Make An Amazing Healthy Spaghetti Sauce…

As we all know, processed foods are full of sugar, salt and fat!   You can enjoy a healthier Italian pasta meal by making your own sauce following these tips!

Start off making your sauce with fresh tomatoes boiled for about  5 minutes, let cool and peel the skins off.  Once the skins are off, remove the seeds and start simmering the tomatoes in a large skillet or frying pan on low, mashing them with a masher as they simmer.

Once simmered, you want to add Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Olive oil is packed with antioxidants!  Toss some garlic along with minced or cut up vegetables into your sauce such as zucchini or broccoli.  We suggest mincing or throwing the vegetables in a food processor if you’re trying to hide them from the picky eaters in your family!  You can also add shredded chicken, hamburg, sausage or even diced pork chops fully cooked to your sauce for added protein!

Lastly, we suggest not to add any sugar to the sauce but rather add herbs like basil and parsley for a fresher and sweeter taste!

We take pride in creating pasta and sauce from scratch at our Vito’s Restaurants and look forward to serving you!Pasta3

 

 

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It’s All In The Cheese

Who doesn’t LOVE Cheese?  Italy is known for it’s variety of cheese that has made their way into everyone’s hearts around the world!  Five of the most delicious cheeses from Italy that we all enjoy today are:

1. Mozzarella Cheese

Originating from the regions of Puglia, Molise, Abruzzo, and Campania, this amazing and probably one of the most popular Italian cheese is semi-soft with a stringy texture.  It’s white in color and has a milky flavor. Unlike most cheeses, mozzarella cheese doesn’t need to age. It’s eaten fresh. It goes well on salads, meats, and with fish and vegetable dishes.

2.Provolone Cheese

From the Po valley Region, provolone cheese is firm and grainy with a mild or sharp buttery taste and pale yellow color. Provolone is semi-hard with a pleasant aroma. It has high amounts of calcium and protein but is also high in salt. Provolone goes wonderfully with red wine and served with fresh, homemade bread still warm.

3.  Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is named after the area around Parma, where it originated.  Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese with a grainy texture, strong aroma and sharp,  flavor. Parmesan tastes best sprinkled over pasta and used as an ingredient in soups and risottos. Italians love to munch on it as a snack, as well.

4.Gorgonzola Cheese

Originating from the Gorgonzola region, this cheese is soft and crumbly. It can be made into a sharp or mild flavor, depending on its age, and has a nutty aroma. It’s an “old-world” blue-veined cheese made from un-skimmed cow’s milk and takes up to four months to create. Gorgonzola is best served with red wine and your favorite pasta dish.

5. Ricotta Cheese

A refreshing, soft Italian cheese that is made from either sheep, cow, goat, or buffalo milk whey that is left over after making other types of cheese. It’s smooth, high in protein and low in fat. It goes well with many Italian dishes such as lasagna, cheesecake, pizza, clazone, ravioli, manicotti, and more. Ricotta can also be used as a sauce thickener.

Mozzarella

The Love of Pasta

Pasta is said to have first came about in Italy back in the Norman times.  When Italians migrated to the United States in the early 1900’s, the love of pasta  began in America!  Americans began to realize that this inexpensive, comfort food was amazing!  Italians realized this and started opening up the first Italian restaurants in New York City.  Today pasta is enjoyed by many and we are right there with everyone!Vodka sauce

Pasta is a fantastic, easy and fast cooking meal that in this day and age when everyone is in a rush, it’s convenient.   Pasta can be served in an assortment of ways!  Pasta with tomato sauce is the most popular.  Also enjoyed are shrimp pasta, lemon pasta, buttered pasta, alfredo pasta,  pasta in casseroles, lasagna, stuffed shells and the list goes on.

We at Vito’s invite you to come one of our restaurants (Vito’s Pizzeria and V’s Trattoria) and sit down, relax and treat yourself to the most amazing homemade pasta dishes and pizza.  We’re family owned, proud of our family heritage and ready to serve you the best Itlalian meal you’ve ever eaten!

Treat your special loved one to one of our restaurants for Valentine’s Day!   They say the heart grows fonder after pasta!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and from our family to yours, we wish you a very happy, healthy New Year!

Winter is almost in full swing and with that brings thoughts of delicious Italian comfort food!  Right?!!   This month we focus on the delicious homemade soups that our Vito’s restaurants offer.  Who doesn’t love a good cup or bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day?

Pasta E Fagioli is a traditional Italian soup made with beans, pasta (of course) – usually ditalini, tomatoes (stewed or paste) and fresh vegetables.  This soup can be made more on the thick side or on the thin side!  It ‘a delicious soup that the entire family will love!

Italian Wedding Soup is by far one of the most popular Italian soups known is made with escarole or cabbage, chicken broth, pastina and meat which can be meatballs or sausage.  Pair this delicious soup up with a nice glass of wine and fresh bread!

Zuppa Toscana is made with Italian sausage, white onions, heavy cream, potatoes and crushed red peppers.  This soup has a bit of a spicy flare and will make you want more!

This winter, be brave and bold and try new Italian soups that you haven’t before! We know you’ll love them at our Vito’s Restaurants located in Hartford and Wethersfield.

soup

Happy Holidays!

The holiday season is upon us!  Grab your friends, co-workers and family and treat yourself to Vito’s Pizzeria or V’s Trattoria for fabulous food, great service and enjoy the taste of homemade Italian cuisine!

