Must Try Dishes from our Catering Menu

Getting ready for a summer full of outdoor parties and celebrations? Party planning can be stressful, especially when you have to think of all the details! We all know that the food plays a key role in every celebration which is where we can help you out!

Let us take some of the stress out of party planning and bring a homemade meal right to you! Choosing La Bella Romana catering is a sure way to make any party a success. 

An appetizer, side, entree, or the whole meal… browse our catering menu and pick what works best for you! With a big menu and so many options to choose from, it can be hard to pick! 

Here are 7 items from our catering menu that everyone will love!

1. European Cheese and Olive platter

A variety of imported cheeses and olives, this antipasto tray is great for an appetizer and for picking throughout the celebration

2. Stuffed Zucchini

Pieces of zucchini carved out and stuffed with seasoned ground pork and marinara sauce, it’s a medley of delicious flavors!

3. Octopus Salad

Octopus and sepia are tenderized and marinated, then mixed with celery, carrots, parsley, a special blend of spices, and few more ingredients. This is light, fresh, and will have your guests coming back for more!

4. Pasta with Sausage and Rapini

A true classic, you pick the cut of pasta (we love orecchiette for a true Barese dish) and enjoy the homemade and authentic pasta dish!

5. Artichoke Casserole

Tender artichokes layered with seasoned Italian breadcrumbs and our homemade marinara & mozzarella cheese blend. 

6. Sausage and Peppers

Another classic! Our homemade sausage links halved and mixed with sweet peppers. This dish can feed a crowd and the flavor is unlike any other.

7. Party Cannoli 

No party is complete without a party cannoli! One giant cannoli shell filled with 50 mini cannoli 

Full meals, sides, or individual dishes. Let us be your sous chef!

From Our Family To Yours

Happy 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.

My grandmother and our matriarch, Romana Caputo, was one of the best women there was. Although gone too soon, her memory remains. Anyone fortunate enough to have met my Nonna can attest to her warm personality, impeccable style and class, and her unmatched generosity. She went above and beyond for everyone, eager to make sure everyone was served and happy. She had the unique ability to make anyone feel like a welcomed part of the family, mostly through her cooking. Anyone who has had a meal by my Nonna Romana knows that nothing can compare. Her self-taught skills in the kitchen remain a huge part of the legacy she left behind. Her sacrifices and strength are a huge reason why Caputo’s was able to be what it is today and her beauty inspired the creation of our private label, La Bella Romana. She was and still is a driving force behind our family and our business. 

Another integral part of the foundation of our family and business is my mother, Antonella Caputo Presta. She is the perfect example of a mother, daughter, grandmother, business owner– really of just a woman in general. Her selflessness, humbleness, and hard work are inspiring. She started working at a very young age and she often shares memories, like what those freezing winter days working at our original location on Harlem and Wrightwood were like and all the hard work that went into it. She takes every opportunity to thank my grandparents for their sacrifices and dedication, but will never look for credit or draw attention to all of her own sacrifices and hard work. She was able to raise her family, run a business, and care for her parents without any complaints. She has done (and continues to do) so much for us as a business and a family. My mom will go above and beyond to make sure everyone feels special and appreciated. She has taken the time to teach us vital skills and life lessons. She is always there if we need someone to talk to, a prayer, or a meal. She never lets an opportunity go by to thank my grandparents or share a story about them to make sure their legacy will live on. One of the most important lessons she has taught is the value of family.

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

Garden Center

As the saying goes “April showers bring May flowers!” This means that our garden center is open and it’s time to start nurturing your home gardens! Watching plants grow and bloom is such a satisfying feeling and something to be proud of.

With the weather warming up, it’s the perfect time to get outside and spruce up your home gardens. Our garden center is filled with flowers, vegetables, herbs, and more.. We have everything you need for your home garden!

For decades now, we have been buying from local farms and bringing plants into your homes. Nothing signifies that summer is approaching like walking into Caputo’s and seeing all the fresh flowers, herbs, and vegetables ready to be planted at your homes.

If you want to add a little color to your home, we’ve got just what you need– hanging baskets and flowers of all colors, shapes, and sizes! You can really make your outdoor space feel like home by adding colorful flowers!

