Thursday, September 25, 2014

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pizza

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pizza

I do so love this pizza ... I mean, I could eat one by myself, and not one slice,  the whole thing! There's a beautiful play of flavors here; sweet roasted butternut squash and onion, garlicky ricotta, tangy Parmesan all on a chewy crust, it's just the best bite.

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pizza

Look for squash that are dull skinned, heavy for their size with an intact and firm, dry stem. They should have a deep color and the skin should not be easily scratched or nicked. Once you have the right squash, you're ready to go!

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pizza
Makes 1 pizza - serves 4 to 6


1 pound butternut squash, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound refrigerated pizza dough


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Lay squash and onion slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
3. Roast for 25 minutes or until squash is tender and onions have started to brown. Remove from oven and turn heat to 450 degrees F.
4. Roll dough into a rough oval approximately 15 inches long and 12 inches wide.
5. Brush dough with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and top with squash and onion pieces.
6. Stir together ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend well.
7. Drop cheese blend in dollops across squash and onions.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheeses are lightly melted.

My recipe was originally posted at

Monday, September 22, 2014

Emeril's Italian Table at Sands Bethlehem Review and Giveaway

Emeril's Italian Table
This is the entrance from the hotel side of the restaurant. It's quite stunning!
Saturday night I had the pleasure of dining at yet another of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants here in Bethlehem, Pa and once again it was a wonderful experience. Dave and I seem to only be getting out together when I get these opportunities and I jump at each one. I think we're getting a little spoiled, but I know neither of us minds.

Emeril's Italian Table is decidedly less "fancy" than Emeril's Chop House, and I'm certain it's meant to be that way. The decor is more rustic and the wait staff is more laid back making the experience casual and relaxing. The menu is full of classic Italian dishes and the choices are limited making it very easy to choose from. 

Our choices are outlined in the photos below and I can assure you each bite was wonderful.

*Please note: I was given a gift certificate directly from Sands Bethlehem specifically for  the purpose of reviewing the restaurant and I was more than happy to oblige. Please note that  the benefit of having my meal paid for does not in any way influence my review. 

On to the review. 
Each restaurant is scaled according to the type of restaurant it is. In other words, I  wouldn't use the same gravity of point for a fast food restaurant as I would for fine dining.  That's comparing apples and oranges. Scaling is 1 for Poor and 5 for Excellent so the total  Perfect Score for any restaurant would be 25.  

Parking- 5 There isn't any other score possible for this because there is valet parking at  all of The Sand's should you so choose to make use of it. Even so, there is ample parking  near the event center and everything is tied together inside so walking to the restaurant is  simple

Ambiance- 4 The only reason I'm docking 1 for this is the fact that my table, and the seat I was in specifically, was directly next to a serving station. There were moments when the wait staff was directly behind me (about 1 foot) getting silverware, glasses and the like. Other than that the atmosphere was very calm and relaxing. The lighting was ample and the fixtures were beautiful. Table distance from one to the next was also very comfortable. 

Food- 5 I don't think any of Emeril's restaurants would get anything but a 5 from me. The food was perfect, seasoned well, served at the right temperature and the serving sizes were just right. I know Dave liked his Veal Parmesan enough to go back and I've heard from others that that specific dish is always a winner.

Service- 5 Knowledgeable staff, prompt service, drinks refilled as needed and everything cleared and taken away or packaged for us to take home as asked. Everyone was friendly and upbeat, as well. 

Pricing- 5 As always, the pricing was commensurate with the quality and quantity of food. We ate very well and spent just under $75 for the two of us including starters, salad, entrĂ©es and dessert. We went away very full and very happy.

Check out these links below and keep reading below the photos for your chance to win a meal at Emeril's Italian Restaurant for yourself!

Emeril's Italian Table at the Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort
See the menu HERE for yourself. 
Follow Emeril's Italian Table on 

Visit the Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort site for more fabulous restaurants and shops, as well.

Emeril's Italian Table
Very rustic looking menus.

Emeril's Italian Table
Fresh, still warm bread with honey paprika butter and sweet cream butter.

Emeril's Italian Table
The Chef's Antipasti Sampler with marinated artichoke hearts, Castelvetrano olives, Gorgonzola Dolce cheese, Taleggio cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, Salami Calabrese, Prosciutto di Parma, Soppressata and a lovely apricot mostarda served with fried pizza dough. This is the perfect starter and we even took some home. You can choose your own as well and make up a different platter each time.

Emeril's Italian Table
The Caesar Salad. David has become quite fond of these at Emeril's restaurants!

Emeril's Italian Table
I had the Chicken Marsala which was beautifully tender and served with a Kennet Square mushroom sauce and rapini. 

Emeril's Italian Table
Dave chose the Veal Parmesan and said he'd come back again just for this!

Emeril's Italian Table
Perfect ending - three mini house made cannoli filled with orange flavored cream. Just the right size and absolutely delizioso!
Now, for your chance to WIN $150 in Gift Certificates to Emeril's Italian Table at Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort see the Rafflecopter widget below and GOOD LUCK!  This means you must live nearby or be planning to visit in  order to use the certificate. U.S. Residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway