Posted in Laura Basone Bartolomeo Recipe, Meat

Meat Loaf & Meat Loaf Sandwiches


This recipe has morphed over time and I have no idea where it originated.  I know my mom made meat loaf and so some of the ingredients and process probably came from her.  I’ve had people who don’t like meat loaf tell me they liked mine.


In a big bowl I added 2 lbs of meat.  You can use ground beef or chuck.  I had a mix of beef and pork in these pictures.  I’ve never tried ground turkey.

Add an egg for every pound of meat, so two eggs.

Add about 3/4 cup of bread crumbs.  I don’t use store-bought crumbs because when I want to make meat loaf, I usually don’t have any fresh crumbs on hand.  So I take about 4 slices of bread, cube them up, whir them in small batches in a blender, and then throw them in.  If I’m feeling it, I’ll toast the crumbs in a pan on very low heat or put in a low oven.  But many times I’ll throw them in fresh.

I then added a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, and then about 3 teaspoons of fennel seeds.  My husband and I love fennel.

Then you just put your hands in there and squeeze it up until all ingredients are mixed.

Shape it into a loaf.  If I’m in a hurry, I’ll shape it into two loaves so they’ll cook faster.  I like to use this broiler-type pan so that the drippings can drip through to the bottom.

Almost 75% of the time I don’t use bacon on top, but for this one, I put a couple of slices of bacon on top, then slathered it with ketchup.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for…LOL a long time.  I depend on a thermometer to tell me when it’s done.  For two pounds of meat and formed into one loaf, this one took about an hour and twenty minutes.

EVERY time I have meat loaf my husband says, “Don’t let your meat loaf.”  EVERY time.

Posted in Bartolomeo Family, Meat, Pasta, Sicilian Influence from Daddy

Italian Sausage and Pasta

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Italian sausage and pasta, with parmesan cheese curls.

This dish is inspired by my father’s Sicilian heritage and my husband’s Italian heritage.  I put fennel in most all of my Italian tomato-based foods.  My dad LOVED fennel seeds in his Italian food and it turns out that my husband grew to love them, too.  I remember many meals at the Bartolomeo house, and one of them was when Grandpa Tony would cook Italian sausage on the grill.

Cooking Instructions:

Put water on to cook pasta.  In a saute/fry pan, add fennel seeds, sliced onions and peppers, and saute in olive oil for a few minutes.  (pictured is one small onion and one green pepper)

As they’re cooking, cook or brown your Italian sausage links.  I put mine on the grill on high heat for about ten minutes, then on indirect heat for about 10.  (Other ways to cook sausage?  In a fry pan or boil in water and then put in pan for a couple of minutes to brown)

Add marinara to the grilled onions and peppers.  You can make your own or use good jarred sauce.  I used Trader Joe’s marinara, about 3/4 of a jar.


Put your pasta in the boiling water.  I used linguine because it’s what was on hand.  You could use spaghetti, fettuccini, penne, etc.

Cook marinara, peppers, and onions on simmer and when your sausages have cooked almost done, add them to the pan.  Cover and let simmer and the sausages will finish cooking in the tomato sauce.


When the pasta is *al dente, take the sausages out of the sauce onto a plate.  Add the pasta to the sauce, mixing well.  If the sauce is not loose enough, add some pasta water.  (Many times I take my pasta out using a pasta fork rather than dumping it all through a colander.) Add the sausages on top, cover and let cook on very low heat for a couple of minutes.   Serve with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.



*al dente—The great opera soprano Beverly Sills, commented in an interview, that she had dinner with the famous tenor, Luciano Pavarotti.  She said he cooked pasta for her, and to test if it was al dente, threw a strand against the wall.  If it stuck, it was perfect!  Tenor show-offs!

Posted in Kentucky DAR Cookbook-Paris, KY

Kentucky DAR Cookbook

There’s a lot that can be said about the DAR-Daughter’s of the American Revolution!  In 1939, opera singer Marian Anderson was denied the opportunity to perform in DAR Constitution Hall because of her race.  Thankfully that policy has been changed dramatically.  Read about it HERE.

This DAR cookbook highlighted an amazing place in Paris, KY, Duncan Tavern.


My Aunt Alma was the curator and cook there for many, many years.  The cookbook is full of southern favorites and was one of my mom’s most-used sources for recipes!

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Posted in Ava Neal Hamilton Recipe, Breads, Dorcas Hamilton Basone Recipe, Kentucky DAR Cookbook-Paris, KY

Parker House Rolls

Like many people, some family favorites get lost or just can’t quite be replicated by the next generation.  My grandmother Ava made the BEST Parker House rolls and since she passed, everyone in the family has tried their hand, multiple times, to recreate her rolls.  I have about 5 different recipes that are claimed to be HER recipe.  We’ve come awfully close.  Grandma was a fantastic cook and the sweetest woman ever.  Maybe part of the mystique is that her food came with lots of love behind it.


Here is a recipe written by my mother, in her Kentucky DAR Cookbook, for Grandma’s rolls.IMG_5124