Elevated Mac & Cheese

A comfort food for adults and kids alike is the forever classic, mac and cheese! The bubbling cheesy goodness, and perfectly cooked pasta is like a warm, comforting hug on a plate. July 14th is National Mac and Cheese day which makes it the perfect day to whip up this classic dish and maybe even put a gourmet twist on it!

The simplicity of mac and cheese is a win for everybody. At its core, it’s just pasta and cheese, but there are so many ways to add a little something extra to it. While the classic boxed version holds a special place in our hearts, venturing into homemade territory opens up a world of flavor possibilities!

Here are 7 simple ways to elevate your mac and cheese game!

The Cheese 

The cheese is the true star of the show which is why choosing the right cheese is the most important first step! Sharp cheddar is a must-have, but don’t be afraid to experiment! Gruyere adds a touch of nuttiness and melts so perfectly, fontina creates a silky texture with a flavor slightly sharper than mozzarella, gouda will add a buttery taste, havarti could add a little bit of tang, and goat cheese brings a tangy surprise. There are so many different cheeses to experiment with and you don’t have to use just one! Try a blend of cheeses in your next dish. Parmigiano always makes for a good topping too! At Caputo’s, we have an extensive cheese department for you to explore!

Veggies

Try adding roasted broccoli, peas, caramelized onions, or sautéed mushrooms for a flavor and nutrient boost.

Brighten it Up

Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley can add a bright, fresh flavor to your mac and cheese.

Spice it Up 

Can you handle a little heat? Throw in some chopped jalapenos, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, a dash of buffalo sauce or tabasco for a fiery kick.

Add a protein

Chicken, shrimp, or crumbled sausage can add a hearty element.The best part is that you can throw in your leftover proteins to use them up and add flavor! Even pulled pork.. bbq pulled pork mac and cheese anyone?

Add Some Crunch

A topping of breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, potato chips or panko adds a great contrast because you get a delicious crunch added to your otherwise velvety and creamy dish.

Extra gourmet

Looking to impress someone in a classic way? A lobster or truffle mac and cheese takes this classic to a completely new level. You can use already cooked lobster meat or truffle oil as an easy way to elevate this dish.

Mac and cheese is really a blank canvas! It can be served as a side dish, a main course, or even an appetizer in bite-sized form. You can even use 

So, the next time you’re looking for a dish that’s guaranteed to please, mac and cheese is the answer. With a little creativity, you can turn this comfort food classic into a gourmet masterpiece

From Our Family To Yours

Homemade Bocconcini

If you’re a fan of fresh Italian cheeses, then our homemade bocconcini should definitely be on your radar. Bocconcini, which translates to “little bites” or “small mouthfuls” in Italian, are small, round balls of fresh mozzarella cheese. At Caputo’s we make our own using an age-old process. The fresh mozzarella  is turned over slowly, then hand stretched and tied carefully to ensure easy, not chewy or stringy, bites of delicious! It is incredibly satisfying to see a few simple ingredients transform into a delicious snack.

Bocconcini has a delicate, milky flavor and is incredibly creamy. It pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes.  An unmatched freshness, homemade mozzarella is pure and bursting with flavor. 

You can use our homemade bocconcini to elevate so many dishes and you will taste the difference in every bite. Need some ideas of how to use it?

Here are 4 ways to use it.

Caprese Salad: 

Perhaps the most iconic way to enjoy bocconcini is in a classic Caprese salad. Simply combine slices of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and bocconcini. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and enjoy the flavors of Italy in every bite. To elevate it further, you can turn it into a sandwich, add fresh oregano, or even a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

On Pizza:

Use bocconcini as a topping for pizzas, especially if you prefer a lighter, fresher cheese option. They melt beautifully and add a subtle richness without overwhelming other toppings.

In Pasta:

Adding fresh bocconcini right before serving adds a delicately creamy taste to any pasta dish. Because it is so versatile, it truly goes with any sauce, but we love it with homemade tomato sauce! Try it in your lasagna too!