Make Nonno proud and start your garden! We have tons of different vegetables, fruits, and herbs for you to plant. There is nothing like the smell of fresh mint from your garden. From the infamous Melrose Pepper (arriving soon) to different varieties of tomatoes– come pick out all the veggies you want to grow from home! 

We will be getting more shipments throughout the season including a full load this coming Friday (4/29/22) so our garden center will be fully stocked! 

From Our Family To Yours

Grilled Cheese Hacks

I think we can all agree that sometimes we need a meal that tastes like a hug feels. Most of the time, a grilled cheese sandwich can do the trick! It’s the ultimate comfort food for many reasons! Maybe it reminds you of being a kid, maybe it’s the melted cheese (because who doesn’t love melted cheese), maybe it’s the special way you make it. No matter the reason, grilled cheese is classic.

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and we know that for adults and kids alike, you can’t go wrong with  grilled cheese come mealtime! 

When you think about grilled cheese, you probably automatically picture two pieces of sandwich bread and a slice of american cheese, but there is so much more that you can do to make your grilled cheese burst with flavor!  

Want to take your grilled cheese to the next level? Here are 4 ways to make your grilled cheese even better than normal!

1. Add cheese to the outside of bread

Why not make your grilled cheese extra cheesy? Coat the bread in olive oil or butter and add shredded cheese on the outside of the bread for great taste and a delicious crunch. This forms a crispy cheese crust as you grill each side of the bread and serves as an added layer of flavor. You can even use a different type of cheese to complement the inside.

2. Use a special jam or jelly on the inside

A unique way to add some flavor is by spreading a gourmet jelly or jam on the inside of the bread! If you like a little bit of spice, coating the bread with pepper jelly adds a delicious kick of heat. If you prefer sweet, add a fig spread! We have a variety of fig spreads with different flavor profiles so there are plenty to choose from. This simple action completely changes your grilled cheese and makes it even more delicious !

3. Add Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese and grilled cheese both make perfect comfort foods, so why not combine them? If you have leftover mac and cheese, there’s more you can do then just warm it up and eat it the same way. The addition of a creamy mac and cheese to your sandwich will give make for an extra cheesy taste! You can even add bacon for a crunch and great flavor! You can even grab some of our already prepared mac and cheese from our prepared foods section so you don’t have to go through the hassle of making it yourself! The result is a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich in just a few extra, easy steps.

4. Caramelized Onions

French onion soup grilled cheese? Yes please! All the elements of a French onion soup bring a sense of comfort, so why not transform this iconic soup into a grilled cheese… especially because we all know the best part of this soup is the melted cheese on top! That cheese is Gruyere cheese and it makes for a great type of cheese to make the star of your sandwich. Gruyere is known to be great for melting and has a rich, creamy taste! The addition of caramelized onions add a great flavor for an easy and customized grilled cheese!

These are just a few! You can use a specific bread, a mix of cheeses, specialty cheese, or maybe you add extras to your sandwich that take it to the next level! You can add things like mac and cheese, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, flavored olive oil, and more to make your grilled cheese elite!

Grilled cheese is a perfect way to play around and just have fun in the kitchen! So start cooking and just have some fun with it.

From Our Family To Yours

6 Italian Easter Staples

Many holidays come with tradition. In Italian culture, traditions are centered around what brings everyone together… food! The days leading up to Easter are spent in the kitchen, prepping meals and all the delicious desserts and foods that remind you of this joyous occasion. If you have less time to prep this year, but are still looking to enjoy some of the traditional items, you’ve come to the right place! Come pick up all your traditional items that we make by hand for you to enjoy or come get all the ingredients you need for them!

Here are 6 Items we look forward to every Easter!

