Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everyone's Italian

She's baaaaaaack!  Actually, my friend Faye has been back in the country for a while now.  Since spring, if we want to be specific.  And yet, due to house renovations, hosting company, and schedules that just don't mesh, we finally were able to get together for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

Faye has spent the past 4 years out of the country.  First, living along the Amalfi Coast in Italy, and then across the world in Bahrain.  When she asked where we should meet for lunch, I asked if there was any place in San Diego she hadn't gotten a chance to revisit yet.  Her pick was Little Italy, as she had never been there. 

I always love an excuse to venture to Little Italy, pick up some fresh cheeses, fresh pasta, and window-deli shop, so I was only too happy to accommodate this request.   We grabbed some pizza and salad while we caught up on the past few years.  Then we walked and had coffee which was a far cry from the Italian version to which Faye has become accustomed too.  San Diego is really not known for our coffee scene.  Beer?  Of course.  But not coffee.

I returned home from our date wanting to continue the Italian theme of the day, especially since I had fresh cheeses at the ready!  I had seen this recipe in my Food Network Magazine a couple of nights earlier and liked the twist on our typical tacos.  We eat a lot of tacos, given how much Thatbaby loves them.  This ranked right up there with his favorites.  He devoured the sausage and the cheese>  Thatboy was equally impressed.  Although skeptical at first, he began eyeing Thatbaby's portion after a few bites, hoping he might scavenge whatever was leftover.  Mangia Bene!

 Pizza Tacos (From Food Network Magazine)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage (preferably without fennel seeds), casings removed
  • 2 ounces sliced pepperoni, halved (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until browned on one side, then stir and continue cooking until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes. Remove to a plate. 
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the pepperoni and oregano and cook until the pepperoni is crisp around the edges, about 1 minute. 
  4. Stir in the pizza sauce and reserved mushrooms. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 more minutes.
  5. Warm the tortillas. Divide the sausage mixture among the tortillas. 
  6. Top with the mozzarella, ricotta and basil.


  1. These sound awesome! Love the fusion. I really need to get down to little Italy and buy some good ravioli!

  2. I LOVE Little Italy! If you've never been to Bencotto, I highly recommend it. It was the only food I've had stateside that came anywhere near what we had in Venice.

  3. These look super yummy! I might have to give them a try - but a bit more veg style (as a vegetarian).

  4. What a great experience to live abroad for a few years. Glad you guys were able to reconnect and enjoy the day. Looks like you even managed some dinner inspiration too.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was awesome.


  5. What a treat this is.

  6. We love tacos, too - and fajitas and probably anything in a wrap... a delicious, nutritious and economical way to eat! Love the Italian idea!

  7. We love tacos, too - and fajitas and probably anything in a wrap... a delicious, nutritious and economical way to eat! Love the Italian idea!

  8. This is brilliant. Love this Italian-Mexican fusion idea! No doubt at all that That baby loves these tacos.

  9. I love fusion dishes and make them very often! You combined two of my most favorite kitchens;Mexican and Italian! I love it!