In panini:

There is something about fresh bocconcini and fresh bread that just pair so perfectly together. Using bocconcini as the cheese in any sandwich or panino is a win. Pair it with your favorite ingredients and enjoy or toast it so the cheese gets nice and melty. 

Bocconcini embody the essence of Italian culinary simplicity and freshness. Whether you’re enjoying them on their own or incorporating them into various dishes, bocconcini add a delightful creamy texture and mild flavor that elevate any meal. So, next time you’re looking to add a touch of Italy to your dish, stop by our deli to pick up some homemade bocconcini and let their versatility and deliciousness speak for themselves. Buon appetito!

From Our Family To Yours

Father’s Day 2024

This upcoming Sunday is Father’s Day! The day is dedicated to appreciating all the father figures in a person’s life. It is a day to acknowledge all the valuable lessons, laughs, and guidance they have given over the years. Maybe you’re firing up the grill and getting ready for a BBQ, getting ready to golf, or doing whatever dad chooses!  With Father’s Day this Sunday, I can’t help but think of two very important men in my life and in our company. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize my father, Robertino Presta, and grandfather, Angelo Caputo.

My father, Robertino, started working at Caputo’s at a very young age. My grandfather hired him because of his strength and work ethic which is apparent from any encounter with him. His efficiency in unloading the trucks as a teenager is a testament to his ability to work hard. He never hesitates to step in during any task. He embraces all challenges, coming up with unique and efficient ways to get past them. No task is too big or too small for him.

He has helped us and the business grow, including taking us to levels that we never thought were imaginable. Each step and new chapter is still based on the foundation instilled in him by my grandparents and constantly re-enforced by my mom. 

One of the things I feel most fortunate for is that my father believes in us, sometimes more than we believe in ourselves. He doesn’t make us feel like we cannot handle a situation. He uses his mistakes to encourage us to do the same. 

He helps to give us the tools we need to succeed and guides us towards the path of success. I have learned so much from not only my father, but my grandfather too. 

Angelo Caputo was not only my grandfather, but an inspiration, another father, and a role model. His absence leaves us with a gaping hole, but we know he is always with us.

My grandfather and our patriarch, Angelo Caputo, has always been one of my biggest inspirations. He was a true testament of a hard working, dedicated man. Our whole business is built on his blood, sweat, and tears. 

He led a life of hard work and was the strongest man I knew. He was constantly faced with challenges, but never let anything stand between him and his goal. 

He was always there for a story, a lesson, a phone call, or an esspressino date. He took the time to sit with us and pass along important tools and some of his wisdom. From teaching us how to clean up a produce display or telling us stories from his childhood, he was always there for us.

It still feels impossible that he is no longer with us, but his legacy remains a constant in our lives. The many lessons he taught us are beautiful memories that we will cherish and carry with us forever.

Fresh Fruits and Veggies Month

 

At Angelo Caputo’s, we believe fresh fruit and vegetables should be celebrated year-round! June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, a time for everyone to embrace the beautiful colors and delicious tastes of nature’s bounty! 

We have been buying our produce the same way since our founder started in 1958. Our buyers start their day very early and head out to check on the available produce and buy it so that it ends up in our stores that very same day. We also do a lot of business with local farmers, some we have been doing business with for generations! 

Pride in Produce

We take such pride in our produce department and the selection we offer. Produce Business even named us the Best Independent Retailer of 2024. Read the article here to learn a little bit more about what goes into our produce department behind the scenes!

Discover the Power of Fresh Produce 

Fruits and vegetables are the superheroes of nutrition. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In most cases, they’re very portable and can fit in your backpack or purse (exceptions include an entire watermelon or a pumpkin). Most require no cooking to enjoy. Just wash or peel. Veggies and fruit are vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. From the crisp crunch of a cucumber to the juicy sweetness of a strawberry, each bite is a bite towards vitality and well-being. So, let’s raise our glasses (filled with a refreshing fruit or veggie smoothie, of course) to the nutritional powerhouses that keep us energized and thriving! 