1. Calzone

Calzone is dough in the shape of a pie or a pizza, then filled with various foods. There are two different kinds. The traditional style has no meat, but is filled with eggs, black olives, onions, and mozzarella cheese. All the ingredients are put into our homemade crust. On Good Friday, we eat calzone because there is no meat on Fridays during Lent. Some people enjoy another type of Calzone enjoyed on Easter Sunday. This one is our homemade sausage, eggs, black olives, onions, and mozzarella cheese. This calzone is typically enjoyed on Easter day. The addition of meat makes it a heartier calzone. Heartier foods were typically used at feasts. Since Easter is a celebration and everyone is rejoicing, the more ingredients, the better for the calzone with meat!

2. Easter Bread

Easter bread is a fun and colorful tradition! It is a sweet bread with dyed eggs baked right into the bread! It is usually baked in a circle to symbolize the crown of thorns that was put on Jesus.

3. Pastiera

Pastiera, also known as Easter pie, is a traditional Easter dessert whose main ingredient is Ricotta! This dessert is light, has notes of citrus, and takes a while to prepare which is why picking one up in store is worth it! Pastiera is meant to symbolize peace and Resurrection! If you don’t want a whole pie, pick up a few slices of our pizza di ricotta in our bakery case!

4. Tuma

Tuma is a cheese that can really only be found right around Easter! It is a mild and creamy cheese, similar to ricotta, but a bit firmer. Around this time, people use it in baking and cooking! 

5. Lamb Cake

And for dessert, a lamb cake! This popular European dessert is a pound cake in the shape of a lamb. It is then decorated however you wish! Usually with frosting, including green frosting on the plate to show a lamb laying in the grass. This tradition also symbolizes Jesus’ role as the Lamb of God.

6. Glazed Taralli

A classic Easter cookie are glazed taralli. You might be familiar with the taralli crackers we have year round, but this sweeter version only comes around for Easter. It is larger than the normal taralli, sweet notes baked into the dough, and glazed with an icing

What are your favorite Eater traditions? Let us know in the comments! Buona Pasqua!

From Our Family To Yours

Easter Feast 2022

 People have many different traditions when it comes to Easter, but most involve food. Sharing a meal has become symbolic of celebrations and Easter is a testament to this. If you’re looking for a homemade meal that will fill you up and not drain all your energy preparing it, we are here for you! We can offer you a homemade feast at an unbeatable price!

As a family business, we value time spent together. Time with loved ones is important and we want you to enjoy it to the fullest. Our Easter Feast is prepared in-house by our commissary. Just like all of our food, the feast is prepared with all natural ingredients with no preservatives. We take pride in using only the highest quality of ingredients.

The meal includes traditional and delicious Easter items that can feed between 10-12 people. Each course of the meal has a variety of options that you can choose from to best feed your group. The feast includes a ½ pan of salad, a ½ pan of vegetables, and a ½ pan of pasta or potatoes. For the main entrée, you get a choice of  a whole baked ham with our signature apricot pineapple glaze or our Mediterranean style boneless roasted leg of lamb. There is a side of a dozen dinner rolls and can’t forget the dessert! You can choose between zeppole or eclairs!

If you are just looking for a main entree, you can order a single roasted leg of lamb or a baked ham! A new offering this year is a whole roasted lamb.

Check out our holiday feast flyer for all your choices and more information. Call (630) 620-4444 ext. 1040 for more information and to place your order!

Going to do your own cooking but want some help with certain items? Check out our new catering menu to see our offerings!


From Our Family To Yours

6 La Bella Romana Must Tries

When walking around our store, you might notice a unique brand with a beautiful black and white image on it… that would be our private label, La Bella Romana! 

La Bella Romana translates to “The Beautiful Romana.” The name of our private label was created by Angelo Caputo as a way to honor his wife and our matriarch, Romana Caputo. The image on our label is Romana herself. The photo was taken by Angelo while they were honeymooning in Venice in the 1950s. 

The brand was created in 1984 and the first product was every Italian household’s staple item, canned tomatoes! The product line began to slowly grow as we imported more products proudly boasting the La Bella Romana name! The private label now includes bakery items, deli meats, catering and prepared foods, grocery products, and more. 

Here are 6 La Bella Romana Must Tries! 

Focaccia

Made in-house by our bakery team and available in different sizes and shapes, our tomato focaccia is one of our favorites! We make our own dough and use our own seasonings! Focaccia is great to eat on its own, as bread for a sandwich, and even as a burger bun!

