• Tommy Centola

Stuffed Macaroni from Toney’s Pizza and Spaghetti House

Updated: Jan 4

Toney’s was the Italian restaurant in the French Quarter from 1936 to 1990. Anthony Bonomolo founded the restaurant during the depression. His Italian food was very simple. It main ingredient was his New Orleans “red gravy.” It could be found with meatballs, Italian sausage, lasagna, spaghetti with daube(sliced roast beef in the red sauce), and this dish, the stuffed macaroni. Anthony’s grandson, Jay Bonomolo took over in the 1980’s. By then, the French Quarter had changed over to tourism. In 1990, Toney’s moved to Metairie. It only lasted 3 more years, closing for good in 1993.

This recipe is taken from the Lost Restaurants of New Orleans

Sauce

2 28oz. cans Tomato Paste

1 teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

Stuffing

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 ½ lbs ground Round

½ lb ground Pork

1-2 tablespoons Water

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 Egg, beaten

½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1 cup plain Breadcrumbs

½ bunch flat-leaf Parsley, leaves only, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped Garlic

1 teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

2 8oz boxes Pasta Shells, Manicotti Sheets, or large Pasta Tubes

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the sauce first. (or use your own recipe.) Pour the tomato puree into a large saucepan over medium-low heat. When it comes to a boil, lower to a simmer. Add the salt and pepper.

Simmer the sauce, covered, stirring every 20 minutes or so (and scraping the bottom as you do), for 6 hours. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. (No kidding-this is how they made the basic sauce at Toney’s.)

To make the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the ground round and ground pork. Add the water and cook, using a kitchen fork to stir the meat and keep it from clumping up.

When the ground meat is completely browned, drain and excess fat from the saucepan. Lower the heat to the lowest possible.

Add all the other stuffing ingredients. Stir to blend, everything uniformly. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring now and then. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (You may do it up to this point and refrigerate.)

Cook the pasta until al dente (soft but still firm). Drain. In the same pot, cover the pasta with cold water and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Set Aside.

Ladle about ½ cup sauce in each of two 9”x11”x3” casserole dishes. With clean hands, scoop up enough of the stuffing to fill 1 piece of pasta, and roll it like a sausage (or push it into the pasta tube). If using shells, use a spoon for this.

Lay the stuffed pasta in the casserole dishes, 1 layer deep. (You can stick a few on top if necessary.) Ladle enough sauce to cover the stuffed pasta. Cover with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Bake the stuffed pasta until the sauce is bubbling-about 20 minutes. Serve 2 per person for an entrée.

Serves 8.

Enjoy!!!

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