Embrace the Joy of Fruits & Vegetables 

If, like many of us, you struggle to increase the number of fruits and vegetables in your diet, National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month is a great time to tweak and improve your shopping and dining habits. Here are a few tips to get you started.   

  1. Make fruits and vegetables readily available. After doing your grocery shopping, prep vegetables for easy snacking. Wash and prep vegetables and store them in small containers for grab-and-go snacks. Have fruits like bananas and apples easily accessible on the kitchen counter.  
  2. Make vegetables the main attraction at dinner. Instead of having vegetables as a side dish, try new dishes centered around vegetables. For example, grain bowls, stir-fries, and hearty salads are fantastic and easy ways to incorporate vegetables. You don’t need to go whole vegetarian to get more vegetables in your diet. Salads with chicken and steak make filling entrees.  
  3.  Let your kitchen become a playground! Have some fun! Try new cooking methods, visit farmer’s markets, and experiment with different and unusual vegetables and fruits. Buy in small quantities and let your taste buds be the captain of this new adventure.   

Share the Love for Fresh Produce 

One of the best ways to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month is by sharing fresh veggies and fruit with others. If you belong to an exercise or cooking group or have friends and family looking to change their diets for the better, organize a potluck dinner or a picnic where everyone brings a dish made with their favorite fruits or vegetables. Share recipes, meal ideas, and success stories to inspire others toward a vibrant and nourishing lifestyle. 

Get Your Daily Dose of Fruits & Veggies at Angelo Caputo’s  

So, let’s raise our forks to National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month! Now’s the time to fill up with colorful salads, juicy seasonal fruits, and crunchy veggies. Savor the flavors and reap the rewards to a healthier and happier you. At Angelo Caputo’s, we make it easy to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. Shop Caputo’s online or in-store and make the most of fruits and vegetables today.   

From Our Family To Yours

Italian Potato Salad

Memorial Day Weekend is usually considered the start of summer. When we think of summer we think of being outdoors and plenty of barbecues! While the mains are so important, the sides are equally as important to every BBQ!

If you’re looking for a light and flavorful side, then you have to try our Italian Potato Salad recipe!

This recipe uses fresh herbs, potatoes, green beans, and onions all tossed in a simple vinaigrette. It is a great alternative to a mayo based potato salad because of how light it is and it is especially refreshing on a warm summer’s day. This salad truly has it all– crispy, bright, colorful, flavorful, and fresh! Plus it comes together super quickly with very minimal work!

Another reason we love this salad is because you can add your own flare to it! You can add cherry tomatoes if you like them, olives for a little extra salt, parmesan into the vinaigrette for some more flavor, and the list goes on!

Here is what you need:

  • 2-3 pounds small potatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
    • We used a 3lb bag of yellow potatoes, red potatoes work too!
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup red onion (chopped or sliced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Get the full recipe and watch Chef Gene and Robertino Jr shop for and make this salad here!

We hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day Weekend. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who are currently serving or have served our country, as well as their families. We especially remember the fallen soldiers who gave their lives to protect us.

From Our Family To Yours

Wine & Cheese Event

Summer is coming quickly which means there are a lot of events coming up– from graduations to holidays to summer get-togethers. If you want to learn about some ideas to craft the perfect charcuterie boards or antipasto options, our wine and cheese event is for you!

We will be hosting a Wine and Cheese event at our South Elgin location on May 18th. At this event, we will be honoring women cheesemakers! 

Here’s what you can expect from this event:

Each attendee will get 5 plated rounds, each round consists of multiple cheeses with accompaniments and wines.

The items in each round pair well together and we will  have experts there to speak on the items themselves. You’ll hear from wine experts and cheese experts while you enjoy the delicious bites in front of you! You’ll learn about the taste, flavors, processes, and more while you taste everything first hand! 

Some of the items we’ll be tasting are sartori infused cheese and spreads, deer creek rattlesnake, Lambrusco, malbec, maple bourbon goat cheese, and more!