Taralli

One of our favorite snacks is our La Bella Romana Taralli. They are imported from Italy and come in many different varieties! Rosemary and potatoes, olive oil, paprika, and many more. Taralli are a cracker like snack. They are great with cheese, wine, and more!

Pesto

La Bella Romana pesto is so versatile and authentic! It is great as a sauce, bread dip, and more! It is creamy and bold with flavor!

Giardiniera Relish

A Chicago classic and a great way add a little flavor to our meals with some of our hot or mild pepper mix. If you haven’t tried our giardiniera relish yet, we highly recommend it! This chopped up mix can take your dish to the next level. It is small enough to get a bit of giardiniera in every bite without it being overpowering!

Chocolate Covered Almonds 

Available in our bulk department La Bella Romana chocolate covered almonds are a great snack! You can pick either dark chocolate or milk chocolate.

Frozen Pasta 

Homemade pasta whenever you want it with La Bella Romana frozen pasta selections! All your favorites, whenever you want it! We love to stock up on these and keep them in our freezer for whenever we want an authentic pasta dish. Top with your favorite sauce and you have a quick and delicious meal! Ravioli, tortellini, rotolo, manicotti, and more! 

These and so many more are available in store! What are your favorite La Bella Romana products? Comment down below!

From Our Family To Yours

La Bella Romana Catering

With summer quickly approaching, we know that means that parties and gatherings are going to pick up too. Maybe you’re hosting a graduation, a birthday, or just a get together with your family. Party planning can be stressful, but picking food for the party doesn’t have to be!

Our La Bella Romana catering department can help you with all your needs!

You’ll be getting an authentic, home cooked meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen making the food! 

The inspiration for our catering department comes from my grandmother and our matriarch, Romana Caputo. 

Romana was Angelo’s guiding force and his pillar of strength. In 1984, Angelo began his quest to start a private label. He used this new private label as an opportunity to honor his wife and named it, La Bella Romana, which translates to “The Beautiful Romana.” La Bella Romana products are sold exclusively at Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets and the La Bella Romana brand includes our Cucina and Catering department.

Romana was known for her passion for cooking. Nobody could prepare a feast or host a party quite like her. Every person left her house feeling full and like a member of the family! Her love and incredible talent for cooking inspired many of our featured recipes. In upholding Romana’s legacy, we take pride in creating delicious meals with the best ingredients. Family is who we are, and we want you to make the most of all the time you can spend with your family.

Choosing La Bella Romana Catering is an easy way to make any event or gathering a success!

Remember, our La Bella Romana Cucina is just as prepared to serve a simple, grab-and-go meal as feed a family of eight or cater a party of 1,800. Every day of the week we offer a wide selection of entrees, sides, soups, and salads. When planning a larger event, simply call your local store — or get in touch with our catering department at (630) 620-4444 ext 1040.

We have items for every meal– trays, buffets, meal combos, full meals, and more! We’d love to work with you to make your next event a success!

Check out the catering menu here

From Our Family To Yours

La Festa di San Giuseppe

St. Joseph’s Day is March 19th and it’s a big celebration in Italian culture! 

This day calls for a feast! Some people attend parties where friends and family come together to honor St. Joseph or San Giuseppe. You might even notice many St. Joseph’s Day tables in your communities around this time as a tribute to him. The traditions vary, but most celebrations include a lot of food and the St. Joseph’s Day staple– Zeppole!

Italians usually celebrate St. Joseph’s Day with a big feast. The tradition of the feast dates back to the middle ages. Sicily was in the middle of a big drought. This drought was causing crops to dry up and left Sicilians on the brink of famine. They prayed to St. Joseph to relieve them with rain and in return they would honor him with a big feast or a banquet. When the rain came a few days later, they honored him as they said he would.

This tradition is still intact and many people come together to feast in St. Joseph’s honor! There are a few traditional meal items for you to enjoy on March 19th!

Fava Beans

It is believed that fava beans are what saved the people suffering from the drought from starvation. Enjoy some pasta with fava beans or find fava beans as decoration on the table!

