primary PASTA

3 1/2 cups all-intent flour

In a big bowl, mound the flour and make a effectively in the center. Crack the eggs into the properly and add the oil. Whisk the eggs inside the perfectly, staying thorough not to enable the eggs crack over the sides of the flour. Slowly but surely grow the perfectly, pulling the flour into the middle. Knead dough into a ball and set aside.

On a floured board, knead dough for 10 minutes, introducing far more flour if essential. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow for it to rest for 30 minutes at space temperature.

When completely ready to use, cut dough into 4 pieces. Utilizing a pasta machine, roll out dough thinly and slice into your decision of noodles. (A rolling pin can also be used to roll dough out really thinly.)


1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh new thyme

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

3 to 4 cloves finely chopped garlic or 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

Sheets of new pasta dough

For the filling, blend Parmesan, eggs, Ricotta, thyme, Italian seasoning, Mozzarella and garlic. Set apart.

For the ravioli, working with a pasta equipment, roll dough sheets out on a No. 7 environment. Lightly push a ravioli stamp into pasta to make a guidebook for the filling. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of each stamp guide. Top rated with a next sheet of pasta. Use your fingers to press all over the filling to seal the dough and get rid of any air. Use a ravioli stamp to absolutely reduce out raviolis.

Provide a significant pot of h2o to a boil. Include ravioli and prepare dinner for 3 to 4 minutes. Take away with a slotted spoon to plates. Top with tomato sauce.

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