Charles loves to cook and enjoys trying new recipes every day. He specializes in recreating gourmet comfort food.
Welcome to the Best of Antny's South Philly Favorite Recipes
Hi, I'm Antny, your favorite South Philly food critic. I am happy to bring you a collection of my five favorite recipes from the South Philadelphia region in Pennsylvania. These Italian American comfort food dishes have been a staple of mine for many years and I've included them below for everyone's enjoyment! So get cooking and I would love to hear your feedback when you share these wonderful recipes with your family! From my kitchen to yours. "dalla mia cucina alla tua."
Antny’s South Philly Sunday Gravy
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ lb. pork shoulder
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage links
- 3 ½ lb. hot Italian sausage link
- 6 oz. chunk of any roasting beef
- red pepper flakes, (to taste)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4-cans of tomato paste
- 3 (28 oz.) cans Italian style crushed tomatoes
- 1 (28 oz.) can of tomato pasata
- 1 ½ (28 oz.) can of water
- ¼ cup red wine
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 3 TBSP salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste at the end
- In a large stainless steel or equivalent pot over medium heat, coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the meat on all sides. Add the red pepper flakes (if desired) and the garlic to the oil once the meat is almost finished searing.
- Add the tomato paste to the oil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the red wine, herbs, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Also, use one of the tomato cans and add about ½ can of the water.
- Cook covered on medium heat for 1 hour. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for at least another 4-5 hours. Stir occasionally.
- When ready to serve adjust the seasoning and add more chopped fresh basil to taste.
- Serve over your favorite pasta.
Antny’s Favorite Homemade Pasta or “Macaroni”
- 2 cups pasta flour (00)
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Sift the flour and heavy pinch of salt onto a clean work surface and form it into a mound with a well in the center. (Like a volcano.)
- Crack whole eggs into a cup and pour into the well. Add extra virgin olive oil.
- Using a fork, gently beat the eggs incorporating a little flour in from the sides. Add the egg yolks and continue to bring in sides incorporating a little flour at a time. Keep scraping up the sides of the mound as it tries to spill over.
- Eventually, the egg mixture will spill out. Push the flour all over the mixture and combine into a dough ball. Roll, fold and knead this until the dough takes on a silky texture. You will feel it change in your hands. You will have to knead it for at least 5 to 10 minutes to get it to that stage.
- Form it into a ball and cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 2-4 hours. From this stage you can use a rolling pin or pasta machine to roll your pasta.
- Roll the dough out into a long rectangle and double it over on itself 4 times as you continue to roll it out. Keep your work surface well-floured. For the final product, roll it out to the thickness that you want your pasta strands to be and dust with flour on both sides. Fold it into 1/8's and hand cut slices to form the pasta strands.
- For a pasta machine, on the widest setting, pass your pasta through 4 times doubling it over on itself each time before it goes through the rollers. Reduce your setting and pass it through each setting until you have your required thickness. Remember that the thinnest setting is very thin and really for lasagna sheets. Pass your pasta through the cutter (fettucine or spaghetti) and hang over a clean stick to dry for a few hours.
Antny’s Pork, Beef, Veal Meatballs, and Spaghetti, Just Like Ma Used to Make!
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- olive oil
- 1/3 lb. ground beef
- 1/3 lb. ground pork
- 1/3 lb. ground veal
- ½ cup breadcrumbs soaked in milk
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I love using San Marzano tomatoes)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbs. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
You'll also need a box of spaghetti!
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat until softened (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, add the onion/garlic mixture and all the other ingredients. Combine everything by hand until well mixed. Firmly form 2” meatballs by hand. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Brown meatballs all over and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven.
- Cook onions and garlic in oil in a pot over medium heat until softened. This takes about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes with juice reserved in a separate bowl. Simmer sauce uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and half of the reserved liquid until sauce reduces for 5 minutes. *Add parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top as garnish.
Putting it all together:
- Cook a 1 lb. box of spaghetti or fresh homemade pasta until al dente and drain. Mix a scoop of the sauce in with the pasta before plating. Ladle extra sauce on top of the spaghetti followed by the meatballs. Finish it off with a couple tablespoons of fresh parsley and grated cheese.
Antny’s South Philly Lasagna
For the Meat Sauce
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoons of dried parsley
- 1 pound of ground beef (lean)
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 35 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 12 oz. can of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
For the Lasagna
- 1 box of lasagna noodles (about 16- 18 pieces)
- 1 1/2 pounds of thinly sliced mozzarella cheese (or feel free to use shredded)
- 1 lb. ricotta cheese
- 5 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
- homemade lasagna meat sauce (above)
Prepare the Meat Sauce
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large deep pot. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and dried parsley until the onion is tender and starting to caramelize, about 7-8 minutes.
- After the onion has been caramelized, add in the beef and pork, cooking until it is well browned and then drain off any excess oil.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cover and cook for 3 -4 hours.
Assembling the Lasagna
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare your lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse them under cool water so that they are easy to handle.
- Prepare your lasagna pan (I prefer to use a 13 x 9″ baking pan) by adding a little bit of the meat sauce to the bottom of the pan so that the noodles will not stick.
- Layer 3 noodles side-by-side in the 13 x 9″ pan, add a nice layer of the meat sauce on top of the noodles, and then add a layer of sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat the steps by adding layers of noodles, meat sauce, and cheese until the lasagna reaches the top of the pan. As you get to the final layers it will likely be necessary to add four noodles side-by-side across the top, overlapping slightly in order to span the width of the pan.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown the cheese on the top layer nicely. Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 -15 minutes before serving.
Antny's Philly Cheesesteak Baked Ziti
- 1 lb. dry ziti pasta
- 1 lb. boneless thinly sliced ribeye steak
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove of crushed garlic
- 1 medium Vidalia onion
- 1 ½ tsp fresh oregano
- 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 ½ cups San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese for topping
- Cook ziti until almost done, about 8-9 minutes, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a casserole dish.
- Chop the partially frozen ribeye steak into bite size pieces. Slice red pepper and onion thinly and set aside.
- Preheat about a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Then, over medium heat, sauté the steak, peppers, garlic, and onions with some of the salt and pepper until steak is just cooked.
- Add the steak and veggies to the bowl with the pasta. Add a 1 ½ cup of the San Marzano crushed tomatoes, oregano, and some more salt and pepper. Mix well and place it into a lightly greased casserole dish. Spread evenly and top off with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Antny's Top 5 South Philly Italian American Recipes
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Charles Kikas