Pasta con Sarde

Pasta con sarde is a long cut of pasta with breadcrumbs and anchovies or sardines Traditionally, Mafaldine pasta is used. This long, wavy pasta cut is great for gathering all the breadcrumbs on the pasta. The breadcrumbs are meant to resemble sawdust, an ode to St. Joseph’s carpentry background! 

Zeppole

Dessert is a must and on St. Joseph’s Day, you’re sure to find zeppole on the table! Zeppole are traditional donut-like fritters that are coiled on top. They are stuffed with different fillings and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. This is fitting because St. Joseph also happens to be the patron saint of pastry chefs! There are many different types of zeppole. Traditional zeppole are filled with cannoli or custard. We make both of these versions from scratch in our bakery! Stop by and pick up your zeppole and try out our new flavors to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day!

What are your go-to meals or traditions on St. Joseph’s day? Share them down below!

St. Joseph’s Day is also celebrated as Father’s Day in Italy, so be sure to wish all the father-like figures in your life a Happy Father’s Day this Saturday!

From Our Family To Yours

Meatless Meal Ideas

March 2nd marks the beginning of the Lenten season, an important time for the Christian community! This is the 40 days leading up to Easter and is a period of reflection and sacrifice. There are many traditions during this time and one important rule to follow is the fasting from meat on certain days.

Every Friday in Lent, you are supposed to refrain from eating meat. Lent is a time of simplicity and when observances were being created, meat and land animals were considered a symbol of celebration and prosperity. Because of this, Christians abstain from eating meat to honor the fact that it is a solemn period of time. The day of the week was chosen because Jesus suffered and died on a Friday. For these reasons, the practicing religions cut out meat on Fridays.

Although it seems simple, when it comes to making multiple meals that don’t include meat and that everyone will like can become difficult week after week. 

Here are 4 meatless meal suggestions to help you out when you’re not sure what to make!

Stir Fry

Grab your favorite veggies, rice or noodles, and your favorite sauce for a meatless dinner that will leave you wanting more! A stir fry is great because it is totally customizable– you get to pick every aspect of it and can choose the ingredients that work best for your meal. You can add or remove as many veggies as you like, just like you can pick the sauce that will completely change the flavor! 

Stir Fry Recipe: https://shopcaputos.com/recipe-rack?dishId=9a62d670-55cf-4753-aac3-a7e9df18d630

Pizza Night

Get the whole family involved and make your own pizza! We offer all the ingredients you need for a homemade pizza night. You can stop by our prepared foods section for homemade dough, sauce, veggies, toppings, and more! It’s great bonding and just a fun night, especially if you make a Nutella pizza for dessert!

Want pizza, but don’t have time to make it yourself? Grab one of our 16” take and bake pizzas for dinner. With multiple different options as far as toppings, it’s an easy dinner that everyone will love.

Making your own pizza and want some inspiration? Check out these gourmet pizza ideas here

Pasta

Versatile, easy,and delicious– three words we love to hear when it comes to meal time! While pasta seems like a basic dish, you can get creative with it! Our aisles are full of different pasta options- short or long, fresh or frozen, imported or domestic. Once you choose what pasta cut, then you move on to the sauce- our homemade supreme sauce, classic tomato sauce, arrabiata, and so many more. Plus, don’t forget about the mix ins and spices! With so many different combinations to try, pasta dishes will never get boring! 

Seafood

Not only is seafood a good meatless option, there are plenty of health benefits! Fish is filled with omega 3s and different nutrients that your body craves. Our extensive fish department will help you find just what you’re looking for. Fish can be eaten as meals or can be added to different dishes for great flavors– seafood risotto, pasta with clams, or just a simply grilled salmon are all great dishes with lots of flavor!

Fish can be intimidating to cook, but we can make it easy! We offer a variety of pre-marinated seafood options. They are full of flavor and all you have to do is put it in the oven and pick your sides! Pro tip: try one of our pre-marinated salmon choices in the air fryer!

Not in the mood to cook after a long week? Stop into one of our stores and check out the prepared foods section! There are tons of meatless options for yourself or for the whole family!

From Our Family To Yours