Then each attendee leaves with a gift bag filled with lots of goodies.

On top of the gift basket you leave with, you’ll have a full (and happy) belly and tons of knowledge about wine, cheese, and pairings that you can use to impress your loved ones.

This event is a great date idea, mother-daughter day, or even a fun solo outing to test out what might become your new favorite foods! 

Tickets are on sale now and space is limited, so reserve your spot today! Buy your tickets here

From Our Family To Yours

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday. It is the day to honor your mom and all those who you have maternal bonds with.

I am incredibly grateful to have many strong, beautiful women to celebrate, two of which hold a very special place in my heart, Romana Caputo and Antonella Caputo Presta.

Our matriarch and my grandmother, Romana Caputo, was one of the best women there was. Any person who has crossed her path is sure to tell you a memory centered around her cooking skills, generosity, or classiness. A self taught cook, she spent hours in the kitchen preparing for various occasions and meals. No one who encountered my Nonna was left hungry. It was her mission to make sure all of her loved ones were happy and she did everything she could to lift others up. She was always there for her husband as his biggest support and made countless sacrifices that helped him achieve his dreams. She had the biggest heart and the kindest soul. Anyone who encountered her can share a story about her remarkable cooking, warm heart and spirit, and the humbleness and class she extruded. Although gone too soon, she has left a beautiful legacy and we continue to honor her in every way that we can. Her spirit and her mission lives on through her daughter, Antonella.

Another foundational pillar of our family and business is my mother, Antonella Caputo Presta. She is the perfect example of a mother, daughter, grandmother, business owner, woman of faith– really of just a woman in general. Her selflessness, humbleness, and hard work are inspiring. She is the heart and soul of our family– a devoted mother and the best nonna, she does everything she can for her family. The true picture of selfless, she puts the needs of everyone else before her own no matter what and never looks for credit. She has taught us what it means to be a family and is always there whenever we need her for whatever we need. She always leads by example and is a rock for so many. She is a woman of faith and lets her trust in God guide her and encourages all of us to do the same.

I am so blessed to have my grandmother and mother as role models in my life. They are everything I hope to be one day. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Nonna and Mommy, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mothers and motherly figures ❤️

From Our Family To Yours

Cinco de Mayo

The beginning of May is the start of many festivities– from graduations to Mother’s Day, there is plenty to celebrate. One important celebration that occurs at the beginning of each May is Cinco de Mayo! 

Cinco de Mayo is often mixed up with Mexican Independence Day, but it is actually the celebration of a Mexican Army’s victory over the French at Battle of the Puebla on May 5th, 1862. This victory boosted morale and helped the nation come together and bond over patriotism. Cinco de Mayo has become widely popular in America as a way to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. People nationwide celebrate with traditional Mexican meals and drinks, and we are here to help with your celebrations!

One way to celebrate is with tacos! Our Addison location is home to a stainless steel tortilla machine imported from Mexico. This allows us to make fresh tortillas in-house daily! We even fry our tortillas to make our own chips! Like all of our other prepared foods, our tortillas are all natural and have no preservatives. Yellow or white corn, crispy or soft, we’ve got it all! Our tortillas and chips also pair wonderfully with items from different departments!

Our chips are delicious with our homemade guacamole and salsas, and you can try our tortillas with our pre-marinated fajita mix from the meat department. The fajita meat and taco meat are already marinated, so all you have to do is cook the meat! 

No time to cook, but still want to celebrate? No problem! We also have taco kits in our prepared foods. These taco kits feature pre-marinated meat already seasoned to perfection, our homemade tortillas, and toppings! They are a perfect solution to a taco night on the go because it is easy to prepare. 

Every party needs some drinks! From Mexican beer to Margarita mixes, we’ve got plenty to choose from. Don’t forget about Jarritos– a Mexican soda drink that come in many different flavors. These sodas are great alone or can be the perfect mixer!