Hosting a party or event?  Don’t stress yourself out with the prep and cooking!  Order off our catering menu from Vito’s Pizzeria in Wethersfield and save yourself some time!  You’ll be able to relax with friends and family and actually enjoy the time together with amazing appetizers, entrees and desserts.  We are proud to be family owned and want to wish all of you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year!

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Italian Thanksgiving Ideas

The holiday season is just about upon us and we want to take the opportunity to tell you a bit about Italian Thanksgiving menu ideas!  There are many fabulous Italian dishes that fit in and compliment the traditional American holiday.

During the holidays, extravagant holiday meals are popular in Italy.  The first and foremost popular dish is the Antipasto platter which can include veggies, Italian cheeses, crackers and thin sliced meats.  Next is soup or salad course – give a bowl of tortellini soup a try! A  pasta course can follow and you may want to think about including pumpkin ravioli

To mix up the potato choices, try  orange & cinnamon sweet potatoes!   Add bruschetta to the menu – making your own is simple & easy. 

Along with the traditional fixings of Thanksgiving and a few Italian dishes mixed in, you will have a meal that everyone will be talking about for weeks!

Don’t forget the cannolis and of course the Italian wine!

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V’s Trattoria!

V’s Trattoria is located at 280 Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT located inside the Prudential Building.  Featuring a vast menu of delicious appetizers, soups, pizzas and entrées, all homemade and using the freshest of ingredients!   There is something for everyone at V’s Trattoria.

V’s Trattoria features homemade pasta dishes, pizza and more that will have you coming back time and time again!  Some of our favorites are the Lobster Ravioli, Pappardelle Bolognese and the Eggplant Parmigiana.

Focusing on the simple things and bringing friends, family and people together in a beautiful, modern, relaxing atmosphere is owner, Rob Maffuci’s intention

The restaurant is within walking distance of the XL Center, The Hartford Stage and we are the closest restaurant to Dunkin Donuts Stadium!  So don’t miss out on this amazing restaurant – stop in and join us today!

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Italian Red Vino!

Every Italian meal is complemented by Italian wine!  Italy has an amazing diversity of wine for growers from the Alps in the north to the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea.

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If you’re a newbie to Italian wine, bottles can typically costing under $20 and can be fruity and full of aroma.  Here’s a listing of some of our favorite red Italian wines.

Nero d’Avola – pairs well with burgers and meat lovers pizza.  This is tart with red cherry, blackberry and hint of pepper

Montepulicano – pairs very well with salami, grilled meats and cheeses.  Smoky hint to this one with tastes of black fruits and berries.

Negroamaro – pairs well with ribs, chicken and pulled pork.  Tastes of herbs and black fruits make this a popular choice.

Primitivo – pairs well with burgers and meats.  Very bold raspberry flavor with a hint of spice.

Brachetto – a dessert wine that pairs fantastic with chocolate, cake and any sweets!  Sparkling and sweet with berry flavors.

Dolcetto – pairs well with red sauced pastas.  A dry wine with smoky herb flavors and hint of blueberry.

Barbera – pairs well with stews, soups and risotto.  A tart wine with hints of cherry and licorice.

At V’s Trattoria, we invite you to try Montepulciano and an assortment of other fine wines!  Next time you’re out shopping for that perfect wine to pair with your meal, give one of these a try, we know you’ll be pleased you did!

 

 

Tomato Health Benefits

At our Vito’s restaurants we use farm fresh grown tomatoes from our farm in South Windsor.  Fresh vegetables and ingredients are the best option not only for cooking but also for the nutrients and benefits of eating fresh, farm grown food.

Tomatoes originated from Mexico and Central America and quickly became a must have for all.  Tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes, colors and are enjoyed in salads, sauces, and a array of recipes!

Did you know that tomato studies have shown that people who regularly eat tomatoes, have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease along with other chronic diseases? Tomatoes are high in vitamin A and C, beta carotene and minerals.  They also benefit high blood pressure, the function of the pancreas and improve circulation in the body.  Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and have been known to help reduce asthma attacks and respiratory infections.

So what are you waiting for?  Enjoy tomatoes today in a fresh Caprese Salad! Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar!

 

Caprese salad

 

Basil’s Health Benefits

At all of our Vito’s restaurants, we use the freshest of ingredients including herbs & spices!  Basil is one of those herbs and we thought you’d like to learn a bit more about this leafy, very green herb’s health benefits!

Basil belongs to the sage, lavender and mint family.  It is full of nutrients and had many purposes in colonial times including being medicinal.  Some health benefits of basil:

  1.  Studies have shown that basil consumption can help prevent cognitive degradation.
  2. Stress reduction have been known with consumption of basil.  There are compounds in the basil that help with managing stress.
  3. Basil is full of antioxidants which can help with anti-aging and fight cancer!
  4. Basil can provide you with energy.  It has copper in it which is a compound that eliminates fatigue & exhaustion.  Often basil is used in smoothies to keep energy levels increased!
  5. Basil can help build strong bones.  Basil is full of Vitamin K which helps keep strong bones.
  6. Basil has been known to reduce seizures in the brain and be beneficial for the nervous system.
  7. Basil can promote healthy digestion and be great for the metabolism!fresh basil leaves

One serving of basil contains an abundance of vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folate.  Basil can ultimately help build immunity so what are you waiting for, try some fresh basil today in your next cooking adventure or smoothie!