Throwing your own celebration? We have plenty of traditional Mexican food items on sale this week. Want to cook up your own dish? Chef Gene and Robertino Jr are making tacos and elotes using items from our weekly ad!

From Our Family To Yours

Custom Cakes & Sweets

No celebration is complete without the perfect dessert. If you’re looking to take your celebration– no matter how big or small– to the next level, order a custom cake from our bakery! The best thing is that the cake will be beautiful and still taste delicious!

Busy season is upon us– communions, confirmations, weddings, wedding showers, graduations, birthdays, and more! Our bakery is happy to work with you to make your event perfect. We have custom, specialty cakes for every occasion and any theme. Just tell our talented bakery what you want and they will help bring your cake dreams to life. 

Our cakes aren’t just pretty to look at, but they’re delicious too! The filling makes all the difference in a cake. We have a variety of fillings that you can mix and match to create what’s best for your event! Some of our fillings include french cream, custard, cannoli, fudge, peanut butter, nutella mousse, preserves, cookies and cream, chocolate french cream, and more.

Some of our favorite cake combinations are

  • a yellow sponge cake with a layer of cannoli filling and a layer of fudge
  • a chocolate or yellow cake with cookies and cream filling
  • a chocolate cake with cannoli filling
  • a chocolate sponge with peanut butter filling

…there are so many options that it’s hard to pick just one! 

You can never go wrong with the classics like a cream puff cake, tiramisu,  carrot cake, or cannoli cake either! 

We have done simple cakes, wedding cakes, themed cakes, number cakes, cupcake cakes, and more. We are more than happy to work with you and share our offerings. Take a look at some of the cakes and events we have done in the past. 

We can also help with your whole sweets table. Our bakery offers cake pops, custom cookies, Italian pastries, rice crispies, chocolate covered strawberries or pretzels, and more! Check out some of our offerings here 

Follow us on social media where every Sunday we post a new, custom cake for some inspiration for your next event and to see the work of our talented bakery. 

Get a cake that tastes even better than it looks. Order your next cake from our La Bella Romana bakery. 

From Our Family To Yours

National Amaretto Day

Have you ever heard of amaretto? Amaretto is an Italian liqueur that tastes like sweet almonds. It is traditionally made from things like almonds or stone-fruit pits. This gives amaretto its subtly sweet taste and delicious aroma. It is typically served as a digestivo. In Italy, this means you drink it after dinner to settle your stomach.

April 19th is National Amaretto Day so it is the perfect time to enjoy this delicious liqueur. 

The sweet, nutty flavor makes it easy to sip on by itself, but there are many other ways to use amaretto! In dessert or different drinks– here are 5 other ways to use amaretto!

An Amaretto Sour

One of the most famous cocktails that use amaretto is an amaretto sour. This can be made either with amaretto and sour mix or, our family favorite, amaretto, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The lemon and the sweetness from the simple syrup bring out the delicious nutty notes from the drink itself. 

In Tiramisu

Tiramisu typically consists of a coffee flavored liqueur, but you can add a little extra flavor by swapping the coffee liqueur for amaretto or mixing them together! The result is a next level tiramisu!

In an espresso martini

Just like the amaretto can take your tiramisu to the next level, it can do the same for your espresso martini! The rich espresso and sweet almond flavors blend perfectly together to add a little extra flavor to this dessert cocktail.

With Ice Cream

There is nothing better than a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream or gelato, sometimes it is just good for the soul! Now take the comfort of your favorite flavor of ice cream and pour a little amaretto over it! It will elevate the taste of the simple ice cream, but not in an overwhelming way! Another idea? Make it an affogato! So gelato, a shot of espresso, and a shot of amaretto all in one dish!

In cookies

Amaretto is known to be used in baking too for almond flavored desserts in addition to almond extract. It doesn’t take much and the cookies are incredible. Have you ever tried our homemade amaretti cookies? These almond cookies are made in our bakery daily– the old fashioned way! Adapted from our matriarch’s very own recipe, you’re going to want to try these out!

Salute!

From Our Family To Yours